Cycling Routes in the French Alps

This page lists 13 cycling routes in the French Alps. We have sorted the rides out into five separate regions within the French Alps. This will show you which riding routes are possible in each area of the French Alps and assist you with choosing your cycling base.

If you are currently planning your cycling holiday in France we have lots more information on our site to help you. Our destination guides showcase popular bases for cycling in France and contain lots of practical information about visiting a particular location. We also have other pages dedicated to cycling routes in France which currently contain nearly 100 different cycling routes for your consideration.

Cycling in the French Alps. A women cycling to the summit of Col du Galibier

Cycling Routes in the L’Oisans Region

The routes outlined below are all available to ride when holidaying in the L’Oisans Region. On offer are famous Tour de France icons such as Alpe d’Huez and the Col du Galibier. All of these rides start and finish in the village of Bourg d’Oisans.

Col du Galibier, a famous ride in the french alps.

Col du Galibier & Col du Lauteret

Definitely one of the iconic climbs from the Tour de France and also one of the highest road passes in all of Europe.

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Alpe d'Huez view of hairpins and the french alps

Alpe d’Huez

A climb that needs no introduction, the infamous Alpe d’Huez with its 21 hairpin bends is synonymous with Tour de France legend.

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Male cyclist on the climb of Alpe d'Huez in the French alps with the hairpins on the road

Alpe d’Huez alternate route

This route takes in the lesser-known Pas de la Confession climb to reach the top of Alpe d’Huez.

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A male cyclist at the beginning of the ride to Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps

Alpe d’Huez & Col de Sarenne

The Col de Sarenne sits higher up than Alpe d’Huez. It’s cut-up road and steep gradients will test your climbing and descending skills.

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Cycling on the famous ride in the french alps of les deux alpes

Les Deux-Alpes

This climb will take you to the top of France’s second-oldest ski resort.

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Col du Galibier cycling view from the summit in the French Alps

La Marmotte route

Taking in no less than 4 HC climbs the Marmotte route is one for the pure climbers out there. Are you up for the challenge?

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Cycling Routes to ride in Annecy

The picturesque city of Annecy is a fantastic base for a road cycling holiday. We have mapped out six rides for you to discover whilst staying in this area. All of these rides all start and finish in the city of Annecy. Choose to cycle around the beautiful lake Annecy, or try a more strenuous ride up the Tour de France climbs of Semnoz and the Col de la Forclaz. Explore the routes in more detail below.

Annecy old city buildings reflecting in the canal. French Alps

Lake Annecy loop

Famously included as a stage of a Tour de France Individual Time Trial, the ride around Lake Annecy is also popular amongst amateurs.

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Annecy Greenway rail tunnel

Lake Annecy Rail Trail

Take advantage of the traffic-free rail trail and enjoy a long ride and predominantly flat ride out to Albertville via the Lake Annecy Rail Trail.

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Cycling Routes in the Maurienne Valley

If you plan to ride some of the highest Alpine roads in France then basing yourself in the Maurienne Valley is a great option. From here you can choose from a number of the iconic climbs of the Tour de France. These include the Col du Galibier, Col de la Madeleine as well as Europe’s second-highest road – the Col de L’iseran. All the cycling routes listed below begin and end in the town of Saint Jean de Maurienne.

Col du Galibier cycling climb in the French Alps

Col du Telegraph & Col du Galibier

Take on two icons of the Tour de France and reach the summit of the fifth-highest road in Europe.

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Cycling Routes in the Serre Chevalier Valley

This area of the French Alps gives you access to Tour de France climbs such as the Col d’Izoard and Col du Galibier. All of the cycling routes mapped out below start and finish from the village of Briancon. Click on each ride description to explore the route in more detail.

Col du Galibier, a famous ride in the french alps.

Col du Galibier

Definitely one of the iconic climbs from the Tour de France and also one of the highest road passes in all of Europe.

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Chamonix Valley Cycling Routes

The Chamonix Valley offers up a variety of great road cycling rides. From here you can choose to explore some of the great alpine climbs in France such as the Col de la Colombiere and Col des Aravis. Or alternatively, you can cycle all the way from the Chamonix Valley across the border into Switzerland with a ride to the stunning Lac d’Emosson. All the routes listed below have been mapped out from the town of Chamonix. There is a mixture of cycling loops as well as some out-and-back routes for you to choose from. Click on each individual ride below to explore it in more detail.

Bike leaning against an indicator sign for the Col des Montets

Col des Montets

From Chamonix, the summit of the Col des Montets is just over 11kms away on gentle gradients. A great introduction to cycling in the Chamonix Valley.

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Col de la Forclaz summit sign

Col de la Forclaz

The Col de la Forclaz will take you into Switzerland and leave you with commanding views over the Forclaz and Rhone Valleys

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Mountain peaks as seen through the forest views on the roadside climb of Vaudagne in the French Alps

Plaine Joux

This cycling route leads to the summit of Plaine Joux. Keep your eye out for paragliders as you make your way to the top of the climb.

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