Raid Alpine (Lake Geneva to Nice)

Road Cycling Holidays in the Alps

  • Six-day cycling challenge through the French Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice
  • 770km route from north to south with 18,000m of ascent
  • Cycle infamous Tour de France climbs: Col de l’Iseran, Col du Galibier, Cime de la Bonette and more
  • An iconic road cycling challenge, with medal for successful finishers
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • All evening meals, including wine with dinner
  • Two customised support vans with two expert, attentive and fun Marmot guides
  • 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


The Raid Alpine (Lake Geneva to Nice) is a classic road cycling challenge through the French Alps over some of the most legendary Alpine climbs, including two of the highest passes in the Alps, the Cime de la Bonette and the Col de l’Iseran. The scenery shifts dramatically from quintessential Alpine meadows in the north to magnificent rocky gorges and Mediterranean landscapes in the south. One of the delights of cycling the Raid Alpine is exploring the hidden corners of the Alps and lesser known cols, as well as the more recognised climbs and passes. Whilst the daily distances and ascents over six consecutive days can be daunting, this is a suitable first raid for cyclists with previous experience of climbing in the mountains.

Since 2004 we’ve been supporting cyclists to achieve their goals in the mountains of Europe. You’ll be supported by two expert Marmot guides (in our highly customised support vans) who are attentive and energetic, and whose aim is to make your holiday the best it can be. We are passionate about what we do, and we pride ourselves on our attention to detail. This may be a group holiday, but we treat every cyclist as an individual, from when we receive your enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.

If you’re interested in road cycling in the Alps but don’t want to do a raid, then take a look at our flexible route, flexible pace Alpine cycling holidays: Alpine Classic Cols, Classic Cols of the Southern Alps, and our 3.5 day Alpine Highlights Minibreak). You can also read more about cycling in the Alps and our adventures supporting Cyclist magazine’s Big Ride feature by clicking this link. To find out more about the history and format of a raid, you could check out our blog (21/03/19) here. Finally, you could also head over to our You Tube channel and watch our Classic Cols of the Alps video, where you’ll see plenty of climbs and cols that you’ll be tackling on the Raid Alpine.

It is important to us that you book a holiday that’s right for you, so do read the Trip Notes for all you need to know about how this holiday works; food, accommodation, travel and so on.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice



Departure Dates & Prices

Single Room Supplement
26th Aug - 2nd Sep
Single Room Sup. £340.00
Single Room Supplement
21st Jun - 28th Jun
Single Room Sup. £340.00
6th Jul - 13th Jul
Single Room Sup. £340.00
1st Sep - 8th Sep
Single Room Sup. £340.00

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.



Day 0: Arrival day

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

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

Enjoy a gentle warm up from the shores of Lake Geneva before the first climb (and stamp) of the trip: the diminutive Col des Moises (1118m). From here your route takes you through quiet pine forests and over the stunning foothills of the Alps. Along the way you’ll pass the stunning Col de Terramont (1080m), Jambaz (1027m) and Col de la Ramaz (1557m) and on to the classic Grand Colombiere (1613m) towards the end of the day.

118km with 3200m ascent [ride profile]



Day 2: La Clusaz to Bourg-St-Maurice

A beautiful ride today through some of the most well known areas of the Alps. Tick off the final few kms of the Col des Aravis (1487m) before crossing into the Savoie region and taking on the Col de Saisies (1633m) with its fabulous descent to Beaufort, a town famous for its cheese. Next up is the testing Col du Pré (1740m), before crossing the dam to the comparatively gentle Cormet de Roselend (1968m). You are rewarded with fantastic views all afternoon and an epic 26km descent to your hotel on the outskirts of Bourg-St-Maurice.

99km with 2900m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Bourg-St-Maurice to Valloire

The mighty Col de l’Iseran (2770m) stands between you and your hotel tonight – a whopping 47km climb that means your carnet stamp at the top is well earned!  Enjoy a great descent to Lanslebourg before climbing up onto the balcony road over the Côte d’Aussois (1519m).  Your next stretch takes you to the foot of the Col du Télégraphe (1566m), one of the most recognised climbs in the Alps. With that ticked off, you head to the pretty mountain resort of Valloire for the night.

140km with 3200m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Valloire to Vars

Another fantastic day’s riding packed with classic Alpine cycling climbs, starting with the infamous Col du Galibier (2642) with its ‘sting in the tail’ (10% av. gradient for the last km).  After the long descent into Briançon, you’ll start the second big climb of the day, the Col d’Izoard (2361m) with its monuments to Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet. Another exhilarating descent takes you to the base of the Col de Vars (2109m) with its great views of classic Alpine meadows. You stop before the summit of the Col de Vars to stay in the ski resort of Vars-les-Claux tonight (1823m).

121km with 3200m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Vars to Valberg

You warm up your legs this morning by ticking off the last few kms of the Col de Vars (2105m) and after a great 20km descent and a brief dash along the valley, you arrive at Jausiers, sitting quietly at the base of today’s main event – the highest paved road in Europe, the famous Cime de la Bonette (2802m). It is a long climb at 23km but is fairly steady and you earn an incredible 53km descent from the top, down to St-Sauveur-sur-Tinée. Just one more cliff-hugging climb to go: the Col de la Couillole (1678m) before you reach the iconic ski town of Valberg for a well-earned rest.

134km with 3400m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Valberg to Nice

You start today with a stunning descent through the Gorges du Cian, before climbing the Col de Saint-Raphaël (876m) and undulating across some fabulous countryside, which becomes drier and  distinctly Mediterranean! The last main col of the Raid Alpine is the Col de Bleine (1439m) followed by a 27km descent to St-Vallier-de-Thiey. There’s just one more little hill to cross, the Col du Pilon (786m) before you arrive in suburban Côte d’Azur. Head to the coast and along to the final night’s hotel for your celebratory glass of bubbles!

160km with 2000m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

Transfers to Nice airport (NCE) are included and take 10min. We use the hotel’s airport shuttle service which runs from 6am.

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