This is a cycling challenge that takes you from the heights of the rugged French Alps to the beauty of the French Riviera, via the 700km La Route des Grandes Alpes.
Climb to over 2700m over the Col de l’Iseran. Take our option of the highest paved road in France – Cime de la Bonnett (2802m). Battle the most famous Cols – Colombiere, Telegraphe, Galibier, Izoard and many more. Over 17000m climbing through the most dramatic scenery you can imagine.
We will be following the original La Route des Grandes Alpes, first established by the Touring Club de France in 1913, as closely as we possibly can. This really is a bucket list tour for those that love a challenge and enjoy those classic European climbs (and descents).
Day 1 – 3:
We will start La Route des Grandes Alpes tour with a pick up from Geneva Airport at midday and transfer to our hotel in Morzine. We’ll use the first couple of days to properly unpack the suitcases and concentrate on getting the legs moving and blowing out the jet lag. There are some fantastic loop rides from Morzine that are perfect for getting the body ready for the days ahead. The first offical ride of La Route will be on day three.
Day 4 – 8:
From Morzine we get into the transfer rides of La Route, working our way to St Jean de Sixt, Bourg St Maurice, Lanslebourg, Briançon and Barcelonnette. This is big climb terrain – the famous lands where cycling legends are made and destroyed. The brag box includes Col de la Colombiere, Col des Aravis, Le Cormet de Roselend, Col de l’Iseran,Col du Telegraphe and Galibier, Col du l’Izoard and Col de Vars – the list goes on. These days vary from 62km to 112 km in length and from 1600m to 2600m climbing per day. This is the most spectacular terrain of France, from the lush green alpine meadows, up the rugged river valleys to the stark rocky peaks – you are riding through the alpine postcard of France.
It’s time to assess the body for a day of all or nothing. We’ve got two nights at Barcelonnette to settle down for a day. Choose a rest day (well earned) or head on up the 24km climb of Col de la Bonnett. This is on the ‘alternative route’ which we won’t be taking tomorrow. It leads to the highest paved road in France – Cime de la Bonnett at 2802m.
Day 10 – 12:
We continue the final phase of La Route des Grandes Alpes heading to Varberg, Roquebilliere and finally hitting the French Riviera at Menton. There is still one more climb to over 2000m altitude – Col de Cayolle (2327m) as well as Col de la Croix de Valberg, Col de la Couillole, Le Col Saint Martin, Col de Turini and Col de Castillion. These Southern Cols offer a completely different beauty to the Northern Alps and make a truely tough decision picking a favourite. No matter the favourite – the rewarding dip into the Mediterranean will top off the whole experience.
Our final drop off is at the Menton Train Station after our check-out. We are sure most will indulge in a few extra days of well deserved R&R though.
La Route des Grande Alpes 2023 Tour includes:
Airfares, travel insurance(compulsory) and meals unless indicated, are not included in the package.
The two night’s dinners at Barcelonnette are not included.
Rental bikes are available for the La Route des Grandes Alpes Tour 2020 at a cost of $650. These are a full carbon Scott Addict frames with Shimano Ultegra gearing or similar.
A single room booking is available. An accommodation supplement of $950pp applies.