Alpine Highlights: 3.5 day mini-break

Road Cycling Holidays in the Alps

  • Three and a half days of world-class cycling in stunning Alpine landscapes
  • Conquer iconic Tour de France climbs in the French Alps – Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Lacets de Montvernier, Col de la Madeleine, Col de la Croix de Fer and more
  • Cycle La Marmotte sportive – at your own pace!
  • Stay in two well-located and comfortable 3* hotels
  • Road bikes with low gearing and e-road bikes are available to hire
  • Multiple route options each day with the flexibility to ride at your own pace
  • Fully support from two expert Marmot guides with our bespoke support vehicles
  • Transfers included from/to Geneva Airport with multiple flight options available

Days on the bike

3.5 days

All the support a rider could possibly need, and more.  A great level of customer service.

G Sullivan


The Maurienne Valley is considered by many to be the best place to cycle in Europe! With numerous bucket-list climbs and spectacular, gravity-defying roads snaking their way through beautiful alpine pastures, it is undoubtedly a fantastic place to ride a bike. This short cycling tour includes some infamous classic climbs of the Tour de France. Think Alpe d’Huez, Galiber, Lacets, de Montvernier, Madeleine, Croix de Fer, La Toussuire, Chaussy, Mollard and more. This tour also includes all the climbs of La Marmotte sportive, so it’s a great opportunity to ride the route, but at a pace that suits you, and over two days.

You’ll have unrivalled support from two of our expert Marmot guides with two fully kitted-out support vehicles. The holiday includes all breakfasts and evening meals (including wine with dinner), and we’ve planned each day’s route to incorporate cafe stops for lunch. As with our other flexi-route, flexi-pace holidays, you really can ride as much or as little as you like, at a pace that suits you without fear of holding up other riders or being held up by others in the group. That said, within a group of around 20 cyclists you can be sure to find other riders with similar aspirations to yourself. This is your holiday and we’re here to help you achieve your personal cycling goals.

To make this mid-week cycling experience as hassle-free as possible, we include transfers from and back to Geneva Airport. You’ll spend three nights at the Hotel St Georges in the centre of St Jean de Maurienne and one night in the Hotel Castillan in La Grave (which has a swimming pool with a view of the Meije glacier). Both these cyclist-friendly hotels are rated as 3-star.

Please read our Trip Notes for full details of this itinerary and further details, to ensure that this is the best cycling holiday for you.

Departure Dates & Prices

Single Room Supplement
17th Jun - 21st Jun
Single Room Sup. £215.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% early bookers discount
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 7.5% group discount and, as the group organiser, receive a £150 voucher for your next holiday
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday (15% for a non-cycling companion).



Day 0: Arrival day (possible afternoon ride up La Toussuire)

We offer morning and afternoon transfers from Geneva airport (GVA) to our start hotel in Saint Jean de Maurienne, a journey of about 1hr 30min.

There will be time to assemble your bike or set up your hire bike  before a briefing and hearty dinner with the group.

Those on the morning transfer will have the opportunity to warm up the legs with a ride up to the ski station and Tour de France stage ending of La Toussuire (1702m)

Classic route: 35km with 1150m ascent [ride profile]

Day 1: Montvernier, Chaussy & Madeleine

Saint Jean de Maurienne is a mecca for road cyclists from all around the world, and today you’ll find out why.

The gravity-defying stack of hairpins of the Lacets de Montvernier is a classic and a Marmot Tours favourite that is bound to put a smile on your face. This leads nicely into the Col du Chaussy (1533m), a ‘characterful’ climb with spectacular views – hopefully, these will ease the pain of the few punchy sections!

Following a nice lunch, returning to the hotel for a massage is a good option, but for those with energy left, you might like to take on the mighty Col de la Madeleine (2000m).

Classic route: 47km with 1200m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 76km with 2350m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Télégraphe & Galibier

Your main objective today is the Col du Galibier (2642m). Starting down at 550m, it is a climb full of variety and character as you rise out of the industrial valley floor through lush forests to the Col du Télégraphe (1566m). After a little respite in the ski station of Valloire, you continue through open moorland and spectacular mountain scenery all the way to the col. This is quite a special place oozing with Tour de France history. You will be pleased to hear that it’s ‘down’ for the rest of the day to the charming resort of La Grave … that is unless you opt for the challenge route. This involves descending to the Col du Lautaret and back up the Col du Galibier (2642m) from the South to ensure you make the most of this mighty mountain.

Easier route with lift up Télégraphe in the support van: 43km with 1230m ascent
Classic route: 68km with 2290m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 85km with 2880m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: L'Alpe d’Huez & Col de Croix de Fer

Riding a road bike up the 21 bends to the ski station of  L’Alpe d’Huez (1845m) is a genuinely emotional experience. The road climbs steeply, and you quickly gain awe-inspiring views, but it is the TdF history that makes this climb unique. With the orange-stained tarmac of Dutch Corner and the names of cycling heroes painted on the road, you cannot escape it – here you are, riding your bike in the same arena as the TdF legends. You will want to give this climb everything you have!

This 13.9km long 1118m climb is not everyone’s idea of fun, so those who want a more leisurely day can skip it and enjoy the climb to the Col de la Croix-de-Fer (2067m). This is one of our favourite cycling climbs in the French Alps, with reservoirs, alpine pastures and great views. The col is adorned with a great cafe, making it the perfect place to savour the moment with an ice cream before descending (mostly) down to St Jean de Maurienne.

Today’s ride is a fabulous grand finale to three exceptional days on the road bike.

[If you want to take on Alpe d’Huez but are unsure if you will have the energy for the Croix de Fer afterwards, you could always catch a tactical lift in one of our support vehicles (with limited places).]

Classic route: 95km with 1720m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 118km with 2870m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Departure day

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We will transfer you back to Geneva (1hr 30min) in the morning with a smile on your face and a load of kudos!