The Vercors National Park
The Vercors offers spectacular cycling. To the east of our base, the Vercors National Park has over 400 miles (600km) of scenic roads. Some wind their way through natural forests whilst several others have been carved in a quite outrageous manner into the walls of several gorges.
Known as the 'Gateway to the Vercors', St.Nazaire is ideally situated for exploring most of the Plateaux. The climbs are long but not as severe as those in the Alps and the Pyrenees. The gradients are mostly between 5% and 7% and our local knowledge enables you to climb the gentler ones and descend the steeper ones. Of course, if it's hard climbs you want, we know where they are. Our base is at 170 metres and the climbs in the Vercors are mainly to between 1000 and 1400 metres. This normally means that we do most of our climbing in the morning, so that you can enjoy your lunch in the knowledge that it's all downhill on the way home.
The Vercors has a long tradition for being an area for outdoor pursuits. It hosted many events in the 1968 Winter Olympics and has the largest cross-country skiing area in Europe. It is a popular walking and fishing area.
Over the centuries the Vercors has been renowned outlaw country and during World War II it provided a natural fortress for the French Resistance who, in 1944, took on the might of the occupying forces. There are numerous memorials across the Plateaux, including the ruined village of Valchevrieres and the impressive Resistance Museum.