The ten kilometres between Martigny-Bourg and the summit of the Col des Planches are among the steepest in the region, with some sections reaching a gradient of 15%!
The first kilometres of climbing from Martigny are merciless: the road launches upward from the start and the slope, which reaches a gradient of 15%, never eases until Chemin-Dessous, the first village along the route. A hairpin curve will offer you a few moments to breathe and shift your attention to the impressive view over the elbow of the Rhône river and the town of Martigny below. The slope then eases up, allowing you to discover the Forclaz valley as the climb continues through larch forests. A brief flat section will give you a moment to save some energy before tackling the final hairpin bends leading to the Col des Planches.
Once you’re back in Martigny, visit the Fondation Pierre Gianadda and the Barryland museum dedicated to St Bernard dogs.
Col des Planches, 1408 m
Martigny Bourg, 495 m
Best time of year
Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike. Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).
Your climb starts on the plains in the town of Martigny. Follow the road to Chemin-Dessous, which features a steep slope with a gradient of up to 15%. A hairpin bend gives you a moment to catch your breath and enjoy the impressive view of the elbow of the Rhône river and the town of Martigny below. The slope then eases up, allowing you to discover the Forclaz valley as the climb continues through larch forests. A brief flat section gives you the chance to save some energy before the final hairpin bends leading to the Col des Planches.
all notes on protected areas
Public transport friendly
Travel to Martigny on the SBB Lausanne-Brig line or via the Mont-Blanc Express and St-Bernard Express lines.
Take the E27 Martigny/Grand St-Bernard motorway exit, then leave the roundabout in the direction of Col de la Forclaz/Chamonix.
Parking available at La Porte d’Octodure at the motorway exit. Follow the parking directions in Martigny.
32T 350091 5105721
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
The tourist office in Martigny has brochures and information material about road cycling in the region.