The Route Napoléon is for us 'The Mother of all Holiday Routes'. As early as the 1970s, we published various stories about the legendary route between Cannes and Grenoble. In those years, driving the caravan on the sometimes bad roads, with considerable gradients, was a real adventure. With a modern motorhome, the route does not present an insurmountable problem anywhere. Enjoyment comes first. With that we have answered the most common question we get about the Route Napoléon. Yes, it is easy to drive, both from south to north and vice versa. Pas de problème!
After riding it twice, we can conclude that there are some parts in the route that require some experience driving in the mountains, but that the difficulties are nowhere very great. Moreover, we saw large buses driving there and also combinations with a large caravan. To be on the safe side, we drove the part between La Mure and Vizille, the 'Slope of Laffrey', from south to north again, because this part is closed to trucks and caravans. However, the camper can continue to use this part of the route via a special passage.
We start this guide in Nantua, about 160 km before Grenoble, where the Route Napoleon begins. Our route through the Alsace and Jura ended in Nantua. In this way, the two routes connect seamlessly with each other. On the way we visited Aix-les-Bains and Le Bourget-du-Lac. From there we drove straight through the Chartreuse Mountains to Grenoble, the starting point - or rather the end point - of the Route Napoléon. Our total route thus has a length of approximately 490 km. The current Route Napoléon, from Golfe Juan to Grenoble, has a length of about 320 kilometers and was opened as a car route in 1932.
We have extended the route with a large loop from Castellane along the Gorges du Verdon to the Lac-de-Sainte-Croix and further along the lavender fields of Digne back to Castellane. The route we describe here, including all detours worth seeing, has a total length of about 800 km and can be completed in two to three weeks. But you can also take much longer, because there is a lot of beautiful things to see and experience along the way.
Partly on behalf of the NKC (the Dutch Parent company of Campercontact), we wish all users of this camperroute a very nice journey and we are recommended for tips and suggestions for improvement.
With enthusiastic camper greetings,
Mike and Loes Bisschops