The road up to Col du Cenise is not only quiet and beautiful – it is one of the very steepest climbs I know.
Don’t confuse this climb with Col du Mont Cenis further south on the Italian border – details here
Starting in St-Pierre-en-Faucigny, I skipped the busier main road through the Gorges du Borne, taking a great steep little road at the entrance to the gorge that rides for 4kms beside and above the main road – see map below.
This then rejoins the main road as I approached Le Petit Bornand – the start of the main climb to Col du cenise. I love this route. Endless steep hairpins, amazing views, and it just keeps getting harder.
At about 1550 metres, the road becomes gravel. This just makes the steep parts even harder (my GPS mentions +20% a couple of times).
At the top, it opens up to huge open fields surrounded by high mountains. Over the top is a bumpy farm road for a couple of kms that then becomes paved.
I’d never been on this side and it’s beautiful. Lots of cows, mountains, and a winding road.
At Mont Saxonnex I took the descent through the amazing Gorges du Bronze (this is a steep and beautiful climb in the other direction).
Finally, I turned back up again for 4.5 kms @10% as I returned to St-Pierre via the Plateau d’Andey – another scenic deserted route.