Self-Guided Road Cycling Holidays in the French Alps
Road cycling holidays in the French Alps
Experience freedom in the stunning Alpine mountains and lakes like never before
The UK's passion for road cycling has erupted in recent years. So many of us, including groups, couples and families alike love to cycle, exploring new areas around their home towns; some even choose to travel to the numerous road cycling events available. We all know the pull of replicating a part of the Tour de France and its amazing routes through stunning scenery; add to that the fantastic weather in the French Alps in summer and you have an idyllic setting for a summer road cycling holiday.
It is so easy to embark on our Alpine self-guided road cycling holidays
Why a self-guided road cycling holiday with Peak Retreats?
-marked maps / road book and pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
-orientation meeting with our local specialist team
-helpline assistance if necessary
Which cycling equipment do I need to carry over?
You may want to use your own bike and full equipment, especially if you self-drive as it is handy to carry over.
But you don’t have to. Bike rental is available on request for all our cycling holidays from hybrid bikes, to full-carbon racing bikes and electric bikes.
If renting a racing bike, you will be asked to bring your own shoes and pedals.
Wearing a cycling helmet is compulsory (safety is key). If you can’t bring your own helmet, our specialist team on site will hand one over - free!!
Please note that no cycling gear is available to hire. Sorry.
Go at you own pace
Touring isn’t racing, making it the perfect activity for all cycling enthusiasts.
No matter whether you cycle solo, as a couple, a family or a group of friends, make the most of this fantastic experience. If you ride as a whole party or if you join a group, you are entirely free to pedal at your own pace. Start and finish the stage in your own time.
How fit do I need to be?
You may be thinking that the French Alps is a step too far due to the height of the mountains?
You could be thinking that some of the road cycling routes in the French Alps are only for the elite?
The undulating roads of the Alps inevitably make it more challenging than covering the equivalent distance on the flat at home. But our cycling specialists have designed itineraries to suit all levels, with a great mix of routes on offer from leisure cycling around lakes, right up to steep hill climbs.
We always recommend that you thoroughly plan your cycling holiday and do some training at home beforehand.
See below a description of our Grade 1, 2 and 3 tours to give an indication. If you are not sure which grade to choose from, please ask our specialist cycling advisors.
“Leisure” Grade 1 tours are definitely manageable for any occasional cyclist and families with teenagers. Route stages that are in our Grade 1 tours will be between 30-50 miles long with moderate elevation. Daily total climb between 400m/1312ft and 1000m/3280ft.
“Challenging” Grade 2 tours will please the regular cyclist. Families with fit teenagers are also welcome to join in. Route stages that are in our Grade 2 tours will be between 30-70 miles long with significant elevation. Daily total climb between 1000m/3280ft and 4000m /13120ft. We can accommodate short and long stages within the same itinerary to suit mixed-level groups.
“Elite” Grade 3 tours are not for the faint hearted! They require serious training and some experience of hill climbing. They appeal to avid cyclists who want to experience the thrill of the real thing. Route stages that are in our Grade 3 tours will be over 60 miles on average with tough elevation of 3000m/3280ft per day on average.
Self-guided road cycling tours typically include:
- Accommodation with a choice of rating & price
- Daily breakfast
- Dinners (drinks not included)*
- Luggage transfers
- Orientation meeting with our local specialist team
- Marked maps and road book
- Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
- Repair kit
- Helpline for assistance if needed
* We do not include dinner at stopovers in towns such as Aix-les-Bains and Annecy, as they offer such a wide range of restaurants.
Extras and payable add-ons:
- Bike hire: a choice of hybrid bikes, full carbon racing bikes and electric bikes. See details
- Racing bike pedals can be provided at extra cost. Please note cycling shoes are not available for hire.
- Travel insurance
Confidence and safety on the tour
Making the cycling holiday an enjoyable and memorable experience
All our self-guided tours start with meeting our local team of cycling specialists. The team will take the time to:
- Alter the bikes to everyone’s specifications to ensure a comfortable ride
- Thoroughly explain the route and any navigation points (so you don't get lost)
- Provide key information about the itinerary
- Give a full safety brief ('keep right!', dealing with traffic, downhill hairpin turns etc.)
- Explain when and how to use the repair kit.
- Remind you that assistance can be provided at any time if you are struggling or if you encounter a technical issue that cannot be resolved by a bike shop en route.
Self-Guided Road Cycling Holidays for 2016
Below are examples of our road cycling tours available for summer 2016. Keep an eye on the grading difficulty and any specific dates and locations.
"Leisure" Grade 1 | road cycling tour
Available Self-Guided Tour: The Lakes (Geneva, Bourget & Annecy) | 5 nights/6 days
Self-guided tours departing Fridays and Sundays from April to October. 2 persons minimum (1 person on request).
This unique road cycling tour makes it possible for all riders to experience the captivating cycling routes of the French Alps without the concern of steep hill climbs. The three major lakes in the area (Geneva, Bourget and Annecy) define the stunning backdrop for this route, which follows the rivers. Historic villages, lush meadows and Alpine valleys are all showcased in this tour. Options include a "Challenging" Grade 2 itinerary.
"Leisure to Challenging" Grade 1-2 road cycling tour
Available Tour: Spa & Gastronomy (Annecy - La Clusaz) |5 nights/6 days
Self-guided tours departing Sundays from April to October. 2 persons minimum (1 person on request).
This road cycling tour offers total flexibility with looped routes organized around 2 very prestigious hotels - the Imperial Palace in Annecy and the Coeur du Village in La Clusaz. During the mid-week switch between the two sites, your luggage will be transferred between hotels on your behalf. You will be free to take to the roads at your leisure or enjoy some highlights of wellness and gastronomy.
"A la Carte" Grade 1/2 | 3 days road cycling tour on 7 day break
Self-guided tours departing Sundays from June to August. 2 persons minimum (1 person on request).
Enjoy 3 days of Alpine road cycling out of a 7 day stay in self-catering residences in Samoens and Morzine.
More information shortly.
"Challenging" Grade 2 road cycling tour
Available Tour: Portes du Soleil & Aravis (Geneva to Geneva) | 4nights/5 days
Self-guided tours departing every day except Sunday from April to October. 2 persons minimum (1 person on request).
You'll be riding through unforgettable scenery on one of our most popular tours! Lake Geneva and Mont-Blanc provide the perfect backdrop as each ride works its way round the mountains and skims Portes du Soleil & Aravis areas. En route, you'll conquer some of this area's most famous climbs.
"Elite" Grade 3 road cycling tour
Available Tour: Grands Cols (Geneva to Alpe d'Huez) | 5 nights/6 days
Self-guided tours departing on 15th July, 13th August and 3rd September 2016. Available from just 1 person.
This tour covers some of the most famous and popular routes from Geneva to Alpe d'Huez. Take on some of the French Alps' most memorable Cols, including Colombiere, Aravis, Saisies and Madeleine. The early part of the tour takes place on the classic Route des Grandes Alpes, a mountain route that links Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean. Enjoy unobstructed panoramic views of nearby mountains then zip downhill on the twisty 20-km to the Maurienne Valley. The finish at Alpe d'Huez includes a legendary mammoth climb with graffiti from past Tours reminding you of the race's history since 1911.