This route in the Chartreuse regional nature park abounds with natural treasures such as the Cirque de Saint-Même and some of Isère's cultural treasures including the Grande Chartreuse museum.
Start in Saint-Étienne-de-Crossey. Take the D49 towards Saint-Nicolas-de-Macherin. Just after Le Pilon, turn right and continue until you reach Sainte-Sixte.
Pass by Le Burlet and continue on the D28 to Miribel-les-Échelles.
Continue on the D49, pass through Les Échelles, Saint-Christophe-sur-Guiers then cycle along the Gorges du Guiers Vif to Saint-Pierre-d'Entremont.
Turn right towards Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse via Le Planolet.
Turn right towards Saint-Laurent-du-Pont (D520B) then head for Villette and Basbolin.
Take the D49 and turn left towards Saint-Roche. Return to the starting point via Ture.
This visit to the land of Carthusian monks abounds with monumental, preserved nature...emerald green forests, raging torrents and sharp cliffs.
- Cycle sports, Signposted Cycling routes
- Target clientele:
- For experts / practiced
- 75 km
- Trail type:
- Elevation gain:
- 1950 m
- Elevation drop:
- 1951 m
- Daily duration:
Chartreuse liqueur... and variations: Chartreuse liqueur is made in Voiron, not in the Grande Chartreuse monastery, but the liqueur's history is inseparable from the mountains and monks. Made by the Carthusian fathers since the 18th century, the secret recipe includes roughly 130 plants and mountain flowers. Several varieties of liqueurs are now available: yellow, green (sweeter and less alcoholic), a vegetable elixir... It can be used for a range of products, including chocolates. Try the particularly famous Chartreuse chocolates made at Petit, a chocolate-maker in Saint-Laurent-du-Pont. Isabelle and Emmanuel Petit welcome visitors to their laboratory and shop for chocolate and sweets tastings. They explain how chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to the subtle chocolate-chartreuse mixture.
History, culture and heritage
Gorges du Guiers Vif: this canyon is also known as the Gorges de Frou sous le Pas du Frou. "Frou" means ugly in local dialect. The Pas du Frou overlooks the Guiers Vif, a natural border between Isère and Savoie. The road, hanging on to the cliff face, links Saint-Pierre d'Entremont to Saint-Christophe-sur-Guiers.
Château de Montbel ruins: overlooking the Gorges du Frou (variant: 2 km round trip), the ruins of the castle occupy a promontory ideal for a vast view over the Chartreuse ranges. It was the second stronghold for the Lords of Entremonts, then belonged to Carthusian monks who were expelled during the Revolution. Finally, it became state property and was later abandoned.
Cirque de Saint-Même (variant: 8 km round trip variant) is one of the most popular Chartreuse visits. An impressive 500-metre-high amphitheatre of limestone cliffs, it is streaked with four immense roaring waterfalls coming from underground springs in the Guiers Vif. Don't miss the 90-minute hike along the waterfall trail. Good walking shoes required. Another must-see is the Eglise de Saint-Hugues-de-Chartreuse.
Musée d’art sacré contemporain: another must-see in Chartreuse is the Eglise de Saint-Hugues-de-Chartreuse. This church is entirely decorated with superb frescoes in bright colours by painter Arcabas. He worked on the decorations for over 30 years. It is a major work of contemporary sacred art.
Le musée de la Grande Chartreuse: in Saint-Pierre-de- Chartreuse near the monastery, this museum explains all there is to know about the Carthusian order with new scenography including films, audio guides and stories. The visit inspires silence and contemplation.
Contact details & information
Office de Tourisme du Pays Voironnais
- +33 4 79 65 81 90 | +33 4 76 06 22 55 | +33 4 76 93 17 60
- Chartreuse Tourisme
- 38960 Saint-Étienne-de-Crossey
From 01/05 to 31/10.
Subject to favorable weather.