Col de l’Iseran (2,770)


col de la cayolle cycling


Col de l’Iseran is the highest paved pass in Europe, and very scenic, hence it’s a bucket list col for most col-hunters. Only open a few months per, things can get very busy on the climb from either side.

From the Tarentaise Valley, it’s not really recommendable to ride it all the way from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, as the road up to Tignes and Val d’Isere is often occupied by busy wannabe-rally car drivers, which doesn’t go well with dark tunnels. From Val d’Isere, about 15 kilometers from the top, it’s a beautiful and fair climb with spectacular views over Lac du Chevril below you, and the 3,656-meter-high Grand Motte beside you.

From the Maurienne Valley, the climb is even more intimidating, as you get more than 1,400 meters of vertical gains from the often-busy resort of Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis.


lac besson cycling