Geneva to Nice Cycling Tour; Route des Grandes Alpes by bike
The ultimate cycle tour challenge from Geneva through the French Alps to Nice and the Mediterranean Sea
From cycling the mountains surrounding Lake Geneva all the way to Nice and the Mediterranean Sea. The Cycle tour from Geneva to Nice features on many bucket lists - broadly following the classic Route des Grandes Alpes with some flexibility depending on your group abilities, goals and days riding.
We are your hosts for the Tour and will be hands on both during the booking and the Cycle Tour duration.
Offered as a bespoke fully supported tour tailored to your group, the route to the sun from Geneva to Nice takes you through the majestic splendour of the Alps to the point they dip into the Mediterranean sea. We take care of the detail and logistics so you can concentrate on the riding and the views.
We start this point to point cycle tour on the banks of Lake Geneva from Thonon les Bains or Evian and usually finish adjacent to Nice in Cagnes su Mer. The purists can ride to the first hotel from Geneva on day one, and finish on the prom enade des Anglais in Nice, however experience has taught us that few of you wish to battle with the central Geneva traffic immediately as you arrive in the Alps.
Cycling Tour duration
The trip is very flexible and can start any day of the week throughout the end of June to the end of September.
Usually 6 days of challenging riding, however, for example, we can take 5 days with a fast moving, extremly fit group or stretch the days riding to take in more Cols and more of your goals such as Alpe D'Huez, or Mont Ventoux.
The Cycling Cols of the French Alps
Taking in a good helping of Tour de France Cols such as the Colombiere, Saisies, Roseland and Iseran, to the Telegraphe, Galibier and the highest paved road in Europe, the Cime de la Bonnette. The ingredients provide an amazing tour through the Alps to the Mediterranean which you will never forget.
Suggested Itinerary for the Geneva to Nice cycle tour - There is flexibility at the time of booking your cycle tour which can be discussed at the time of booking
Day 1 Arrive Geneva International Airport and transfer to Lake Geneva Hotel. Build bikes, short shakedown ride, tour briefing and safety information
Day 2 After dipping your wheels in Lake Geneva we initially take a leisurely traverse of the Chablais region before we meet the first major challenge of the Tour, the Col de la Colombiere (Col de Romme optional). Its a fast descent once over the summit through the ski village of Les Grand Bornand to our overnight stop in La Clusaz
Day 3 Refreshed and refuelled, we start straight onto the gentle slopes of the 2nd catergory Col des Aravis. The views of Mt Blanc from the top of the Aravis are stunning. After a steady descent next up is the 1st catergory Col des Saisies. Through the home of Reblochon cheese, Beaufort, its then the main event of the day, The Cormet de Roseland. A Tour de France regular, this HC climb does feature a rare flat km around the stunning Roseland Dam in the middle before the final climb to the summit. Descend to Bourg St Maurice to overnight.
Day 4 A very short warm up before we start the 47km climb of the Col d'Iseran through the ritzy ski resort of Val D'Isere and past the Tignes dam, its likely they may still be skiing on the glaciers above the road summit (2764M). What goes up must come down and its a long long descent of over 70kms to St Michel de Maurienne where we turn onto the Col du Telegraphe (1566M). Its a steady climb of 12kms and after summt photos, a gentle descent takes us to our overnight stop in Valloire.
Day 5 Riding from Valloire we are straight onto the king of the Alps, the Col du Galibier (2645M). With a brutal first km, it then flattens out briefly before the gradient steepens again. With 6km to go you pass the memorial to Marco Pantani. Towards the summit its likely there will still be snow patches as the Alpine meadows are replaced by rock and scree. The reward for your efforts is one of the best viewing points in the Alps from Mt Blanc, past glaciers to our route South towards the Med. The initial descent starts with 6km of steep, twisty roads however once we reach the Col du Lautaret the road widens for steady descent to Briançon. As soon as the descent finishes we are climbing again on the famous Col d’Izoard (2360M) used again in the 2017 Tour de France. We are above the treeline at the summit and descending firstly through rocky landscape, to treelined hairpins, alpine meadows and river gorge to our overnight in Guillestre
Day 6 Leaving Guillestre behind we commence the climb of the Col de Vars (2108M), riding through the ski resort of Vars. After the descent we are onto the highest paved road in Europe, the Cime de la Bonnette at 2802M. 23kms on ascent reach the summit and your reward is an amazing view and an epic descent through the Mercantour National Park. We finally climb 6km to overnight in the quaint ski village of Auron
Day 7 A leisurely breakfast and retrace our steps back down to the valley road, its nearly downhill all the way to the Mediterranean on our last day. As we avoid the majority of the Nice traffic we have our final climb over the gentle Col de Vence and negotiate our way to Cagnes sur Mer and optional ride to Nice promenade des Anglais. Its time to jump in the Med and enjoy a celibration for your achievement.
Day 8 After breakfast we transfer you to Nice Airport for your flight departure
Geneva to Nice cycle tour route options
The route has many options - for example - on day 1 we can take in the Col de la Ramaz and or the Col de Joux Plane, day 3 the Col de L'Iseran can be replaced with the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Glandon and an ascension of Alpe D'Huez. Drop us a line or give us a call to discuss the route options for Geneva to Nice in detail.
Based on a group size of 6 or more riders using the Geneva to Nice cycling route outlined as above you should budget approx €2000 per person based on :-
7 nights accommodation in 2*/3* hotels on a half board basis (evening meal and breakfast)
roadside picnic lunch on the riding days
full vehicle support with snacks, water etc
Geneva Nice roadbook with gpx files, route maps
luggage transfer / bike box from Geneva to Nice
Airport transfers at both Geneva and Nice
Optional extras and route suggestions to be agreed at the point of booking :-
Extended Geneva Nice cycling tour itinerary with options to include Alpe D'Huez and/or Mt Ventoux
Contact us for more information, discuss your trip length, route design and any questions.
Here's an animation of the route of Geneva to Nice cycling tour