Alps Cycling Holiday, Conquer Iconic Cols on French Alps Cycling Tours

Galibier to Ventoux Tour

The Ultimate Alps Cycling Holiday

Climbing the Galibier early morning

Five enticing Galibier to Ventoux trip highlights.

5% Early Booking Discount For Trips Confirmed Before 10th December 2019.

  • Ride the finest alpine climbs in the world including the Col du Galibier, Col d’izoard, Cime de la Bonette & Mont Ventoux.
  • Experience the diversity of high mountain scenery, deep gorges and the amazing landscapes of Provence as you complete each stage.
  • Climb Mont Ventoux from 1, 2 or all 3 sides on the final day.
  • Ride with confidence each day benefiting from experienced guides, coaches and vehicle support.
  • Stay in carefully selected hotels perfectly located for the ultimate French Alps itinerary.
Sept 2017
Nearly at the top of the Cime de la Bonette
photo of Richard Shaw

Without a doubt the best cycling we have ever done, probably 3 or 4 days would each qualify as best ever day on a bike.

Richard Shaw
 

The Ultimate Alps Cycling Holiday: Col du Galibier To Ventoux

Ultimate Alps Cycling Holiday Summary:

This unique cycling challenge is the ultimate road cycling adventure through the French Alps. Our 7-night Alps cycling holiday features iconic cols, amazing alpine mountain passes and stunning gorges. Join us on our French alps cycling tours as we guide you over the renowned summits and show you the hidden gems and lesser known climbs on route to Provence and the legendary Mont Ventoux.

Our Alps cycling holiday is a unique experience, fully supported by qualified cycling coaches, you will tick off many cols from your bucket list as the days pass by. This action-packed week features the Col du Galibier, Col D’Izoard, Vars and Col de la Bonette early in the week. The challenges and peaks don’t stop as we move through the picturesque Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region and the amazing Gorges du Verdon and then onto the legendary Mont Ventoux. 

Our momentous and mountainous week is a combination of riding and relaxing. We handpick every hotel for each day to ensure it’s the perfect place to stay after a challenging day on our French Alps cycling tours. Every accommodation is unique and has an individual atmosphere, including a very special hotel at Bedoin at the foot of Mont Ventoux. Enjoy fantastically prepared food, massage facilities or unwind in the pool. 

By the end of our Alps cycling holiday, we hope to have welcomed new members to the elite Club des Cingles du Mont-Ventoux, if that is your target, but we invite you to experience so much more; our French alps cycling tour passes by some of the most astounding landscapes and you’ll discover some of the finest vistas in Europe from the summits of this week’s cols. 

 

Ultimate Alps Cycling - Galibier to Ventoux Itinerary:

Valloire To Barcelonnette

Early morning on the Col du Galibier
A remarkable day of iconic high mountain passes.
  • Climbing the three HC climbs of the Col du Galibier, Col d’Izoard and Col de Vars.
  • Follow in the footsteps of legendary riders from the Tour de France.

We kick off day 1 of our alps cycling holiday with a full day of iconic climbs. You’ll experience stunning mountain vistas as we conquer the Col du Galibier, Col d’Izoard and Col de Vars. 

Our ambitious first day features infamous, iconic cycling climbs that have been featured in the Tour De France on more than 30 occasions. With our full support, clean mountain air and jaw dropping views, you’ll finish your first day of the French alps cycling tour in Barcelonnette feeling triumphant.

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


Barcelonnette To Beuil

On route to the Cime de la Bonette
The highest paved road in France.
  • The views as of the surrounding peaks as you approach the Cime de La Bonette at 2802 meters above sea level.
  • One of the best descents in the Alps as you swoop towards St-Etienne-de-Tinée.

We will roll out of Barcelonette on the morning of day 2 and head towards Jausiers and the foot of the Col de la Bonette. We’ll ride the second highest road in Europe, at 2802 meters it is also the highest road the Tour De France has ever passed over. 

The climb is challenging, especially as we begin the final kilometre and approach the ‘cime’, the gradients increase but the views in all directions are magnificent. Once over the Cime de la Bonette, we will head south towards Isola. From here, we will continue to support you up the final climb of the day to Beuil, riding through the stunning gorge that leads to the Col de la Couillole. 

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


Beuil to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Col de Felines a perfect view
Ride through some of the most spectacular and deepest gorges in France.
  • The dazzling descent through the Gorge de Dalius with its purple sandstone rock and 17 short tunnels.
  • The short sharp Col de Buis and the Gorges du Verdon with depths reaching 700m.

The third day of our Alps cycling holiday brings a totally new and exciting challenge. We depart from Beuil for a short climb to Valberg and then descend via the amazing Gorge de Daluis. This 6 kilometre gorge is cut into red sandstone and is just one of the fantastic sights of the day. Our gentle start is designed to let you soak up the iconic landscape from your saddle and enjoy the views as we ride. 

The first climb of the day is the Col de Felines (7km / 938 m), which has a beautiful forested ascent with a gentler 5% gradient before we embark on the punchy Col Du Buis, (4km / 1196m). This is one of the more challenging trials on our French alps cycling tours as the gradient approaches 18% in places, which will certainly be working up your appetite for lunch.

Following a lunch in Castellane, we will spend the afternoon focused on the Gorge du Verdon. This truly is a highlight on any Alps cycling holiday and a natural marvel in the region. We will then ride onwards to climb the Col d’Ayen (6.5km / 1031m) and a fantastic descent into the stunning hillside village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie where we will be staying for the evening.

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Bedoin

Lavender fields at the foot of Mont Ventoux
Lavender and sunflowers in abundance as ride through Provence.
  • The first distant sighting of Mont Ventoux on the horizon.
  • The climb to Chalet Reynard from Sault after a day of exhilarating, fast open roads.

Day 4 is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Provence’s diverse range of iconic landscapes. The scheduled time of year means we will ride past lavender and sunflower fields in bloom, contrasting with the previous days full of epic mountains and gorges. Early in the day, you will be rewarded with your first glimpses of the legendary Mont Ventoux which awaits you on the final two days of our French alps cycling tour. It’s always motivating to see that iconic goal in peddling distance. 

The day does still present a challenge! After lunchtime, we will be 81km into our day. We’ll ride the beautiful, rugged and rolling landscape through the region. The terrain is fun, fast and undulating as we ride to Sault at the foot of Ventoux. We’ll then embark on the gentle climb to Chalet Reynard; the ascent is spectacular and the ensuing descent into Bedoin is an exciting way to finish another day of our French alps cycling tour. 

We will stop in Bedoin for the night and you will be tantalisingly close to the exciting challenge that awaits you; Mont Ventoux!

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


The Gorges de la Nesque

The climb through the stunning Gorges de la Nesque
Climb through one of the most spectacular gorges.
  • The quiet winding road through the Gorges de la Nesque.
  • The view back to Mont Ventoux from the high point of the gorge.

At this point in the week, we’re all feeling fatigued but exhilarated to be so close to one of cycling’s best challenges. Ventoux awaits, but for today, we keep things flexible in preparation. 

You can choose to ride with us to the beautiful Gorges de Nesques or a single ascent of Ventoux from Bedoin is always popular. If you prefer, you can rejuvenate your riding legs by taking full advantage of the great accommodation that is fully equipped with spa and on-site masseur. Day 6 is an iconic day and we can always feel the excitement in the air. 

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


Mont Ventoux 1, 2, 3 times

Finally the summit of Mont Ventoux
Climb the legend once, twice or three times and join the Club des Cingles du Mont Ventoux. The choice is yours.
  • Having the option to climb Mont Ventoux from all three sides.
  • Realising the size of your achievement this last week as you enjoy a celebratory dinner.

Today is all about Mont Ventoux! It’s now your turn to take on the infamous, iconic cycling climbs made famous by the Tour De France. We will support your ride from start to finish, whether you are planning to ascend once, twice or three times! 

Regardless of your goals for the week, just witnessing the unique moonscape of Mont Ventoux will be a memory to last a lifetime. The Mont Ventoux challenge is an epic trial that will truly test you but will be one of the most iconic cycling climbs and unforgettable days of cycling.  

The toughest challenge is only for the most tenacious riders and will gain you access to the exclusive Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux!  

Whatever happens you’ve made it and will have memories to last a lifetime and a few stories to tell, from the momentous Col du Galibier to magnificent Mont Ventoux. We will celebrate every achievement on our week-long alps cycling holiday at dinner with an obligatory drink or two.

Distance: 0 km
Elevation: 0 m


Ultimate Alps Cycling Holiday Accommodation:

Hotel Christiana

Rating: 

Location: Valloire at the foot of the Col du Galibier

Why chosen: A recently modernised traditional mountain hotel in a great mountain location perfect for your first day of riding.

The all-important first night will be spent in a hotel we’ve known for many years, it offers a modern take on traditional mountain accommodation. The hotel is perfectly located at the foot of the Col Du Galibier. You can spend your first evening enjoying the sauna, getting to know your fellow riders in the restaurant or relaxing in comfortable rooms in preparation for the start of your alps cycling holiday. 

The Christiana hotel in Valloire
Great food to kick start the tour
Comfortable rooms in Valloire
A little relaxation in the lounge

Hotel Azteca

Rating: 

Location: Barcelonnette

Why chosen: A charming hotel with a Mexican heritage close to the bustling centre of historic Barcelonnette.

Our next hotel is extremely inviting with interesting heritage in the centre of Barcelonnette. We often find our guests relaxing in the comfortable lounge areas or enjoying the last of the day with a drink on the terrace. The hotel is shadowed by the surrounding mountains and offers glimpses of tomorrow’s challenge. We will also be within easy walking distance from the historic centre of Barcelonnette which is the location of this evening’s dinner in the attractive square. 

Azteca setting for Galibier to Ventoux Tours 2nd night
Azteca Lounge
Typical room at the Azteca

Hotel L’Escapade

Rating: 

Location: Beuil

Why chosen: Quite simply the location, hospitality and superb traditional cuisine.

Our mid-week hotel is the best place for traditional cuisine and a fantastic, authentic meal from the Alpes-Maritimes region we are travelling through. The hotel is a hidden treasure with a warming atmosphere and welcoming staff. 

Hotel l
A treat awaits at dinner
A quiet night awaits

Hotel Les Restanques De Moustiers

Rating: 

Location: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Why chosen: Great rooms, a pool and a short walk from the centre of historic Moustiers-Sainte-Marie an amazing hill side village voted one of the most beautiful in France.

Located at the end of the sparkling Gorge du Verdon, we will spend the night at Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, a picturesque village set into the hillside that is considered one of the most beautiful places in France. Enjoy meals in the historic centre and relax around the pool marvelling at the landscape that surrounds you. 

Outside the Restanque in Moustiers-sainte-marie
Terrace at breakfast time
A comfortable bed for a great nights sleep
Time for a dip after a great day of cycling through the gorges

Hotel Des Pins

Rating: 

Location: Bedoin

Why chosen: Stylish and calm set between the pines of Bedoin with great cuisine and terrace to watch the sun set over Provence from.

For the final nights of adventure during our French Alps cycling tours, we will stay at our favourite, unique hotel in Bedoin. The atmosphere is calm, stylish and totally bespoke with individually styled rooms and plush common areas, perfect for relaxing after a long day on the bike. 

You can rejuvenate tired legs with a superb massage or a dip in the pool. This hotel is the perfect place to finish and celebrate our week-long alps cycling holiday and all that we have achieved, with an outdoor bar and excellent food! 

Hotel des Pins exterior
Stylish rooms
Great food after a day on Mont Ventoux
The pool and massage hut
The garden at the Hotel des Pins

Wil Catlin

Spent a memorable week with Colconquerers. I learned more about descending from Rob in five minutes than in my previous 20 years of riding. Highly recommended!

Enrico Lucchinetti

Just completed 5 days of true cycling from the Galibier to Mont Ventoux. Truly a fantastic experience, even better than the Haute Route I completed last year.

Trevor Jennings

Colconquerors provides a unique experience for individuals to enjoy the demands and challenges of high altitude cycling within a relaxed, friendly and thoroughly enjoyable environment.

Andrew Bates

Just completed the Galibier to Ventoux week. One word amazing.  Fantastic support, excellent hotels and well chosen restaurants. A 6 day mini TdF!

Ian Nissenbaum

Challenging riding from high mountain cols, stunning gorges and across lavender fields to our mountain quest, Ventoux. Great route, organisation, hotels and food. 

Mark Mannix

The routes, hotels and assistance are second to none.

The Holiday Includes

  • 7 Nights half board accommodation on a twin share basis.
  • 6 days guided and vehicle supported cycling with a passionate team.
  • GPX files for each days ride & detailed daily road books.
  • Fresh fruit each day and top up sports nutrition to fuel your ride.
  • Luggage transportation between all hotels.
  • Client to staff ratio of 4-1 for a very personal experience.
  • Private airport transfers from Geneva and to Nice airports.
  • Access to British Cycling Level 3 coaching throughout your Alps trip.
  • Cycling kit washing facilities on day 3.
  • Daily photos of your Galibier to Ventoux Holiday.

Not Included

  • Flights in either direction.
  • Lunches or snacks.
  • Travel or bike Insurances.
  • Any drinks or other incidentals at the hotel.
  • Spa or Massage services (Available as extra nights 5 to 7).
  • Road Bike Hire.
  • Sole occupancy (on request & subject to room availability).

Trip Cost

Double Occupancy Single Supplement Deposit
31st Aug 2019 1675.00€ 450.00€ 400.00€
28th June 2020 1675.00€ 450.00€ 400.00€
30th Aug 2020 1675.00€ 450.00€ 400.00€

Bike Rental

Prices from : 40.00€ / per day

Bike hire is available for this trip from our local partner in the Maurienne Valley at the start of your Galibier to Ventoux Tour. A wide variety of models and specifications are available depending on your needs. Bikes always have a set up suitable for riding in the mountains.

On arrival we’ll accompany you to the shop in rental location to collect your bike and make sure it’s set up perfectly. If you've had a recent bike fit bring this details along as well to make the fit even better.

If you would like to rent a bike for this trip starting in the French Alps  just let us know and we’ll make sure the right bike is waiting for you on arrival.

3 Month Pre Trip

Prices from : 180.00€ / per month

Investing time and energy in a private coach for 3 months is a great way to tune your fitness ahead of your holiday to the French Alps to Ventoux. There’s still time for performance gains even if you’ve had to leave things late because life’s taken over.

The British Cycling Level 3 coaching qualification is the highest recognised coaching certification in UK cycling and working with a Level 3 coach will:

  • Optimise performance gains from the realistic time you have available to train ahead of your holiday in the mountains.
  • Ensure you focus only on areas that will really improve your cycling in the build up to your trip to the Alps.
  • Improve not only physical but also tactical and psychological awareness & strength all of which contribute to you having a fantastic 6 days of riding.

6 Month Pre Trip

Prices from : 180.00€ / per month

If you are serious about making significant long term improvements to your on bike performance, investing time and energy in a private coach for 6 months is one of the most effective ways to increase your cycling performance, stay motivated perform well during your trip.

The British Cycling Level 3 coaching qualification is the highest recognised coaching certification in UK cycling and working with a Level 3 coach will:

  • Maximise performance benefits from the realistic time you have available to train ahead of your Galibier to Ventoux Tour.
  • Ensure you focus on areas that will really improve your cycling and allow you to exceed your personal goals.

Before Trip

Annecy - Extend your stay

Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. It’s famous for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, canals and pastel-coloured houses, it is often referred to as the Venice of the Alps. Your visit can be as relaxing or as energetic as you want it, a quiet boat ride around the lake (the 3rd largest in France) perhaps stopping off somewhere for lunch or what about canyoning to get the adrenaline pumping?  There is much to do and see in this beautiful old town.

Historic Annecy
Imperial Palace

Visit hotel
Les Tresoms

Visit hotel
Splendid Hotel

Visit hotel

After Trip

Nice - Extend your stay

Situated on the French Riviera Nice really does have it all.  Restaurants, bars, beaches and museums plus amazing panoramic views, it’s all there.  Nice has been home to many artists including Matisse and Chagall so perhaps a trip to the Musée Matisse, situated within the Roman archeological site in Cimiez, is called for or maybe a walk along the famous Promenada de Anglais.

Promenade des Anglais Nice
AC Hotel Nice

Visit hotel
HOTEL SUISSE NICE

Visit hotel
MONSIGNY NICE

Visit hotel

Galibier to Ventoux Tour FAQ's

How does support work for a multi-stage Alps tour?

You will always have vehicle support and guides with you on the road. We provide provide you with GPX or TCX files for your bike computers and a detailed day-book pack for every stage during this Galibier to Ventoux tour.

During the tour we are always on hand to help with any aspect of your riding. This could be pacing, nutritional advice or just about anything else to ensure your tour is a successful one. We never have more than 12 cyclists on a tour like this one with a staff to rider ratio of 1:4.

As this is a point to point cycling tour we also transfer your luggage between each hotel.

What level of fitness do I need?

This is a challenging multi stage cycling tour in the French Alps so it’s only natural that you will want to train for this holiday to ensure you have the best possible experience and as much fun as possible! You’ll need to be riding regularly in the build up to the trip. We’d highly recommend following a structured training plan that gives plenty of variety and intensity so that you can really enjoy the experience.

Lots of previous guests have ridden sportive events in the UK (or other countries) when signing up for this trip so have an understanding of the role that a good pacing and nutritional strategy plays in having a great day on the bike. Cycling in the mountains of Europe is not a prerequisite and plenty of our riders have completed this week as their first experience of riding in the mountains as a result of having a good level of fitness gained from training or cross over fitness from other sports. If you’d like to have a chat about this we’re more than happy to help.

As qualified coaches we are always very happy to help you with any aspect of your cycling during your holiday. You could also benefit from one of our coaching packs with British Cycling Level 3 coach Ray Sells. Ray has helped many of our riders prepare for this trip to the Alps. 

Is the tour itinerary flexible?

There's always some flexibility but as a point to point trip it's more limited on this trip than others. Having the support vehicle on the road every day in addition to guides & coaches does ensure that you never have to worry if you decide you need an easier afternoon. 

The triple Ventoux challenge on the final day of the trip is optional so you can ride as much or as little as you like on the final day. The penultimate day can also be taken as a recovery day if you would like to ensure you’re well rested before your choice of climbs on Mont Ventoux on the final day.

We’ll always take individual your needs into account to ensure you have a great holiday. You’ll never have to ride more or less than you want and you can have confidence that we are here to help you achieve your goals.

Is the weather stable in the French Alps?

We run the Galibier to Ventoux at the times of year when we feel you will have the best experience. The weather is usually good but the mountains (especially high summits like Galibier & Bonette) can always throw up a little surprise so it’s always best to come equipped with a selection of kit to cover different eventualities (remember this can all be carried in the support vehicle!). Temperatures in the French Alps as with all major mountain ranges vary from the valley floor to the summits of the climbs, typically we find this to be a decrease of around 1 degree for every 100 meters gained but it can vary considerably. 

Each day during the ride briefing we always provide a detailed weather update for the day.

What happens if I’m the fastest or slowest in the group?

You should never worry about this, it's for us to take care of. We are very experienced in managing groups of riders of mixed ability during this point to point tour so all you need to think about is riding your bike, enjoying the stunning scenery and achieving your goals. Everyone in the group is always encouraged to ride at their own pace. Based on your personal ability there is always the possibility of making a day more or less challenging.

Can I join this trip alone?

Yes you most certainly can. You can either share a room with another guest (of the same sex) in the same situation or where available pay an additional supplement for sole occupancy of a room if it's available.

How does this multi stage trip differ from a centre based trip?

Point to point holidays like this Galibier to Ventoux tour differ from a centre based trip because there's always a fixed end point that you need to ride to each day. We transfer your luggage between each stage throughout the holiday leaving you to enjoy the ride and scenery. We alwayys try to make the logistics as easy as possible for you.

The goal is to reach the end of the week and complete the challenge so sensible pacing and good nutrition throughout will help you to achieve this. There’s nothing worse than riding too hard on the first day and cycling with heavy legs in the mountains for the rest of the week!

Can you provide more details?

Yes we can. We are always here to help answer your questions about a trip. It’s important to us that you pick the right tour and have a great experience.

Travel Information

All you need to know about getting in and out.

Arrival

Airport: Geneva (Swiss side)
Meeting Point: Swiss Chalet Cafe (Arrivals level)
Transfer Departure: 12.30pm

You will be met at the airport in person by ourselves ready for your private transfer to your accommodation in Valloire at the foot of the Col du Galibier.

We aim to leave the airport at Geneva by 12.30pm. When you're ready to book flights, please ensure that they land well in advance of this time, and always check with us before confirming them.

If you are flying in from outside of Europe into Geneva it’s best to arrive the day before to ensure any flight delays don’t impact the start of your holiday.

After the transfer to your hotel in Valloire the welcome meeting outlines the plan for the Galibier to Ventoux tour and there’s then plenty of time to put the bikes together and ensure you're good to go on the first morning.

Departure

Airport: Geneva* (June trip) / Nice (Aug trip)
Hotel Departure Time: 9am
Airport Drop off: 2pm for flights after 4.30pm

It’s sad your Galibier to Ventour Tour is over but you’ve had a fantastic week of riding and we’re sure your memories of the trip will keep you motivated until the next time.

We will leave the hotel after breakfast at 9am for the transfer back to the airport in plenty of time for your flights.

(*Note for return flights on Sunday July 5th these are from Geneva due to the Etape du Tour in and around Nice on this date)