From the mountains to the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll cycle over some of the most iconic Tour de France cols, see awe-inspiring scenery, meet wonderful people and eat and drink in true French style. Text and images: Merv and Jane Capewell. Taken from Geneva to Nice: an interactive guide. Available soon as an iPhone app, a book for iPad and a Kindle Book, all published by World Adventure Guides.
This amazing cycle route goes through ever-changing scenery; from the lush Reblochon pastures, through stunning alpine mountains, beautiful gorges and finishing by the azure blue Mediterranean Sea.
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The route is 611km long but is broken down into challenging but manageable sections giving time to enjoy the stunning and diverse countryside.
Essentially you can only do this route between June and October. The main cycling season starts as soon as the high Alpine passes are ploughed and cleared of snow.
This trip is all about you and your bike. You do the whole route together, so have the right bike to get you there in the best way.
Geneva is one of Europes most cosmopolitan cities and, whether arriving there by car, train, bus or air, the start of our cycle is only a short distance away - at the United Nations Building on the Palais des Nations.
Three famous climbs today, with some amazing views of Mont Blanc, as you head into the heart of the French Alps. The Col des Saisies, the Col du Pr and the Cormet de Roselend might just get those legs going.
Day one takes you gently out of Geneva, through the stunning but narrow Gorges des Etroits and over the Col des Aravis to Flumet, passing by lush, green pastures filled with bell-ringing cows.
Day three - another iconic Tour de France climb begins the Col de Iseran, with a height gain 895m. While day four brings a shorter day with a lovely ride down a wide spectacular valley.
Day seven is the final big climb of the trip, as well as cycling the highest road in France; while day eight will find you in a very different landscape, heading towards the Mediterranean with limestone cliffs and deep gorges.
The last day of this amazing trip will become etched in your memory forever. You are nearing the end of a wonderful and challenging journey and greeting you will be the landscape and aromas of the Mediterranean.
Day five will blow your cycling socks off. Nothing really prepares you for the mighty Galibier, one of the most historic climbs in cycling history. While day six is a ride into the world of extraordinary rock structures.
We leave you with the amazing view from the top of the Col du Galibier, perhaps the most famous col for cyclists in the world.