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Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Total Distance 270 miles (432km) | Average distance per day 45 miles (72km)

Saddle up and get ready for some very serious pedalling. Join this guided group tour to experience a week of epic cycling in the Alpine region of France. Your tour starts in the charming Italian town of Cuneo, before climbing into France in search of some of the most iconic routes in cycling history. The first big challenge is the Col de la Bonnette, at 2802m the highest col in Europe. From here on the legendary climbs come in quick succession as we make our way across the spectacular cols of Vars, Izoard, Galibier and Croix de Fer. We finish the week by tackling the famous 21 hairpins bends to Alpe d’Huez. Quite a memorable finale!

What’s included

  • Meals (breakfasts)
  • Transport and support vehicle
  • Accommodation
  • Airport transfers
Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Day 1

Arrival in Cuneo.

We start in the town of Cuneo, where you will have the chance to wander the Renaissance style arcaded main street which is lined with shops and cafés giving it an elegant appearance. Cuneo is a provincial capital in western Italy whose old town centre dates from the 12th Century when it was a fortified town. This city was made famous in the cycling world in 1949 when the legendary Fausto Coppi dominated the stage there to win the Giro d'Italia. More recently it was a start town for the Tour de France stage to Jausiers in 2008. In the evening there will be a welcome meeting and a chance to check bikes and make any final adjustments.

Meals included: none

Day 2

From Cuneo to Isola | Across the Col de la Lombarde | Distance 49 miles (79km).

We warm you up on the first day of cycling with a nice gentle ride along the Stura Valley to the village of Pratolungo. From here you will start the Hors Category climb of the Col de la Lombarde (13 miles, avg. 6.8%), located on the French/Italian border at 2351m. The climb was last used during stage 16 of the 2008 Tour. From here you will be rewarded with a long downhill to the ski resort of Isola 2000 where you will spend the night.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 3

From Isola to Praloup | Over the Col de la Bonnette | Distance 47 miles (76km).

You will descend to Isola (862m) where you will reach the Tinée Valley. The valley typically alpine, with superb views and some attractive waterfalls. A relatively gentle climb will bring you to Saint Etienne from where you will tackle the infamous Col de la Bonnette (16 miles, avg. 6.5%), one of the highest paved cols in Europe (2802m). This climb has only been used a few times during the Tour (in 1962, 1964, 1993, 2008 and 2016) but really is one of the highlights of the trip. You will then descend to Barcelonnette, where there will be the option to climb to either Super Sauze or Praloup.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 4

From Praloup to Guillestre | Climb the Col de Vars | Distance 37 miles (59km).

Today the ride is a little shorter, but still very challenging. In the morning you will cycle up to Jausiers and then climb the beautiful Hors Category Col de Vars, climbed 20 times since 1947 in the Tour de France. (2108m, 9 miles, avg. 5.5%). Here you will enter the spectacular Hautes Alpes and enjoy some great mountain views on the ride down to Guillestre on the border of the Queyras Regional Park. If you would like to put in a few more miles, then in the afternoon there's the option of a nice steady loop to Embrun or the more challenging climb to the ski resort of Risoul.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 5

From Guillestre to Briançon | Across the Col d'Izoard | Distance 36 miles (58km).

The Hors Category Col d'Izoard (2360m) is a unique place to cycle and one of the greatest cols of the French Alps (20 miles, avg. 4.5%). The Tour organisers clearly agree as it has been included 23 times in the race since 1947. The scenery here is beautiful, from the sandy coloured eroded cliffs above the 'Casse Deserte' near the summit to the green wooded mountainsides above Briançon. From Briançon you have the option to continue on a relatively flat ride along the Clarée valley, or to climb the Montgenevre pass on the Italian border.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 6

From Briançon to Saint Jean de Maurienne | Climb the famous Col du Galibier | Distance 46 miles (75km).

On day six, the 'Giant of the Alps' awaits, namely the Hors Category Col du Galibier (2645m). It is a mammoth 23 miles of climbing from Briançon, but it is the final 13 miles where the effort really kicks in at an average gradient of 6%. A monument in homage to Henri Desgranges, the founder of the Tour, sits at the top of the Galibier. A seemingly endless descent wil’ bring you in to Valloire where you will have a short 3-mile uphill section to the Col du Telegraphe (1566m). You can stop here for an Orangina and take in the spectacular view over the valley below. From here you still have about 7 miles of descending down to the Maurienne valley and Saint Jean de Maurienne, where you will spend the night. It is possible to extend the ride with a nice circular route to Bonvillard, or you can cycle up the Lacets de Montvernier, a spectacular climb which featured in the 2015 Tour de France. 

Meals included: breakfast

Day 7

From Saint Jean de Maurienne to Bourg d’Oisans | Col de la Croix de Fer and the legendary Alpe d'Huez | Distance 55 miles (88km).

For your final days ride, two superb challenges are on the menu. You will begin with the Hors Category Col de la Croix de Fer (2067m, 19 miles, avg. 5%). This is a lovely peaceful climb that has featured 15 times in the Tour since 1947. But no cycling trip to the Alps is complete without tackling the legendary 21 hairpins bends on the iconic climb of Alpe d'Huez (1845m, 9 miles, avg. 8%). From Bourg d'Oisans the road immediately ramps up with some of the steepest sections. 'The Alpe' has been climbed 29 times in the Tour since 1952 and the names of many of the winners are marked on plaques on the hairpins.

Meals included: breakfast

Day 8

End in Bourg d’Oisans.

We say “au revoir” and “à bientôt”.

 Meals included: breakfast

This tour is operated by our preferred local partner.

Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Note: The accommodation listed below is indicative, it is not guaranteed and is subject to availability. Alternative accommodation of an equal standard may be used.



You will stay in a range of traditional alpine 2-star hotels throughout the tour. It is not possible to confirm the actual accommodation until a few weeks before departure. All the hotels we use are ideally located along the route and have private facilities. 

Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Package Prices 2019 (Flights and Transfers Included)

2019 Departure Dates Nights

Adult Prices

23 June - 30 June 7 £1,299 Enquire now
18 August - 25 August 7 £1,299 Enquire now
08 September - 15 September 7 £1,229 Enquire now

Package prices are indicative, please contact one of our Activities Experts for more information.

Tour Only Prices 2019

2019 Departure Dates Nights

Adult Prices

23 June - 30 June 7 £1,079 Enquire now
18 August - 25 August 7 £1,099 Enquire now
08 September - 15 September 7 £1,079 Enquire now


Single room supplement from £280

Solo travellers

On this tour we do not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we cannot match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Your cycling holiday in Cycling Holidays France

Alpine Cols of the Tour de France | Guided Group

Total Distance
270 miles (432km)

Average distance per day
45 miles (72km)


Minimum age 16.

The riding on this trip can be accomplished by any fit cyclist, but it is as much a state of mind as your fitness that will see you up and over the cols. The secret to making it up the mountains is to plug away at a steady pace and stop whenever you feel tired. We cover the same routes as the Tour de France, but this trip is definitely not a race.


KTM 3500 drop bar road bike available on request. Bike hire should be arranged at the time of booking and the cost will be added to your invoice. We will take your height to reserve equipment. 

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