Route de la Bérarde is a legendary drive located in the heart of the Isère department in south-eastern France. It’s one of the French balcony roads.
The road is called D530. It’s 27.4km long and is asphalted. This road was opened to vehicles in 1921. It follows the river Le Vénéon and the journey includes several unlit tunnels, impassable for 2 cars at the same time. It runs as a single track road along the mountainside for some distance with nowhere to pass another vehicle. Here one says a prayer that nobody is coming towards you until the road widens some kilometres further.
The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities here. Don’t forget your camera! The road is usually open all year, but is not recommended in winters. It can be closed anytime because the snow or the ice. D530 starts in Le Clapier, at the junction with the D1091 and ends in La Bérarde, in the Réserve Naturelle de la Haute Vallée du Vénéon.
The road includes some steep sections, without market central lines, is very narrow, scarcely wide enough for two cars to pass at the same time and there are no protections or guard rails along some parts of the route. Be careful! This road is drivable but is impressive as narrow and winding. Some parts are difficult, especially for novice drivers. There are not many roads like this in Europe, if you can handle the height and the prospect of a very long freefall this road absolutely has to be on the list of any road connoisseur.
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.