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Crossing the Alps and its legendary cols: from Léman to the Mediterranean Sea - guided version

8 days / 7 nights
Alps - Guided road cycling
With a guide - Comfort

price from
~1266 £ [1390 €]

Embark on an adventure of alpine proportions and cross the Alps from the lake of Léman to the Mediterranean Sea!
With this particular cycling tour, you will get to climb the mythic cols of the Alps, which have made the Tour de France the legend that it is. Conquer the thrilling Cormet de Roselend, the Glando, the Col du Galibier and the Col de la Bonette, which is known to be the highest road in Europe.
Spend eight days discovering magnificent landscapes, wild mountains and extraordinary hilltop villages.

Your day by day program

1
From the lake of Léman to the foot of the Mont Blanc

Leave the magnificent setting of the Lake of Léman and start crossing the Alps via some of its mythical cols, such as the Col de la Colombière. Its natural and green environment will help you overcome the difficulty of this stage. A truly memorable experience!

Night in a hotel.

Distance: 104km.
Height gain: 2700m.
Max. altitude: 1691m.

Easy option:
Distance: 103km.
Height gain: 2200m.
Max. altitude: 1613m.

Possibility to start from the airport of Geneva:
Distance: 114km or 90km.
Height gain: 2900m or 1800m.

2
From the Mont Blanc to the Valley of the Tarentaise

Leave the Mont Blanc and climb two magnificent cols. After riding through Beaufort, famous for its succulent cheese, you will tackle the majestic Cormet de Roselend, which is one of the most beautiful cols in the Alps. Next, climb a road, set in a lush green forest and covered by the tree canopy, until reaching a dam from where you will get incredible views over the lake and its turquoise waters. The last few kilometers of the Col will also offer you sensational alpine landscapes. After a swift and technical descent via the Chapieux (the starting point of the Ultra Trail of the Mont Blanc), you will also have the chance to see the magnificent Peak of the Glaciers, which culminates at 3817m.

Return to your hotel.

Distance: 98km.
Height gain: 2800m.
Max. altitude: 1968m.

Difficult option: (Cormet de Roselend via the Col des Prés)
Distance: 105km.
Height gain: 3000m.
Max. altitude: 1968m.

Other possible option: from Bourg St Mauriceto the Col du Petit St Bernard (return journey), at the border with Italy and the Valle d’Aosta. This superb col is rather easy to ride (5% slope) and will offer you exceptional views over the valley of the Tarentaise and the Mont Pourri, which culminates at 3779m.
Distance: 60km.
Height gain: 1400m.

3
From the Tarentaise to the Maurienne

Leave the Tarentaise via a little-known col and explore its rival valley, the Maurienne. Many legends and stories have fed the rivalry between the Tarentaise and the Maurienne.
You will reach the Maurienne after crossing the mythical Col de la Madeleine, which culminates at 2000m. There again, you will climb a mountain road set in green and wild landscapes, which will make you feel in harmony with nature.

Distance: 108km.
Height gain: 2700m.
Max. altitude: 2000m.

Easy option:
Distance: 95km.
Height gain: 2200m.

Difficult option: (return journey to La Plagne, a famous finish line of the Tour de France)
Distance: 137km.
Height gain: 3800m.
Max. altitude: 2000m.

4
The classic cols of the Tour de France

During today’s particularly thrilling stage, you will discover the cols that have made the Tour de France and the Critérium of the Dauphiné Libéré the legends that they are. You will climb the Col du Glandon, which is without a doubt the most beautiful col in the Alps, after cycling through the Croix de Fer and the Mollard. You will then finish today’s ride with a climb up the ski resort of Toussuire.

Distance: 120km.
Height gain: 3300m.
Max. altitude: 2067m.

Easier option:
Distance: 87km.
Height gain: 2200m.
Max. altitude: 2067m.

5
From the Maurienne to the Briançonnais

A mighty journey awaits you today, with a climb up the slopes of the Col du Télégraphe and of the mythical Galibier before reaching the Lautaret and the region of the Briançonnais.
Keep your eyes wide open and enjoy this idyllic setting, which cyclists from the Giro d’Italia will have admired just a few weeks before you! The majestic landscapes and this giant of the Alps, which culminates at 2642m, will surely overwhelm you with their natural splendour. During your descent, you will find yourself face to face with the Massif des Ecrins and its gigantic glaciers.
Today’s short stage will also enable you to make the most out of your time in the town of Briançon.

Distance: 71km.
Height gain: 2100m.
Max. altitude: 2642m.

Difficult option: (climb up the Col du Granon – return journey with magnificent views over the Massif des Ecrins)
Distance: 95km.
Height gain: 3100m.
Max. altitude: 2642m.

6
From the Briançonnais to the foot of the highest road pass in Europe

For this sixth day of the tour, explore the famous Col d’Izoard. Take your time to admire the Casse Déserte before diving into the valley and crossing the Combe du Queyras. After cycling through the wild Col de Vars, enjoy sleeping at the foot of the highest road in Europe.

Distance: 92km.
Height gain: 2450m.
Max. altitude: 2361m.

Easy option:
Distance: 76km.
Height gain: 1500m.
Max. altitude: 2105m.

7
From the highest road pass in Europe to the National Park of the Mercantour

In the morning, climb the Cime de la Bonette, which culminates at 2807m and admire all its different landscapes. Green mountainsides, pasturelands, the scattered rocks of the Blockhaus and an impressive lunar landscape, similar to those of the Mont Ventoux, will accompany you during today’s epic journey. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get to see one of the numerous marmots which live on this col. After this heroic ride, head south and start a long 50km descent that will lead you to the Col de Saint Martin, which connects the valley of the Tinnée to the valley of the Vésubie.

Distance: 108km.
Height gain: 2800m.
Max. altitude: 2807m.

8
From the Mercantour to the Mediterranean Sea

Head off to the Mediterranean Sea by crossing the magnificent Col de Turini, known for its great southern atmosphere. During your descent, you will also cycle through Sospel, from where you will be able to admire the prestigious Col de Braus and its unusual hairpin bends. Once you have arrived in Menton, take on the challenge of climbing the Col de la Madone, the most famous col in the area. It has actually become so popular that a bike company has chosen to name itself after this natural giant. Many cyclists also go there to test their mental and physical limits.
Finish this great alpine adventure by descending the Col d’Eze, before reaching Nice.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed this epic journey!

Distance: 125km.
Height gain: 2800m.
Max. altitude: 1607m.

Easy option 1:
Distance: 105km.
Height gain: 2000m.

Easy option 2:
Distance: 80km.
Height gain: 1300m.

Departure board

Departures for groups formed on request

Technical information

Fact sheet
Starting point
  • Train station of Thonon-les-Bains at 9.00am on day 1 or the airport of Geneva. If you would like us to book your flight, please do not hesitate to contact us by email or telephone.
End
  • Train station or Nice airport on day 8.
Accommodation
  • 2 and 3 star hotels (double or twin bedrooms).
Number of people
  • From 6
Level of difficulty
  • You will need to be in good physical condition and used to cycling in the mountains (on road bikes). Distances: from 85 and up to 145km a day. Height gains: from 1200 and up to 3500m a day.
Carrying
  • Luggage transfers by vehicle.
Options
  • Renting a road bike : 150€
  • Supplement for nights in single bedrooms : 160€
  • GPS tracks on USB stick : 25€
Included
  • Breakfasts from day 2 to day 8, evening meals from day 1 to day 7, picnic lunches from day 1 to day 8, luggage transfers, support vehicle during your cycling trips, 7 nights in 2 and 3 stars hotels.
Not included
  • Transport options to the meeting point and from the point of dispersal, transfers which are not included in the tour, personal travel insurance, beverages, visits of tourist sites, optional activities which are not included in the tour, personal expenses.
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