Over the years we have organized cycling trips to several regions in the Alps, Dolomites and the Pyrenees. Below is a selection of some of our past trips:
The Tour de France in the Southern French Alps
This trip was tailored around watching the Tour de France. Starting and finishing in Nice, France, we made our way to Briancon in two days via the Col de la Bonette and Col de Vars. We stayed for three days in this pretty mountain town and watched the riders come by on two stages of the Tour de France, including on the climb of Col du Galibier. We then headed south again via the mighty Col d’Izoard and the beautiful lake of Serre-Poncon. The route back to Nice was via the superb Col de la Cayolle and the impressive canyon of the Gorges de Cians.
The Giro d’Italia in the Dolomites
Europe’s toughest climbs for road cyclists are arguably to be found in the Italian Dolomites and the organizers of the Giro d’Italia know how to make use of them! Starting and finishing in Cortina d’Ampezzo, we spent a week in the region and watched two of the hardest stages of the Giro d’Italia live, with finishes at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Monte Zoncolan. Our tour included many famous passes including the brutal Passo Giau, the Passo Rolle, Forcella Staulanza, Passo Duran and many more.
Switzerland and the Italian Lakes
In 9 days we went from Lake Maggiore to Lake Como via some of the highest Swiss passes. We stayed in each town for two consecutive nights, providing time for sightseeing and relaxing whilst still packing in loads of cycling. From the picturesque town of Canobbio on the Italian side of Lake Maggiore we rode to Andermatt in Switzerland via the cobbled St. Gotthard Pass. Our rest day was in the high altitude valley of Lenzerheide where we did a fantastic hike to a local peak. Beside St. Gotthard, major passes that we rode on this trip included Furka, Nufenen, Oberalp and Splügen. We ended with rides along Lake Como, including the Ghisallo climb out of Bellagio to visit the cycling museum at the top.
Often overlooked, the Pyrenees offer great cycling challenges on roads that are significantly less busy than in the Alps. We have organized a week-long tour from east to west, staying at each hotel for two consecutive nights and a rest day in Bagneres de Luchon, a pleasant spa resort. The stages included many climbs of Tour de France fame like Port, Agnes, Portet d’Aspet, Mente, Bales, Peyresourde, Aspin, Hautacam and of course Tourmalet.
Nice and the Maritime Alps
Combining beach time and cycling, this trip featured 4 nights on the French Riviera and 4 nights in hotels in the mountains, with a rest day in Barcelonnette. The rides included loops out of Nice including the Braus and Eze, which is frequently featured as the last stage of the famous Paris – Nice race. Another famous ascent, Madone, was popular after it has become known as Lance Armstrong’s favorite time trial route during his preparation for the tour. Other climbs and stages through the Alps included Cayolle, Couillole and Bonette. On the rest day we hiked along a trail at the ski resort of Pra Loup.
Tour de France, Italian Riviera and Piemonte
This was probably our most diverse trip to date. We started off in Monaco where we watched the time trial stage of the Tour de France. We then headed along the Italian Riviera and crossed the Ligurian Alps into the Piemonte wine region, where we had a rest day. We made good use of it by visiting wineries! The trip continued with some tough stages in the mountains of Piemonte where we climbed the high altitude Sampeyre and Fauniera passes. We then rode back to France via the scenic and quiet Lombarda pass.
Slovenia and the Julian Alps
Some of our trips take riders east of the Dolomites to visit less traveled parts of the Alps. On example is our Julian Alps trip which is mostly in Slovenia. We visited the Soca Valley, and stopped at Lake Bled, which was home to the rowing world championships during the same month. We climbed Mangart in the beautiful Bovec Valley, which is the most famous climb in the region. Our group was taken by the raw beauty of the region, and the authentic feel of the untouched valleys and mountain roads.
Tyrol and the Austrian Alps
Our late-season trip to Tyrol and the Austrian Alps started in a small town in Bludenz, and took our group across picturesque valleys and infamously steep and tough climbs. We rode the Zillertaler Hohenstrasse, which averages 12% over 6 miles. We also climbed the famous Timmelsjoch, which is often called the “secret gate to the south”. It is the highest pass in the Eastern Alps at a height of 2509 meters covering more than 60 snaking bends. Another highlight was the beautiful but challenging Grossglockner road.