Living with the Rhone


CNR is playing a decisive role in laying the ViaRhôna, an itinerary for soft transport modes along the Rhone. Much of the layout runs through the land conceded to CNR, which also provides funds covering 20% of the global cost of the project.

ViaRhôna, an itinerary for soft transport modes along the Rhône from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean, is a link between the territories and a unique opportunity to bring the population of the Rhone Valley together around the river. It is also a powerful lever for developing tourism.

A collective ambition

via-rhona-secteur-haut-rhoneThe ViaRhôna project results from the collective ambition of the territories crossed by the river and is part of the Rhone Plan. This cycle track will eventually link Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean over a distance of 815 km. The ViaRhôna is a great opportunity for discovering the wealth of tourist attractions in the territories crossed by the river, enjoyably and with the family. Apart from cycling, this “soft mode”’ itinerary contributes to stimulating tourism that combines culture, heritage, wine and gastronomy. The ViaRhôna continues in Switzerland with the “Route du Rhône”, and will become one of the major European routes dedicated to soft transport modes stretching over 1 000 km.

A formidable tool for development

passerelle-himalayenne-rochemaureThe project involves CNR directly: 65% of the itinerary runs through the land it manages. Thus it was natural for CNR to collaborate in the project through its Missions in the General Interest, with the signature of partnership agreements with the Rhône-Alpes Region, in 2005, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, in 2007.

In addition to making its land available, CNR participates in technical studies, helps local authorities to obtain subsidies from the European Union and provide more than 20% of the project’s investment requirements. ViaRhôna is a genuine lever for territorial development and more than 10,000 tourist offers are already linked to it.

When completed by 2020, ViaRhôna will contribute considerably to stimulating tourism, an economic sector that generates the creation of lasting jobs, as they cannot be delocalised.

Links with circuits

Laying ViaRhôna leads to the creation of other itineraries that spring from it. Thus there is the “Voie bleue” which was opened in Ardèche in 2014. It is also dedicated to soft transport modes. This local circuit is part of an intercommunal Rhone-Crussol project close to the town of Valence aimed at reconciling the use of the river banks by the population with the natural habitat and preserving an ecological corridor.

Via Rhôna

Viarhona-mapWhile awaiting the full completion of the ViaRhôna, 75% of the track has already been completed in the Rhône-Alpes (i.e. 416 km of 552 km), 47% in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region (55 km of 118) and 34% in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region (49 km of 144 km).

Figures on 1 July 2015

The electric bike: an original way to profit from the ViaRhôna

In 2013, CNR launched an original operation: that of discovering the ViaRhôna and the territories it crosses by electric bike on the section between Saint-Romain en Gal (Rhône) and Saint-Rambert d’Albon (Drôme). CNR relies on local professionals who rent electric bikes, on territorial authorities to promote them and on the company Velogik for the logistics. The operation has since been renewed and extended to 8 sections. A total of 130 electrically assisted bikes (EAB) are available from 35 partner rental outfits and the operation has been deployed over 160 km of the ViaRhôna on the Upper Rhone, Lower Rhone and as many secondary itineraries.

On the same subject

  • Missions in the General Interest: developing tourism

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ViaRhôna in brief


  • 815 km from lake Geneva to the Mediterranean

  • 3 regions crossed (Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon)

  • 12 departments crossed (Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Ain, Isère, Rhône, Loire, Drôme, Ardèche, Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault)

  • 65 % the track crosses the land of the CNR concession

  • €12 M: CNR’s financial contribution, representing more than 20% of the total

  • 10 000 tourist offers linked to the ViaRhôna are already available

  • 20,000 passages over the Himalayan footbridge of Rochemaure were recorded in summer 2014