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Discover the the majesty of the Northern French Alps by mountain bike the easy way. This unique e-mountain bike tour takes you right amidst the highest peaks of the French Alps. This is the first part of our Great e-mtb crossing of the French Alps, taking you from Lake Geneva to the town of Moûtiers located deep in the Tarantaise valley at the gates of the Vanoise National Park and the 3 vallées. Heading off from the vast shores of lake Geneva you discover the emerald green landscapes of the Val d'Abondance. Take a plunge into the extraordinary heritage of the Chablais mountains, the DNA behind its UNESCO Global Geopark status. Beyond the Abondance valley you will face the Mont Blanc in all its splendor, the top of Europe with its 4,810 meters. Beautiful balcony sections offer breathtaking views of some of the major peaks of the Western Alps. Further South, the mountains of the Beaufortain are a real treasure trove for mtb lovers. Riding across blooming Alpine meadows, we listen to the bells of the Tarine cows which produce the precious milk for the famous Beaufort cheese. The final descent takes place in a mountain environment at its most natural where the valleys and streams of the close Vanoise National Park meet. On this extraordinary Alpine itinerant experience, you get to enjoy both breathtaking Alpine environments and easy and smooth e-mountain biking.
This is the first part of our Great e-mountain bike crossing of the French Alps - the easy way.
The ambition of this new and unique crossing, 100 % made by France Bike Trips, is to make the exceptional panoramas and the incomparable atmosphere of the authentic Alpine landscapes accessible to electric mountain bikes.
The majority of the route is composed of fire and forest tracks (wide unpaved roads) and small mountain roads. We have also included short sections of singletrack trails without technical difficulty: not too steep, not too stony, no exposed sections. Very few hike-a-bike sections (only 3 or 4 during for this Alpine route!) are nonetheless necessary to pass the "key" sections of this crossing.
Chablais, Mont Blanc range and Beaufortain: through coniferous forests and mountain pastures, the kingdom of abondance and tarine cows, with the enchanting sound of their bells.
After the great Savoyard valleys of the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, we make our way to the Southern Alps (Queyras) and our Italian neighbours...
A historic route and a stunning itinerary awaits us that constantly switches between the French-Italian border alonng the Ligurian border crest... until we plunge into the crystalline waters of the French Riviera!
Tour start: Rendez-vous with the organization team is on day 1 at 1 pm at Evian-les-Bains SNCF railway station.
We start our trip on the shores of Lake Geneva, the border lake between France and Switzerland. To the South, on the French shore, the mountains of the Chablais range dominate the old harbour of Evian-les-Bains. Some historical buildings remind us that Evian was one of the residences of the Dukes of Savoy. We leave the shores of the lake on our e-mountain bikes and start our first stage towards the emerald green landscapes of the Val d'Abondance. First night in the heart of the Chablais. Nearby rises the first major peak of our tour: the Cornettes de Bise (2432 m).
Distance covered ca. 25 km, elevation gain ca. 1100 m
Early in the morning, we start climbing on a lovely little road over a mountain pass that separates us from the green pastures of the Val d'Abondance. Descent into the freshness of the forest floor and we arrive at the typical village of Abondance. Coffee break in the pleasant village, before we continue with our bikes towards the precious little lake of Plagnes. A pleasant track and a very small road take us to the Col de Bassachaux (1778 m). In the distance, we can see the lake of Montriond: we will spend the night not far away. Descent into the valley to rest after such a long day!
This stage is the one with the greatest altitude gain of the week, but the route is fast-rolling without techical difficulties. We will check the batteries and perhaps decide on a quick recharge in Abondance in order to end the day without worries.
Distance covered ca. 35 km, elevation gain ca. 1800 m (shorter route possible: 30 km/ 1150 m)
This morning, we climb up the valley of Morzine along the Manche, the torrent that bathes the valley. The valley is also called “Vallées des Mines d'Or” (valley of the gold mines). We quickly reach beautiful pastures where cattle graze on grass, growing from rich and productive earth. In the region, the Abondance breed is queen. The abondance cow is a sturdy walker, good dairy and hardy breed perfectly adapted to the local climate for a good milk production used to make the famous Savoy cheeses (Reblochon, Abondance, Beaufort and Tome des Bauges). Below the impressive Dent Blanche (2728 m), we start our descent towards the village resort of Samoëns which remains authentic despite the impacts of the ski industry. We ride up the Giffre through its small valley to Sixt Fer à Cheval, which has been labelled Grand Site de France. The Cirque Fer à Cheval is the largest glacial cirque in the Alpine arc. It dominates the valley and separates it from Switzerland, just beyond its crest. Overnight stay in an idyllic accommdadtion overlooked by high peaks.
Distance covered ca. 35 km, elevation gain ca. 950 m
We leave our green bower at an altitude of 800 m by a forest track that leads us to the Gers valley, with a small mountain lake of the same name. We follow up this small valley until we cross a mountain pass located at 2250 m altitude. Descent towards the ski resort of Flaine, in the Grand Massif. A remarkable section along the shore of the lake of Flaine, its situation coiled to the hollow of the small valley, which we climb up until another mountain pass. Then we shift to the Arve valley, close to Sallanches. The Arve is an abundant river that drains the Vallée blanche, the valley of Chamonix.
Distance covered ca. 55 km, elevation gain ca. 1700 m (shorter route possible: 50 km / 1300 m, route including cable car: 40 km / 450 m)
On today’s stage, between the Arve Valley and the Beaufortain, we discover the Val d’Arly and its strong mountainous character. We climb up the Arly river not far from the chic and famous Savoyard resorts of Megève and Combloux. In front of us unfolds the Mont Blanc and its sister peaks in breathtaking views: Aiguille de Bionnassay (4052 m), Dome de Miage (3673 m) and last but not least, the Mont Blanc (4809 m). We continue our ride on a track that offers us a nice views on these mythical summits, from a balcony track along the foothills of the Aravis range. We then plunge into the Val d'Arly before climbing up for a last time to join our hotel, literally at the gates of the Beaufortain.
Distance covered ca. 30 km, elevation gain ca. 1600 m
We’re off to the Beaufortain! Among the mountain ranges surrounding the mighty Mont Blanc, the Beaufortain is certainly the wildest. We will discover it during the next (and last) two days of our trip. During the morning, we make our way right into the very heart of the massif by a forest track which quickly leads us to superb mountain pastures. Indeed, if the Beaufortain is famous for its cheese, it owes it to its numerous mountain pastures that the Abondance and Tarine cows graze tirelessly. We reach the small village of Les Saisies, dominated by Mont Bisanne. So many shades of green... We ride down to the valley’s capital, Beaufort, and its small intertwined streets. On the village square, we observe the hordes of cyclists on the road who set off to attack the Cormet de Roselend and the Col du Pré, two legendary passes of the Tour de France which allows them to reach Bourg Saint Maurice. We still have some meters to climb, too. We continue on a set of small roads, before reaching the village of Arêches, the ski resort of Beaufort.
Distance covered ca. 40 km, elevation gain ca. 1500 m
The last day of our trip still holds some very nice surprises. From Arêches, we approach the heart of the Beaufortain, the shores of Lake Saint Guérin. Then we set off on a splendid high altitude trail through the coniferous forest and, above all, the mountain pastures, until we reach the Cormet d'Arêches (2108 m). A great moment in the mountains! Just for once, we will have to push our e-mountain bikes a little bit on a trail a little too steep to be ridden. But this short last hike-a-bike section allows us to access a col on the ridge that separates us from the Tarentaise valley. A last long descent towards Moûtiers and we’re back to civilization!
Distance covered ca. 40 km, elevation gain ca. 1500 m
Tour end: Separation at the end of the tour is in Moûtiers at 4 pm. On request we can book the following nights accommodation for you in Moûtiers or arrange a return transfer to Evian-les-Bains. A return by train (ca. 6h with two changes) is also possible.
Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.
Average tour rating: