Driving the Route des Grandes Alpes

Évian can be a starting point for the 741km (459-mile) drive to Nice along the Route des Grandes Alpes. One of Europe’s great drives, it links Lake Geneva with the Riviera, crossing 35 passes along the way. Leaping from valley to valley, it’s open from end to end only in summer (many passes are closed in winter).

You can make the drive in two days, but why hurry? The charm of this journey involves stopping at scenic highlights along the way, including Chamonix, Megève, and Val d’Isère. The most dramatic pass is the Galibier Pass (Col du Galibier), at 2,645m (8,676 ft.), which marks the dividing line between the northern and southern parts of the French Alps.

En route to Nice, you’ll pass to such towns as St-Veran (1,959m/6,426 ft.), the highest community in Europe; Entrevaux, once a fortress town marking the border between Upper Provence and the Alps; and Touet-sur-Var, a village filled with tall, narrow houses constructed directly against the towering rocky slope.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.