This route takes you from Saxon up to 1,686 metres in altitude; a remarkable but little-known climb of 14 kilometres.
Leaving Saxon in the heart of the Rhône Valley, the first switchbacks of the route wind through meadows and orchards where apples and apricots grow. These first few kilometres follow the Torrent des Croix and cross the hamlets of Sapinhaut and l'Arbarey. You will pass through mountain pastures as you tackle the route's countless hairpin bends. Little by little, the view over central Valais below opens up into a panorama stretching from Martigny to Sion. As you approach the summit of the pass, the Pierre Avoi mountain, which dominates the climb, becomes increasingly massive and impressive. The last few hundred metres on compact gravel lead through to the forests of Val de Bagnes. The end of the climb reserves one final surprise: a short stretch of unpaved road that adds an extra dose of charm to this unmissable route!
From the summit of the Col du Lein, you can head back down to Martigny via the panoramic road that connects the Col du Lein, the Col du Tronc and the Col des Planches and ends with a sweeping descent into town.
Col du Lein, 1,686 m
Saxon, 489 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).
The suggested starting point is at the church in Saxon village centre, where you’ll find an information post. Four Valais cycle signs guide you through the climb and offer information on your progress as you pass through the hamlets of Sapinhaut and l’Arbarey. The final 700 metres are unpaved but nonetheless suitable for road cycling.
all notes on protected areas
Public transport friendly
Regional trains to Saxon on the Simplon Railway.
From Lausanne/Martigny: From the A9 motorway, take exit 23 to Saxon and follow the Route du Léman to the village of Saxon.
From Sion/Brig: From the A9 motorway, take exit 24 to Riddes and follow the cantonal road to the village of Saxon.
Parking available in the village of Saxon. Follow parking directions in Saxon.
32T 359438 5112148
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.