The Alps rival any region of France for drama, beauty and excitement. Its intensely photogenic with every valley ablaze with wild summer flowers and every hamlet offering something a little different to the last. Snow capped mountains that just completely demand your attention and alpine lakes to unwind to. The journey is enchanting and each day brings a new view or a another peak. The wow or oh my god of the mountain pass is just part of the day. The real charm is in when your adrenaline rush is over and you discover an drop dead gorgeous sleepy spot. The most dramatic is the Galibier Pass and the do not venture unless you’re bonkers is the Cayolle Pass. But to be honest, all the passes are amazing and offer stunning drives and ace views.
Our unplanned visit to French Alps completely took us by surprise as to how beautiful and unspoilt it is. We’ve also received lots of comments and emails asking us for our route, so we thought we would share with everyone. Hope you find it useful x
Our Motorhome Route
Starts at Annecy and finishes at Nice covering a total of 601 kilometres (374 mikes). We mainly followed the D902.
The map of all the passes at the bottom of the blog
Annecy €0 per night
There is a small free aire and service just off the main highway but it only room for half a dozen motorhomes (see camper contacts).
If this is full then head over to the church car park. At first, the access looks steep and a bit weird but its fine. Price €0
About 10/15 minutes walk to old quarters.
Here is our blog & GPS positions on Annecy
Plateau d’Assy €10.50 per night
Fill up with fresh water before you leave as next stop has no service point.
Barrages Roselend €0 per night
No service points
Here is our blog & GPS positions on Trip to Roseland
Bourg St Maurice €0 per night
In between Bourg St Maurice and Villaron there is an aire at Val d’isere with full free services.
Here is our blog on Brilliant drive to Bourg St Maurice
Villaron €0 per night
Full service point a few miles down the road on the outskirts of Bessan.
Here is our blog on journey to the highest pass
Col du Laurtaret €0 per night
No services points.
La Condamine Chatelard €0 per night
We drove through Arvieux, Vars and Barcelonnette
No service points
Here is our blog on Brancon
Guillaumes €0 per night
Watch out for the Col du Cayolle might be worth taking a different route?
St Laurent du Var €0 per night
All service facilities available and a Lidl (Craig smiles just a few kilometres away)
When to go along Grand Route with a Motorhome
The mountain passes generally open at the beginning of June. Our trip across the Alps started a couple of days after the pass opened. The roads were clear of snow but for scenery the mountain peaks were still covered in snow.
Road Conditions for a Motorhome
The road conditions were absolutely fantastic with smooth, flat tarmac. Very few uneven and unbroken road surfaces. The majority of passes double width, so no issues with passing traffic. Inclines on the whole are a nice gradual gradient.
The only pass which we would add caution to is the Col du Cayolle. It was mainly single track and pockets of gravel/landslide on the road. We are sure the roads are cleared on a frequent basis but it still is a very narrow pass. There are very few passing points and a bridge restriction of 3 meters.
How much did it cost?
This is just to give you an idea of how much it can cost for 15 days. These are our variable cost, so fixed costs like insurance and tax excluded.
Camping fees €31.50
Petrol €4.60 (motorbike)
Meals out €55
Total of €365.30 (just over £300) 2 people and 2 dogs for 15 days.
This certain falls in to one of Europe’s great motorhome drives. Linking the mountains with the coast, crossing 35 amazing passes along the way. Driving from valley to valley and passing peak upon peak. You can probably complete the drive in a few days, but you may struggle. The scenery is just amazing and if you add in a few walks then you can soon rack up days. Our drive took 15 days.
It’s easy to see the allure.We’ve treated to the most spectacular views of snow capped mountains and green valleys. Our head in the clouds, high above the roads that lies beneath. At times free from mobile reception, alone in the middle of nowhere and free from interruption. Despite our initial reticence, it’s been an overwhelmingly journey. But shhh — don’t tell anyone —It might get too popular!