Route de la Bérarde is a legendary drive located in the heart of the Isère department, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. It’s one of the French balcony roads.
Tucked away in the south-eastern part of the country, Route de la Bérarde (Road D530) is totally paved. Be careful! This road is drivable but is impressive as narrow and winding. Running along the Le Vénéon river, the drive is 27.2 km (16.9 miles) long, from Le Clapier (at the junction with the D1091) to La Bérarde (in the Réserve Naturelle de la Haute Vallée du Vénéon).
The road, with steep drop offs to one side, is very narrow in parts and features unlit tunnels, impassable for 2 cars at the same time. It was opened to vehicles in 1921. As soon as the road was finished, buses came into service, carrying not only passengers, but also the orders for various shopkeepers (bread, meat, tinned goods, etc.). To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 40 and 60 minutes. The road is usually open all year, but is not recommended in winters. It can be closed anytime because the snow or the ice.
Located right into the heart of the Écrins National Park, the road is steep, and hits a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Running in the midst of a high mountain landscape, the road features steep drops, so those who are little nervous of heights will want to take it easy along here. High risk of landslides. Locals call it the road to the end of the world, and it’s easy to see why.