Road Cycling in the Alps
The French are crazy about road cycling and the residents of the Southern French Alps are no exception. It's not surprising when you've got some of the most famous Tour de France cols on your doorstep!
Made up of wide valleys surrounded by awe inspiring mountains, this part of the Alps is a cyclist’s paradise. Cycling here can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be, and there is something for everyone. Whether you want to do cycling as part of a multi activity holiday or go for a pure cycling focused holiday, we will give you detailed information on cycling routes when you book a trip with us.
The area is just a stone’s throw away from several high mountain passes. The list includes the Col du Noyer (1664m) and the Col de Manse (1268m), which are found in the Champsaur Valley near Gap, and the Col d'Izoard (2360m), one of the Tour de France classics, which is in the Guillestre area. It's not too far to go for a day trip to the Col du Lautaret (2058m) and / or the Col du Galibier (2639m), which both are in the Briançon area, or to the mythical Alpe d'Huez (1840m) in the Oisans area.
If you like a challenge, there is the Lac de Serre-Ponçon TDF time trial ride just on the doorstep, the toughest climb in France (the unknown Mont Colombis), or the world's hardest long distance triathlon, the "Embrunman", with its notorious 187kms bike route. If just reading this is making you tired, there are plenty of beautiful quiet back roads to explore that aren't quite so taxing!
To top all this off, each year the local French authorities choose a series of dates to close the major cycling cols to all motorised traffic so that cyclists can enjoy the climbs and descents in peace. You can even take part in a magical moonlit ascent of the Col du Noyer without a single car in sight!
The best time to cycle in the region is May to July and September to October, when traffic is to a minimum and nature's colours at their best. It's warm but not sweltering and the light on the mountains is absolutely spectacular.