The Alps are one of the largest mountain ranges in the world and this is just one of the reasons why cycling there can be such an incredible experience, whether you’ve been before or it’s your first.
When we think of European cycling, many of us instantly think about the French Alps. It’s associated with cycling through professional racing as well as the love many people have for visiting the area and cycling there casually too.
Popular Cycling Routes
There are lots of famous and popular routes to cycle in the French Alps. You’ll be spoiled for choice, but we’ve picked out some of the most notable climbs and routes you should consider exploring if you decide to head to this part of the world with your bike.
Col du Galibier
Col du Galibier is one of the Tour de France’s highest paths and it was used as part of the event as far back as 1911. It’s a steady path that’s enjoyable to ride. You can approach it in the way that suits you. Take it easy and enjoy the experience or push yourself harder if that’s what you want.
Col du Chaussy
Climbing to the summit of the Col du Chaussy is a truly incredible cycling experience. The surroundings are ideal and there are 17 hairpin bends in total. It starts with the famous Lacets de Montvernier and only gets better as you climb and eventually reach the top that stands a whole kilometre above Saint Jean de Maurienne
This is generally considered one of the toughest climbs in the Tour de France, so if you want to test yourself and ride the path you’ve seen many pros struggle with over the years, the Alpe d’Huez is where you want to head. Any of the 21 bends you’ll find here can present you with a challenge, so you have to remain on your toes at all times.
Cycling & The French Alps
Cycling has always been a big deal in the French Alps. It’s one of the things that makes it so popular with amateur cyclists; people want to cycle the climbs that have become famous through association with the Tour de France. It’s not just the Tour de France that’s known for using the Alps during its races though. La Marmotte goes through the French Alps, and Haute Route is one of the most famous cycling events for amateur cyclists these days. It goes to show how appealing the French Alps are to cyclists.
When to Cycle in The French Alps
The main cycling season in the French Alps is between around the middle of April through to the middle of October. That’s the case for any areas that are below 1500 meters. For anyone wanting to cycle in the higher areas of the French Alps, the cycling seasons starts later in the middle of May and goes through to the end of September. You should avoid cycling in the French Alps in the winter months because it’s simple too cold and treacherous, so stay away from the area between November and March.