Cycling Routes in the

French Alps

This page lists out 29 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.

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 these rides start and finish from 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 which 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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Gipfelkreuz Col de la Croix de Fer 02

Image courtesy of Zehnfinger 17:48, 2. Sep 2006 (CEST) / CC BY-SA 2.0 DE (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en)

Col de la Croix de fer

An Alpine classic the Col de la Croix de Fer is on many a keen cyclists bucket list.

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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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Col d'Ornon

Image courtesy of Jjassera / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Bourg-d’Oisans loops

A nice riding loop from the village of Bourg-d’oisans.

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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 from 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.

As Est Semnoz ADkm

Image courtesy of Anthospace / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Semnoz

A must do climb when based in Annecy.

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Lac d'Annecy from Col de la Forclaz

Image courtesy of H005 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Col de la Forclaz

The summit of the Col de la Forclaz rewards you with commanding views across Lake Annecy.

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Morning Light (217370411)

Image courtesy of Robin Férand / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Col de la Croix Fry

One of those climbs where you look back down on the road weaving its way back and forth across the mountain side.

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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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Le Bourget-du-Lac (mai 2016)

Image courtesy of Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Mont du Chat

After a longer ride with a lot of climbing? This route takes you from Lake Annecy to Lac du Bourget, before taking on the Hors Categorie climb of Mont du Chat.

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Cycling Routes in the Maurienne Valley

If you plan to ride some of the highest Alpine road passes 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 from 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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Col de la Madeleine, France (7956607706)

Robbie Shade / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Col de la Madeleine

First used in 1969, the climb of the Col de la Madeleine is now regularly featured in the the Tour de France.

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Savoie Col-Du-Glandon - panoramio

Image courtesy of rene boulay / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Col du Glandon & Col de la Croix de Fer

This ride will really test the legs with regular double digit gradients featuring on both climbs.

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Panneaux du col de l'Iseran en été le 14 juillet 2019

Image courtesy of Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Col de l’Iseran

This ride will take you to the summit of Europe’s second highest alpine pass at 2770m.

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Col du Chaussy - Montpascal

Florian Pépellin / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Lacets de Montvernier & Col du Chaussy

First tackle the 17 hairpins of the Lacets de Montvernier before continuing on to the summit of the Col du Chaussy.

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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 to 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.

Ride details

Col-d'Izoard-Queyras-DSC 0133

Image courtesy of Pline / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Col d’Izoard

First used in 1922 the climb of the Col d’Izoard features regularly in the Tour de France.

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ColduGranon

Image courtesy of Benj05 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Col du Granon

A relentlessly steep climb which has no let up. This high altitude Col will have you gasping.

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AsCy col de Montgenèvre 05- vue sur la Vachette

Image courtesy of Anthospace / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Col du Montgenevre Pass

A relentlessly steep climb which has no let up. This high altitude Col will have you gasping.

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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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Barrage d'Emosson.jpg

Lalou0110, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Lac d’Emosson

Lac d’Emosson featured as a summit finish in the 2016 edition of the Tour de France. A challenging ride with stunning views at the summit.

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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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Lacets col des Aravis SE ADG.jpg

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Col des Aravis

The Col des Aravis has featured as a climb in the Tour de France on 41 occassions. Discover what it takes to ride this Col yourself.

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As Cy Colombière 74- See Ch Reposoir and Head Forclaz.jpg

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Col de la Colombière

This challenging cycling route from Chamonix takes on the Col de la Colombière as well as the Col des Aravis.

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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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Looking down a layer of cloud in the valley from the summit of Col du Tourmalet

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