22 Mountain Passes in France that you should visit - With photos & details

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22 Mountain Passes to explore in France

France, including its overseas territories, has the most number of time zones with a total of 12 time zones. France has long been a global center of art, science, and philosophy. It hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually.

Ballon d'Alsace90200 Lepuix, France

The Col du Ballon d'Alsace is a mountain pass situated close to the summit of the Ballon d'Alsace in the Vosges Mountains of France. It connects Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle with Masevaux and Belfort. The Ballon d'Alsace was the first official mountain climb in the Tour de France. One of the nice trekking destination and also it offers a panoramic view of the natural beauty.

Col d'AubisqueCol d'Aubisque, 64440 Béost, France

Col d'Aubisque is a beautiful mountain pass which was located in the south of Tarbes and Pau in the department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.  It is a center for winter sports and is regularly part of the Tour de France, generally rated an hors catégorie climb. It is almost the perfect climb for cyclists and also this picturesque location offers a panoramic view of nature.

Col d'IzoardCol d'Izoard, 05350 Cervières, France

Col d'Izoard is a mountain pass that connects Briançon and the Guil valley in the French Alps. Near the summit, there is a monument remembering the epic battles between Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet in 1950.

Col de BavellaCol de Bavella, 20122 Zonza, France

The Col de Bavella is a mountain pass at an altitude of 1,218 meters on the French island of Corsica. The mountain pass connects Solenzara on the east coast of the island with Zonza in the Alta Rocca. The col is the most southerly of the four great Corsican mountain passes that cross the main ridge of the island. The pass forms an important connection between the southwest of the island and the northeast.

Col de la BonetteCol de la Bonette, 04850 Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage, France

Col de la Bonette is a mountain pass and the highest asphalt road in Europe, situated within the Mercantour National Park of the French Alps. The mountain pass offers many beautiful viewpoints.

Col de la Croix de FerCol de la Croix de Fer, 73530 Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, France

Col de la Croix de Fer is a high mountain pass in the French Alps linking Le Bourg-d'Oisans and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. The pass has featured in the Tour de France nineteen times since it was first passed in the 1947 tour when the race was led over the summit by Fermo Camellini. One of the beautiful locations in the area and also a nice picnic spot too.

Col de la MadeleineCol de la Madeleine, 73130 Montgellafrey, France

Col de la Madeleine is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Savoie in France. Madeleine is one of only two roads that crosses the Vanoise Alps. Until the 18th century, it was known as Col de la Colombe. Itconnects La Chambre in Maurienne with La Léchère in Tarentaise. The pass is closed from November to the beginning of June. It has been described as "beautiful, but heartbreaking".

Col de la SchluchtCol de la Schlucht, 88230 Le Valtin, France

The Col de la Schlucht Listen is one of the main passes in the Vosges mountains, located between the municipalities of Valtin and Stosswihr, providing links between these two departments. The pass is located in a beautiful location which is historically and naturally beautiful. This place has long been a popular destination for winter sports.

Col de TeghimeCol de Teghime, 20253 Barbaggio, France

The Col de Teghime is one of the main passes in Corsica. It offers a view of the two coasts of Corsica, with Bastia and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the east, Saint-Florent, the Desert of Agriates and the Mediterranean Sea to the west. A monument at the pass pays homage to the sacrifice of Moroccan goumiers in this battle and in the Liberation of Corsica. One of the nice location which was flourished with stunning views and natural beauty.

Col de VergioCol de Vergio, 20224 Albertacce, France

The Vergio pass (in Corsican Bocca Verghju ) is a collar of Corsica between Corte and Vico . It thus connects Albertacce in Niolo ( En-Deçà-des-Monts ) to Évisa in Deux-Sevi ( Au-Delà-des-Monts ). It is the highest road pass on the island. It is, with the passes of Vizzavona , Verde and Bavella , one of the four “great passes” of Corsica, making it possible to connect the two sides of the island from the interior.

Col de VizzavonaCol de Vizzavona, 20219 Vivario, France

Col de Vizzavona connects Corte to Ajaccio and is one of the four big passes in Corsica linking the island’s two slopes from west to east. Located in the heart of Corsica’s regional park. It was located in a picturesque location and you can enjoy wonderful views over Corsica and also start hikes in the surrounding area.

Col des AravisCol des Aravis, 74220 La Clusaz, France

Col des Aravis is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.487m above the sea level, located in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. The pass is traversed by the scenic Route des Grandes Alpes. Col des Aravis is the lowest pass in the Aravis mountain range. The road to the summit is a bit steep. One of the beautiful locations in this area and also a nice place which is blessed with natural beauty.

Col du BonhommeCol du Bonhomme, 68650 Plainfaing, France

The Col du Bonhomme is a pass over the ridge of the Vosges which was 36cated at an altitude of 949 m in Le Bonhomme in Alsace. It is an area that is flourished with natural beauty and picturesque locations. It connects the Alsatian Weisstal with the Meurthe valley in Lorraine.  There are two restaurants at the top of the pass. The view of the valleys from the pass is truly mesmerizing and The Col du Bonhomme is particularly popular with heavy goods vehicles.

Col du GalibierCol du Galibier, 05220 Le Monêtier-les-Bains, France

The Col du Galibier is a mountain pass in the southern region of the French Dauphiné Alps near Grenoble. It is the eighth-highest paved road in the Alps, and recurrently the highest point of the Tour de France.  It connects Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne and Briançon via the col du Télégraphe and the Col du Lautaret. The pass is closed during the winter. It is located between the massif d'Arvan-Villards and the massif des Ceres, taking its name from the secondary chain of mountains known as the Galib

Col du GlandonCol du Glandon, 73130 Saint-Colomban-des-Villards, France

Col du Glandon is one of the beautiful Alpine mountain passes, which most people are very familiar with. It sits on the road connecting Le Bourg-d’Oisans and La Chambre, both often used as bases by cyclists visiting the Alps. It was a place which is flourished with natural beauty and is also a nice trekking destination too. The pass is normally closed from the beginning of November to mid May.

Col du PourtaletCol du Pourtalet, 22640 Laruns, France

The Col du Pourtalet or Col de Portalet is a 1794  m high mountain pass in the Pyrenees. The pass is usually open all year round and is only closed for a few days after heavy snowfall. It connects the Valle de Tena in the south with the Val d'Ossau in the north and has probably been used by people and their herds since the Neolithic. In the Middle Ages and in the early modern period, it was celebrated by pilgrims .

Cormet de RoselendCormet de Roselend, 73270 Beaufort, France

Cormet de Roselend is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Savoie in France.  It connects Beaufort in the Beaufortain valley and Bourg-Saint-Maurice in the Tarentaise Valley. On the west side of the pass lies the Lac de Roselend, a reservoir that can be reached by the Col de Méraillet or the Col du Pré. One of the beautiful locations in this area and a nice picnic spot too.

Little Saint Bernard PassLittle St Bernard Pass, 73700 Séez, France

The Little St Bernard Pass is a mountain pass in the Alps on the France–Italy border. Its saddle is at 2188 meters above sea level. It is located between Savoie, France, and Aosta Valley, Italy, to the south of the Mont Blanc Massif, exactly on the main alpine watershed. There is also a Great St. Bernard Pass, famous for giving St Bernard breed its name, and a San Bernardino Pass.

Pas de BellecombePas de Bellecombe, Réunion

Pas de Bellecombe-Jacob is a mountain pass and vista point overlooking Enclos Fouqué, the last caldera formed by Piton de la Fournaise, the active volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean.

Route des Grandes AlpesRoute des Grandes Alpes, Les Gets, France

The Route des Grandes Alpes is a tourist itinerary through the French Alps between Lake Geneva and the French Riviera passing over all the high passes of the Alps within France. The lowest pass in altitude on the route of the Route des Grandes-Alpes is the Èze pass with an altitude of 507 meters the highest being the Iseran at 2,770  m.