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Gorges de la Bourne

The Gorges de la Bourne is a canyon formed by the Bourne River, located in the Vercors Massif, in the départements of Isère and Drôme in the French Prealps.  It’s one of the French balcony roads. The largest of the Vercors gorges, carved out by the River Bourne, is today a major road axis, with a unique East-West direction. 

The gorges are traversed by the RD 531. It’s one of the most spectacular roads in the world. The gorges are located on the route between Pont-en-Royans and Villard-de-Lans, two municipalities in the Isère department in south-eastern France. Portions of the road may be temporarily closed due to road work or inclement weather. The road is winding, in some places only wide enough for one vehicle, and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet). Words can’t describe the road and pictures don’t do it justice. The road includes several tunnels.
Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of the road, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. Road closures can be frequent, so check conditions before traveling to this area. The road is asphalted. It’s a breathtaking gorge-side road. It was built in 1871. The construction of this marvel of engineering took 10 years. The history of this road is as twisted as its path. It took 10 years and the devotion of Jean Serratrice and the workers hanging over the void risking their lives, to complete the construction work in 1871. And even today, it is a major challenge to maintain this link subject to climatic changes and erosion. 

This road is one of the most famous balcony roads in the country. A balcony road is a hair-raising lane cut into the sides of sheer cliffs. It’s a kind of road not for those who fear heights. There is little room for error on these roads. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and narrow unlit tunnels. When you take this road as picturesque as it is narrow, with its many suprising meanders, drive carefully, and above all don't miss the parking spaces that have been provided.

 

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