Road Cycling in the Alps
The French are crazy about road biking 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 mountains this part of the Alps is a cyclist’s paradise. Cycling here can be as easy or as hard as you like 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 de Noyer (1664m) and Col de Manse (1268m) which are found in the Champsaur Valley near Gap and Col d'Izoard (2360m) which is in the Guillestre area. It's not too far to go for a day trip to Col de Lautaret (2058m) or Galibier (2639m) which are in the Briançon area or Alpe D'Huez (1840m) – you don’t have to go up it twice, unless you want to!
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 Mont Colombis or the world's hardest long distance triathlon, the Embrunman, with it's notorious 187 km 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 de Noyer without a 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, it's warm but not sweltering and the light on the mountains is spectacular.