French Alps Bike Tours cycling famous Cols

Col de la Forclaz, Col du Marais, Mont Revard, Chain 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 bike 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 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 Bike 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 challenge is about tailoring the ideal rides each day.  With our world class coaching skills and unique knowledge of the roads of the French Alps, expect only the best ride routes and personal gains 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 historic ride routes of the Tour de France Alpine Col’s?  It’s your ultimate cycling escape with the Practice Bicycle professionals in the Alps.

Looking for less of a challenge?

Training CampsIf you prefer a slower pace cycling holiday with leisurely bike rides and gem restaurant lunch join a Lake Annecy Bike Tour!

View Lake Annecy Bike Tours
Tour Type question mark-01

Cycling Training

Activity Level question mark-01

Challenging – From 70 km to 90 km/day

Available Packages question mark-01

Gold: 4* Hotel accommodation,
$2246 per person
Silver: 3* Hotel accommodation,
$1981 per person
Bronze: 2* Hotel accommodation,
$1766 per person

Or make it custom, from $1966 per person

Season question mark-01

May – September

Location

Annecy, France

Duration

7 Days / 6 Nights

Group Size

2 to 6 people

Optional Extras question mark 01

Single room – $495
Bike hire – $500

Your Ride Leaders

Paul Hughes and Bridget Evans own and 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 Co-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 make for the perfect cycling in the French Alps week.

We would personally like to thank you guys for our Custom French Alps Cols Cycling Holiday... We had a ball and you were able to take all the stress out of what could easily be a very difficult place to navigate around should you not have local guides. Your knowledge and advice prior and during the training rides was second to none and catering for the three of us and the Alps climbs on our wish list was extremely supportive and accommodating. Again well done and I would highly recommend Practice Bicycle Tours to anyone traveling to the French Alps and looking for a fully catered and well organized tour.
Testimonial by S. Webber, B. Hall, C. Dennison – Australia
S. Webber, B. Hall, C. Dennison – Australia

Dates

We run our French Alps Bike Tours between May and September.  Below are all our scheduled small-group weeks for this cycling Cols vacation package.

2020
  • 18 May — 24 May Enquire
  • 22 June — 28 June Book Now Enquire
  • 18 July — 24 July Enquire
  • 22 August — 28 August Book Now Enquire

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!

Contact Us

Taste of the Alps Itinerary

Challenging French Alps bike rides each day of 65 km/40 mi – 75km/47mi suitable for regular riders with moderate climbs of 900m/3000ft altitude.
Arrival Day in the French Alps - Col de Tamie (907m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 75km/47mi
Ascent 510m/1700ft
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.

Col des Fleuries (932m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 65km/40mi
Ascent 900m/3000ft

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.

Mont Prince (650m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 75km/47mi
Ascent 850m/2800ft

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. Its 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 colours 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%)
Today’s challenge complete enjoy quite traffic free roads returning to Lake Annecy with panoramic views all the way.

Col du Marais (843m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 65km/40mi
Ascent 540m/1800ft

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 favourite cafe and patisseire stop. It’s easy riding nearly all downhill back to your hotel not forgetting amazing views all the way.

Col des Pitons (1335m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 75km/46mi
Ascent 1020m/3300ft

Riding on great roads is not just about the climbing, its 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 Geneva. Mont Saleve is waiting for us in the distance and our challenge for the day! It’s 1992 since the Tour de France passed over this climb, although many of the surrounding roads have seen the Grande Boucle in more recent years. This will be your longest Col on the Tastes of the Alps itinerary, with lots 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 such breath taking views that we enjoy by bike.
Col des Pitons (1335m) 12km @ 4.5%

Cote de Puget (796m) Bike Tour
Challenging Ride Route:
Distance 65km/40mi
Ascent 850m/2800ft

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 your ride route today 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 also 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 and at the same time can sometimes feel over whelming riding these famous Cols, climbing together one last time to cap off a great week of your Alps cycling holiday.

French Alps Departure Day
DEPARTURE TIME: 10:00am

Departure Day and Its unfortunately time for your cycling holiday in the French Alps to come to an end. Time to recover and rest your legs ready for more great times in the saddle.

Practice Bicycle Bike Tours wish you ‘Bon Voyage’, safe cycling until we PRACTICE BICYCLE together again

Challenging Cols Itinerary

Challenging Cols routes each day of 90 km/56 mi – 100 km/62 mi suitable for experienced cyclists with climbs of 1500m / 4900ft altitude per day
French Alps Bike Tour Arrival Day - La Tournette Bike Tour
Epic Ride Route:
Distance 55km/34mi
Ascent 780m/2500ft
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 routes. Finally head back to Annecy with the Bluffy, short sharp and sweet a perfect introduction to your French Alps bike tour.
Le Grand-Bornand Bike Tour
Epic Ride Route:
Distance 110km/68mi
Ascent 1900m/6200ft
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 bike tour in the Alps, 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.
Mont Revard Bike Tour
Epic Ride Route:
Distance 100km/62mi
Ascent 1560m/5100ft
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 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.
Lac Bourget Bike Tour
Epic Ride Route:
Distance 100km/62mi
Ascent 1500m/4900ft
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.
Chaine des Aravis Bike Tour
Epic Ride Route:
Distance 90km/56mi
Ascent 1450m/4700ft
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 around every switchback in the road. These breath taking panoramas take your focus that you are actually climbing the alps with this spectacular day of cycling.
French Resistance Bike Tour
Distance 80km/50miles,
Ascent 1390m/4500ft,
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 Cols for the week. Although we won’t go across the gravel section with your French Alps bike tour.
It’s not long before your in the Forrest of the Col de Fretallaz (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 riding as we head towards our challenging Col. This historic area was a strong hold of the French Resistance during World War 2 and an impressive memorial awaits us at the summit. As you start to climb deep into the Alps, we are on hidden roads and unsure of what to expect. Once at the top, we’re on top of the world a great memory of great cycling in the French Alps with Practice Bicycle Tours.
French Alps Bike Tour - Departure Day
DEPARTURE TIME: 10:00am

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

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 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 Bike Tours are based on the magnificent roads surrounding the town of Annecy offering amazing French Alps cycling each day.

Air: Geneva Airport (Switzerland) 45min and Lyon Airport (France) 1.15hrs are the closest airports to Annecy, serviced by many International and low cost European airlines.
Bus: Public transport operates between the airports and Annecy alternatively Taxi and Private transfer services are available.
Car: If arriving by car the A41 French Autoroute network will bring you directly to Annecy.

The French Alps bike 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, premium quality cycling holiday including vehicle support and restaurant lunches, take a look at our Signature Lake Annecy Bike 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.

If you or your group are looking for a Custom French Alps Bike Tour get in touch today for the best cycling experience of your life!

Your ‘French Alps Bike Tour’ includes:

  • 6 challenging & epic rides in the French Alps the ultimate cycling experience!
  • 6 nights 2*, 3* or 4* quality hotel accommodation in the centre of Annecy
  • 6 continental buffet breakfasts to fuel up for the day
  • Highly experienced French Alps ride leader & professional cycling coach
  • Powerades & sports nutrition for each ride

French Alps Bike Tours Highlights:

  • Experience quality riding with over 20 years French Alps cycling and coaching
  • Proven choice of challenging & epic ride routes, no maps or GPS required
  • 20 classic French Alps cols from previous Tour de France editions all from your hotel
  • Challenging variety of proven bike riding itineraries the Taste of the Alps (400km/250mi) & Challenging Cols (550km/340mi)
  • Achieve more great cycling in one week than you thought possible with your French Alps cycling holiday.