Raid Alpine (Geneva to Nice)

Road Cycling Holidays in the Alps

  • 6 day cycling challenge from Lake Geneva to Nice
  • 770km route from north to south encompassing 18,000m of ascent
  • Infamous climbs: the Col de l’Iseran and Cime de la Bonette
  • Official route including registration, certificate & medal for successful finishers
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • All evening meals, water & wine included
  • 2 customised support vans with attentive, proactive and fun guides
  • Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours to enable you to achieve your goals

Days on the bike

6 days

What a fantastic week it was and I am still re-living every moment of it. Doing a Raid is quite a special moment in one's life - it is so much more than an achievement, almost life-changing.

M Cameron


The official Raid Alpine North-South is a classic road cycling challenge from Lake Geneva to Nice through the Southern Alps and over some of the most legendary Alpine climbs. The scenery shifts dramatically from quintessential Alpine meadow views in the north to rocky gorges and Mediterranean landscapes of the south. The Raid Alpine allows you to get to know this mountain range intimately.

The breathtaking views mean that the route is busy in places but as ever, you also get to explore many quiet roads and lesser known cols. Whilst the daily distances and ascents over six consecutive days are daunting, this is a suitable first Raid for cyclists with previous experience of climbing in the mountains.

Since 2004 we have been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals in the mountains of Europe. You will be supported by two 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 and individual customer focus from your first enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.

If you’re interested in road-cycling in the Alps but do not want to do a Raid, then have a look at our ‘flexi-route, flexi-pace’ Alpine cycling holidays (Alpine Classic Cols, Classic Cols of the Southern AlpsAlpine Highlights Minibreak). Read more about the area 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. 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…

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check



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 (ok, not quite such a ‘foothill!’).

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 km 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 the ‘cheese mecca’ of Beaufort. The climbs come in thick and fast today; next up is the testing Col du Pré (1740m), a quick dash across the dam (pictured), followed by the comparatively gentle Cormet de Roselend (1968m). You are rewarded with fantastic views all afternoon and an epic 26km descent to your hotel in Bourg-St-Maurice.

99km with 2900m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Bourg-St-Maurice to Valloire

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 onto the balcony road over the Côte 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 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 day of Alpine Classics today, starting with the infamous Col du Galibier (2642) with its ‘sting in the tail’ (10% av. gradient for the last km).  Enjoy a fast run from the top down into Briançon to start the 2nd ‘big boy’ of the day: the Col d’Izoard (2361m) with its monuments to Fausto Coppi 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 (2109m) with its great views of classic Alpine meadows. You pause 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 km of the Col de Vars (2105m) and after a great 20km descent and a brief dash along the valley, you arrive at Jausiers, quietly at the base of today’s main event – the highest road going over a col 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

Start with a stunning descent through the Gorges du Cian today before climbing the Col de Saint-Raphaël (876m) and undulating across some fabulous countryside – drier and distinctly Mediterranean! The last 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 Côte d’Azur. Head to the coast and along to the final night’s hotel to meet up with your guides for your celebratory glass of bubbles!

160km with 2000m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

Transfers to the airport 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.