Is Skye's Cuillin Ridge on your bucket list? If so, you're in luck! Get 20% our guidebook to this iconic route and other scrambling guidebooks in our range - use code CUILLINRIDGE at checkout. Offer ends 30th April.

Cycling the Route des Grandes Alpes

Cycling through the French Alps from Lac Leman to Menton/Nice

Guidebook to cycling the 720km Route des Grandes Alpes through south-eastern France. From Lake Geneva to Mediterranean Nice via numerous high Alpine passes, taking in the Vanoise, Écrins and Mercantour National Parks, the route is challenging, although entirely on roads. However, with plenty of charging points, it is well suited to eBikes.


Late-spring to early-summer or late-summer to early-Autumn are the best times to ride the route when the high passes have been cleared of snow while avoiding the heat of mid-summer.


Thonon-les-Bains; Cluses; La Clusaz; Beaufort; Bourg-Saint-Maurice; Val d'Isère; Val-Cenis-Termingnon; Valloire; Briançon; Guillestre; Barcelonnette; Valberg; Saint-Martin-Vésubie; Sospel; Nice


Difficult. For well-prepared cyclists with experience of undertaking medium-distance rides on mountain roads. eBike technology makes the route more accessible but good fitness levels remain necessary. This is not a route for novices.

Must See

Col de l'Iseran; Col du Galibier; Col d'Izoard and the Casse Déserte; Annecy; Briançon; The Guil Valley; Cime de la Bonette; Col de la Cayolle; Col de Turini; National parks of the Vanoise, Écrins and Mercantour; Sospel; The Grande Corniche and the French Riviera
20 Jul 2022
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.20cm

A guidebook to cycling the 720km (447 mile) Route des Grandes Alpes through southern France. This long-distance cycle between Lake Geneva and Nice on the Mediterranean coast is suitable for experienced long-distance cyclists and can be cycled in 1-2 weeks.

  • Presented in 14 stages between 31-75km (20-46 miles)
  • 6 routes variants are also described
  • Route takes in 17 major climbs, including the famous Col de l'Iseran (the highest paved pass in the Alps), the Col du Galibier and the Col d'Izoard
  • Route passes through Vanoise, the Écrins and the Mercantour national parks
  • Overnight stops include Thonon-les-Bains, Bourg-Saint-Maurice, Val d'Isère, Briançon, Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Sospel
  • Perfect for cycling late Spring through early autumn.
  • 1:150,000 mapping and profiles are included for each route
  • GPX files available to download
  • Detailed information on preparation, equipment and accommodation

Table of Contents
Giles Belbin Cicerone author GBELBIN

By Giles Belbin

Giles Belbin is a cycling writer and author based in southwest England. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Cyclist, Ride Cycling Review, Cycling Weekly, Procycling and Rouleur. He first rode his bike in the French Alps in 2006 while watching the Tour de France, falling off his bike near the top of the Col du Galibier in exhaustion. He has been a frequent visitor since and in 2012 spent two months riding in the mountains while researching his first book Mountain Kings. The research trip for this guidebook offered an opportunity to revisit some favourite climbs as well as discover some he had not ridden before, with the Col de la Cayolle and the Col de Turini among his first-time highlights.

View author profile