French Alps Cycling Tours with famous Cols
Col de la Forclaz, Col du Marais, Mont Revard, Col des Aravis, Mont Prince
Come and ride past and present classic Tour de France cols in the French Alps right from the doorstep of your hotel at the perfect cycling location Annecy.
Unpack Once & Cycle Everyday with a choice of spectacular French Alps cycling tours. Offering the very best selection of bike tour routes in the Alps with a combination of breathtaking, tailored and epic rides. Challenging weeks of French Alps cycling designed and proven with over 20 years of unique local knowledge of riding the roads of the French Alps. Including the ultimate challenge with ride routes based on the alpine stages of the Tour de France an unforgettable cycling experience.
Tailored French Alps Cycling Tours
With numerous Tour de France Legendary Cols available, this is just the start of what you will experience with our French Alps bike tours! Based in the heart of ‘Cycling Paradise’ you are among an endless variety of roads, terrain and spectacular Cols. From Semnoz (1665m) HC 10.7km @ 8.5% to the Col des Glieres (1440m) – 9.4km @ 7.1% and you’ll get to experience the best of them with a selection of the best rides of your life during your Alps cycling holiday week.
Challenging Bike Rides Include
The roads of the final mountain stage of the 2013 Tour de France, Annecy – Semnoz. Fully guided all the way with the professionals in this mecca of cycling in the French Alps. Your perfect challenging bike tour is about tailoring the ideal rides each day. With our world class cycling skills and unimaginable local knowledge of the roads of the French Alps, expect only the best ride routes from this amazing French Alps bike tour.
This French Alps Cols cycling vacation is tailored to your cycling experience, ability and goals. Whether your preparing for an event, improving your climbing technique or enjoy the challenge of riding on historic cycling routes of the Tour de France. It’s your ultimate cycling escape with the Practice Bicycle professionals in the French Alps.
Looking for less challenge rides?
If you prefer a slower pace cycling holiday with leisurely bike rides and gem restaurant lunches join a Lake Annecy Bike Tour!
Challenging Bike Tour
Challenging – From 70 km to 110 km/day
Quality 7 Day Tour:
4* Hotel accommodation, $2232 per person
3* Hotel accommodation, $1978 per person
2* Hotel accommodation, $1806 per person
Without accommodation, $1151 per person
Or make it custom, from $2106 per person
May – September
Centre Based Cycling
7 Days / 6 Nights
Small Group Size
2 to 6 people
Single room – $512
Bike hire – $500
Annecy Centre Based Cycling
The Perfect Cycling Base for your French Alps Cycling Tours
Since our very first visit to Annecy in 1998 we have been cycling, living and experiencing all that this remarkable cycling area of the world has to offer. Practice Bicycle would like to share this personal experience with you today with your French Alps cycling tours.
You may think that the best Alps cycling holiday including Tour de France Cols must be spent isolated on the side of a mountain with cow bells (not that you will not see and hear this familiar alpine sound!).
Our challenging bike tours offer both great cycling as well as a great French Alps destination. Spectacular days spent cycling in the French Alps with the very best challenging rides, with the convenience of returning to your own perfect cycling base in the town of Annecy, whilst on your bike tour with a difference.
We run our French Alps Cycling Tours between May and September. Below are all our scheduled small-group weeks for this cycling Cols vacation package.
Looking for a custom French Alps Bike Tour experience?
If you or your group want a tailored cycling week, don’t hesitate to contact us about arranging a Custom French Alps Cols Bike Tour!
ARRIVAL TIME: Midday
Welcome to Annecy and your French Alps cycling vacation.
This afternoon remove the effects of your travels and start your Taste of the Alps cycling along the shore of the spectacular turquoise waters of Lake Annecy, one of the most exhilarating pedaling experiences in the world.
Our first ride of the tour is the Col de Tamie (907m, 10km @ Average 3.9%) this delightful gentle climb is for everyone and not considered particularly high from an Alpine perspective. The lower slopes wind up past the Château de Faverges before the route flattens into this glacial valley making it the perfect introduction to your Alps cycling holiday.
The gradual terrain gives you plenty of time to enjoy the forest views and the sound of the river on its way to the Grotte et Cascade de Seythenex. Once at the summit get your breath back and enjoy the isolation of your first day in the Alps and the impressive Abbaye Notre-Dame de Tamié.
Take in the breathtaking views as we begin to descend back towards your perfect cycling base for the week, returning to Annecy by the excellent bike path.
We are always spoilt for choice when it comes to picking and tailoring your Taste of the Alps great ride routes with so many Cols around Annecy some famous others not so well known. It’s also more interesting to see these amazing sights, delights and challenges in every direction, today we are heading North and following the edge of the Alps and the sheer rock face of the Tete du Parmelan.
These impressive panoramas of the mountains are part of your daily ride routine with Practice Bicycle Tours, today is no exception as we climb through the forest of the Col de Frettallaz (670m) and all the splendor of Alpine views. These secret country roads have everything from Chateaux’s to Plateau’s perfect to escape and appreciate all the pleasures from great cycling in the French Alps.
This historic area was a strong hold of the French Resistance during World War 2 and the Plateau Glieres has an impressive National Monument to the Resistance.
The climb of the Col des Fleuries (932m, 5.6km @ average 5%) is your challenge today enjoy the peace and tranquility of this Alpine region and the views of Switzerland in the distance.
After yesterday’s ride to the North, today we show you the contrast of this ‘Cycling Paradise’ as we explore some of the undulating roads to the West of Annecy, away from the Grand Alps and to one of France’s main rivers the Rhone.
Gently winding away from town we are on the very best cycling roads in the world and what feels like slightly downhill all the way as we are heading into the next valley dotted with local vineyards and amazing views. It’s only the vertical over hanging rocks of the valley road that separates you from the Rhone River and with the natural site of the Val du Fier we’re in a totally different landscape and area of France the department of L’Ain.
The Rhone is an impressive river system with changes in currents and colors a reflection of the hydro-electric power systems nearby. More impressive are the green shrouded mountains either side, referred to as the pre-Alps and often on the Tour de France routes, your Taste of the Alps Col is one of these the Cote du Mont-des-Prince (696m 6km @ average 6.2%)
With today’s challenge complete enjoy quite traffic free roads returning to Lake Annecy with panoramic views all the way.
Today we have chosen one of the Practice Bicycle teams favorite climbs the Col du Marais, this challenge with its constant grade and relatively short duration makes it a French Alps pleasure for all!
This route like many of these amazing rides can be ridden from a variety of directions, we will head south down the valley following the side of Lake Annecy. Ready to take on your own Alp at your pace with the slopes of the Col du Marais (10km @ Average 4%, 843m Altitude), the air is fresh and the views are magnificent and you can experience for yourself why the French Alps are world famous!
Your little taste of the grandeur of the Alps continues descending through the village of Thones, a beautiful town and the center of the famous local “Reblochon” cheese production industry.
With all this cycling effort there is always a reward and today is no different with a favorite cafe and patisserie stop. Enjoy the rest of the ride as it’s nearly all downhill back to your hotel not forgetting unforgettable views all the way.
Riding on great roads is not just about the climbing, it’s about the view waiting for you at the top! The Practice Bicycle team are used to great views and can’t wait to share this one with you, with a panoramic view of the city of Geneva, Lake Leman and Switzerland.
Twisting country roads of France warm up the legs before we cross the Pont de la Caille, this medieval bridge was the only way of crossing the river Les Usses and getting to near by Geneva. We can see Mont Saleve waiting for us in the distance and our challenge for the day the Col des Pitons (1335m) 12km @ 4.5% ! It’s 1992 since the Tour de France passed over this climb, although most of the surrounding roads have seen the Grande Boucle in more recent years. This will be the longest Col on your Tastes of the Alps itinerary, allowing for plenty of time to enjoy the views and great cycling together.
Get your breath back and make the most of these valuable moments in time with spectacular panoramic views the perfect reward for this great bike ride.
Many of your bike rides from Annecy include Cols that have been included in the famous Tour de France bike race. We’re not leaving the best until last although you may think so! Your last ride with us starts with the Cote de Puget (796m, 5.4km @ average 5.9%) which was the first climb included in an epic final stage of the 2013 TDF which had a staggering 6 Cols finishing at the summit of the nearby giant of Semnoz.
Enjoy these scenic slopes and the incredible vista offered of the Lake as the road winds its way upwards, it’s a challenge and welcome relief to arrive at the farm village summit. Get your breath back as you have a second Col fast approaching the Col de Leschaux (944m, 3.6km @ average 6.1%). This Col can be climbed from several other directions and just another reason why we call the home of Practice Bicycle Tours, ‘Cycling Paradise’.
It is a fantastic experience with the ‘Taste of the Alps’ bike tour routes, enjoyable, challenging and an amazing sense of achievement riding these famous Cols, enjoy climbing together one last time to cap off a great week of your Alps cycling holiday.
Departure Day and Its unfortunately time for your French Alps Bike Tour – Taste of the Alps adventures to draw to an end.
Practice Bicycle Tours wish you ‘Bon Voyage’, safe cycling until we PRACTICE BICYCLE together again
Challenging Alpine Cols Itinerary
Cote de Talloires (555m) cat4 – 1.6km @ 6.2%
Col de la Forclaz (1150m) cat1 – 9.8km @ 6.9%
Cote de Bluffy (734m) cat3 – 3.7km @ 6%
Welcome to your French Alps cycling holiday with the breathtaking route of La Tournette. Flat ride south to unwind the legs from your travels before the real fun begins with a trio of cols all around the edge of the Lake. Warm up on the slopes of Cote de Talloires, where Contador gained time on Cancellara to win the Annecy TT at the 2009 Tour de France, which leads straight into the Forclaz an historic col on both the Dauphine and Tour de France routes. Finally head back to Annecy with the Bluffy, short sharp and sweet a perfect introduction to your French Alps bike tour.
Col des Fleuries (930m) cat4 – 5.6km @ 5%
Col de la Colombiere (1618m) cat 1 – 11.8km @ 5.9%
With an endless choice of the world’s best bike rides with your Practice Bicycle French Alps cycling tours, it’s always great to head in all directions. Climbing out of Annecy with the Tete du Parmelan shadowing the ride route along the contour of the French Alps. We have a couple of classified Cols on this route, with these magnificent alpine roads that are brilliant for cycling and often used with local sportive events.
Our first official climb of the day takes us up to 932m, before descending into the next valley and the Gorge des Eveaux. We’re deep into the Grand Alps and for many it’s time to head back to the Hotel. For the avid rider the Col de la Colombiere is waiting and a great challenge worth every pedal stroke! don’t worry this marvelous but challenging loop ends with a descent back to Annecy.
Col de Leschaux (903m) cat 3 – 7.2km @ 4%
Mont Revard (1537m) cat 1 – 9km @ 4.5%
Col de Plainpalais (1173m) cat 1 – 12.5km @ 4.7%
We target Mont Revard with your selection of Alpine Cols on today’s route, but first we head into the UNESCO Massif des Bauges park. This was where the Tour de France 2013 was decided with a final massive stage that bounced over these roads before Mont Revard and the finish line at the summit of Semnoz.
Start the day through the woodlands before we enter this fantastic bowl shaped valley, perfect cycling training roads and often used by the world tour professional cycling team Ag2r. Once in the hub of this area, get into a rhythm for the Plainpalais before a final kick to the Mont Revard. The descent deserves all our attention and skills with twisting testing roads, great riding only achievable with these unique French Alps Bike Tours.
Col du Clergeon (979m) cat1 – 8.7km @ 8%
West of Annecy and away from the Grand Alps towards the Jura mountains is our alpine ride route today. Downhill towards the Rhone river gives the legs plenty of time to warm-up and the flat valley takes us towards Lac du Bourget. With the Col du Grand Colombier (1505m) and Col de la Biche (1325m) on one side of the valley and the Col de la Chambotte (650m), Col du la Sapenay (917m) and Col du Clergeon (979m) on our side. It’s the Col du Clergeon which will test our legs on these pre-alps cols. Our workload doesn’t stop there as we retrace back to Annecy on challenging undulating French country roads.
Col de la Croix-fry (1477m) cat 1 – 11.3km @ 7%
Col des Aravis (1486m) cat2 – 5km @ 6.4%
This is one of the Teams local challenges into the Grand Alps, we have many Col’s of varying difficulties and duration accessible from Annecy the Aravis Mountain range is one of the most spectacular. Often in the Tour de France with the Col de la Colombiere, Col du Croix-fry and Col des Aravis, this chain of mountains can be climbed from all directions. This makes for a great alpine challenge and a steady tempo with correct gear selection essential for this long day of climbing in the French Alps.
Don’t forget to look up and absorb the incredible views that change around every switchback in the road. This is climbing in the French alps with this spectacular day of cycling.
Col de Fretallaz (695m) cat4 – 5km @ 5%
Col des Glieres (1440m) cat1 – 9.4km @ 7.1%
With the Tour de France using this climb in recent years we have added it to your challenging alpine cols cycling week. Leaving Annecy, it’s not long before you’re riding in the shade of the forest and on the climb of the Col de Fretallaz (695m) and all the splendor of Alpine views. These secret country roads have everything from Chateaux’s to Plateau’s perfect to escape and appreciate all the pleasures from great riding as we head towards our challenging Col of the day the Col des Glieres (1440m). This historic area of France was a strong hold of the French Resistance during World War 2 and an impressive memorial awaits us at the summit.
It’s got a unique alp feel, unlike many of the cols we have ridden you will certainly experience this difference. Once at the top, we’re on top of the world a great achievement and perfect memory of great cycling in the French Alps to end your challenging alpine cols with Practice Bicycle Tours.
Departure Day and Its unfortunately time for your cycling holiday in the French Alps to come to an end. Now is the time to recover and rest your legs ready for more great challenging bike rides to come.
Practice Bicycle Bike Tours wish you ‘Bon Voyage’, safe cycling until we PRACTICE BICYCLE together again
Absolutely! Look for our ‘Rides Only’ package to get on this challenging French Alps cycling week without using our accommodation.
Arrange your own stay in the fantastic town of Annecy with one of the many apartments or camp sites available to you. With complete flexibility enjoy this magnificent location and come to the daily rides just like you would back home!
Whether you have years of cycling experience or have only recently picked up the passion for cycling, the variety of terrain and routes on offer in this area of the French Alps is unbelievable.
Each of your challenging rides during your French Alps Bike Tour will be tailored specifically to your goals and your level of fitness, so every ride will be the best ride of your life.
These choice French Alps cycling itineraries offer an amazing selection of ride routes suitable for the regular and also the experienced cyclist. Offering a combination of amazing rides and climbing each day with distances ranging from between 65km/40mi to 100km /62mi.
The French Alps Bike Tours are based on the magnificent cycling roads surrounding the town of Annecy offering the ultimate French Alps cycling each day. The closest and most convenient airport is Geneva International Airport (Switzerland), which is only a short transfer to Annecy. See transfer options below;
Air Travel: The two most convenient airports to Annecy are, Geneva Airport (Switzerland) a 45min transfer and Lyon Airport (France) 1.15hrs transfer.
Both these airports are serviced by many International carriers and low cost European airlines.
Car Travel: Many worldwide Car Rental companies are also available and the A41 French Autoroute network will bring you directly to Annecy.
The Practice Bicycle team choose proven quality, 2*, 3* or 4* Hotel accommodation located in Annecy and at the base of the French Alps for your perfect cycling week.
With all modern amenities within walking distance the town of Annecy is perfect for all your recovery and relaxation needs during your French Alps Bike Tour.
The French Alps cycling tours do not include vehicle support/transfers with the package to maintain the greatest value and flexibility to all our cycling guests. Should you require a support vehicle for each days ride, then this can be arranged as an Optional Extra, please contact us for further information.
The team have over 20 years’ experience riding the amazing network of French Alps cycling roads that are available to you, this allows us to tailor each daily ride to the requirements of our guests. Not only do we plan the perfect week of French Alps Cols cycling we also have a unique skill set and unparalleled local knowledge of the roads which allows for the flexibility to alter or shorten ride routes should it be required.
If you prefer a more relaxed, luxury cycling holiday including vehicle support and restaurant lunches, take a look at our Signature Lake Annecy Bike Tours
‘Unpack Once, Cycle Everyday’
The one location bike tour experience is the brain child of Bridget Evans (Owner/Operator). On retiring from professional cycling it was the pure pleasure of cycling that evolved the proven Practice Bicycle philosophy of one location. Including everything enjoyable and removing the less pleasurable is our goal of your perfect cycling holiday experience.
Packing and Unpacking each day was tiring, stressful and time consuming. With insufficient time to relax, enjoy and experience the place before it was time to move on again.
With a life spent discovering the very best locations to Practice Bicycle, including the discovery of endless ride options exploring in every direction from the one perfect location.
Experience the very best cycling of your life when you Unpack Once, Cycle Everyday!
Paul Hughes and Bridget Evans operate Practice Bicycle Tours and have significant experience at the highest levels of international cycling, with over 20 years riding on the roads of the French Alps available to you.
This team has extensive coaching knowledge & experience of all cycling ability levels and age groups including teams at professional elite racing level. In addition Owner Bridget Evans a very accomplished bike rider in her own right offers a wealth of knowledge and experience acquired as a professional bike rider on the world tour for over 10 years competing in many prestigious international races with great success.
These unique skills ensure that each of your daily rides makes for perfectly tailored French Alps cycling tours.
The French Alps Bike Tour routes are a pick of the best cycling in the French Alps suitable for the regular and experienced cyclist who wish to enjoy the challenge of this cycling mecca. Experience counts for everything in this amazing part of the cycling world with these itineraries designed, proven and tailored for your ultimate cycling in the French Alps week.
Take a look at the detailed itineraries above for what is waiting for you.
Practice Bicycle Tours have over 20 years of French Alps cycling experience, developing an incredible 100+ ride routes exploring in every direction a life time of the very best bike rides ready to share with you.
For your added convenience we have quality carbon road bikes as an optional extra available to you with your French Alps bike tour.
Many of our guests prefer their own bikes for maximum cycling pleasure. Should logistics and travel arrangements make this too difficult then our bike hire is the perfect solution.
Depending on availability and size we have several brands available including Cannondale, Fuji, Lapierre, Haibike carbon bikes are recent models with Shimano Ultegra or 105 componentry.