With its hundreds of kilometres of trails, the Alpes Vaudoises region is ideal for gravel riding. One example is this loop which links the pastures of Villars, Les Diablerets and Gryon.
From Villars-sur-Ollon, a well-known winter and summer resort, you reach Bretaye via Les Ecovets and the route des Tailles, offering superb views of the surrounding peaks such as the Grand Chamossaire and the Dents du Midi. This tarmac climb (except for the last kilometre) can be avoided by taking the train from Villars.
In Bretaye, you first head towards the Lac des Chavonnes, whose waterside restaurant is an ideal stop for those who need a break after the climb. You then pass under the Tête de Meilleret (1938m) before discovering a breathtaking view of the imposing Massif des Diablerets.
Shortly after the summit of the Col de la Croix, which you summit via the main road, you turn left towards a farm and tackle the most technical part of this loop: a descent on a path that takes you to the road to Taveyanne, a hamlet listed as a historical monument.
Arriving at Les Chaux at the Gryon ski area, you descend to Barboleuse via Frience and Solalex, whose refuge is an ideal stopover for refreshments before returning by road to Villars.
This loop combines gravel and quiet roads in the pastures. It requires a minimum of 35mm tyres and small gearing in order to accomplish the climbs comfortably.