Route des Grandes Alpes sign

The Route des Grandes Alpes

With 17 alpine passes, historic monuments, beautiful alpine villages and national parks, this is a must do cycling holiday for any keen cyclist. 627km and nearly 17,000m of climbing over 6 days sees us travelling over some of France’s most legendary mountains; the Galibiere, Iseran, Izoard and Bonette to name just a few.

Overview - The Route de Grande Alpes

If you are looking for a real challenge surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery whilst climbing and descending breathtaking mountain roads this could well be the tour for you. The Routes des Grandes Alpes is a showcase for everything the Alps have to offer and an opportunity to tick off many of the big name climbs that should be at the top of every cyclist’s bucket list. From the shores of Lac Leman to the beaches of the Mediterranean, you will take on the highest and most spectacular roads in Europe. Experience the natural and cultural diversity of the landscapes of the national and regional parks between the Haute-Savoie and Alpes-Maritimes. We visit Chablais, Vanoise, Queyras, Ubaye and the Mercantour ranges and also take in Mont Blanc and Les Ecrins, the iconic emblems of the French Alps.

Conquer the giants of the Alps with an expansive list of classic cols that include so many of cyclings most famous monuments. Col de la Colombiere, Col des Aravis, Cormet de Roseland, Col de l’Iseran, Col du Telegraph, Col du Galibiere, Col du Lautaret, Col d’Izoard, Cime de la Bonnete, the list goes on and on. Every climb holds a place in cycling history and each provides us with its own unique challenges and rewards. With roads dating back to the 18th century, constructed to form lines of communication for the many fortifications and to link mountain communities to the outside world, this is a spectacular and historic route which once formed a vital connection between the mountains of the Alps and the Côte d’Azur.

Key Climbs - The Route de Grande Alpes

Col de la Colombière – Scionzier

  • Distance 18.2 kilometers
  • Elevation 1154 meters
  • Max Grade 12.5%
  • Avg. Grade 6.1%
  • Cat 1

Col des Aravis – Saint-Jean-de-Sixt

  • Distance 10.3 kilometers
  • Elevation 530 meters
  • Max Grade 8.3%
  • Avg. Grade 5.1%
  • Cat 2

Col des Saisies – Flumet

  • Distance 13.4 kilometers
  • Elevation 832 meters
  • Max Grade 8.8%
  • Avg. Grade 5.2%
  • Cat 2

Cormet de Roselend – Beaufort

  • Distance 20.4 kilometers
  • Elevation 1377 meters
  • Max Grade 10%
  • Avg. Grade 6%
  • Cat 1

Col de l’Iseran – Bourg Saint Maurice

  • Distance 46.6 kiolmeters
  • Elevation 2045 meters
  • Max Grade 9.5%
  • Avg. Grade 4.2%
  • Cat HC

Col du Télégraphe – Saint Michel de Maurienne

  • Distance 12 kilometers
  • Elevation 881 meters
  • Max Grade 10%
  • Avg. Grade 7.1%
  • Cat 1

Col du Galibiere – Valloire

  • Distance 18 kilometers
  • Elevation 1235 meters
  • Max Grade 11.3%
  • Avg. Grade 6.8%
  • Cat HC

Col de Vars – Guillestre

  • Distance 19.5 kilometers
  • Elevation 1155 meters
  • Max Grade 10.5%
  • Avg. Grade 5.6%
  • Cat 1

Cime de la Bonette – Jausiers

  • Distance 23.1 kilometers
  • Elevation 1584 meters
  • Max Grade 15.3%
  • Avg. Grade 6.7%
  • Cat HC

Col de Turini – D2565

  • Distance 15.3 kilometers
  • Elevation 1180 meters
  • Max Grade 10%
  • Avg. Grade 7.3%
  • Cat 1

Col de Castillon – Sospel

  • Distance 6.7 kilometers
  • Elevation 374 meters
  • Max Grade 8%
  • Avg. Grade 5.5%
  • Cat 3

Dates & Prices - The Route de Grande Alpes

Dates Prices Information
Contact us for dates and availability £2,295 Price is based on two people sharing. Single room supplements apply

Itinerary - The Route de Grande Alpes

  • Total Distance 615.8 kilometers
  • Total Elevation 17956 meters

Day 1 - Arrival

Arrive at Geneva airport where you will be met before the short drive up to Morzine.

    Day 2 - Morzine to Crest Volland

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 91.2 kilometers
    • Elevation 2913 meters

    Day 3 - Crest Volland to Val-d'Isère

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 95.3 kilometers
    • Elevation 3371 meters

    Day 4 - Val-d'Isère to Valloire

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 105.1 kilometers
    • Elevation 2377 meters

    Day 5 - Valloire to Risoul

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 105.1 km
    • Elevation 2972 m

    Day 6 - Risoul to La Roche

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 129.8 kilometers
    • Elevation 3853 meters

    Day 7 - La Roche to Menton

    Key Climbs

    • Distance 89.6 kilometers
    • Elevation 2439 meters

    Day 8 - Departure

    We will run you the short distance between Menton and Nice for your flight home.

      What's Included - The Route de Grande Alpes

      Hotels & 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.


      Refreshments & 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.


      Evening Meals

      We provide all the evening meals along with wine and soft drinks either at the hotel or out at carefully selected restaurants . Our tours aren’t just about great cycling they’re also about great food.


      Airport Transfers

      We will pick you up and drop you off at the required airports. If it’s a shared tour we will ask all the clients to arrive at a certain time to enable us to collect everyone and avoid people waiting for too long at airports.


      Welcome Packs

      We will give you a welcome bag at the start of each tour. This can be used as your kit bag to keep all the extras in in the support van. It will contain maps and ride profiles, Tailwind energy and recovery products to help you on your way and a Velovation jersey made by Bodhi. This Jersey can be customised to you or your tour just ask us about it when booking.


      Photo Package

      The support driver isn’t just driving and feeding you the whole time, he will also be taking photos of you the whole time which will be carefully edited and shared with you after the tour is finished so you can keep looking back at the amazing time you had. Have a look through some of our photos on Instagram and follow us.


      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.



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


      GPS Routes

      As well as having maps, a support rider and support van in close proximity we will also provide you with the routes so you can load them onto you navigation device. If you don’t have a navigation device we can rent you one.



      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 disassemble and assemble your own bike and have the tools to do so.  Please bring spare inner tubes and a puncture repair kit.

      What’s Needed:



      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.



      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.



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



      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.

      Testimonials - The Route de Grande Alpes

      Justin Page

      “Being guided by Mark who poses an insanely in-depth knowledge of the most stunning cycling routes of the alps is a great experience.

      Velovation takes out the hassle and stresses of organising the day to day and logistic of a fantastic days cycling. Stress free, stunning routes, valuable knowledge and great backup creates the best experience possible.

      Velovation provides just that.”

      Route des Grandes Alpes sign Romano Subiotto

      Route de Grand Alpes

      “I did the Route des Grands Alpes with Velovation in September 2015.  The Velovation team was awesome: great route planning and support throughout.  They were always in a good mood and made the trip one to remember.”

      Peter Rimington

      ‘From 5th September to the 11th September 2015 I cycled from Morzine to Menton through the Alps with seven others; a route which included almost every Alpine climb that exists and most have been used on the Tour de France at some time.

      Challenging? Absolutely! I had never ridden anything like it before and , living in the UK had precious little terrain to gain experience of such terrain. When you attempt something like this, you need all your energy and focus to be on your legs and the bike. You can’t afford any slip ups in the arrangement of accommodation, food, water or support.

      Tony and his team were absolutely awesome in every respect. Perfect food, plentiful water and snacks; always ready when needed to take excess clothing or supply needed layers, fully conversant with the route and pitfalls, full of advice about pace, strength preservation and each member giving encouragement and support just when needed. Perfect dinner companions and great friends by the end of the trip.

      I cannot recommend this team highly enough and will definitely be using their services to cross off those few cols we did not attempt and to take on a few more in other parts of the world!’

      Lisa Blue

      Cycling the Route des Grand Alpes with Velovation in 2014 is still the most challenging yet rewarding thing that my partner and I have ever done. The support and organisation that Mark and Tony provided is absolutely the reason our cycling adventure was so amazing. The mountains were tough and pushed us to our limits but they were there for support every pedal of the way and at the end of the day we could relax in very comfortable accommodation and devour delicious food in great company – there’s no better feeling. It was the adventure of a lifetime, absolutely stunning scenery and a very fond memory. We highly recommend Velovation for a cycling tour!

      Deborah McMenamin

      I have been on two fabulous rides in France with Velovation – La Route des Grandes Alpes  and Mont Ventoux to Antibes . Vital ingredients for ride leaders are knowledge of route and patience with riders! Both of these were met in Velovation, the result being that all we had to do was pedal, enjoy the scenery and not feel pressured about the pace! Fuel stops were invariably in a scenic location with a delicious spread waiting which had been prepared by Velovation. An extra bonus was to have a talented cameraman in the Velovation team  to capture special moments on the rides. Strongly recommended for a challenging yet relaxed tour!

      Bruce Macleod

      I just wanted to say what a great trip you and Tony organised with Georgie. Couldn’t fault it. Superb organisation, comforting attention to detail, attending to every little concern of the group. We felt pampered to the extreme. Some great rides you had scouted, I could do them all over again tomorrow. And the fact that you were open to diversions from your planned course to try something new, added to the moment. Counting down the days to Italy 2017 which will be another high point of my cycling year.

      Book / Enquire - The Route de Grande Alpes

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