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Geneva to Annecy: Famous Climbs and Lesser-known Passes

French Alps Self-guided trip: Starts any Friday or Sunday from April through October 2019
Starting on another weekday possible for groups (must be 4 or more at time of booking and departure)
5 nights/6 days
Daily mileage: From 95 km (60 miles) to 119 km (74 miles). A LEISURELY ROUTE IS ALSO AVAILABLE
Trip starts from Geneva and ends in Annecy. Geneva is serviced by low-cost airlines such as Easyjet
From 645 euros per person sharing a double room

Geneva to Annecy: Famous Climbs and Lesser-known Passes —
5 nights/6 days

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Self-guided cycling trip: Challenging Alpine tour from Geneva to Annecy
Self-guided cycling trip: Challenging Alpine tour from Geneva to Annecy
  Designed for serious cyclists, this tour links three of Europe's most beautiful lakes: Geneva, Bourget and Annecy. Follow in the tracks of your Tour de France heroes as you cycle thrilling mountain passes, take in stunning panoramas and pass through picturesque Alpine villages.

Replenish your energy with some regional specialities — such as the famous Beaufort cheese and Chartreuse, the intensely aromatic liqueur made by monks high up in the mountains — before exploring the many historic churches, museums and monuments you'll encounter on the way.

The tour also takes you into the heart of the Savoy wine region, through notable wine-growing villages such as Apremont, Abymes and Chignin, famed for light, crisp whites that carry the delicate scent of Alpine flowers.
Day 1 (Friday or Sunday): Arrive in Geneva

Arrive in Geneva at your leisure. Take time to discover this international city and its alluring lake on your own. In the beautiful old town you’ll find authentic Swiss restaurants; for international fare, plenty of restaurants are located in the Paquis district. Depending on the option you choose, you will lodge in downtown Geneva or across the border in a quiet French suburb.
Day 2 (Saturday or Monday): Geneva — Seyssel via Le Col De Richemond and Le Col De La Biche (90 km/56 miles, 1,974 meters/6,460 ft of climbing)

In the morning, you will meet our staff and be provided with all the necessary materials (our kit includes marked maps, detailed route notes, tourist information, and a pre-loaded GPS) for the next few days’ adventure.

Today’s itinerary takes you through pretty Swiss villages such as Avully, Cartigny, Russin and Chancy before entering France through the Usses valley. You will then head up into the Jura mountains and the passes of Col de Richemond — included in the 2012 Tour de France — and Col de la Biche. The stage ends in the charming town of Seyssel, which straddles the Rhone River.
Day 3 (Sunday or Tuesday): Seyssel — Aix-Les-Bains via Le Grand Colombier (95 km/60 miles, 2,082 meters/6,831 ft of climbing)

From Seyssel, you cycle through the wine-growing region of Chautagne before riding through Culoz at the foot of the Col du Grand Colombier, one of France's most challenging mountain passes. Making its Tour de France début in 2012, Colombier's steepest section has a punishing gradient of 10.2% — but all that effort will be rewarded with spectacular views of the region.

After visiting the pretty village of Chanaz, the route takes you to the shores of Lake Bourget, whose brilliant blue waters are home to more than 30 species of fish and various rare birds. As France's largest lake, it’s also a top destination for windsurfing, kayaking, water-skiing, diving and a range of other sports.

The ride ends at the foot of the Alps in Aix-les-Bains, Bourget's most important town and a popular spa resort. Investigate Roman ruins or ramble through lush gardens before heading to the town's historic center, where bustling cafés and first-rate restaurants exude Belle Epoque charm.
Day 4 (Monday or Wednesday): Aix-Les-Bains — Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny via Les Bauges (98 km/61 miles, 2,800 meters/9,185 ft of climbing; to Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny: 85 km/53 miles, 2,600 meters/8,505 ft of climbing)

Today’s ride will take you out of Aix-les-Bains and towards Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère through the beautiful Bauges mountains, one of France’s best-kept secret areas. Your GPS will take you on very quiet roads where you are bound to experience zen-like moments as you ride in total silence with views over the nearby Aravis, Chartreuse, and Belledone mountains. The big climb of the day is Mont-Revard, a 21 km/13 mile climb featured in The Tour 5 times. Your ride will end in either of the picturesque towns of Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, depending on your hotel preference.
Day 5 (Tuesday or Thursday): Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère/Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny — Annecy via Col des Saisies and Col des Aravis (110 km/68 miles, 3,060 meters/10,035 ft of climbing; from Saint-Pierre-d'Albigny: 119 km/74 miles, 3,125 meters/10,255 ft of climbing )

The final ride of the tour first takes you from Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère or Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny to Annecy via the Olympic town of Albertville, home of the 1992 Winter Games.

On your way, you will ride two famous mountain passes. First up is the challenging Col des Saisies, with an ascent of around 15 km and a gradient of 6.4%. Next is the Col des Aravis, featured in the Tour almost 40 times, 12-km climb and an average gradient of 5%.

The ride ends by Lake Annecy, which hosted a time-trial in the 2009 Tour and was featured in the 2013 Tour de France. Canals crisscross the medieval town center — hence its “Venice of the Savoy” nickname — and a medieval castle dominates. For a truly relaxing end to your holiday, take a dip in Lake Annecy's turquoise waters or simply sunbathe on its shores.
Day 6 (Wednesday or Friday): Departure

You can depart at the time of your choice. We highly recommend spending a few hours strolling through the old part of Annecy, one of France’s prettiest towns.
Booking & Pricing
From 645 euros per person sharing a double room

Two options are available for this trip:

Option A: 4 nights in 2-star hotels & 1 night in a 3-star hotel (in Gaillard, just 7 kilometers/4 miles from the center of Geneva)

  • 645 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 220 euros
  • 660 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 230 euros
  • 680 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 240 euros

Option A+: 3 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a guesthouse of character & 1 night in a 2-star hotel (in Seyssel)

  • 860 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 370 euros
  • 875 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 380 euros
  • 895 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 390 euros

These prices include:

  • 5 nights' accommodation as described above
  • Daily breakfast
  • 2 dinners (drinks are not included)
  • Meeting with our local representative on the morning of Day 2
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s mobile number)
  • All tax and service charges

These prices do not include:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Full-carbon racing bikes are available at the rate of 190 euros per bike. This price includes the 20-euro drop-off fee for the bike’s return to Geneva.
For further information or reservations:
Please book online or contact us at your earliest convenience as this trip is subject to hotel availability.
Our e-mail address:
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