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6
Bestseller
Bestseller
Holidays

Geneva to Nice Road Cycle

France
6 reviews
Available Departures: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

9 days from

US$2,250

without flights
Cycle
Guided Group
TOUGH TOUGH

Europe's finest road cycling holiday - the Route des Grandes Alpes

Trip Code: GNMB
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Geneva to the Med Road Cycle

Highlights
  • Ride the famous cols of Iseran, Galibier and Izoard

  • Experience several classic Tour de France mountain stages

  • Superb 2-day finale through the Alpes Maritimes from Le Sauze to Nice

  • We make this classic Alpine challenge achievable - 7 cycling days

  • Vehicle support, cosy hotels and all meals included


At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 20
  • 7 days biking
  • 670 kilometres
  • 100% road
  • 100% vehicle support
  • Max altitude 2762 metres
  • Join In Thonon-les-Bains (Geneva) / ends Menton (Nice)

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 8 nights Hotel
Overview

The Route des Grandes Alpes is a 700 kilometre long Alpine road from Thonon-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva to Nice on the Mediterranean. This spectacular strip of tarmac provides one of the world's classic road cycling challenges, whilst cutting through the heart of the French Alps by way of many of the most famous Tour de France climbs, such as the Cormet de Roselend, the Col de l'Iseran, the Col du Galibier and the Col de l'Izoard. This is undoubtedly a contender for the best road cycling holiday in Europe!


Refined and improved for 2024, our version of the ride follows the original Route des Grandes Alpes pretty faithfully, with just a couple of minor deviations to avoid potentially busy stretches of road. Crossing more than 20 significant cols in 7 days of cycling, this is an iconic route that all experienced and enthusiastic road cyclists should ride at least once. On most days you have the choice of riding an easier (Level 2) route or a more challenging (Level 3) route with additional distance and height gain. With partial vehicle support, all meals included and a good standard of hotel accommodation throughout, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to ride this route. Low cost flights operating into Geneva and out of Nice work well with this holiday.

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

ROAD CYCLING. This cycling journey from Lake Geneva, through the Alps to the Mediterranean ranks amongst the world's great rides. With more than 16,000 metres of ascent over 670 kilometres distance cycled (with the option to extend each day) it is a real challenge.

Our itinerary provides a very consistent first 6 days of cycling with 90 to 95 kilometres on each of those days and generally between 2200 and 2600 metres of ascent. This is followed by a longer final stage from Beuil to the sea, covering 130 kilometres with 2700 metres of ascent. These stats are challenging and you can expect long days and some long, long climbs (usually averaging out at between 6 and 8 percent gradient) where you need to take your time and spin. There are long descents, too; often sinuous and always fast. This is not a holiday for inexperienced cyclists - a good level of physical fitness and stamina will be required. Regular club, sportive and randonnee riders will find it within their capabilities. This is a partially supported ride with the tour guide driving the support vehicle. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

Why KE?

Great Value With partial vehicle support, driven by the tour guide, we cycle from Thonon-les-Bains beside Lake Geneva to Nice on the Mediterranean. En route, we climb some of the most historic road biking cols in Europe. Fully inclusive, this holiday also offers fantastic value for money!

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Itinerary

Your holiday will begin at the hotel in Thonon les Bains. No other services today. If you have brought your own bike please reassemble it today.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meet at 9 am at the nearby Thonon SNCF Railway Station. If you have hired a bike, the guide will have it and will help you set it up. Then, after an initial briefing, you will be given detailed trip notes and set off on a first day of cycling that provides a brilliant introduction to the holiday and includes the first real Alpine pass of the trip. The roads are pretty quiet as we climb gently through farmland above Lake Geneva to a low pass, the Col de Jambaz (1027m), which we reach after around 25 kilometres of cycling. Look out for a surprise early view of Mont Blanc. Cycling on backroads, we avoid the busy Autoroute Blanche and begin a 15 kilometre climb via Le Reposoir to the Col de la Colombiere (1613m). From here, there's a great descent through Le Grand-Bornand and a final 150 metre kick back up to the small ski resort of La Clusaz (1230m). This is a pleasant resort town with many summer attractions as well as a cycle shop.

Upgrade to Level 3: There is the option to include the Col de Joux Plane (1712m) in today's ride which will take you through the Val d'Abondance to the Portes du Soleil area; Morzine and Les Gets. This adds 30 kilometres and 1100 metres of ascent to the day's ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2200 M

Descent

1370 M

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

90 KM

We aim for a reasonably early start, then roll out of La Clusaz, passing lots of picturesque chalets and warming up with the climb through Alpine meadows to the Col des Aravis (1486m) with views of Mont Blanc. Descending to La Giettaz and then Flumet, it's back up again at a relatively shallow gradient to the Col des Saisies (1650m). Beyond this pass, we follow a quiet backroad down to the pretty town of Beaufort, a good place for a cafe stop. The road then climbs steadily (800 metres in 12 kilometres) up to the very picturesque Lac de Roselend and continues to climb up to one of the Tour de France's major 'Cat 1' climbs, the Cormet de Roselend (1967m). There can be snow patches beside this high Alpine pass quite late in the year. From here, there's a fast 20 kilometre descent to Bourg St Maurice (800m) via several stunning sequences of tight hairpin bends. We climb out of the town for 5 kilometres to overnight in the village of Seez (1020m).

Upgrade to Level 3: There is the option to make the challenging out-and-back climb to the Col du Joly from Hauteluce (adds 28 kilometres and 900 metres of ascent) and/or to cycle from Beaufort to the Lac de Roselend via Areches and the Col du Pre (1703m) which adds 10 kilometres and 200 metres of ascent to the day's ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2600 M

Descent

2810 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs cycling

Distance

90 KM

After breakfast at our accommodation, we drop back down to the outskirts of Bourg and have a 5 kilometre warm-up on the flat, followed by a long draggy climb up the D902 to the Lac du Chevril and the ski resort of Val d'Isere (1840m) which is pretty quiet outside of the ski season. It's a good place to take a coffee stop, however, before the big challenge of the day, the 17 kilometre climb up to the Col de l'Iseran (2762m). Taking our time, this climb is not so hard, but it is one of the crux stages of our route and the pass is regularly closed by snow until the middle of June. There is a welcome café stop on the top, before beginning what is effectively a 40 kilometres descent into the quiet valley of Haute Maurienne. This area is noticeably underdeveloped compared to the previous day's terrain. Beyond Bessans we follow the Arc River to our accommodation in the commune of Val Cenis (1350m).

Upgrade to Level 3: At the end of the day the optional out and back climb from Val Cenis to the Col de Mont Cenis (2083m) adds 30 kilometres and 750 metres of ascent to the day's ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2200 M

Descent

1960 M

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

80 KM

Taking a fun little backroad we have an easy and quick start to the day as we make our way down to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (750m) and the foot of the Col du Telegraphe (1566m). The road can be busy in the vicinity of Saint Michel and it's great to turn off onto the quieter road twisting its way through woods for 12 kilometres to the top of the Telegraphe, followed by a short descent amongst pine trees to the pleasant ski resort of Valloire (1400m). After a stop for coffee, we embark on probably the most famous and possibly the hardest pass of the route - the giant Galibier (2646m) which is often included in the Le Tour. The 18 kilometre climb starts off easily enough but its second section is relentless and, if you hit a head wind, you will soon know why it has a reputation as one of the toughest climbs in the Alps. Just below the summit is a memorial to Henri Desgrange the first organiser of the Tour de France. There's a short and sinuous descent to the Col du Lautaret (on the D1091) with a couple of welcoming cafes and then a further descent through a pretty valley to Le Monetier les Bains (1500m). A total blast!

Upgrade to Level 3: As a complete alternative to the Telegraph and Galibier, cycle via Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and the cols of la Croix de Fer (2067m) and Glandon (1924m), rejoining the parent route at the Col du Lautaret. Adds 75 kilometres and 1800 metres of ascent to the day's ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2500 M

Descent

2350 M

Time

7 - 8 hrs cycling

Distance

100 KM

After a 10 kilometre spin to Briancon, the easier option today is to follow quiet backroads down the valley of the Durance, via L'Argentiere-la-Bessee and La Roche-de-Rame to small town of Guillestre (1040m). This is a good place to take a coffee break before tackling the ascent of the Col de Vars (2108m) which starts out quite steeply before it flattens slightly as the road enters the upper valley. The road then ramps up again and snakes through the modern ski resort of Vars before the gradient lessens and after 20 kilometres finally tops out just past a small lake and high Alpine pastures. There is a great little café at the top for a regroup and a hot chocolate. The descent continues into the Ubaye Valley with a superb backdrop of the Brec de Chambeyron, one of the highest peaks of the Southern Alps. Our ride continues through the pretty village of Jausiers (1200m) to our accommodation in the little ski station of Le Sauze (1400m) above Barcelonette.

Upgrade to Level 3: From Briancon, head up through a steep-sided valley to Cervieres and onwards on quiet roads to the Col de l'Izoard (2361m) with the gradient steepening during the second half of this iconic 20 kilometre ascent. Look out for the memorial to Louison Bobet and Fausto Coppi about a kilometre below the col. There's a brilliant descent via the 'Casse Desert' and the Combe de Queyras Gorge to Guillestre and a junction with the parent route. Adds 10 kilometres and 800 metres of ascent to the day's ride. Optional further climb to the Col de la Bonette at the end of the stage. Adds a further 47 kilometres and 1600 metres of as ascent.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2000 M

Descent

2100 M

Time

7 hrs cycling

Distance

110 KM

Dropping down to Barcelonnette (the City of Mexican Villas) we head south and then east, starting a long climb that takes us up through the Gorges de Bachelard to the village of Bayasse and onwards to the Col de la Cayolle (2326m) on the edge of the beautiful Mercantour National Park. From here, there's a descent of more than 30 kilometres to the town of Guillaumes on the River Var. This is a good place for a café stop before taking on the 12 kilometre climb to the day's second pass, the Col de Valberg (1650m) at a pretty consistent gradient of 8%. There's just a short descent from the pass to our overnight stop at the small mountain village of Beuil (1425m). Tucked up against a forested hill and with old stone buildings and cobbled alleyways, Beuil is a centre for outdoor activities in both summer and winter.

Upgrade to Level 3: An alternative route from Barcelonnette, crossing the Col d'Aloss (2250m) and then the Col des Champs rejoins the parent route 12 kilometres before Guillaumes and adds 15 kilometres and 700 metres of ascent to the day's ride.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2200 M

Descent

2175 M

Time

6 hrs cycling

Distance

85 KM

Our last long day of cycling, as we follow mountain roads through a striking landscape of bare limestone crags and scattered pine forest typical of the southern part of the Alps. Beyond the Col de la Couillole (1678m) we take a long and twisting descent to the River Tinee at Saint Sauveur (500m) before starting the 10 kilometre climb up to the Col de Saint Martin (1500m) and the ski station of La Colmiane. Downhill again into the valley of the River Vesubie via Roquebilliere and Bollene (500m) before continuing southwards across the final 1000 metre high point at the Col de la Porte. Twisting and turning with occasional views of the Mediterranean we arrive at the coast at Nice where we overnight at a comfortable hotel and go out for a final meal at a restaurant by the sea.

Upgrade to Level 3: Near Roquebilliere there is the option to divert onto a classic section of the Route des Grandes Alpes and make the 15 kilometre ascent to the Col de Turini (1604m), the final big challenge of the tour. Beyond this pass, the route heads south to Nice via the Col de Braus. Adds 15 kilometres and 500 metres of ascent.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

2600 M

Descent

4025 M

Time

8 hrs cycling

Distance

125 KM

Your holiday ends after breakfast. Take a taxi to the airport. If you wish to extend your stay in France, we can book extra accommodation at the hotel in Nice.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Direction Direction
Bike

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Support vehicle and driver/guide
  • Baggage transfer between overnight stops
  • All accommodation as detailed in the trip dossier
  • Detailed 'Road Book' and GPS tracks and smartphone navigation app
  • All meals except dinner on day of arrival at Thonon

  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas (if required)
  • Tips for the guide and miscellaneous tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Geneva and Nice airport transfers
  • Bike hire
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please contact your carrier for charges


TRAVEL TO YOUR DESTINATION

In some cases you may choose to take a ferry and/or train to your holiday start and end destination. Please see further information on Travelling by Train.

If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

Your holiday begins at the hotel in Thonon-les-Bains on the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary.

The initial rendezvous with the group and guide will be at 9 am on Day 2 outside the Thonon-les-Bains railway station (SNCF) just adjacent to the hotel.

Airport transfers from Geneva Airport on Day 1 and to Nice Airport on the final day of the itinerary are not included.

Transfers from Geneva Airport to Thonon can be booked at www.thetrainline.com. Enter Geneve Aeroport as your starting point and Thonon-les-Bains as the destination. The journey may involve both bus and train, costs as little as €10 and bikes are carried free.

Alternatively, private transfers from Geneva Airport to Thonon can be arranged through ABD Services 74. Email. abdservices74@gmail.com Tel. +33 6 24 80 01 55

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals are included in the trip price with the exception of dinner on Day 1, the day of arrival at the hotel in Thonon-les-Bains.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

In France hotel breakfasts are usually continental buffet style. Lunches will be fresh and tasty picnics provided by the guide, either at the support vehicle at a designated location and time each day, or provided as a packed lunch (individual salad - carbohydrate and vegetable based, cold meats, cheese and fruit) carried in a small backpack or handlebar bag. A third option for those allergic to even a small backpack is to cycle with ‘racing food’ only (gels and energy bars) leaving you free to stop and eat when and where you choose (restaurant, bakery, grocery store...). Dinner will be taken at our accommodation. The hotels we frequent are used to feeding hungry cyclists and generally provide a 3 to 4-course evening meal with tasty and large portions of quality local cuisine. We pay very careful attention to the quality and the variety of your meals. Fresh and local products will be served wherever possible.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

Throughout the tour, the accommodation is in comfortable and welcoming 2-star (and one 3-star) hotels and guesthouses. All accommodation is twin-share and with en-suite facilities. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up another single traveller of the same sex. Single room occupancy can be pre-booked at supplementary cost. If you propose to arrive early, additional nights can be booked at the group hotel in Thonon-les-Bains and, similarly, we can book extra hotel nights in Nice at the end of the tour.

The holiday will be led by an experienced English speaking guide who will drive the support vehicle.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

We recommend that £150 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) will be sufficient for miscellaneous expenses and should also cover your bar bills - beer, wine and soft drinks are available every night. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card - there are ATM facilities at Geneva Airport as well as in the majority of the larger towns on our route.

Your bike should be fitted with a compact or triple chainset and we suggest that 25mm tyres will provide a bit more comfort on the variable road surfaces typically found on our Road Cycling holidays.

Since you are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, it’s important to ensure it is in good working order. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you.

Please contact us if you are unsure about the suitability of your bike.

Bike hire can be arranged through our local agent. Your choice of bike will be brought to the group’s first meeting outside the railway station in Thonon-les-Bains at 9 am on Day 2 of the holiday. The options are:

Standard: carbon frame and fork, disc brakes, Shimano Tiagra groupset, compact 50/34 chainset and 10-speed 11/32 cassette, aluminium wheelset, model Scott Addict or equivalent, roughly 9 kg: Hire cost - £290 for the week.

Premium: carbon frame and fork, disc brakes, Shimano Ultegra groupset, compact 50/34 chainset and 11-speed 11/32 cassette, aluminium wheelset, model Scott Addict 20 or equivalent, roughly 8.4 kg: Hire cost - £370 for the week.

Ultimate: carbon frame and fork, disc brakes, Shimano Ultegra groupset, compact 50/34 chainset and 11-speed 11/32 cassette, Mavic carbon wheelset, model Scott Addict 10 or equivalent, roughly 8 kg: Hire Cost - £485 for the week.

Electric: carbon frame and fork, model Orbea Gain M30 or equivalent, supplied with 1 x 248Wh battery (plus additional battery 210Wh):  Hire Cost - £685 for the week.

The bikes come with a repair kit (2 CO2 cartridges, patches, multi-tool, 1 inner tube, tyre levers) and 'consumables' (tyres, tubes, brake pads, cables) are included in the rental price. However, you will be liable for the cost of replacing your hire bike if it is stolen or lost, or if you damage it in a crash. If you tell us which bike you wish to hire and the size of bike you need we will reserve one for you and add the cost of bike hire to your final invoice. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes and pedals (pedals can be provided without charge on request at least 2 weeks before departure - Look KEO easy, Shimano SPD SL or Shimano SPD) and possibly even your own saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You must also take your helmet, which will be worn at all times when on the bike.

Airlines require that you pack your bike properly for travel and for this holiday we recommend that you use a purpose-made soft and foldable bike bag. These can be relatively inexpensive. They are also light in weight, easy to handle and, most importantly, can be packed into a small space to allow easy transportation in the support vehicle. You will need to partially dismantle your bike to pack it in your bag.

If you propose to travel with your bike in a more rigid bag or box (which cannot be folded down to the size of typical hand-luggage - 56x45x25 cms) you will be charged £40 for the transport of this bag/box during the trip. This cost will be added to your final invoice.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding travelling with your bike.

Throughout the trip the group will have the back up of a support vehicle which will be driven by the tour guide. After breakfast, the guide will pack your luggage in the van, distribute cereal/energy bars, and announce the time slot for lunch. The driver can also hand out picnics to any of the group who do not wish to stop at the designated picnic lunch stop.

Once all the cyclists have passed the picnic stop, the driver will transport your luggage directly to the following night’s accommodation, before returning to wait at the foot of the last climb of the day. He is then available to help any members of the group in difficulty or who encounter a mechanical problem. You'll usually meet the van driver several times during the day, offering the opportunity to fill up with water, change clothing, etc.

Each group member is free to ride at his or her own pace, using the road book, smartphone navigation app and GPS tracks to navigate during the day. However, the driver is equipped with a mobile phone, and can be reached at any time during the day if a particpant encounters a problem. The driver is also available throughout the trip to provide information and advice.

As well as carrying the group's baggage, the support vehicle can also carry a limited number of cyclists and their bikes. So if you want to opt out of a morning, afternoon or even a full day of cycling, it may be possible to travel in the vehicle.

You will receive an email 7-10 days before departure with the following navigation tools:

Phone App. Download the trip itinerary to your smartphone, view route maps and profiles, accommodation details, services and useful contacts, and use the integrated route guidance (visual and vocal) for navigation.

Detailed Road Book. Includes maps with highlighted routes, step-by-step route description and route profiles.

GPS Tracks. The tracks are in gpx format, compatible with all GPS devices/apps.

Apart from your bike in its bag (if you are taking your own bike), you should travel with one main item of luggage, such as a sturdy holdall or piece of wheeled luggage, and a small cycle-specific day pack. The day pack can be used to carry valuable items such as cameras and GPS devices whilst travelling and can also carry items on the rides if that's what you choose to do.

Your baggage allowance on the flights will depend on your airline. When choosing your flights, whether booking them directly or through KE, you will need to consider the cost of carrying your bike. These costs are your responsibility.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your cycling holiday. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

The temperatures that we can expect to encounter during the day will be reasonably warm, at around 20 to 25 degrees centigrade. However, at higher altitudes on the tops of passes it will be considerably cooler. During the first departure of the year, there is often snow on the roadsides at the Col de l'Iseran and the temperature might be as low as 5 degrees centigrade. The weather is usually pretty good from late June to late September in the Alps, but mountainous areas do generate their own weather systems and occasional rain and thunderstorms cannot be ruled out. You should be prepared for all eventualities. Visit the World Meteorological Organization’s website at worldweather.org for climate statistics for Geneva or use this link for the weather in Nice.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Cycling in the French Alps - Paul Henderson (Cicerone Press)

  • Rough Guide to France. Lonely Planet

  • Downhill All the Way: Cycling Through France from La Manche to the Mediterranean (Paperback) by Edward Enfield

  • In Pursuit of the Yellow Jersey: Bicycle Racing in the Year of the Tortured Tour (Cycling Resources). by Samuel Abt & James Startt

Route Des Grandes Alpes.

IGN Regional Discovery Maps. 1:250,000 scale. Excellent folded map with the entire route.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

For this holiday you will need your usual cycling clothing, including shoes, cycling gloves and helmet (which must be worn at all times when cycling). Even though we run this holiday during the summer months, you must be prepared for the possibility of cold conditions on the high passes. As well as your summer riding gear, take clothing that will keep you warm in these conditions, especially on the descents.

Whether you are hiring a bike or taking your own, we recommend that you take the usual day-ride essentials of: mobile phone, multi-tool, mini-pump, tyre levers, spare tubes and puncture repair kit.

Bike Wear

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Waterproof overshoes
  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Long leg cycling trousers or leg warmers
  • Lycra arm warmers
  • Short sleeve cycling tops
  • Long sleeved cycling top
  • Lightweight windproof gilet 
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Regular biking gloves
  • Long fingered biking gloves
  • Warm hat that fits under your helmet
  • Buff
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream (inc. total bloc for lips/nose)
  • Camera

Other Stuff

  • Travel and off-the-bike clothing and footwear
  • Wash bag, towel, toiletries
  • Swimwear
  • Basic First Aid kit and personal medication
  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)
  • Rear light for tunnels
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Spares

If you are hiring a bike you do not need to bring any spares. The hire bikes are provided in good condition and a supply of consumable spares (tubes, tyres, brake pads/blocks, cables) is carried. Only parts and components that are broken due to a crash and/or misuse will be charged. In the event of bike loss or theft, a fixed fee will be charged equivalent to the value of the bike. If you are taking your own bike, you should consider taking a minimum of spares, including a couple of spare spokes (for each wheel if they are different), spare brake blocks (or brake disc pads), chain links/chain connector, rear derailleur hanger and any non-standard parts specific to your bike.

Repairs

It is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. changing an inner tube and fixing a puncture. This will save the inconvenience of having to wait for assistance from the guide.

Hydration and Energy Snacks

You should take 2 standard water bottles (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic) and also consider taking a small supply of the gels, power bars or sports drink mix that you would normally use on a ride at home.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your equipment.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 6 reviews

Lovely route.. excellent choice ★★★★★

Excellent route,,, lovely stays,,, but tough cycling ! PS: Geraldine the guide was phenomenal !

By Omar SAFAT | 08 July 2019

Awesome experience ... ★★★★★

Once the pain had subsided the enduring memory is of a magnificent trip and a life-enhancing experience and which I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys cycling and a challenge ..

By Trevor Edinburgh | 18 October 2017

Very tough, but rewarding ★★★★★

Well organised trip. Paul Morgan and Amanda Davenport did a very good job. Paul was endlessly helpful and Amanda was obviously a very experienced cyclist. Weather made it very tough on days 2,3 and 4, but thereafter the picnics by the side of the road were enjoyable. Only things that detracted from the trip - not being to bring bike in a hard case, the breakfasts were a bit weak on some mornings (given that we were regularly using over 2,000 calories) and the cycle 7km up the hill to Auron at th e end of Day 7 seemed an un-necessary burden on already tired legs. Good group of fellow cyclists who all all kept smiling throughout. PS Please can you email me a copy of the Day 3 Route Map - I saved all the rest from the trip but have lost Day 3. Derek McKenzie
By Derek Edinburgh | 26 September 2017

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you had such a good time on this KE classic. A copy of the Route Map is on its way to you.


Challenging Climbs, Scenic Summits, Daring Descents, Great Group, Top Trip ★★★★★

A classic route over famous Tour cols with a friendly and diverse group ranging in age from 18 to me at 70. What was not to like. This was my 3rd KE trip and certainly the toughest, but equally enjoyable. The experience was enhanced by excellent organisation by KE and specially courtesy of our brilliant guide Mandy, who together with her unflappable assistant Jens, ensured the whole trip was fun, and went smoothly. From the daily detailed route maps, instructions and profiles, through strategic snack and water stops, excellent picnic lunches, and regular en-route support, to having room keys and a secure place to put the bikes ready almost as soon as we got off the bike, everything was hassle free. Special thanks also to Mandy for helping out with bike bag transport to the airport. Hotels were all good, and the food above expectation, both in quality and presentation, with any unusual dietary requirements easily accommodated. The change in final day arrangement to allow us to avoid having to pack bikes at the airport was a great idea and allowed for a much more relaxed final evening. Overall a fantastic holiday.
By Stephen COVENTRY | 09 September 2016

My first Alps holiday ! ★★★★★

It was fantastic it was the best holiday I ever had! Everything was superb ! The staff, the service ,Hotels, meal, everything was perfect !!! It was nine days of excellence !!!! I will recommend this company to all my friends! Thank you very very much !!!

By Andrew London | 08 September 2016

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 6 reviews

Lovely route.. excellent choice
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent route,,, lovely stays,,, but tough cycling ! PS: Geraldine the guide was phenomenal !

By Omar SAFAT | 08 July 2019

Awesome experience ...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Once the pain had subsided the enduring memory is of a magnificent trip and a life-enhancing experience and which I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys cycling and a challenge ..

By Trevor Edinburgh | 18 October 2017

Very tough, but rewarding
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Well organised trip. Paul Morgan and Amanda Davenport did a very good job. Paul was endlessly helpful and Amanda was obviously a very experienced cyclist. Weather made it very tough on days 2,3 and 4, but thereafter the picnics by the side of the road were enjoyable. Only things that detracted from the trip - not being to bring bike in a hard case, the breakfasts were a bit weak on some mornings (given that we were regularly using over 2,000 calories) and the cycle 7km up the hill to Auron at th e end of Day 7 seemed an un-necessary burden on already tired legs. Good group of fellow cyclists who all all kept smiling throughout. PS Please can you email me a copy of the Day 3 Route Map - I saved all the rest from the trip but have lost Day 3. Derek McKenzie
By Derek Edinburgh | 26 September 2017

KE Adventure reply

Thank you for your review. We are pleased you had such a good time on this KE classic. A copy of the Route Map is on its way to you.


Challenging Climbs, Scenic Summits, Daring Descents, Great Group, Top Trip
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A classic route over famous Tour cols with a friendly and diverse group ranging in age from 18 to me at 70. What was not to like. This was my 3rd KE trip and certainly the toughest, but equally enjoyable. The experience was enhanced by excellent organisation by KE and specially courtesy of our brilliant guide Mandy, who together with her unflappable assistant Jens, ensured the whole trip was fun, and went smoothly. From the daily detailed route maps, instructions and profiles, through strategic snack and water stops, excellent picnic lunches, and regular en-route support, to having room keys and a secure place to put the bikes ready almost as soon as we got off the bike, everything was hassle free. Special thanks also to Mandy for helping out with bike bag transport to the airport. Hotels were all good, and the food above expectation, both in quality and presentation, with any unusual dietary requirements easily accommodated. The change in final day arrangement to allow us to avoid having to pack bikes at the airport was a great idea and allowed for a much more relaxed final evening. Overall a fantastic holiday.
By Stephen COVENTRY | 09 September 2016

My first Alps holiday !
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It was fantastic it was the best holiday I ever had! Everything was superb ! The staff, the service ,Hotels, meal, everything was perfect !!! It was nine days of excellence !!!! I will recommend this company to all my friends! Thank you very very much !!!

By Andrew London | 08 September 2016

Geneva to Nice cycling
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fantastic trip. Well organised by KE. Highly recommended.

By Rafick London | 05 September 2016

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/01/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 14 Jun and ends on Sat 22 Jun
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/02/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 21 Jun and ends on Sat 29 Jun
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 6 Jul and ends on Sun 14 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 20 Jul and ends on Sun 28 Jul
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 27 Jul and ends on Sun 4 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/06/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 3 Aug and ends on Sun 11 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/07/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 10 Aug and ends on Sun 18 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/08/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 17 Aug and ends on Sun 25 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/09/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 24 Aug and ends on Sun 1 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/10/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 31 Aug and ends on Sun 8 Sep
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/11/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 7 Sep and ends on Sun 15 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Geneva to Nice Road Cycle
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: GNMB/12/24/
  • This trip begins on Fri 13 Sep and ends on Sat 21 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$425
  • Single Supplement Price: US$515 - Includes all group hotel nights
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The holiday starts at the hotel in Thonon les Bains. Transfers from Geneva Airport on Day 1 and to Nice Airport on the final day of the itinerary are not included.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

SINGLE TRAVELLER SUPPLEMENT

This holiday is priced on a 2 person sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself and do not request single room occupancy, we will make every effort to pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If this proves not to be possible, you will be liable for an additional single traveller payment.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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