Alpine Cols of the Tour de France

“Six days of epic cycling through the Italian and French Alps, following the Tour de France route. Fully supported, and not a race, we stay in 2 star mountain hotels en route. ”


Six days of cycling on Tour de France route | Cuneo | Col de la Bonnette | Lombarde Col | Isola 2000 | Vars Col | Guillestre | Izoard Col | Briancon | Galibier Col | Saint Jean de Maurienne | Croix de Fer | Alpe d’Huez | Barcelonnette | Option to climb Super Sauze or Praloup

Description of Alpine Cols of the Tour de France

Cycling the Alpine cols of the Tour de France is a dream come true for many road cycling enthusiasts, and so we have created this fully guided and supported cycling holiday for those who want to do just that.

An epic ride that starts in the Italian town of Cuneo, we cycle for six days covering an average of 70km per day, but please note that this is not a race. There will often be long distances between cyclists as everyone tackles some of the route’s challenges at their own pace, taking breaks and being given refreshments and drinks by the support team when necessary.

Some of the classic cols to conquer include Col de la Bonnette at 2802m, the highest col in Europe. Or the very beautiful hors category Col de Vars, leading into the Hautes Alpes, which has been used twenty times over the Tour’s history. The most iconic col is perhaps Col du Galibier (2645m), a site of much drama for the professionals over the years, but also the location of a monument dedicated to the memory of Henri Desgranges, founder of the Tour.

There are plenty of opportunities for cyclists who really want to push themselves to take on additional challenges during some of the days, however most want to complete the most exciting of them all: the 21 hairpin bends that take you up to Alpe d’Huez on the last day of cycling. This has an average gradient of 8% although the average for the whole holiday, with long and steady climbs, is 7%. With 100% satisfaction at the end of this week of some of the world’s most iconic cycling.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


Check dates, prices & availability

26 Jun 2022
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Jun 2022 departure
14 Aug 2022
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 14 Aug 2022 departure
Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints (or tyre tracks!) although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to get a real impression of the area.

Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Our guides can advise where to fill them and where to recycle litter.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation and Meals:
We stay in traditional alpine 2-star hotels throughout the trip; all are ideally located along the route and have private facilities. All hotels used are family run and locally owned and staffed. This is part of a conscious effort to encourage employment alternatives where there may not be many, and to keep tourist investment local. Waste is sorted and glass, card and paper are recycled in each establishment. Breakfasts are provided in each hotel in a continental style, there should be fresh, locally sourced produce available. Where meals are not provided, clients are shown cafes, restaurants and markets where they can buy traditional, authentic cuisine.

The trip route takes us through a number of small, Alpine villages and towns which depend on tourist commerce for their livelihood. We try to support these rural areas as much as possible by encouraging clients to use local businesses. For example, the bikes themselves are hired from a locally owned and run company in the village of Bourg d'Oisans, rather than a large company which might be slightly cheaper.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local. In exchange for their expertise on local wildlife, environment and culture that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit. For example, clients are briefed on managing food waste on cycling days- litter can be collected by a guide in a support vehicle and disposed of appropriately, in respect of local recycling policies.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.


Popular similar holidays

Cycling Tour de France climbs in the South Alps

Cycling Tour de France climbs in the South Alps

Cycle the undiscovered south French Alps cols Tdf

From €1050 8 days excluding flights

Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

A unique cycling tour of the Pyrenees

From £1679 8 days including UK flights

Mont Ventoux cycling weekend in France

Mont Ventoux cycling weekend in France

Climb one of the Tour de France's most iconic mountains

From £999 4 days including UK flights

Geneva to Alpe d'Huez cycling holiday in the Alps

Geneva to Alpe d'Huez cycling holiday in the Alps

Tackle Tour de France Climbs & revel in Alpine splendor

From €865 6 days excluding flights