Driving the infamous D220-Les Travers, a French balcony road
Route Departementale 220 (D220) is the name of a short mountain road located in the Isère department, in the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, in France. It’s one of the French balcony roads.
Tucked away on the southeastern part of the country, the road is totally paved. The road, known locally as Les Travers, is made difficult by single track sections and overhanging rock, and is impassable to heavy vehicles. It's one of the most famous dramatic 'balcony' or 'corniche' roads near Bourg d'Oisans. A balcony road is a hair-raising lane cut into the sides of sheer cliffs. The spectacular bit is only short, and is very narrow indeed, requiring traffic lights at the narrowest section. It’s not as quiet as you might imagine, so unlike the other three similar roads, is not an ideal cycling route.
The amazing road carved into the mountainside is 5.7 km (3.54 miles) long, running west-east from D1091 road to D213 road, near Les Deux Alpes. The road cuts along a cliff face where there is only a foot high wall separating you and a sheer, base jumps wet dream, drop to the valley below.
This road, and access route into 2Alpes, is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Falling rocks and early snow cause road to close. This road leads towards Les Deux Alpes, and gives good views across towards the Col de Sarenne.
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