Raid Alpine N – S

Alps

  • 6 day cycling challenge from Lake Geneva to Antibes
  • 740km route from North to South encompassing 16, 300m of ascent
  • Infamous climbs such as the Col de l’Iseran and Cime de la Bonette
  • Official route including registration plus certificate & medal for successful finishers.
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • All evening meals & wine included
  • 2 customised support vans with attentive, and proactive guides who love a laugh
  • Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours to enable you to achieve your goals

Days on the bike

6 days

That was the best weeks riding I've ever had. The organisation, support from Alan and Helen was fun and terrific. Thank you for a great time.

S Howes

Introduction

The official Raid Alpine (N-S) is a classic road cycling challenge from Lake Geneva to Antibes on the Cote Azur through the Southern Alps and over some of the most legendary Alpine climbs and the two highest; the Col de l’Iseran and the Cime de la Bonette. The scenery shifts dramatically from quintessential Alpine meadow views in the North to rocky gorges and the Mediterranean scrublands of the South. The Raid Alpine allows you to get to know this mountain range intimately.

There are busy sections (thanks to the breathtaking views), but as ever, on 2 wheels you also get to explore the quiet roads and lesser known cols which may well end up being your favourite climbs and descents. Whilst the daily distances and ascents are impressive, and you have 6 days in the saddle, this is a suitable first Raid for those with previous experience climbing in the mountains.

For a decade now we have been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals. We are passionate about our product being the best it can be, and we enable over 100 cyclists a year do the official Raid Alpine route. We provide two highly customised support vans per group, our guides are attentive and energetic, and we know that this is not just a cycling challenge – it is also a holiday, so we keep it fun. It is also about your goals and aspirations and we pride ourselves on our individual customer focus from your first enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.

If you want to visit the Alps, but do not want to do a Raid challenge, then the Classic Cols of the Alps with its flexible itinerary may be the cycling holiday for you.

It is important to us that you book the correct holiday so do read the detailed Trip Notes for all you need on how this holiday works, food, accommodation & travel…  For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Departure Dates & Prices

2018

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Jun
24th Jun - 1st Jul
£1295.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
Jul
15th Jul - 22nd Jul
£1150.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
29th Jul - 5th Aug
£1150.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
Sep
1st Sep - 8th Sep
£1295.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Travel out

We offer included transfers from Geneva Airport to Thonon Les Bains (1hr).

Our pick up times are when we will be leaving the airport, all being well.  Please don’t book flights arriving later than suggested below (in brackets).  

Pick up:
AM: Geneva Airport GVA @ 11:30 (for flights arriving before 11:00)

PM: Geneva Airport GVA @ 17:15 (for flights before 16:45)

These coincide with EJ flights from LGW, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh & Liverpool, BA flights from LHR and Aer Lingus flights from Dublin

Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Meet your guides, assemble bikes and have a welcome briefing and great dinner.

Day 1: Thonon Les Bains to La Clusaz (118km with 3200m ascent)

You have a gentle warm up from the shores of Lake Geneva before you hit the first climb, the Col des Moises (1118m), collecting your first carnet stamp. Your route takes you through lovely pine forests and over the stunning foothills of the Alps (arguably the Col de Terramont and Jambaz are foothills?). Don’t be fooled though, the Col de la Ramaz (1557m) is respectable, and you are stopping for the night in Megeve, a ski resort, so don’t imagine that there isn’t much climbing involved!

Day 2: La Clusaz to Bourg St Maurice (99km with 2900m ascent)

A beautiful ride today through some of the most well known areas of the Alps. You start with the Col des Aravis (1487m) before crossing into the Savoie and taking on the Col de Saisies (1633m) and a fabulous descent to Beaufort. The climbs come in thick and fast today so next up are the Col du Pre (1740m) and Cormet de Roseland (1968m) .  You are rewarded with epic views plus a 26km descent to your hotel in thriving Bourg St Maurice.

Day 3: Bourg St Maurice to Valloire (139km with 3200m ascent)

Up is the word for it! The mighty Col de l’Iseran (2770m) stands between you and your hotel tonight – a whopping 47km climb that definitely sees you earn your carnet stamp at the top!  Enjoy a great descent to Lanslebourg before climbing up on to the balcony road over the Cote d’Aussois (1519m).  Your next down section takes you all the way to the foot of the Col du Télégraphe (1566m), one of the most well known climbs in the Alps.  With that safely ticked off your bucket list you head to the pretty mountain resort of Valloire for the night.

Day 4: Valloire to Vars (120km with 3200m ascent)

Another day of Alpine Classics today, starting with the infamous Col du Galibier (2642) with it’s ‘sting in the tail’ (the last km has an average gradient of 10%).  You enjoy a fast run from the top down into Briancon to start the 2nd ‘big boy’ of the day: the Col d’Izoard (2361m) with it’s monuments to Fausto Coppo and Louison Bobet. It is an epic 19km climb so you get a good run downhill afterwards before taking on the majority of the Col de Vars with its great views of classic Alpine meadows.  Pause in the ski resort of Vars les Claux tonight (1823m).

Day 5: Vars to Valberg (133km with 3400m ascent)

You warm up your legs climbing 350m over 7kms to the summit of the Col de Vars (2105m) to earn a great 20km descent. You have reached the small town of Jausiers which marks the start of the ascent of the highest road going over a col in Europe, on the Cime de la Bonette (2802m). Its a long climb (23km) but is fairly steady and you earn an incredible 53km descent from the top to St Saveur de Tinee. Just one more little cliff hugging climb to go; the Col de la Couillole (1678m) before you reach Valberg for a well earned rest.

Day 6: Valberg to Antibes (155km with 2000m ascent)

You start with a stunning descent through the Gorges de Cian today before climbing the Col de St Raphael (876m) and undulating across some fabulous countryside – dryer and distinctly Mediterranean! The las main col of the Raid is the Col de Bleine (1439m) followed by a 27km descent to St Vallier de Thiey. One more pimple to cross, the Col du Pilon (786m) before you head into suburban Cote d’Azur. Head to the coast and along to the final night’s hotel to meet up with your leaders for your celebratory  glass of bubbles!

Day 7: Travel Back

We offer included transfers from the hotel to Nice Airport (40mins) at specific times.

Our drop off times are when we will be arriving at the airport, all being well.  Please don’t book flights arriving earlier than suggested below (in brackets).  

Drop off: Nice Airport @ 09:00 (for flights after 10:30)
PM: Nice Airport @ 10:15 (for flights after 11:45)

These coincide with EJ flights to LGW & Bristol, and BA flights to LHR.  There is a bit of a wait for EJ flights to Edinburgh & Liverpool plus Jet 2 flights to Manchester.

Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Hall of Fame