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Bike the classic climbs of the French Alps ✦ Discover the delightful Cuisine Savoyarde ✦ Cycle the winding Route Des Grande Alps ✦ Roll from the Mediterranean to Lake Geneva ✦ Follow in the footsteps of Pantani, Coppi, Merckx
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Tour of the French Alps

An original Pedalers tour returns for our 35th anniversary
Classic Inn to Inn ✦ 10 days ✦ Ambitious

The Classic Climbs of the French Alps

Pedalers is celebrating 35 years of bicycling adventures around our world. As part of that celebration we are revisiting some of our original tour routes. Join us as we return to the towering French Alps for a bike tour along the Routes Des Grande Alps.

Ride the legends, the famed passes of Le Tour: the Tour de France. The French Alps takes you from the Mediterranean to the Alps, from the bizarre rock strata of the Gorge du Dalius to the high passes of Croix de Fer, Col d'Iozard, Col du Galibier and more. Savor a night high atop l'Alpe d'Heuz after conquering its 21 switchbacks, thrill to some awesome winding descents and put your legs to the test following in the footsteps of Hinault, Pantani and Lemond.

Following the “Route des Grande Alpes”, first conceived by the Touring Club of France back at the turn of the century, our ride rolls along back roads and over some of the grandest climbs in Europe. You’ll be ascending more than 7000 feet each day, as you bike from Nice to Geneva. Our first leg takes us from the oak forests of the Mediterranean, through the dry narrow Gorge du Cians and into the high Alps. We’ll pedal past the names of TDF legends adorning the roadways as we tackle the finale to our first leg: the climb to l’Alpe d’Huez.

Privately Guided

Classic Inn to Inn: from $5195
The tour is available early June until mid-September, but August is peak travel time for Europeans so should be avoided.

Go Private

Scheduled Small Groups

Classic Inn to Inn: $4995
2022: 20 Jun (full)

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Your Itinerary          

1: Arrive Nice, warm up ride to medieval Entrevaux
We meet in Nice Airport, then shuttle into the foothills of the Alps to the small village of Annot. We will get the bikes set up and enjoy a warmup ride to the medieval town of Entrevaux, perhaps a bit further depending the the group's desire. Later gather for orientation and your first taste of the wonderful cuisine of the region.
Cycling: 28 mi / 45 km, Terrain: small hills, Meals: D

2: Cycle rugged Gorge de Dalius, Col de la Cayolle to Barcelonette
After breakfast, our adventure begins first cycling the deep narrow Gorges de Dalius where you follow a ribbon's width road carved out of the cliff face overlooking the Var River. In Guillaumes, we turn onto the Route Des Grande Alpes, whose course we follow to the tour's end. We overnight in the quiet town of Barcelonette.
Cycling: 56 mi / 90 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Pass: Col de la Cayolle (2326 m), Meals: B L

3: Fortresses of Ubaye River, Col d'Izoard, walled city of Briançon
Cycling north along the l'Ubaye River, we pass numerous fortresses that guarded its valleys from invasion eons ago. After tackling our first pass, we enjoy a 27 kms run-out to the historic town of Guillestre. You'll want to enjoy an exploratory break here, before heading further north through the narrow gorge, Combe du Queyras, then up over another pass (this one claiming some TDF fame), Col d'Izoard. You'll spend the night in the walled city of Briançon.
Cycling: 59 mi / 95 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Passes: Col de Vars (2108 m); Col d'Izoard (2360 m), Meals: B L

4: Warm up Col de Laurteret, the big one l'Alpe d'Huez
Leaving the wide valleys of Briançonais behind, you climb to Col de Lauteret, then drop to the Romanche River, which has eroded a tight pathway through the high Alps. The valley widens just it time for us to start the big climb, the 21 switchbacks to l'Alpe d'Huez, where you can claim your "Diplome de Cicliste" from the tourism office. Day 5 is a free day in l'Alpe d'Huez for hiking, relaxing or more riding if you wish.
Cycling: 50 mi / 80 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Pass: Col de Lautaret (2058 m), Meals: B L D

5: free day to hike, bike or relax
You have the day to your leisure in Alpe d'Huez, perhaps some walking or a gondola lift to the high mountains. Or if cycling is still on your mind, try some of the little lanes that traverse the high country.
Meals: B

6: A taste of the 2022 Tour De France route today
Today's route follows later half of Stage 12 of the 2022 Tour de France in reverse, first descending from l'Alpe d'Huez then following the Olle River to beautiful Col de la Croix Fer (pass counters can take a 500 yard side trip during the climb to add Col du Glandon to their tally sheets & make it a double pass day). The afternoon is an easy run along the Arc River to our hotel in Mondane.
Cycling: 62 mi / 100 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Pass: Col de la Croix Fer (2064 m), Meals: B L D

7: Highest of the climbs, Col d'Iseran, relax Val d'Isere
Our ride's highest pass awaits you today, Col d'Iseran. Glaciers shroud most of the surrounding mountains making our ascent a beautiful one . . . and maybe keep your mind off the challenging climb . . . but what the heck if Merckx and Coppi could do it, so can we. The ski resort of Val d'Isere is home tonight.
Cycling: 44 mi / 71 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Pass: Col d'Iseran (2770 m), Meals: B L

8: Double pass day, Lac de Roselend and Chateau ruins of Beaufort
A cruising downhill run starts your day as you pedal to Bourg St Maurice. Here we start the first of our two moderate climbs for today. Descending off of our first pass, Cormet de Roselend, we stop to enjoy a lakeside group picnic at Lac de Roselend, then continue to Beaufort with its chateau ruins and the start of the next pass climb. You will bed down in Notre Dame de Bellecombe, tucked away on a hillside overlooking the Arly Gorge.
Cycling: 63 mi / 103 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Passes: Cormet de Roselend (1968 m); Col des Saisies (1633 m), Meals: B L D

9: Triple pass day following Stage 16 of the 2000 Tour De France
We'll end the ride with a triple pass day (fortunately none are huge and you can opt for a 4th). Yesterday, when we started our climb over Col des Saisies, we picked up Stage 16 of the Tour de France 2000 (Courchevel to Morzine). We'll continue to trace its route and challenges today, for our first three passes. When it's route turns north, we'll head east into the incredible scenery of Cirque de Cheval Fer and our last lodge in picturesque Samoens.
Cycling: 58 mi / 93 km, Terrain: alpine climbs, Passes: Col de Aravis (1498 m); Col de la Colombière (1618 m); Col de Chatillon (733 m); Col des Gets (1163 m), Meals: B L D

10: Departure day
As all things must come to an end, so too this ride through the Alps. After breakfast, we will shuttle you to Geneva Airport for your flights home or onward to more pedaling.
B

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What's Provided

  • Expert local bilingual guides
  • Handpicked lodges, ensuite rooms, double occupancy
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, snacks*
  • Dinners featuring fine local cuisine*
  • Unlimited drinking water**
  • Support van for baggage and lifts
  • Free use of bicycles
  • Airport pick up & drop off
  • Entrance and activity fees

*as noted in itinerary
**during activity, hotels also provide water in room
 

Equipment

Pedalers provides Willier GTR road bikes, equipped with Shimano Ultegra kits.

As a safe health measure, guests are asked to bring their own helmets and waterbottles for cycling. If necessary these can be purchased in France.

Where You Sleep

Classic Inn to Inn

Hotel l'Avenue - Annot
Hotel Azteca - Barcelonette
Hotel Vauban - Briançon
Hotel Dome - Alpe d'Huez
Hotel du Commerce - Mondane
Maison de Famille les 5 Frere - Val d'Isere
Hotel la Mollinière  - Notre Dame de Bellecombe
Hotel Neige et Roc - Samoens

Travel Essentials

Tour meets in Nice, France (NCE), fly in before 10 am on Day 1.

Tour ends in Geneva, Switzerland (GVA), fly out after 11 am on Day 10.

Passports required for all guests. Schengen visas maybe required for some nationalities, please check with your nearest French Embassy.

Ready ... Set ... GO!        

Privately Guided

You, your family & friends, your preferred date

Classic Inn to Inn: from $5195
The tour is available early June until mid-September, but August is peak travel time for Europeans so should be avoided.

Go Private

Scheduled Small Groups

Join a group of like minded travelers (8 guests max).

Classic Inn to Inn: $4995 per person, double occupancy
Single Room: +$995      Deposit: $500
2022: 20 Jun (full)

Join Group
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