Cycling routes

Cycling routes

Petite Forclaz – Valais Cycling Tour

The climb up the Petite Forclaz from Martigny is already legendary; in September 2020, it will become a playground for cycling’s global elite.

Western Switzerland and Valais are set to welcome the UCI Road World Championships for the first time in September 2020. The high point of the route is the hill that rises up from Martigny, passing through the vineyards and the villages of Les Rappes and La Fontaine, and pitting the world’s best cyclists against one other. Climbing the Petite Forclaz is a formidable challenge: the 400m ascent covers four kilometres and has an average gradient of 11%, with some sections exceeding 14%. Test yourself against the champions and give your calf muscles a workout on the route’s numerous hairpin bends. Once you’ve reached the Route de la Forclaz, you can choose to tackle an additional route section consisting of the Tour de France climb up to the Emosson dam via the Col de la Forclaz, or return to Martigny via the main road.

Turn-by-turn directions

Your route starts on the main square of Martigny-Croix, where you'll find the red Valais cycle signpost. Make your way through the town’s alleyways and cross the bridge over the Route du Saint-Bernard. Climb through the vineyards, crossing the hamlets of Les Rappes and La Fontaine before you arrive at the Route de la Forclaz. The route becomes steeper as the climb progresses. With numerous turns, an average gradient of 11% and some sections exceeding 14%, you’ll soon start to feel the burn in your legs. After four kilometres and a climb of 400 metres, you’ll finally reach the Route de la Forclaz main road, where you can choose to continue climbing up to the Col de la Forclaz or even the Emosson Dam, or make your way back down to Martigny via the main road.

Start: Martigny-Croix (503 m)
Destination: Route de la Forclaz (906 m)

Author's recommendation

Take a gourmet break at the Fromathèque cheese shop at the Martigny-Croix exit and try some delicious regional products and excellent Valais vintages.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    906 m 499 m

  • Ascent

    403 m

  • Descent

    0 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Travel to Martigny-Croix on the SBB Lausanne–Brig line or the Mont-Blanc Express and St-Bernard Express lines.


Take the E27 Martigny/Grand St-Bernard motorway exit, then leave the roundabout in the direction of Col de la Forclaz/Chamonix.


Follow the directions for parking in Martigny.


We recommend: bike in excellent working order, helmet, gloves and bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.

Safety information

Strictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike.Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).


SwissTopo Maps 1:25,000: 1325 Sembrancher