Gorges du Nan

Gorges du Nan is a defiant balcony road in France

Gorges du Nan is a spectacular canyon carved by Le Nant River in France. The delightful road cut into the face of a cliff running through the gorge is one of the most famous French balcony roads.

Where is Gorges du Nan?

The canyon is located in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, south of Grenoble, in the southeastern part of the country.

Can you drive through Gorges du Nan?

The road through the gorges is totally paved. It’s called D22 road. The most defiant section of the road is 9,1 km (5,65 miles) long, running south-north from Malleval-en-Vercors to Cognin-les-Gorges. It’s extremely narrow and totally impassable for 2 cars at the same time. From Cognin-les-Gorges, it is particularly after the first tunnel that the road becomes exceptional. There are no stopping points so it is better to continue directly to Malleval-en-Vercors where you will appreciate the break. Looking over the railing makes you realize the depth below you – with only a small stone next to you – but only the drone footage shows how insane this road truly is.

How long does it take to drive through Gorges du Nan?

Located in Vercors National Park, plan about 25 minutes to complete the drive without any stop. The road runs through several gorges, with a 3 miles steep hill downwards, and crossing a 2.2m limited width point. The road is cut in the rocks, with some tunnels. Additionally, there are hairpins, bends, and blind curves. The Vercors was a stronghold for the French Resistance during WW2, and memorials can be seen alongside. 

When was the road through Gorges du Nan built?

The road was built above all to secure the access to the towns. No major works here, instead the two villages decided to join forces in 1880 to trace this secondary, but unique road, with its succession of tunnels cut directly into the rock. This road is one of the most famous balcony roads in France. 


 

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