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Fitness
Cycling

Grand St Bernard Pass – Legendary Mountain Passes

Cycling · Martigny-Combe
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Great Saint-Bernard pass
    / Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Cyclists, Great Saint-Bernard pass
    Photo: David Carlier, Valais/Wallis Promotion - David Carlier
  • / Great St Bernard pass
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Great St Bernard pass in spring
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, Valais/Wallis Promotion
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Starting from Martigny, you first start climbing up the valley towards Sembrancher, then to Orsières without much difficulty. The real ascent starts in the Val d’Entremont until Bourg-St-Pierre and then to the Grand-St-Bernard pass.
difficult
42.1 km
3:30 h
2072 m
106 m
From Martigny to Orsières the slope is quite mild, giving you a nice gentle warm-up during the first few kilometres. Leaving the Val Ferret to your right, you begin your climb up the Val d’Entremont and things begin to get serious! The slope gets steeper but remains steady as you cross the villages of Liddes and Bourg-St-Pierre on this road to Italy. You will discover Mont Rogneux and the peaks of the Combins in full panorama as you climb in the midst of alpine meadows. Shortly after Bourg-St-Pierre, you ride through several kilometres of galleries before the road splits to the right up towards the Col du Grand-St-Bernard. The last kilometres are difficult but are surrounded by incredibly beautiful Alpine scenery.

Author’s recommendation

The St. Bernard Dogs of the Barry Foundaition pass the summer months on the Great St. Bernard Pass. From July to August, the Barry Foundation gives visitors to the Great St Bernard pass the opportunity to accompany the hospice dogs on a 1½ hour hike.

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Grand St Bernard Pass, 2468 m
Lowest point
Martigny, 502 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

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).

Tips, hints and links

More information :

Start

Martigny (501 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.087822, 7.055270
DMS
46°05'16.2"N 7°03'19.0"E
UTM
32T 349654 5105643
w3w 
///accusing.basin.tapers

Destination

Grand St Bernard Pass

Turn-by-turn directions

Once you leave Martigny behind, the road opens wide over gentle slopes. At the junction at the beginning of the Val de Bagnes, take the road to Italy on the right towards Orsières which climbs along the Dranse river. The beginning of the Val d’Entremont coincides with the increase in difficulty of the climb, allowing you to quickly gain altitude until Liddes. A section less steep through the village allows you to recover a bit before you attack the following climb to Bourg-St-Pierre, the last village in Switzerland before the Italian border. After riding through the galleries on the road leading to the Grand-St-Bernard tunnel, the road heads off to the right and the last six kilometres brings you to the summit of the pass. The scenery is grandiose, and at the summit the refuge and little lake make this crossing between Switzerland and Italy one of the most beautiful passes in the Alps!

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public transport friendly

Arrive in Martigny by train from all Swiss towns and cities (SBB) or by the regional trains Railway Mont-Blanc & St-Bernard Express.

Getting there

Take the A9 Motorway exit E27 autoroute Martigny/Grand St. Bernard. At the roundabout, follow signs towards Col de la Forclaz / Chamonix (France)

Parking

Parking de la Porte d’Octodure at motorway exit. Follow the car-park routeing in Martigny.

Coordinates

DD
46.087822, 7.055270
DMS
46°05'16.2"N 7°03'19.0"E
UTM
32T 349654 5105643
w3w 
///accusing.basin.tapers
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

SwissTopo Maps: 1325 Sembrancher / 1345 Orsières / 1365 Grand St. Bernard

Author’s map recommendations

Brochures : Road cycling map

Equipment

We recommend: bike in excellent working order, helmet, gloves and bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
42.1 km
Duration
3:30h
Ascent
2072 m
Descent
106 m
Public transport friendly Point-to-point Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Insider tip

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