Grand Hotel Uriage
Located in the heart of the Uriage Spa Resort lies the 4-star Grand Hotel Uriage. All rooms offer a special atmosphere inspired by the great names who have stayed at the hotel.
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 have to offer. Other highlights include the wines of Provence and the yummy local cheeses, pastries and delicious tapenade.
Welcome to France! We meet at 1 pm in the hotel lobby for a light lunch and 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.
Today we tackle the Col de Muille, 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.
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 nestled in the spectacular French Alps.
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.
After having tested your riding ability on two of the Alps’ most difficult climbs over the two previous days, today we will tackle two of their smaller counterparts, the Col d’Izoard and the Col de Vars.
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.
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 Crêtes. Carved out over thousands of 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: It will be an adventure that lets you experience the beauty of the bottom of the gorges in a very unique way!
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 come to a romantic and exclusive corner of the French Riviera: Sainte-Maxime, on the edge of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Nestled into the Mediterranean coastline and a mere stone’s throw away from a gorgeous fine sand beach, this is the perfect location to end our tour in the heart of a tropical-looking botanical garden, just a few minutes away from Sainte-Maxime.
After breakfast we will provide a 1-hour group shuttle to Nice airport, where you can make connections to other airports in France, as well as international airports.