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REF: #07892

Geneva To Nice Cycling Challenge

This epic route will take you over many of the legendary mountain climbs of the Tour de France, such as Col du Galibier, Col d'izoard and Mont Ventoux.

  • Half board hotel
  • French Alps —Genève > Nice
  • Activity Type
    • With guide
    • Point to point
  • Groups up to 12


Fully Supported Rides

All your rides will be fully supported leaving you free to focus on - pedaling. Each day you will be accompanied on the road by knowledgeable, English speaking guides, which will be there to offer advise, encouragement and to help with any miner mechanical problems. We will also provide a support vehicle offering nutritional and mechanical support this will meet you at per-arranged stops along the route. The support vehicle will carry energy bar, fresh water and energy drinks to keep your performance levels to the maximum. It will also carry any warm or wet weather clothing you might need during your ride.

The Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge will involve over 18000 metres of climbs over a distance of 1050 km making it one of the greatest cycling routes in the world. This is a real challenge and one that is not really suitable for inexperienced cyclists. You will require a good level of fitness, stamina and bike handle skills in order to accomplish this iconic journey.

What’s Included

  • Geneva Airport Transfers
  • Support Vehicle and Guides
  • 8 Nights Accommodation
  • 7 Evening Meals
  • 8 Continental Style Breakfasts
  • Afternoon Snacks

What’s Not Included

  • Flights
  • Visas (if required)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Injury Insurance

Food We will provide you with a continental style breakfast each morning and after every ride there will be afternoon snacks back at the chalet. On six evening, we will serve a delicious two course dinner accompanied with complimentary wine.

Airport Transfers A member of the Classic Cycling Tours team will be in the arrivals area on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport to meet you. We kindly ask you to arrange your inbound flights to arrive at Geneva as close to midday as possible. We will also provide you with an outbound airport transfer to Nice Airport to meet midday flights.

Your Bike We strongly recommend that you have you bike serviced to guarantee it is in perfect working order prior to you holiday. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with some basic repairs, like changing an inner-tube and fixing a puncture. We will always be there to help, but having these basic skills will only help keep delays down to a minimum.

Bike Hire If you decide not to bring your own bike we have a number of bikes for hire. All our bikes have carbon frames fitted with Shimano 105 gearing and compact chain sets. For comfort we recommend bring your own saddles and pedals. For pricing and availability please contact us.

Insurance At Classic Cycling Tours the safety and well-being of our guests is of the upmost priority to us. Due to the nature of cycling and the terrain you will be riding in, unfortunately accidents can occur. Therefore, it is mandatory that you have Personal Injury & Health Insurance that covers you whilst on a activity holiday. If you do not have any cover we recommend Cyclosure. Please note that you are responsible for your own safety throughout your cycling holiday.

Fitness Preparation The better condition you are the more likely you are to enjoy your cycling holiday. We recommend you adopt an achievable weekly exercise program that includes some long ride in hilly terrain. Getting out on your bike is obviously the best way to prepare for your holiday, however, swimming, running and circuit training are also good for developing your aerobic fitness and stamina.

Equipment List The following is a basic check list to assist you with your packing. In the French Alps the weather conditions and climate can change very quickly so we recommend using the layer principle.


  • Cycling Helmet (mandatory)
  • Sunglasses - Eye Protection

Upper body

  • Base Layer
  • Short Sleeved Cycling Jersey
  • Long Sleeved Cycling Jersey (optional)
  • Good Padded Cycling Shorts
  • Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
  • Lightweight Windproof Jacket
  • Lightweight Windproof Gillet

Arms and hands

  • Arm Warmers
  • Regular Cycling Gloves
  • Long Fingered Cycling Gloves


  • Full Length Leg Warmers
  • Knee Length Leg Warmers


  • Cycling or Touring Shoes
  • Cycling Socks
  • Cycling Overshoes

Basic Itinerary

Day 1 Meet at Geneva Airport, transfer to hotel, assemble bikes

You will be met by a member of Classic Cycling Tours team in the arrivals area on the Swiss side of Geneva Airport and transferred to your overnight accommodation in Geneva. Once at the hotel there will be the opportunity to assemble your bikes. We have a good selection of tools, track pumps and bike maintenance stands available for your use. With your bike assembled there will be an option to go for a short ride to ensure everything is in good working order. Before dinner there will be an introductory briefing outlining the schedule and route for Sundays ride.

Day 2 Geneva to Megève

Your Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge begins at Lake Geneva before heading out along an undulating road to the picturesque town of Annecy. Our first climb of the week will be the Col de la Forclaz at 10,2km and a summit height of 1150m. Once at the summit your hard work will be rewarded with fantastic views over lake Annecy. After descending we have the short climb of the Col de Bluffy at 2,2km and a summit height of 630m. Our next climb is the longest, Col des Aravis at 18,9km with an average gradient of 4,6% and a summit height of 1486m. The descent down the other side of the Col des Aravis to the village of Flumet is quite technical in places but will provide you with lots of fun. Once at the village its approximately 15km to our overnight accommodation in Megeve.

Day 3 Megève to Meribel

Today route takes us over beautiful climbs, the first being the Col des Saisies at 14,1km with an average gradient of 5% and a summit height of 1657m. Our descent will take us into the traditional french village of Beaufort famous for its cheese before we reach our next climb. The Cormet de Roselend at 20km with an average gradient of 6% and a summit height of 1967m is one of the famous Tour de France climbs. The climb itself is broken into halves with a welcoming flat section coming after 12km of climbing taking you around a giant lake. After climbing the final section we descend down to Bourg Saint Maurice before making our way down the valley to our final climb of 9km climb up to the village of Meribel -Les Allues.

Day 4 Meribel to Valloire

Our third day in the saddle starts with a nice descent onto the valley floor before making our way up the Col de la Madeleine. At 26km in length with an average gradient of 5,4% and a summit height of 2000m this climb is known as the Serpent of the Alps. The descent down to the village of La Chambre is very fast with plenty of hairpin bends to negotiate, so great care should be taken. The next challenge is only a short short climb and one that featured in the Tour de France for the first time in 2015, the Lacets de Montvernier is only 3,8km in length with an average gradient of 8,5% and a summit height of 781m. What makes this climb so special is the 18 hairpin bends that lead up it. Our final climb of the day will be the Col du Telegraphe at 11,8km with an average gradient of 7,3% and a summit height of 1566m. This is a real classic Tour de France climb with our overnight accommodation being in Valloire, just a short descend from the summit.

Day 5 Valloire to Gap

The climbs just keep on coming, today’s route takes you over one of the real giant climbs of the tour, the Col du Galibier. At 18km with an average gradient of 6,9% and a summit height of 2646m this is the heights point of our trip. After descending 10km you will reach the summit of the Col du Lautaret at 2057m, its well worth a quick stop to take-in the stunning views of the “Glacier Lautaret” before following the road further down the valley towards Briancon and into the Provence-Alpes-Cote-d’Azur. Before you know it you’ll be climbing once again, this time up the Col d’izoard at 19km with a average of 5,8% and a summit height of 2344m, this spectacular climb as plenty of Tour de France history. A short distance into the descent you have the opportunity to stop and take in the rock pinnacles of the Casse Deserte and pay your respects at the “La-Stele-Bobet-Coppi” memorial. Our overnight stay will be in the town of Gap.

Day 6 Gap to Bédoin

From Gap, with the giant mountains of the French Alps behind us we head out towards the lavender fields of the provence. At this point we move away from the normal “Route de Napoleon” to give you the opportunity for another great climb and the last big challenge of our trip. welcome to Mont Ventoux “The giant of the Provence” at 21km with an average gradient of 7,2% and a summit height of 1912m this is a climb on most cyclists wish lists. Once at its summit on a clear day you will be able to see 100km in every directions, it really is a special place. We descend from the summit to our overnight accommodation in the village of Bedoin, but not before we make a quick stop at the Tommy Simpson Memorial to pay our respects to one of cycling legendary riders.

Day 7 Bédoin to Digne

With your epic Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge drawing closer to its finish, we give our legs a bit of an easier day as we head to the town of Digne. All the big climbs are behind us now but the stunning scenery just keeps on coming. Today you will get to ride the “Gorges de la Nesque” this is an amazing road and generally quite traffic free. There will be plenty of places to stop and capture some memorable photo’s before you reach your overnight location.

Day 8 Digne to Nice

Well its finally here, your last day of riding - so far you have managed 889km with 15900m of climbing over some of the legendary climbs of the Tour de France. We depart Digne on rolling before climbing the Col de Corobin at 10km with an average gradient of 5% and a summit height of 1209m this is oue biggest climb of the day. The descent will take us on to the “Route de Napolean” and involve several testing short climbs. The landscape here is made-up of rocky outcrops and ridges, lush forests and deep blue rivers providing you with an awe-spiring backdrop to your final day. Once you reach the hilltop town of Greolieres, you can freewheel almost all the way to the coast through the stunningly beautiful “Gorges de Loup”. Your epic journey is complete with a flat ride along the “Promenade des Anglais” in the heart of Nice and the wonderful sight of the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 9 Departure, transfer to Nice Airport for midday flights.

Unfortunately your Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge as come to an end, we will provide transfer to Nice Airport to meet a midday flight.


Whilst on your cycling holiday, you will be accommodated in 2-3 star hotels on a shared twin room basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with someone of the same gender. If you would prefer a room to yourself then a single supplement charge will be added, please contact us for prices. This option is only available subject to availability.


As we make are way south with the towering mountain peaks behind us, the scenery changes to spectacular limestone cliffs, majestic gorges and lavender fields. Our route ten strays away from the traditional “Route Napoleon” to provide you with the opportunity to climb the “Gaint of the Provence” Mont Ventoux.

Your unforgettable Geneva to Nice Cycling Challenge comes to an end with a fabulous descent through the “Gorge de Loup” to the Mediterranean Sea and the sun drenched beaches of Nice. This challenge will involve some long days in the saddle, but hopefully the magnificent scenery will motivate you to keep pedaling.