Home > The Adventure Nextdoor: Gravel grind your way from Geneva to Aix-les-Bains
Somewhere between road cycling and mountain biking, gravel cycling is the ultimate in flexible riding. It has really taken off over the past few years and the Savoy region has some brilliant routes. If you want to enjoy some of the best scenery the area has to offer whilst riding these gravel trails then this is the tour for you!
Depending on whether you choose to rent bikes with us the route will either start in Geneva or from our office just outside Geneva in Gaillard. The route begins by heading south, skirting along the Swiss border and winding its way down to Annecy. Leaving the ‘Venice of the Alps’ the next day the tour continues south along the stunning Lake Annecy arriving into Saint Pierre d’Albigny. After a memorable overnight stay in the quite simply magical Château des Allues you will ride west towards Lake Bourget through Chignin and Apremont, some of the most famous wine growing areas of the Savoy region. After passing through Chambéry the tour concludes by riding along the banks of Lake Bourget and arriving into Aix-les-Bains.
The tour begins in Gaillard just outside Geneva on the French side of the border where our office is located. A member of our team will be there to greet you and outfit you with your bikes if you have chosen to hire with us. Gaillard is easy to reach by tram from Geneva.
The route begins by skirting along the Swiss/French border heading south towards Annecy with Mont Salève (known as Geneva’s balcony) on your left. The route is beautifully balanced on a few short single trails (nothing very technical) and a mix of some unpaved roads and some quiet country roads. The highest point of the day’s ride is at the Croix de Vin (850m) which gives you an incredible 360 degree panorama over the surrounding massifs. Enjoy a descent down into the town of Copponex before a shorter climb into Allonzier-la-Caille. The ride ends gently descending as you make your way into Annecy to enjoy a relaxing overnight stay.
Day 2 begins in cycling paradise, riding along the bike path which skirts the west bank of Lake Annecy with incredible views across the lake! After leaving the lake behind at Doussard, get prepared for the major climb of the day along a magnificent forest track to Col du Mont Cherel. Once at the top, enjoy magnificent views over the surrounding mountains (Aravis and Belledone). As well as magnificent views, the reward for that climbing effort is a magnificent descent into the town of Jarsy! The much more gentle final climb of the day begins in Ecole and culminates at the Col du Frene from where it is an exhilarating downhill complete with switchbacks into Saint Pierre d’Albigny. You will stay the night at the magical Château des Allues where you can enjoy a well-earned rest ready for the next day in the saddle.
The final stage of this tour sees you setting off into the heart of the Savoy. The route begins with an off-road section taking in magnificent views over vineyards, the Isere valley and the neighbouring mountains as you pass through some of the most famous wine growing areas of the Savoy region! The big climb of the day begins in Saint-Baldoph before descending into Chambéry, a town renowned for its art and history. Located in a wide valley between the Bauges and Chartreuse mountain ranges and at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, the old-town section of Chambéry is one of the most remarkable in France. From Chambéry, enjoy some flatter riding along a popular cycle path with local cyclists known as the “Avenue Verte” which will take you all the way into Aix-les-Bains along the east bank of Lake Bourget. Pause for a few photos, a quick swim or simply to take in the sublime views of the lake while heading along the cycle way into Aix-les-Bains.
1 night in a 2-star hotel and 1 night in a comfortable guesthouse
1 night in a 3-star hotel and 1 night in a deluxe guesthouse