Fans of two-wheelers (non-motorized), a new playground is offered to you. After the Loire à vélo, the Véloscénie, the ViaRhôna... The France continues to consolidate a solid network of cycle routes, with a small latest: the Durance à vélo, which offers a purely Provençal route. This new cycle route, the V862, will link Le Monêtier-les-Bains, in Briançonnais, to Avignon (Vaucluse), over a distance of 438 kilometers. Eventually, this road will cross no less than four departments: Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône and Vaucluse.
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On May 22, the Hautes-Alpes section was officially launched and inaugurated in Embrun. 170 kilometers of marked road, whose route was designed in partnership with the Mobil'Idées association, which has been developing alternatives to the private car since 2007. The Durance by bike is thus the first cycle route to cross this department of the Paca region. A nice way to discover the local gems, between varied landscapes (high mountains and orchards) and cultural jewels. Along the way, it is possible to visit Briançon and Mont-Dauphin, which have UNESCO World Heritage sites, the medieval city of Embrun or the vineyards of the Val de Durance. Eventually, other marked sections will be added to Avignon.
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What difficulty? 438 kilometres, including 170 kilometres in the Hautes-Alpes. In this department, between Briançon and Sisteron, there are 2500 meters of elevation gain and 3600 meters of elevation gain. The north of the route, from Briançon, takes mountain roads. This portion is rather recommended for "regular" cyclists. It is possible to pass these more difficult steps by taking the train. The south of the route is more accessible, as it largely runs along the Durance canal.
What security? The route is continuously signposted from Le Monêtier-les-Bains to Sisteron. On some sections, it follows a network of paved secondary roads. It will then be necessary to share the road with cars.
How long? Depending on the physical condition of the cyclists, there are several options. In total, there are nine routes, which make up this mapped route. On the Hautes-Alpes section, the site of La Durance à vélo offers, for example, a five-day itinerary.
DAY 1 : Briançon / L'Argentière-la-Bessée
DAY 2 : L'Argentière-la-Bessée / Embrun
DAY 3 : Embrun / Chorges
Day 4 : Chorges / Tallard
Day 5 : Tallard / Sisteron
Which stations to join the route? In the Hautes-Alpes, several stations allow you to join the route, either at the beginning or along the way. These are the stations of Briançon, L'Argentière-La-Bessée, Mont-Dauphin-Guillestre, Embrun, Chorges, Gap and Sisteron.