Raid Alpine (Nice to Geneva)

Road Cycling Holidays in the Alps

  • The ultimate six-day, iconic cycling challenge from Nice to Lake Geneva
  • 782km route from South to North encompassing over 18,780m of ascent
  • Conquer infamous Alpine climbs including Col de l’Iseran, Col de la Ramaz, Cormet de Roselend, Col d’Izoard, and Cime de la Bonette
  • Incomparable support on the road from two expert and fun Marmot guides with their two customised support vehicles, focused on helping you achieve your goals
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • Includes medal for successful finishers

Days on the bike

6 days

Just a quick note to say a big thanks once again for yet another fantastic Marmot trip.  The organisation was impeccable as ever and we really enjoyed it.  You guys are the best at what you do!

J O'Brien


The Raid Alpine (Nice to Geneva) is an iconic road cycling challenge from the Côte d’Azur to the shores of Lake Geneva. You’ll cycle over some of the most legendary Alpine passes, including the two highest in the Alps: the Col de l’Iseran and Cime de la Bonette. Devised by the Paris Audax club to run in this original, south-to-north direction, the Nice to Geneva raid originally served as a preamble to the Raid Dolomites. However, don’t let the term ‘preamble’ fool you! As with the raid from Geneva to Nice, the joy of this six-day route is discovering the hidden corners of the Alps and appreciating their variety. You’ll experience stunning 360° views of Alpine meadows but there is a host of other breathtaking landscapes to discover before reaching the Savoie-Alps just south of Lake Geneva. The jury is still out as to whether this is the tougher direction of the two Raid Alpines, though it’s probably a little harder at the start of the week.

Since 2004, we’ve been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals on raid cycling challenges. We support around 100 cyclists annually to cycle the official Raid Alpine route and we’re passionate that your experience is the best it can be. We provide two highly customised support vans per group and two skilled Marmot guides who are attentive, energetic and focused on helping you achieve your goals. However, this is your holiday as well as a cycling challenge, so our guides are also there to keep it fun!

You can 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. 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 www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Departure Dates & Prices

We are not planning on running this itinerary in 2024, but will be offering a number of Geneva to Nice Raid Alpine tours. To register your interest for a future Raid Alpine Nice to Geneva departure, please get in touch on [email protected].



Day 0: Arrival day

We offer included transfers from Nice Airport to the hotel in Nice at specified times.

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

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

Day 1: Nice to Valberg

You’ll start your cycling challenge by leaving behind the urban sprawl of Nice and the coastal plain, passing luxury apartments, and heading to the perfume capital of the world, Grasse. After 45km you reach St-Vallier-de-Thiey to take some quieter roads towards the glorious Alpine foothills. This is typical shrubby, Mediterranean landscape and undulates pleasantly with a few small peaks to climb, the Col de Bleine (1439m) being the most noticeable. A quick coffee stop in the fortified town of Entrevaux is recommended before you tackle the stunning, cliff-hugging road through the Gorges de Daluis. Your first taste of the big climbs comes with the Col de Valberg (1672m) up to your hotel.

147km with 3450m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Valberg to Vars

On the menu today are quintessential Alpine climbs starting with the lush meadow surroundings of the Col de la Couillole (1678m). This is followed by a truly epic climb from St Sauveur sur Tinée: 54km(!) to the highest road pass in Europe, the Cime de la Bonette (2802m). This ascent is an incredible achievement and you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views – if there are no clouds! Once at the top, all that is left to do is roll downhill to our hotel in Jausiers.

134km and 3440m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Vars to Cesana Torinese

Today is a BIG day – but it’s also a great one! You start by climbing over the Col de Vars (2109m) to Guillestre. You’ll then enjoy another beautiful gorge ride into the Queyras National Park, home to the infamous Col d’Izoard (2361m) with its monuments to Fausto Coppi and Louison Bobet. From the top, descend to Briançon and head for the Italian border on the other side of the Col de Montgenèvre (1854m). It’s downhill all the way to Cesana, where you must resist the urge to pause at our hotel, and instead cycle up the Colle de Sestriere (2035m) for a carnet stamp. Descend thankfully to our 3* hotel and await your feast – we love this place and you’ll see why!

110km and 2700m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Cesana Torinese to Séez

You’ll have plenty of time to digest your breakfast on the long descent to Susa this morning! The Col du Mont-Cenis (2081m) will take you back into France and it’s a tough climb from this side! Refuel in the café at the top before facing another classic – the 2nd highest col in Europe: the Col de l’Iseran (2764m). This is the most picturesque side to climb and the views are stunning. All that’s left to do is descend (for almost 50km!) to Val-d’Isère and on to our secluded 3* hotel on the outskirts of Bourg-St-Maurice.

149km with 3100m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Séez to La Clusaz

Today starts with the classic Alpine climb, the Cormet de Roselend (1968m). This is the heart of the Alps and exceptionally. You’ll hardly notice the Col du Pré (1740m) and you’ll then enjoy the technical descent to Beaufort. There’s more climbing still to come, in the form of the Col de Saisies (1633m) and Col des Aravis (1487m), both familiar classic climbs of the Tour de France. The Aravis is followed by a nice descent to the thriving ski town of La Clusaz, where we stay the night.

100km with 3090m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: La Clusaz to Thonon-les-Bains

You start the day by leaving La Cusaz, descending to the base of the mighty Col de la Colombière (1618m), the ‘main event’ of the day. Drop down the other side and undulate (with an uphill bias!) to Taninges. Next up, the Col de Ramaz (1557m). It’s not particularly high, but extremely steep from the southeast, making it the most challenging climb of your trip. To get here we must first ascend the gorge and cycle through Les Gets, and finally over the Col de l’Encrenaz (1437m) to avoid a road closure at the base of the Ramaz. Enjoy the tranquil Alpine meadows surrounding the Col de Jambaz (1027m) and Col de Terramont (1080m) before the last col of the week: the Col de Moises (1118m). The shores of Lake Geneva are now in sight and it’s downhill all the way to our hotel for well-deserved celebrations!

119km with 2500m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

Tired but fired up with your achievement, it’s time to head home. We offer included transfers to Geneva airport at set times.

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