TOUR DU MONT BLANC
Chamonix to Champex
Distance: 56 km | 35 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,796 m | 5,892 ft
The first day is quite relaxed and serves as a good introduction to cycling in the Alps. We will enjoy a gourmet breakfast before we set off on the gradual climb up to Argentiere. We leave the Chamonix side of Mont Blanc behind and take in the views of the glacial seracs and the Aiguille Verte before crossing over the Col des Montets. A quick descent brings us into Switzerland and the slopes of the Col de la Forclaz. From the Col de la Forclaz, we have a beautiful, long and fast descent down to Martigny. After a short pull up the valley we find ourselves on a windy country road that ascends with many hairpins to the beautiful village and lake of Champex.
Champex to Pré-Saint-Didier
Distance: 110 km | 68 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,564 m | 8,412 ft
We start with a winding descent down to Orsières before starting the long beyond category (HC) climb to the Col du Grand St Bernard. The final seven kilometers of the climb are on beautiful small road rising to 2,469m. After a few photos of the infamous Hospice du Grand Sainte Bernard, we will drop down past a lake and stop at the café on the other side of the Swiss/Italian border for some proper Italian coffee and maybe some gelato. The descent is long and has many different characters from a windy small road at the top to wide-open fast descending lower down. At the bottom of the descent we start the pull up the Aosta Valley back towards Mont Blanc. For riders with more energy, there is a nice variation with an ascent to the village of Saint Nicolas on beautiful country roads. We continue up the valley staying mostly on country roads before arriving in the town of Pré-Saint-Didier. That evening you will be rewarded with a well deserved soak in the famous thermal baths staring up at the south face of Mont Blanc.
Pré-Saint-Didier to Hauteluce
Distance: 100 km | 62 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,699 m | 8,855 ft
Day 3 starts with a long but overall not too steep climb of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard. About half way up, you pass the ski village of La Thuile. Above there the climb becomes simply spectacular as you pass larch forests, taking in views of the sharp and rugged Italian side of Mont Blanc. On the Italian side of the border we stop for one last Italian coffee before crossing the summit back into France and plummeting down into the Bourg-Saint-Maurice valley. The descent is long, fast and beautiful with views of the steep mountains of Les Arcs and La Plagne. The next climb on the menu is famous with the Tour du France: the Cormet de Roseland. This deceptively steep and long climb brings us into the heart of the Beaufortain region. The first part of the descent brings us past a large deep blue lake before the final part of the descent to the village of Beaufort. One more climb on this big day takes us through farmers fields to the charming village of Hauteluce.
Hauteluce to Chamonix
Distance: 123 km | 76 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,422 m | 7,946 ft
On the last day, you have the option to ride directly back to Chamonix via Megève or do the beautiful extension that takes us through a traverse of the Aravis mountains. Either way, the day starts with a short climb to Les Saisies and a descent to the village of Flumet. Those heading straight back to Chamonix will make a right and those heading into the Aravis will continue straight ahead towards the Col des Aravis. This beautiful climb through farmers fields and below limestone cliffs leads to a descent to the ski village of La Clusaz. Then we begin the famous climb past Le Grand-Bornand to the Col de la Colombière, which is frequented by the Tour de France. A long decent to the village of Cluses follows. We then travel on mostly country roads past a huge waterfall pouring off the limestone cliffs before we start the last climb up to Chamonix. We pass the villages of Servoz and Vaugdagne on a small road before dropping down into the Chamonix Valley. We spin through the valley taking in the breathtaking view one last time of the broken glaciers and sharp granite spires. We arrive back to our hotel in Chamonix for a celebration!
Note: Proposed route may change due to weather, road work, or other unforeseen circumstances. We will do our best to inform riders of any changes as early as possible.