Product Archived
This product is no longer available to book via Much Better Adventures. Existing enquiries and bookings are NOT affected.

REF: #07997

Route des Grandes Alpes

6 days riding, 15 cols, 613km and 14, 535m height gain; all come as standard with breathtaking scenery and incredible views. Fully supported ride with support rider.

  • Half board hotel
  • French Alps —Genève > Menton
  • Activity Type
    • With guide
    • Point to point
  • Groups up to 20
  • Features
    • Ensuite rooms




Arrive at Geneva where we will meet you from your flight and take you to your accomodation. A good meal will provided along with maps and any other information for the days ahead.


90km, 2310m gain, 2 cat. 1 cols. On the first day of this epic tour we have 30 km to warm up our legs before the big first ascent starts. Having been included in the Tour de France 20 times, the Col de la Colombiere is where this tour really starts. Wild and uninhabited, at 16.3km with a height gain of 1108m it is a climb of two halves with a gentler section in the middle. A fast descent down to Thones and we start to climb again, up through the ski resort of La Clusaz to the Col de Aravis. With a gain of 630m the col is a low point in the impressive high ridgeline of the Aravis chain. From here we head to Crest Voland at the foot of the following mornings climb.


93km, 2677m gain, 2 cat. 1 climbs and 1 cat. 2. After breakfast it is straight into a short gentle warm-up climb to the Col des Saisies then down the steeper side into Beaufort. The road starts to climb swiftly up to the Cormet de Roseland a cat. 1 climb with a height gain of 1112m passing the beautiful Lac de Roseland just before the summit. A fun 23km descent takes us to Bourg St Maurice where we start to climb up to Val d’Isere. When you see the Reservoir, you know you are nearly there as the road winds gently up through a number of tunnels to our hotel in Val d’Isere for a good meal and a comfortable nights sleep.


105km 1950m gain, 2 cat. 1 cols. From Val d’Isere it is straight up to the Iseran, an exposed and tough start to the morning but well worth it for the view from the top. The descent seems endless at 73km but well deserved and very beautiful, it brings us down to St Michel-de-Maurienne where with rested legs we tackle the Col du Telegraphe which at 830m height gain is a tough but good end to the day as it winds up through the trees which offer good shade on a hot day. A short descent takes us to Valloire and the hotel.


103km, 2397m, 1 cat. 1, 1 HC Col. Following a good nights sleep there is a tough start to day 4. At 18km the Galibier is a beast, with no shade and lots of exposure, the height gain is 1216m. This exposure and the stunning views will make you feel on top of the world. The steep 37km descent takes you through some beautiful and unexpected landscape to Briancon where the second climb of the day commences. The Col d’Izoard, the climb at 18km is testing after the past few days riding but passes through some delightful Alpine villages to keep you interested. The descent takes us down to Guillestre through the fantastical landscape of barren scree slopes punctuated by huge rock pillars.


133km, 3308m gain, 1 HC col, 1 cat.1 col and 1 cat. 2. Setting off from Guillestre for the penultimate day, the big one. The landscape is changing as we head further South, the day starts with the Col de Vars, featured 23 times in the Tour, it is a climb of two parts. The first is tougher and a hard warm-up. It mellows a bit as we reach the top and then it is downhill into Jausiers. This is when we really start to feel it, at 24km and 2757m the Cime de la Bonette is the highest road in the French Alps and with a maximum gradient of 12% the oxygen is hard to come by. The surrounding landscape is colourful yet largely deserted now but the views from the top will take your breath away once you have had time to catch it. From the top, we descend and finish with a little up to Valdeblore and a well deserved rest.


89km, 1893m gain, 1 cat.1, 1 cat. 1/2 and 1 cat. 2 col. The final day and we are straight up to the Col St Martin. The terrain now has a wonderful Mediterranean feel and with the sea air beckoning the first 6.4km to the top doesn’t feel that bad. The wickedly winding climb up the Col de Turini from Bollene-Vesubie is 15.3km with a height gain of 1072m, a visually satisfying climb along with the knowledge of it being the penultimate climb. Last but not least is the Col de Castillon. From Sospel the climb is short and as you reach the top the view of the sea is astounding and always very well recieved. The final destination is 15km downhill into Menton where it is time to relax and rest by the sea.


After a pretty punishing week it is time to go home, fly out of Nice or choose to stay on for a few days at the beach. We will take you to the airport if you choose to fly home today. (We will provide Friday nights accommodation but if you wish to stay in the South for a few days longer it will be up to you to find accommodation and a transfer to the airport).

What’s included

  • Bike storage We understand how much you love your bike and we will do everything we can to help keep them safe. Each hotel we stay at has good quality bike storage and we supply additional chains and padlocks to ensure excellent security.

  • Refreshments and lunches The support vehicle will always make itself available to provide you with your refreshments. If you need a water refill on a climb, we will stop in a convenient place to help you out. We also provide picnic lunches on all of our rides as well as snacks to help you on your way.

  • Maps Every day we will provide each rider with a map and profile of the days route, along with any other relevant and useful information.

  • Tools We carry a comprehensive tool kit in the back of the support vehicle along with a number of basic replacement parts. Each member of our team is capable of helping with bike maintenance and basic repairs. We do advise however that you know how to disemble and assemble your own bike and have the tools to do so. Please bring spare inner tubes and a puncture repair kit.

What you need

  • Fitness Riding in the Alps is tough and we create our weekend tours to ensure maximum levels of achievement which comes hand in hand with maximum physical exertion. For this reason we recommend a decent level of fitness and motivation. We will happily create routes for any level of fitness and experience so if you have any concerns please feel free to contact us, together we can come up with the best possible options to suit your needs.

  • Bike For these weekend tours we suggest that you bring your own bike. While we can advise you on hiring a bike here in France it is generally better that you have your own. You need to be comfortable on your bike for long periods of time.

  • Helmet We expect you to wear a helmet at all times while riding.

  • Clothing Please bring appropriate clothing, the climbs can be hot but the long fast descents can get cold especially if you are damp from the hard climb. Extra layers can be kept in the support vehicle so that you don’t have to carry them but please ensure that you bring good quality kit. It is also advisable to bring good sun protection.


All prices are based on four people in the group and will change if the group is smaller or bigger


Hotels and accommodation

All accommodation has been arranged for the dates highlighted in the tour. If you wish for accommodation before or after the dates, let us know and we can try to help you. We have chosen the hotels for their comfort and location to make your trip as straightforward as possible. Meals will be included at each hotel unless otherwise stated in the itinerary.


Climb some of the famous cols

  • Col de la Colombiere
  • Col de Aravis
  • Col des Saisies
  • Col du Telegraphe
  • Col d’Izoard
  • Col de Vars
  • Col St Martin
  • Col de Turini
  • Col de Castillon