Home > The Upper French Alps: Geneva to Geneva
*Starting on another weekday possible for groups (must be 4 or more at time of booking and departure).
This tour is a real ode to what we affectionately call "our playground," since we cycle these roads regularly and believe us, you will be mesmerized by the scenery! From the banks of Lake Geneva and Lake Annecy, stunning panoramas from the tops of these challenging climbs, and beautiful Alpine towns and villages along the way, this tour has everything a serious cyclist could want!
The route includes many legendary Tour de France climbs such as the Col de la Biche, Col du Grand Colombier, Montée du Semnoz, Col de la Croix Fry, Col des Aravis, Col de Joux-Plan. Some of these climbs are optional and can be included on your route, and some are unavoidable!
We have also planned the route to be as flexible as possible, so riders who are short on time can also begin riding from Seyssel and Annecy, or ride directly from Geneva to Annecy.
Arrive into Geneva or Gaillard (depending on the hotel option that you choose) at your leisure. Take the time to explore this international city, with its charming “old town”, where you will find many authentic Swiss restaurants and, of course, it’s magnificent lake. Make sure to stock up on Swiss chocolate to stuff into your pockets for the days riding ahead, as tomorrow you will begin your tour!
Today’s ride can be viewed as a warm-up for the next few days! Our standard route will take you out through the Swiss countryside surrounding Geneva and across the French border before you pedal up your first cols of the tour. You can opt to ride over the Col de Richemond and the Col de la Biche, both of which are beautiful climbs and feel very remote (you are likely to see more cows than cars on these climbs!) If you prefer, you can skip these two climbs and choose to ride the Col du Grand Colombier, which has been featured 5 times in the Tour de France. You will be staying overnight in the charming town of Seyssel, with beautiful views over the Rhône River which bisects the town.
Enjoy a beautiful start to the day by riding to the Château de Clermont, a remarkable castle built in the 16th century. From here the route plunges into the scenic Gorges du Fier and continues on towards the village of Quintal. At Quintal you can choose to continue to climb all the way to the Montée du Semnoz, which featured as the finish of the 20th stage of the 2013 Tour de France, before enjoying a great descent down into Annecy. Take some time to visit this picture-perfect town and your home for tonight, known as the “Venice of the Alps” for its numerous canals.
The ride today is magical! You begin by riding along the banks of the turquoise-coloured Lake Annecy, before you tackle the first col of the day, the Col des Marais. Up next is a Tour de France classic, the Col de la Croix-Fry, featured 5 times in the Tour and last ridden by the peloton in 2018. You can choose whether you would like to roll down into Le Grand Bornand from here, or, if you have a little bit left in the tank, then a short 5km climb will take you to the Col des Aravis. This extra effort will be rewarded by breathtaking views across to Mont Blanc! Either way, enjoy some well-deserved relaxation at your hotel in Le Grand Bornand!
“Le Grand Bornand to Morzine” sounds like a Tour de France stage, and today’s route could well be! Col de la Colombière and Col de Joux-Plane are probably the two most revered climbs in this part of the Alps and you will ride both today. You will begin with the Col de la Colombière (the easier side), before descending down into the town of Cluses. Awaiting you beyond Cluses is the Col de Joux-Plane. With its 9% average gradient, Joux-Plane has often been one of the decisive climbs in Tour de France and Dauphiné Libéré races. From the top of the col you will descend down the last 10km or so into Morzine, where you will stay tonight. If you still have some legs at the end of the day, you can ride up the climb to Avoriaz!
After all of those daunting Tour de France climbs, one deserves a reward… and today is that reward. You will be riding on beautiful, quiet roads, winding your way through the Chablais mountains towards Lake Geneva. Along the way you will enjoy spectacular views over valleys and farmlands before some grandiose views open up over the lake and across to the Jura mountains in the distance. As if that weren’t enough, you’ll be staying in one of the jewels of the Savoy region this evening, the medieval village of Yvoire. Enjoy magical views across the lake in the evening as you reflect on an epic week of cycling the Upper French Alps!
After breakfast we will transfer you back to Geneva airport or train station.
2 nights in 2-star hotels and 4 nights in 3-star hotels
1 night in a 2-star hotel and 5 nights in 3-star hotels