The Panoramic

The Panoramic

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Leaving Saint Félicien, you will be struck by the panoramic views, each more beautiful than the last. Between Nozières and Lalouvesc the balcony road is a permanent delight. Finally, the descent via Pailharès will be a piece of cake. From St Félicien, the starting village of the Ardèchoise, a European-class cyclosportive, you will take a little-known pass, but certainly one of the most beautiful in the region.
For the steady climb up until the “Col de Fontfreyde”, you will have to give it 100%, unless you have an electric bike. From there, an almost flat road will bring you to the hilltop village Nozières where the scenery is striking. If it is a hot summer's day, the shade offered by the fir trees will be comfortingly cool.
From Nozières, it is another 1 km or so uphill and about 15 km after that on a false flat, but above all with permanent views over the upper Doux valley. Enjoy the scenery; look at the villages of St Jeure d'Andaure, Lafarre, Rochepaule and the gourmet village of St Bonnet le Froid, already in the Haute Loire.
The final part, right before Lalouvesc will be the last few kilometers of ascent to over 1,000m, but with plenty of shade, they will be no more than a breeze. Take time to visit the heritage of Lalouvesc, a sanctuary dedicated to Saint Jean François Régis and Sainte Thérèse Couderc, around the basilica, whose architect, Pierre Bossan, was also responsible for the Fourvière basilicas in Lyon and Ars.
After that, the downhill is child's play. From the “Col du Marchand”, don't miss the hilltop village of Pailharès. Then, there’s just a few more kilometers of descent to return to the starting point, following in the footsteps of thousands of cyclists in June.

5 points of interest

  • Panorama

    Viewing point

    Col de Fontfreyde viewing point
  • Saint Régis in Lalouvesc

    Reviving catholic faith in people from the hilly regions of Vivarais, Velay and Cevennes was the mission given to Saint Jean François Régis ! Ordained as a priest in 1630 and a missionary in 1632, this tireless walker used to cover 40 to 60 kilometres of ground every day. On 23rd December 1640, in a snowstorm, he left for what was to be his last mission in the North of the Vivarais region. He fell ill on the way and in spite of his high fever, he continued to pray and hear confession up to his last breath. On 31st December 1640 « God’s pilgrim » died in Lalouvesc at the age of 43. He received beatification in 1716 from the Pope Clément Xl and was canonized later on in 1737. Following that, Lalouvesc became a place of pilgrimage and a basilica was built in his name. Its building took 12 years to finish. The Basilica has two belltowers taken from two old churches. The final basilica was consecrated on 5th August 1877 by cardinal Guibert who was archbishop of Paris. The religious building houses relicas of the Saint and the stained glass windows present a visual review of his life. On the occasion of big events the tenor bell rings and can be heard for kilometres around. Information source : Topoguide "Le Chemin de Saint Régis" du Puy en Velay à Lalouvesc
  • Pailharès

    Pailharès was no doubt a fortified stronghold as from the Roman era. During the Carolingian period the village covered a much greater area, the border lines of which are somewhat difficult to define today. In the article about the commandery of the Antonins of Aubenas, Doctor Francus (alias Albin Mazon) mentions a commandery of « Pailharès » being part of the commandery of Aubenas. Pailharès became an enclave of Forez in 1296. The village became part of the Vivarais region during the French Revolution. In 2003 it suffered a lot of damage after a forest fire caused by lightening on the Sardier hillside. Information source : Wikipédia



At the foot of the “col du Buisson”, don’t miss the road on the left-hand side heading to Nozières. The “Col de Fontfreyde” begins on a steady slope. The road continues on a false flat until you reach the village.


In the center of Nozières, turn right onto the D236 towards Lalouvesc and go over the “Cols du Buisson et du Faux”


2km before Lalouvesc, turn left onto the Bobigneux road to finish the climb towards the village of Lalouvesc.


In Lalouvesc, turn right onto the D532 towards Saint Félicien until the “Col du Marchand”.


At the “Col du Marchand”, don't miss the right-hand road leading down to the hilltop village of Pailharès.

From the village of Pailharès, go back to Saint Félicien by the D273.
  • Departure : Saint Félicien - Post Office parking
  • Arrival : Saint Félicien - Post Office parking
  • Towns crossed : Saint-Félicien, Pailharès, and Lalouvesc

Altimetric profile

Information desks

6, place du 8 mai 1945 - BP 70019, 26601 Tain l'Hermitage

http://www.ardeche-hermitage.cominfo@ah-tourisme.com04 75 06 06 12


Line 11 Tournon sur Rhône - Saint Félicien - Lalouvesc equipped with bike racks from Easter to the autumn half term break.

Access and parking

From Tournon sur Rhône, take the D238 then the D532 to Saint Félicien.

Parking :

Post Office parking


Emergency number :114

More information

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