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Le Bourg d'Oisans - a cyclist's mountain Mecca

The town of Le Bourg d'Oisans, which is found in the south-east of France in the wild and beautiful Isère department of the Rhône-Alpes, has become something of a Mecca for keen cyclists. Lying at the foot of the famous and awe inspiring Alpe d'Huez, a popular stage of the famous Tour de France cycle race, the town is a favourite destination for those wishing to emulate their heroes and achieve the exhausting climb for themselves. Even if cycling up mountains doesn't appeal, though, there are plenty of reasons to visit this town, as it is set in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.

Lively centre offering all amenities

Le Bourg d'Oisans lies in the Romanche River Valley, slightly to the north-west of the Ecrins National Park. It may be in the middle of the mountains, but the town has a lively and well equipped centre, with plenty to keep both residents and tourists happy. There are lots of shops and services, a large range of bars and restaurants and all amenities such as health care and schools. In short, Le Bourg d'Oisans has pretty much everything you need!

Places to go, things to see

Don't be fooled into thinking that there is nothing to do but cycle or look at the scenery here. Le Bourg has plenty of ideas to keep you occupied, and it is well worth taking the time to explore all the possibilities. Visit, for example, the Museum of Minerals and Fauna, where you can see and learn about the fantastically diverse minerals and wildlife of the region. Then try spending some time at the Museum of Hydro-electricity, which may at first seem to be a strange theme for a museum, but actually makes for a fascinating and highly educational day out!

Alpine Botanical Gardens

After this, you can enjoy the Alpine Botanical Gardens with their fascinating displays of alpine flora, or if you want to do a spot of sightseeing take a breathtaking ride on a 1920's railway, or perhaps take the kids to a friendly farm where they breed cute coypu.

On your bike!

It really is the cycling capital of France, so there are hire shops and spares shops and cycle sales shops galore. Rent a bike, ride up the Alpe d'Huez (just like your heroes... easy as that!) and when (if!) you reach the top, collect a certificate to prove to your friends that you really did it. Oh, it may cost you a Euro, but compared to what you have just done that isn't really a problem!

Other activities on offer

There are a whole host of other mountain activities available too, so depending on the season you can go skiing, pony trekking, rock climbing, fishing, paragliding, rafting, hiking, swimming (Le Bourg d'Oisans has an open-air pool)... tired yet?

How to get there

Both Ryanair and easyJet fly into Grenoble, so air travel is easy to achieve. There is also a TGV stop in Grenoble making another option for those who prefer not to take to the skies. Drivers should follow the A48, A41 or A51 into the region and will finally find the town lying on the D91/D1091.

Property prices and availability in and around Le Bourg d'Oisans

Beautiful barn conversions rich with wood, chalet-style apartments, old town houses with steeply sloping roofs... it's all authentically Alpine but comes at less of a cost than in the big, popular ski resorts such as Val d'Isère. If you want a slice of Alpine life but prefer to keep away from the usual places, then Le Bourg is a great place to begin your search.

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Le Bourg d'Oisans AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Le Bourg d'Oisans?

Le Bourg d'Oisans is found in south-east France, near the Alps. It lies in the south-east of the Isère department.

Le Bourg d'Oisans Property Map


Rhône-Alpes Guide

Rhône-Alpes Property Map


Isère Guide

  Isère Map

Population: 2,984

Access: By air: Fly to Grenoble with Ryanair or easyJet. By rail: The TGV runs to Grenoble from Paris, making train travel a great choice. By road: The A48, A41 and A51 are the nearest auto routes, and the town itself lies on the D91/D1091.

Economy: The economy is based on mountain tourism, particularly cyclo-tourism.

Interesting fact: If you are a keen (and fit!) cyclist, you can hire a bike in Le Bourg and ride to the top of the Alpe d'Huez climb, where you can obtain a certificate celebrating your achievement... for one Euro!

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