By Maggie LaCoste
One of the most exciting new bike routes in France, ViaRhona, Du Leman A La Mediterranee continues to add completed sections and is certain to reach the 50% completion mark this summer! I cannot wait, as this will be a breathtaking route for experiencing the best of France by bike. The route starts at Lake Geneva, and runs along the Rhone River all the way to the Mediterranean. The ambitious project involves a partnership with 12 French Departments, from Haute-Savoie and Ain in the north to Couches-du-Phone, Gard, Vaucluse and Herault in the south and will showcase the natural beauty of one of France’s major rivers.
As of early 2012, 265 km of the total 704 km had been completed. The completed sections include 187 km or 71% voie verte, or totally car-free bike paths, and 78 km or 29% veloroute, or low traffic bike paths. There is a web page where you can monitor the progress of completed segments of the route. It is in French, but that does not distract from the feature of clicking on completed segments for additional information. Go to: http://www.itinerairevelo.eptb-rhone.fr/. The segments in red have been completed. Watch for more progress during the summer.
As with all major French bicycle itineraries, there will be directional signs in both directions, and eventually a website to provide information to bicyclists. Watch Experience France by Bike for more updates on this exciting new route.