1-888-414-6437   info@skedaddle.com
France

Alps - Mont Ventoux to Alpe d'Huez

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,365 P.P.
France

Alps - Mont Ventoux to Alpe d'Huez

Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,365 P.P.
BOOK NOW
The French Alps hold a special place in the hearts of most cyclists and for years our alpine tours have been amongst our most popular French road cycling vacations. This road cycling tour from Mont Ventoux to Alpe d'Huez combines a whole host of old favorites, including a pairing of two of the most iconic climbs in the sport of road cycling, along with a number of new challenges which really showcase the best the southern Alps have to offer.
From Marseille we transfer to Bedoin, the most famous of the three Ventoux gateway villages. Bedoin is a bustling little town nestling in the shadows of the legendary mountain and is the access point to the 'classic' and most challenging route up Mont Ventoux. After first ascending this majestic mountain we make our way through typical Provençal terrain via numerous villages and towns to the start of the southern Alps. Here the landscape becomes much more dramatic and challenging with steep sided valley walls, plunging waterfalls and far reaching views of peaks rising to nearly 4,000m.
The remainder of the tour is crammed with great climbs including Vars, Glandon, Izoard, and the Galibier. Of course, no alpine cycle tour would be complete without a pilgrimage to the great Alpe d’Huez; 21 numbered hairpins, 14km and an average gradient of 8.3%, it really is a must for those who love to climb and marks a very fitting end to our journey around the legendary cols of Le Tour.
Undoubtedly we’ll be working up a healthy appetite during our rides and as always the Skedaddle team will be providing plenty of appetizing food to keep you going throughout each day.

Highlights

  • Legendary Tour de France challenges every day
  • ‘Warming up’ on Mont Ventoux, the ‘Giant of Provence’
  • Blue skies, fresh air and snow-capped peaks
  • ‘Top of the world’ sensations on the summit of the Izoard
  • Ticking off lots of Tour de France classics
  • Riding through Provençal lavender flelds, synonymous with the region
  • The final challenge of the legendary Alpe d‘Huez

Back to Top

The Skedaddle team really do work very hard to make the whole experience as good as it can get. I cannot fault their enthusiasm and commitment!

Kathy, Trinidad and Tobago

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Marseille Airport
Non Riding Day

You will be met by your Skedaddle representative on arrival and transferred to Bedoin where we spend our first night. After building bikes we’ll settle in for the evening and dine together at which time your Skedaddle guides will talk through what is in store for your week ahead.

Day 2
Bedoin to Peyruis
72 miles / 115 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,300 Metres Approx.

Main Climb: Mont Ventoux

We begin our adventure with one of the most feared climbs in professional cycling – the legendary Mont Ventoux. The mountain dominates the countryside and can be seen from miles around in all directions. Ventoux has featured in the Tour de France numerous times since 1951 and today we are going to climb it from the most challenging, most famous and most notorious side – the ‘classic’ Tour de France route from Bedoin. It’s a challenging opening to our tour, with little in the way of a warm up, but the mountain is something of a cyclists’ Mecca and you’ll be in good company with literally hundreds of cyclists making the journey to the summit every day during the summer months.

The celebrated British cyclist Tom Simpson died on this ascent during the 1967 Tour de France and on the way up there is an opportunity to visit his memorial, pay your respects and catch your breath before tackling the final km to the summit of the mountain.

After reaching the summit we descend to Sault where we can enjoy a picnic lunch before continuing onwards through the beautiful Provence countryside to the pretty village of Peyruis which will be our home for the night.

Day 3
Peyruis to Jausiers
88 Miles / 145 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,600 Metres Approx.

Main Climb: Col d‘Allos

After a long warm up through Provence’s famous lavender fields, we move into the southern Alps. The main climb of the day, the Col d’Allos runs more or less parallel with its 2 sister climbs the Col de Cayolle and the Bonnette de Restefond, with them all converging within 8km of each other on the far side of the range.

Initially the Col d’Allos (2,250m) follows a stunningly beautiful gorge before opening out onto a winding meadow approaching the summit. Here we will observe, for the first time of many in our tour, Napoleonic forts, some of which have been converted to restaurants and cafes. The views from here are epic and far reaching and we will, if the conditions are good, catch our first glimpse of the ‘Haute’ (high) Southern Alps. We’ll then descend swiftly from the Col d’Allos. For those in need of a little more, there is an opportunity to tackle the short but punchy climb of Pra-Loup, the setting of Bernard Thévenet’s infamous victory over Eddy Mercx in the 1975 Tour de France, where he managed to turn what had been a one-minute deficit at the foot of the climb into a two-minute advantage at the top.

After an epic day in the saddle, most riders prefer to continue straight down into the valley and along to Jausiers for a well deserved rest.

Day 4
Jausiers to Saint Chaffrey
60 miles / 95 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,600 Metres Approx.

Main Climbs: Col du Vars and Col d‘Izoard

Our first climb is the Col du Vars which nearly always features alongside the Col d’Izoard when the peloton visits the region. Today, we will be riding both cols together just like the pros in the 2017 Tour de France.

We begin the day gently as we head up a narrow valley, moving towards Italy. We turn off in the direction of Vars just before reaching the border and begin a beautiful and varied climb which switches back numerous times, offering a chance to see the native ground of squirrels or marmots as we near the summit.

From here we have a long and exhilarating descent to Guillestre, followed by a beautiful ride through the gorged valley to the foot of the Col d’Izoard. The ascent is very beautiful with some of the most dramatic scenery of the journey, and just prior to reaching the main summit the road drops away with a short 0.5km descent into a barren landscape of scree slopes with protruding pinnacles of weathered rock known as the Casse Deserte. Soon the road begins to rise again and the famous Bobet and Coppi memorials can be seen mounted on the rocks on the left hand side of the road just before reaching the summit.

Leaving the Casse Deserte, we descend into the fortified town of Briancon before pedalling a few km out of town to Saint Chaffrey where we lay our heads for the evening.

Day 5
Saint Chaffrey to Valloire
30 miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,700 Metres Approx.

Main Climbs: Col du Lauteret, Col du Galibier

After a few km of relative flat we immediately commence our assault on the Col du Lauteret. This climb is a main transitional climb which connects the southern Alps to the northern Alps and beyond to Grenoble. The climb is steady all the way to its summit and the kilometres pass surprisingly quickly.

We then tackle one of the monuments of Le Tour, the Col du Galibier, a monster of a climb which featured twice in the 2011 Tour de France to commemorate its 100-year association with the great race. The Galibier is one of the more challenging alpine climbs and definitely one of the most scenic, with a steep and narrow road to the summit which seems to twist and turn for an eternity. The air is noticeably thin as we approach the summit and the peak is often snow-capped even during mid-summer. From here we enjoy a descent to Valloire which is our base for the night. As this is a shorter day you will have time to enjoy arguably the most famous col in France and to rest up in the late afternoon in the pretty village of Valloire.

Day 6
Valloire to Vaujany
54 miles / 85 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,000 Metres Approx.

Main Climb: Col du Glandon

We begin with a short leg warming climb out of Valloire up to the top of Col du Telegraphe before descending into the jaw dropping scenery of the Maurienne valley.

After some valley riding we then move onto the Col du Glandon, a remote climb with ever changing scenery of pine forest, meadows and rugged peaks. From the top of Glandon an extra 3km leads us to the summit of its sister climb, the Croix de Fer, where we can enjoy a quick coffee before heading down to the lower part of Vaujany and the shores of the Verney lake where we usually have our picnic lunch. Here we can replenish our energy reserves in preparation for the challenges that lie ahead tomorrow.

Day 7
Alp d'Huez
33 miles / 54 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,470 Metres Approx.

Main Climb: Alpe d’Huez

This is the day every cycling fan dreams of, the day we ride the most famous of all alpine climbs – the legendary Alpe d’Huez – 14km of sheer hairpinned bliss. As we climb in the tyre marks of the greats of the Tour de France, we count down each and every one of the 21 famed hairpin bends before finally reaching this high ski station.

After lunch, we descend back to Vaujany by a lesser known back road, with fantastic views over the valley below to Bourg d’Oisans.

Day 8
Departure: Geneva Airport
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Following our final continental breakfast and with a whole heap of legendary climbs bagged, we leave the Alps behind and head to Geneva for our return flights back home.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

The southern region of the French Alps includes some of the highest and most challenging mountain passes in European road cycling and our route takes us over a number of the more serious Tour de France cols and as such involves a lot of climbing. Two or more significant climbs per day is not uncommon and many will include steep and challenging sections. Road surfaces are generally good although mountain weather can take its toll. Caution should be exercised, especially when descending as occasional potholes and gravel patches do occur. Descents are as frequent and as long as the ascents and many feature numerous tight bends and switchbacks. Competent and confident descenders will undoubtedly enjoy the downhill stages, however all riders will be expected to exercise caution. Traffic is generally light throughout, however it can become more busy on occasional stages approaching towns and villages.

mountainous-guided-road-cycling-france-alpe-d’huez.jpg

Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4: Challenging

45-80 miles / 80-130 kms per day

For cyclists with stamina & a good level of fitness

Long & challenging days

Multiple tough or high altitude ascents, with steep sections over extended distances

Long & often technically demanding descents

Road riding for experienced riders

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

You’re an enthusiast. It’s probably your main hobby and possibly the only sport you take seriously. You’re in pretty good shape and you ride as often as you possibly can. You might participate in the occasional cyclo-sportive and when you do, you probably opt for the longest distances. You love bikes and fantasise about the latest model or the joy of a new set of wheels. You love challenges and you’re looking for a tour with plenty of climbing, preferably with an opportunity to tick off some famous Tour de France cols or the like. You’re a competent descender, and you’re not afraid of speed, but you ride safely and within your limits at all times. You understand road etiquette and you’re comfortable riding in a bunch. You’re happy to do your turn at the front of the pack if the need arises. You know you can ride a century and probably have done a few. It sounds like you are a Grade 4.

Back to Top

Your holidays have always surpassed expectations and this, my sixth in eight years, was no exception. Our tour guide worked tirelessly!

Edward, UK

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
18/07/2021
Return Date
25/07/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,365.00
Start Date
22/08/2021
Return Date
29/08/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,365.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Marseille airport (MRS)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Geneva airport (GVA)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. To join the airport transfer on arrival, you’ll need to arrive into Marseille airport (MRS) by 11:00, for a 11:30 transfer.

At the end of the tour we will transfer the group to Geneva airport (GVA), with an estimated arrival time of 11:30 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your holiday. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en-suite in 2 and 3 star hotels, chambre d‘hôtes and local auberges. Our accommodation has all been hand-picked and chosen for their room and service quality, as well as their food quality and, of course, French charm.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are Scott Addict 20 or alternative brand equivalent, great bikes with good quality components. If you do decide to hire a bike we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets when booking. The bikes come with flat pedals as standard, so if you prefer to ride with clip-in pedals please bring your own pedals along with you.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Mont Ventoux to Alpe d'Huez

Find our more about two of the most iconic climbs in Tour de France history!

Cycling in France

9 things you’ll only understand if you’ve been cycling in France...

Why We Love Climbing Mountains

What makes it special? The companionship, the scenery, the challenge?

Reviews

9

SHOW MORE

You May Also Like...

Back to Top