Tour length: 3 nights/4 days
Combine a short escape through the wintry panorama of the French Alps with an unforgettable Tour de France holiday! This exciting trip combines our regular “Rivers, Lakes, and Mountains” tour with incredible viewings of two key stages of the 2020 Tour de France as it races through the Alps.
Launch your trip from the outskirts of international Geneva, where you will head south, passing through the Haute-Savoie and the Rhone waterways. Farms, vineyards, and quaint houses sculpt a pastoral landscape for your excursion. The thrills are many: you’ll climb the challenging Col du Grand Colombier and catch the finish of one of the most crucial stages of the 2020 Tour de France (Stage 15) between Lyon and Le Grand Colombier…all on just your second day of riding!
On your way back to Geneva, fall for the charms of Annecy and its colourful Old Town and climb the towering Salève Mountain, known fondly as Geneva’s Balcony. You’ll wrap up your cycle on the 15th, just in time to witness another epic stage on the 17th: Stage 18 – Meribel – La Roche-sur-Foron. We’re sure you won’t soon forget the memories you make on this adventure.
Your new adventure begins just outside Switzerland‘s famous city, Geneva, and is conveniently reached via a short tram ride. Our staff will meet you there, to brief you on your itinerary and outfit you with a reliable bike. You can choose between the shorter route or the longer excursion. Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time to decide. Set off on a trip along the Rhône River where you’ll pass by quaint Swiss villages, busy farmlands, and local vineyards. As you reach the French border, it’s time to make your decision. Perhaps you will choose to explore a little more with the Col de Richemond and the Col de la Biche. The trip is serenely quiet, with the calming sound of chirping birds and ringing cowbells in the background. A downhill ride will take you to Seyssel, a picturesque village on the banks of the Rhône River.
Get ready to have your breath taken away! Today you’ll climb Le Grand Colombier, one of France’s most challenging mountain passes; its steepest section has a punishing gradient of 10.2%. Labelled the “Bugey pyramid” by the Tour de France’s parent company, the Col made its Tour debut in 2012 and is a frequent feature on cycling races. At the summit, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Rhone Valley below and alpine peaks in the distance — a reward that will only grow as you witness the Tour de France cyclists racing to the finish of Stage 15, as they wheel in from Lyon and up Le Grand Colombier.
We’re sure images from yesterday’s exciting stage finish are still running through your mind this morning! Use your GPS to get back on track. Your route today includes a pass by the Fier River— enjoy the lapping waters of its gorges! As you go further through the rolling farmlands, you’ll arrive in Annecy, an alpine town known for its medieval setting —for those seeking a challenge, you can climb up to the top of the Semnoz, before making your way towards Annecy. Stone cobbled streets, pastel-hued buildings, and a maze of canals make it worthy of being called the Venice of the Alps. Bask in its setting; explore by bike, foot or boat, and experience its old-world charm.
The final day of your tour includes a trip along the pre-alpine massif of Bornes and a refreshing stop in Cruseilles. From there, you’ll climb the Salève, which will give you an unobstructed view of Geneva and its lake. This is your last stop, so give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! Now it’s time to get back to the Swiss metropolis to retrieve your belongings and set off on a new adventure.
We can arrange extra nights in Geneva and rental days for those who wish to view Stage 18 of the Tour finishing in La Roche-sur-Foron.
Want to learn more about a tour? Complete the form below for a detailed description with route, mileage, and profile information, plus a list of hotels
3 Nights in 2-star hotels
From 470 euros per person sharing a room (single supplement is 160 euros)
2 nights in a guesthouse of character and 1 night in a 3-star hotel
From 670 euros per person sharing a room (single supplement is 375 euros)