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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


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Road bike France

A tough high mountain road bike tour around Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland and ItalyRef CR14

This road bike trip for lovers of cols and high mountain cycling is not for the faint hearted. In search of the most beautiful panoramas around the mighty and snow-covered Mont Blanc range, we climb some of the most challenging "hors category" mountain cols in Switzerland, Italy and France: Col des Montets, Col de Champex, Little and Great Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roselend, Col des Saisies and Col de la Colombière. Lesser-known lonely cols complete the picture. During the stages, we discover the varied and spectacular scenery of the Mont Blanc region: from the authentic Beaufortain valley in Savoie, we travel on narrow winding roads through the Chablais and the Val d'Abondance. In Switzerland, the Bernese Alps and the Valais await us, including the chic village of Gstaad in Saanenland, its typical chalets and the Gruyère valley. The long descent back to Chamonix past the Aiguille Verte and the rock faces of the Drus forms the grandiose end of this high-mountain cycle tour around Mont Blanc.

Version with assistance vehicle: from 995€ - DetailsVersion without assistance vehicle: from 0€ - Details Duration : 6 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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In the event that there are official travel or mobility restrictions in France or in your country of origin at the booked tour dates (official travel warning, quarantine upon return, closed borders) which make it impossible for you to undertake the trip, we offer to defer your booking to a later date at no extra charge. If no suitable date can be found, we offer a full reimbursement.
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Highlights

  • Unique panoramas of the Mont Blanc range
  • 600 km of pure mountain cycling, 14 cols many of which classified as hors category and 14,000 metres of climbing
  • Highlight climbs of the Tour de France like the Cormet de Roselend or the Col de la Colombière
  • Lesser known mountain roads in the beautiful Bernese Oberland
  • A three-country loop with great Alpine cuisine

Description

Comments

  • Available as guided trip with support vehicle and as self-guided trip
  • Choose between two differents routes each day, with varying distances and profiles, depending on your daily shape, weather and route preferences
  • Special offers available for private groups. Please contact us for a quote.

Levels

On some of the stages of this trip you can choose between two different routes with varying distances and altitude gain each day (level 2 or 3). For details, see the programme below.

Day 1: Chamonix - Great St. Bernhard

Itinerary start: Rendezvous with the group and the tour leader is on day 1 at 9 am at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc SNCF railway station. On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Chamonix. We can also organise a transfer from Geneva or Lyon airport.

We leave busy Chamonix this morning for Argentière and Vallorcine. We reach the latter after conquering the first ramps on the Col des Montets, which leads us through the nature reserve of the Aiguilles Rouges. A little later we cross the Swiss border. After the Col de la Forclaz, the long descent down into the Rhone Valley awaits us, surrounded by vineyards and with spectacular views of the Bernese and Valais Alps. On a side route over the Col de Champex with its lake and its winding south side, we reach the main route of the Great St Bernhard Pass. Caution is advised here, especially in the tunnels. Overnight stay just below the pass summit at 2,400 m.

Passes of the day: 

  • Col des Montets (1,461 m)
  • Col de la Forclaz (1,527 m)
  • Col de Champex (1,468 m)
  • Grosser St. Bernhard (2,469 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 3: approx. 90 km and 3,400 m

Note: The Great St. Bernard has several tunnels on its northern side and is relatively busy compared to the other sections of this tour. Lights and reflective clothing are essential! The night at the top of the pass compensates for the efforts of the ascent.

Day 2: Great St. Bernhard - Bourg Saint Maurice 

Today, the descent from the Great St. Bernard into the Italian Aosta Valley awaits us, with its stone houses and traditional roofs of grey quartz slabs. Until Saint Rhémy en Bosses we avoid the busy main route. Shortly before Aosta, we can choose a (difficult) variant that takes you up over the well-exposed southern slopes on quite mountain roads overlooking the valley (+ 800 metres in altitude). Behind Pré-Saint-Didier, we start with the main difficulty of the day: the long ascent to the Little St. Bernhard. Here, too, the first part of the ascent can be avoided via a low-traffic but strenuous secondary route. We end our excursion to Italy by crossing the summit at almost 2,200 m. Fantastic descent via the many hairpin bends to our accommodation in Séez above Bourg Saint Maurice.

Passes of the day:

  • Little St. Saint Bernhard (2,188 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 120 km and 2,000 m
  • Level 3: approx. 125 km and 2,850 m
Day 3: Bourg Saint Maurice - Col des Aravis

This morning we continue to descend into the Tarentaise valley, one of the two main valleys of Savoie, under the gaze of the Aiguille des Glaciers, highest peak around Bourg-Saint-Maurice. There we then branch off to the north and begin the long hors category climb to the Cormet de Roselend (1,967 m) with gradients of up to 9 % in the first section. Across its turquoise reservoir, we then reach the Beaufortain valley and the village of Beaufort on the descent. A stop at the cheese cooperative is possible in order to taste the famous Beaufort cheese, an important pillar of the local economy. From Beaufort, we climb up to the Col des Saisies and after another descend, to the Col des Aravis - wonderful panoramas from the perfectly laid-out hairpin bends over mountain forests and Alpine meadows, against the backdrop of the imposing south-west side of Mont Blanc. Overnight in the midst of the ski resort of La Clusaz.

Passes of the day:

  • Cormet de Roselend (1,967 m)
  • Col des Prés (1,703 m)
  • Col du Joly (1,989 m, optional)
  • Col des Saisies (1,650 m)
  • Col des Aravis (1,486 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 85 km and 2,900 m
  • Level 3: approx. 120 km and 3,900 m
Day 4: Col des Aravis - Châtel

Today, we continue our short ride northwards to the foothills of the Alps around Lake Geneva. We continue through the picture-book pastures of Savoie, the sound of cowbells keeps us pedaling. Via the ski resort of Le Grand-Bornand, we reach the southern ramps of the Col de la Colombière (1,613 m), which is particularly challenging in the last three kilometres. After the frantic descent on the north side in front of sharp-edged peaks we cross the lower Arve valley. The route leads us on a slightly ascending road and without great difficulties to the Col de la Jambaz. We are now in the idyllic Chablais not far from Lake Geneva. Via beautiful roads along the slopes we finally reach the picturesque valley of Abondance. Overnight stay in our hotel in the small village of Châtel.

Passes of the day:

  • Col de la Colombière (1,613 m)
  • Col de Jambaz (1,027 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 115 km and 2,400 m
Day 5: Châtel - Les Mosses

We set off this morning towards the Valais for a loop in the Bernese Alps. After the first minor difficulty up to the Pas de Morgins and the town of the same name, we first descend steeply into the Rhone Valley, to Monthey. Follows a long and irregular climb to the Col de la Croix (1,776 m) in the Bernese Alps: 1,400 metres of climbing with a maximum gradient of 10 %. Descent to the ski resort of Les Diablerets, which lies in a wide valley basin in the canton of Vaud. From there, we head towards the Col de Pillon (1,546 m) and on to the chic ski resort of Gstaad. With the last efforts of the day, we should still manage to crank up to the Col de Mosses (1,445 m), where we spend the night in Swiss mountain atmosphere in the Gruyères Pays d'Enhaut Nature Park just below the pass.

Passes of the day:

  • Pas de Morgins (1,371 m)
  • Col de la Croix (1,776 m)
  • Col du Pillon (1,546 m)
  • Col des Mosses (1,445 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 110 km and 1,900 m
Day 6: Les Mosses - Chamonix

Last day of our big loop around Mont Blanc, starting at the Col de Mosses, which we cross early today in the direction of the Rhône valley. In order to reach Chamonix, the starting and end point of our 600 km road cycling trip, a 35 km descent into the valley first awaits us first. From the beautiful valley town of Aigle, it is then about 20 flat kilometres up the valley on a secondary route along the wild Rhône river. Where the Rhône valley bends to the north, Martigny lies amidst the vineyards of the Valais. Here we rejoin the route of day 1: we have to climb the Col de la Forclaz (1,527 m) and the Col des Montets (1,461 m) from the east side. The Col de la Forclaz, with its even gradient of 8-9 % over a good 13 km, is (hopefully) only a formality after all the efforts of this week. We gain the last 400 metres of altitude on the way via Vallorcine to the Col des Montets, before we finally plunge into the last descent towards Chamonix past the Aiguille Verte and the Drus. End of the trip in the town centre of Chamonix with the mighty summit of the Mont Blanc 3,800 m above our heads.

Passes of the day:

  • Col de la Forclaz (1,527 m)
  • Col des Montets (1,461 m)

Distance and altitude gain:

  • Level 2: approx. 95 km and 1,500 m

Itinerary end: The trip ends in Chamonix at around 1pm. On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in town, or organise an airport transfer with the support vehicle.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

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