Tackle a section of the legendary Tour du Mont Blanc by mountain bike: from Champex-Lac to the Grand Col Ferret.
Starting point for the ride is the idyllic village of Champex-Lac, located at an altitude of 1,467 m. The itinerary takes you all the way to the Italian border, at 2,537 m, via the villages of Issert, Praz-de-Fort and La Fouly. For a well-deserved break, stop for refreshments at the alpine farmstead of La Peule. From here, continue your climb as far as the Grand Col Ferret on the Italian-Swiss border. Once at the top, you can either continue to Courmayeur in Italy or return by the same route.
Champex’s lake is a natural gem, offering activities including stand-up paddling, pedalo rides, fishing and walks around its tranquil shores.
Grand Col Ferret, 2536 m
Creux des Pas, 1039 m
Best time of year
Use marked bike trails and routes only, and observe all signposting. Please close gates after passing through. Please be considerate to walkers and to plants and animals. As a rule, walkers have priority. When planning, take into account participants’ fitness level and ability. All riding is at one’s own risk.
The itinerary begins with a ride through the resort of Champex-Lac via the main road, from which you enjoy fine views of the lake and the Combins massif. Continue downhill towards Orsières, but after passing the first two bends, take the unpaved road to the right which descends all the way to the main road up the Val Ferret. Then, before entering the village of Issert, take a left turn and pass above the village to reach Praz-de-Fort. Cross the Saleinaz plateau beyond and then follow the main road for a distance of 200 metres. Turn off to the left; you will rejoin the main valley road by the hamlet of Branche d’en Bas. At Branche d’en Haut, head across to the other, western, side of the river, and then back again before crossing the main valley road and the hamlet of Prayon to ride through the forest as far as La Fouly. Continue on to Ferret and then Les Ars Dessous. Turn right onto the unpaved road to cross the river and head up to the alpine farmstead of La Peule. Finally, follow the path up to the Grand Col Ferret.
all notes on protected areas
Train to Orsières; then bus (TMR line) to Champex-Lac (or to La Fouly, if following the route in reverse direction).
A9 motorway to Martigny (exit 22). Follow signs for the Great St Bernard Pass until Orsières, then turn off to the right for Champex-Lac.
Start and finish points for the ride are different, so we recommend you make use of public transport. Free parking is available at the base station of the chairlift in Champex-Lac.
32T 354234 5099123
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
The tourist office in Orsières has got brochures and information material about mountain biking in the region.