French Alps to French Riviera
An Experiential “Peak” for the Experienced Rider
Ciclismo Classico’s French Alps to Riviera trip is a one-of-a-kind ride from the heart of the mountains made famous by Tour de France legends to the brilliantly blue Mediterranean Sea. Along the way guests will have the chance to ascend Alp d’Huez, the Col du Galibier, the Col d’Izoard and the Col de Vars, four of the region’s most challenging climbs.
Other exciting adventures include a chairlift ride to the top of a glacier and a day rafting on the Verdon River. You will be escorted by Ciclismo’s expert guides the whole way to the French Riviera and they will show you the best Rhone-Alpes and Provence has to offer. Other highlights include the wines of Provence and the yummy local cheeses, pastries and delicious tapenade.
- Spectacular riding through the Alps, Provence and the Cote d’Azur
- Full immersion in French Culture
- Admire the stunning beauty of the Alps
- Challenge yourself on epic climbs featured on the Tour de France
- Discover the Gorges du Verdon by bike and canyoning, a local water sport activity
- Savor the local alpine cheeses, the Provencale cuisine and wines
Day by Day
Uriage les Bains, Grenoble
We meet at 1pm at the hotel for a light lunch & introductions, then we will have a warm up ride starting from Uriage les Bains, about 3 miles out of Grenoble, the gateway to the Alps. Grenoble is a lively town situated on the Isere River and is one of the most important scientific hubs in Europe as well as home to an ancient university with more than 60,000 students.
Montagne de Lauzier and Col de Mouille
Today we tackle the Col de Mouille, a very scenic road along the Montagne de Lauziere, with the option to take the extra loop to Chamrousse, a quiet area, with several short climbs, perfect to find the right pedals stroke.
Back to the hotel you can soothe your legs at the Hotel spa and pool.
L’Alp d’Huez and La Grave
Today we will attack our first great climb: l’Alp d’Huez! Cycling’s great legends have made their names famous on this mountain’s twenty-one switchbacks and you will ride in their footsteps today. After conquering this climb you will enjoy a very scenic descent and will reach our hotel nested in the spectacular French Alps.
Col du Galibier, du Granon and Briancon
In the morning you have the option to enjoy a chairlift ride to the Meije Glacier. From here you can admire the Alps in all of their snow-capped splendor and have a breathtaking view of Mont Blanc. On our way towards Briancon and Serre Chevalier, popular Tour de France stops, we will have the chance to explore more amazing mountain roads. The shorter route will certainly challenge your fitness on the fearsome Col du Galibier, but if you’re looking for more you have the option to climb the Col du Granon. After this hard day we’ll head into Briancon for a much-deserved beer at our hotel!
Col d’Izoard, Col de Vars and Jausiers
After testing your riding ability on two of the Alps’ most difficult climbs, one each of the previous days, we will tackle two of their smaller counterparts today – the Col d’Izoard and the Col de Vars. These are the last two major climbs before we head out of the Hautes-Alps toward the Riviera.
Jausiers to Verdon
Today we will leave the Hautes Alps behind and head into the Alps de Provence. Towards the second half of the ride the changes in landscape will be very evident. Although not as mountainous as the previous days, today will not be a leisurely ride either. Once away from the mountains, however, we will end at the Gorges du Verdon, widely considered Europe’s most picturesque river with its gorge’s stunning beauty.
Verdon Rest Day
Today you have the option to rest your legs or you can venture back out with the guides to explore the Verdon river valley by bike on the route des cretes. Carved out over thousands years by the Verdon river, this region is an adventure athlete’s paradise. We have also the option to enjoy “acqua rando” in the afternoon: you will receive a wetsuit, helmet and lifejacket and will descend the creek in the gorges transported by the water stream. An awesome and not dangerous experience considering also the very young age of some participants!
Verdon to Sainte-Maxime
Today’s ride will be the last of the trip, but this awesome adventure is far from over. One last set of hills stands between you and the Mediterranean. Working our way through and over jagged peaks, we will ultimately end to a romantic and exclusive corner of the French Riviera: Sainte-Maxime on the edge of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Secretly nestling into the Mediterranean coastline, a mere stone’s throw away from a gorgeous fine sand beach, thisis the perfect location to end our tour in the heart of a tropical-looking botanic garden, just a few minutes away from Sainte-Maxime.
After breakfast we will provide a ~1-hour group shuttle to Nice airport from where you can make connections to other destinations in France, Italy, Switzerland, and other international airports.
- Shuttle at end of tour to Nice airport
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
On The Tour
- Full van support and 2 bilingual guides
- Water sport activity on the Verdon River
- Chairlift ride to glacier
- Cycling clinics
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations
- 6 dinners, 2 lunches, and all breakfasts
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Grand Hotel Uriage
Located in the heart of the Uriage Spa Resort, we will spend 2 nights at the 4-star Grand Hotel Uriage. While the authentic character of the building has been preserved, modern facilities have been added in order to improve its comfort. All of the luxury rooms offer a special atmosphere inspired by the great names who have stayed at the hotel: Coco Chanel, Sendhal, and many others.
View their website
Les Jardins de Ste Maxime
Le Mas des Oliviers is only 220 meters from Promenade de la Croisette and the beach on the gulf of Saint-Tropez.
View their website
We spend the night at Ville Morelia, a 4-star hotel built in a wonderful closed park with magnificent panoramic views. Complete with a wellness center and restaurant, you will have a chance to relax and pick up your feet!
View their website