Col du Mont-Cenis

An epic road to Col du Mont-Cenis in the Alps

Col du Mont-Cenis (Colle del Moncenisio) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.094m (6,870ft) above the sea level, located in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Is the road to Col du Mont-Cenis paved?

Tucked away on the boundary of the Cottian and Graian Alps, the road to the summit, located beside the eponymous lake, is totally paved in good conditions. It’s called D1006. The pass links Lanslebourg-Mont-Cenis (in France in the northwest) with Susa (in Italy in the southeast). The pass was the border between France in Italy until 1947 Treaty of Paris, when it passed completely to France. The drive offers beautiful panoramic views on the snowy peaks of the National Park La Vanoise.

Is the road to Col du Mont-Cenis steep?

Set high on the south-eastern part of the country, the climb has been featured in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia bicycle races. There are 2 ways to reach the summit. Starting at Lanslebourg, the ascent is 9.84 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 682 meters. The average percentage is 6.9 %. The climb features a famous sequence of five hairpins. The surface of this wide road is very regular, with a slope constant of 7%. The maximum gradient is 12.8%. And starting at Susa, the ascent is 30.51 km long, and the elevation gain is 1.581 meters. The average percentage is 5.2 %. The maximum gradient is 10.9%.

Is Mont Cenis Pass open?

Set high at the heart of the Mont-Cenis Range, the road to the summit is seasonally closed. On the French north side, the pass is open between 15 May and 31 October. On the Italian south side, it is open the year round. The area is pretty busy on weekends with locals and tourists.

When was the road to Col du Mont-Cenis built?

Some historians believe this pass was used by Hannibal when he made his famous elephant Alps crossing. It is very nice up around the lake and there are many rough-stuff routes to explore for those with a mountain bike. People have been crossing the Col du Mont Cenis for thousands of years. Both Constantine the 1st and Charlemagne crossed the Pass with armies. It was the most frequently used passage between Italy and France in the middle ages. When the French ports were blockaded by the British after the battle of the Nile, Napoleon ordered an improved road built over the pass. Finished in 1810, it allowed carts and carriages to be able to make the crossing.