Alps Challenge



Alps Challenge

A Heroic Adventure

Conquer France's most dramatic climbs on our 6-day Alps Challenge bike trip.

Surrounded by scenic views from some of the most rewarding alpine passes in France, each day brings new challenging climbs like Col de la Forclaz, Semnoz, Col du Télégraphe, and the Col du Galibier. The week finishes with the ulitmate race challenge as you compete for the Queen/King of the Mountains award with a grueling timed ascent of the legendary Alpe d’Huez.



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Annecy, France | Grenoble, France



Daily Itinerary



Today's Ride:

Menthon-St. Bernard to Col du Marais Loop
Approximately 30 miles with 1,600 feet of climbing


Your Trek Travel guides will meet you at the Annecy Train Station (Place de la Gare, 74000 Annecy, France) at 9:30 AM on the first day of the trip. A short walk through the bustling heart of the city and the Sunday market leads you to a ferry that will take you and your new traveling companions across Lake Annecy to your hotel. Lunch will be a delicious Trek Travel picnic featuring a range of local specialties hand picked by your guides. After a round of introductions and a thorough bike fitting, you’ll take to the road for a spin in the alpine hills. After a challenging and beautiful climb followed by a winding, forested descent, you’ll finish your warm-up along Lake Annecy and arrive at the hotel with ample time for a swim in the pristine waters of the lake.You’ll gather with the rest of the group for an evening wine reception and then enjoy dinner at the hotel.

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Le Palace de Menthon
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Today's Ride:

Menthon-St. Bernard to Col de la Forclaz to Col de Leschaux to Col de Semnoz Loop
Approximately 54 miles with 7200 feet of climbing


Your first stage starts with an intense climb up the imposing switchback ascent of Col de la Forclaz, originally a trail used by mule teams and smugglers to pass over the mountain. Continue to push your limits as you race up 8 miles of steady climbing on Col de Leschaux and finally Mont Semnoz, the mountaintop finish of the penultimate stage of the 2013 Tour de France. Finish your first Alps Challenge race day with a few final turns around the placid waters of Lake Annecy and savor your achievement with lunch overlooking the winding canals of this charming town.This afternoon is yours to enjoy at your own pace, recover from the morning’s ride and unwind with a relaxing massage to prepare for the days ahead. Tonight, your guides will announce and award the Stage One Alps Challenge winner and discuss the logistics for tomorrow’s intimidating Stage Two.


Le Palace de Menthon
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Today's Ride:

Annecy to La Grave with Col du Télégraphe & Col du Galibier
Approximately 115 miles with 10,700 feet of climbing


Stage 2, and your first King/Queen of the Mountains opportunity featuring two infamous Alps passes: Col du Télégraphe, and the lofty Col du Galibier! This demanding route is similar to what the Pros ride each July. In fact, Galibier is often the highest point in the Tour de France, and the elevation makes it one of the highest paved roads in France with a maximum grade just over 10%! Your experienced Trek Travel guides and van support will be available along the way to ensure you are fully fueled.With awesome Trek Travel support, you can focus on the race and the road, to battle against your newfound friends for bragging rights and the day’s crown. Once the day’s endeavors are over, head onto the hotel, your base for the next three days. There, relax with a cold drink and a smile on the hotel terrace and a well earned massage. This evening, savor a hearty Savoyard dinner at the hotel and salute today’s winner as your guides reveal tomorrow’s recovery ride details.


Auberge Edelweiss
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Today's Ride:

Approximately 36 miles with 4600 feet of climbing

Short Option:

La Grave to Les Deux Alpes via Venosc Télécabine
Approximately 20 miles with 950 feet of climbing


There are two options available today, depending on how you’re feeling after yesterday’s epic race day. Spin downhill toward the village of Bourg d’Oisans and marvel at the majestic Bérarde Valley, while climbing alongside the turquoise river to reach the small shepherd village of La Bérarde. Here you’ll have time to enjoy a lunch of your choice, while soaking in the magnificent views of the Ecrins Mountains. On your return, a cable car will give you a lift to the ski resort of Les Deux Alpes, a mountaintop resort often showcased in past Tours. If you’d prefer to not ride today, rest yor legs and hop a cable car to the top of the La Grave ski area, where you can walk on the glacier and marvel at its rugged peaks; or simply enjoy some down time at your hotel.Tonight you’re free to explore the charming village of La Grave for dinner and get mentally prepared for the ultimate challenge: a double ascent of Alpe d’Huez!


Auberge Edelweiss
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Today's Ride:

Alpe d’Huez King/Queen of the Mountains Double Ascent Challenge
Approximately 60 miles with 10500 feet of climbing


Today’s Stage 3 is an avid road cyclist’s dream—ascending Alpe d’Huez, the most revered and famous mountaintop finish in France. Your ride starts with an easy 19-mile downhill warm-up to the base of Alpe d’Huez, with the timed challenge starting at the ascent of the infamous 21-switchbacks to the summit of this most imposing pass.This climb was first included in the Tour in 1952 and each year is one of the most exciting points in the race as the Pros dance on their pedals to the summit after pushing through an average grade of nearly 8%. If this isn’t enough, you will continue, following the 2013 Tour de France route and a winding alpine road over the Col de Sarenne, witnessing some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever experience from the seat of a bicycle.You’ll head back down to the base of Alpe d’Huez to ascend, for the second time! After all the riders have crossed the check point, the winner will be crowned and all contenders will have their photo taken on the podium before being presented with official certificates documenting their achievement. Later, relax with a bistro lunch while you linger at the top of this mighty mountain and soak up the reward of the grueling ascent—astounding views, the support and good cheer of your Trek Travel guides, the camaraderie of kindred spirits and the pride that you’ve just mastered one of cycling’s most difficult climbs . . . twice! Gather for drinks tonight at the hotel and raise a toast to the final stage of the Alps Challenge, today’s stage winner and each other for having the courage to chase these epic dreams.


Auberge Edelweiss
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Today's Ride:

Le Chazelet Hill Climb
Approximately 10 miles with 1300 feet of climbing


If you’re interested in one last farewell climb, ascend above the village of La Grave to a five-star panoramic viewpoint of the La Meije massif—stunning mountains and tumbling glaciers from the best seat in the house. You’ll say farewell to your guides at 10:00 AM at the Auberge Edelweiss.You will be arriving by 11:30 AM at the Grenoble main train station. Please do not book a train before 12:00 PM on this day. For all train travel, feel free to confirm train times on the posted timetable at France’s rail site,

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Dates & Pricing


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Le Palace de Menthon

Menthon St. Bernard, France (Haute-Savoie)

This chateau-like hotel is ideally located between the lake and the mountains. Le Palace de Menthon sits on the shores of Lake Annecy, considered the cleanest lake in Europe, directly beneath the Col de la Forclaz. It is the perfect base for the “Classic Climbs” vacation of a lifetime.

Auberge Edelweiss

HAUTE, France

For years, the French Alps have been known for epic climbs of the Tour de France. Many of us wonder what they are really all about. Most people come on this trip to climb Alpe d'Huez, one of the most famous climbs of all, with its 21 switchbacks. However, what I most look forward to as a guide is our social hour on night 3 in La Grave, after we have climbed both Télégraphe and Galibier, the double dose! At social hour, many guests cannot believe what they accomplished and their awe for professional racers increases dramatically, as they compare their feat to those who have come before them. For me, the joy comes in helping our guests realize their own potential and helping them achieve their dreams!

What's Included

We Include More

Every moment of a Trek Travel bike trip has more than you could have ever dreamed. More romance. More scenery. More choice. It's the little additions to every Trek Travel cycling vacation that make it truly special. And that’s how we help you create more memories. See more

  • Gratuities for all scheduled special events, restaurants, hotels, local guides and transportation during your trip.
  • Private tours
  • Entrance fees to all group events/activities
  • All transportation during the trip, including private coaches
  • 5 nights of accommodation
  • In every region we travel, we uncover the area’s best, and most delightful accommodations. On our Classic Climbs of the Alps - Challenge trip, you will stay in two very different and charming hotels. At the Belle Epoque era Palace de Menthon, enjoy a daily post-ride swim from the hotel’s private dock. While at the cozy Auberge Edelweiss, enjoy warm hospitality and spectacular views of the surrounding glaciers.
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 2 social hours, 3 dinners, and all snacks and drinks for each day
  • On our Classic Climbs of the Alps - Challenge trip, you’ll be experiencing a variety of regional Savoyard cuisine. This is the home of the fondue, raclette, and tartiflette dishes. Meals are presented with avid cyclists in mind. Breakfast is always served at the hotel, buffet style, to fuel you for each day’s challenge.
  • The knowledge, support, and camaraderie of experienced guides
  • Daily route support
  • The use of Garmin Touring Plus GPS cycling computer
  • Paper route guides also available upon request
  • Comprehensive trip literature and complimentary Trek merchandise
  • The use of a Trek Domane 5.9 carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting, or Trek Domane 5.9 Women’s Specific Design carbon road bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting(limited selection), or Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid bicycle
  • The use of Garmin Touring Plus GPS cycling computer
  • The use of Trek bike helmets and other gear and equipment to make your ride comfortable
  • Trek Travel t-shirt and cycling socks
  • Trek Travel water bottles
  • $300 Discount on a 5 or 6 series Trek Domane or Madone, or Project One purchased at your local Trek dealer

Thank your Guides, by tipping

Gratuities for your Trek Travel guides are not included in your trip price. Industry standard is 5-­10% of the trip price which will be divided by your guide team. Please tip your guides at your discretion, based on their level of professionalism, guest care and service.

  • Airfare and transportation to and from the trip pick-up/drop-off locations
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Optional activities not scheduled by Trek Travel
  • On select trips some meals are not included. On these trips, Trek Travel invites you to explore the local cuisine at your leisure.
  • Gratuities for your Trek Travel Guides may be given at your discretion in response to their professionalism and leadership.Industry standard is for each individual guest to tip the guide team 5-10% of the trip price.


Trip Changes

Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer each and every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or guides to improve the trip experience.

  • Rider Type | 4
  • Average Daily Mileage | 40
  • Terrain | Hilly
  • Average Daily Elevation | 4,000

On all of our vacations, Trek Travel strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Alps Challenge is best suited for our Type 4 Riders. Type 4+ Riders will enjoy the extra mileage the avid route options offer. The terrain is highlighted by stunning views, quiet roads and challenging terrain. We will make an average of 2-3 major climbs per day that combine sustained climbing with several steep sections. See day by day itinerary for specific daily ride distance and elevation options.

This destination is best suited to guests who want to cycle every day. Because of the terrain and/or remoteness of the hotels and riding routes, there are few, if any, non-riding options available. If a non-rider wants to accompany a rider guest on this trip, they would need to spend many hours in the van and/or at the hotels on the trip. Due to this, we strongly discourage non-riders from this destination. As an alternative, call a Trek Travel Trip Consultant at 866.464.8735 for trip suggestions where more non-rider activities are available, such as:

  • Provence
  • Tuscany

The summer months in the Alps can bring warm days, ranging from the mid 60s to low 80s, with evenings dropping to the mid 50s to mid 60s. When traveling in the Alps, it is best to be prepared for variable conditions, as weather can change very quickly. There is always the chance of snow and rain. We recommend always traveling with rain gear, as well as plenty of breathable layers to provide warmth when the temperature drops.

For an additional fee you may request to upgrade to a race-proven Trek Madone 6.5 with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting for the ultimate riding experience. Upgrades to Bontrager Aeolus carbon wheels and Trek Ride Plus electric assist bicycle are also available. Contact our trip consultants for more details.

We understand things happen in life and sometimes you have to cancel or change your bike tour. We want to make it as easy as possible to do so and below you will find our timeline. If you ever have a question, just give us a call, 866 464 8735. Read our cancellation policy.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Check out our General FAQs section. You will find answers to all the most common questions that don't necessarily pertain to a specific trip.

Travel Services

How to get there

We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the trip start, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays. We recommend that you fly into Paris (CDG) or Geneva (GVA). From Paris’ Gare de Lyon, trains depart daily for Annecy with a travel time of 4-5 hours. The train journey from Geneva to Annecy takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours. However, train options and times are somewhat limited to and from Geneva and can sometimes present more logistical challenges. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the Geneva airport to Annecy for approximately 100 euros or a bus for 20 euros. Please consult

The trip ends in Grenoble and we recommend booking your return flight from Paris (CDG) or Lyon (LYS). Trains run from Grenoble to both Paris and Lyon. Please consult or speak with our travel agent for current train schedules.

Annecy Train Station | Annecy, France

Your Trek Travel guides will meet you at the Annecy Train Station (Place de la Gare, 74000 Annecy, France) at 9:30 AM on the first day of the trip. A beautiful ferry ride across the lake will bring you to the hotel where you’ll begin your ride. Please have your first day’s riding gear handy and separate from your other luggage to facilitate the bike fitting and ride.

If you will be late for the pick-up or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your guides. You will receive an email a week before the trip start with their names and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call our first hotel, Le Palace de Menthon (+33 (0)4 50 64 83 00), and leave a message with your expected arrival time and contact details. You may take a taxi to the first night’s hotel, Le Palace de Menthon, in Menthon-St. Bernard. The cost of a taxi is approximately 40 euros.

Grenoble Train Station | Grenoble, France

You will say farewell to your guides at 10:00:00 at the Auberge Edelweiss. You will be arriving by 11:30 AM at the Grenoble main train station. Please do not book a train before 12:00 PM on this day. For all train travel, feel free to confirm train times on the posted timetable at France’s rail site,


If you have the time, consider staying in Annecy at the beginning of your trip to further explore the diverse activities this French town offers. Guided tours of historic Annecy allow you to discover the medieval aspects of the town and visit buildings dating back to the Renaissance and 12th century. Hiking trails are numerous, covering diverse terrain, offering spectacular views all around, and water activities are bountiful along the lake. Paragliding is world-renowned in Annecy, boasting some of the world’s best and providing, literally, a bird’s eye view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Be sure to lounge in the park by the lake, just across from the town center, or linger at a café or ice cream parlor surrounded by flowers. We recommend the following accommodations for your pre-trip hotel.

L’Impérial Palace

Located in a park on Lake Annecy, l’Impérial Palace houses the Casino Impérial, as well as one of the most famous convention centers in France. It has been fully remodeled and includes both a fitness and a beauty center with a sauna and steam bath. 98 rooms.

32 Avenue Albigny | +33 (0)4 50 09 30 00 | | ~$315

Les Trésoms

This is a residence-style hotel that dates from the early 1900’s, with a shaded terrace overlooking the swimming pool and a beautiful view of the lake. 48 rooms.

3 Boulevard Corniche | +33 (0)4 50 51 43 84 | | ~$300

Hotel Splendid

This recently renovated hotel is ideally located between the lake and the mountains. The Hotel Splendid sits across from the shores of Lake Annecy, the cleanest lake in all of France, and is perfectly nestled in the heart of the old town.

4, Quai Eustache Chappuis | +33 (0)4 50 45 20 00 | | ~$160


If you have the time, consider staying in Grenoble at the end of your trip to further explore the diverse activities this French town offers. Grenoble offers numerous outdoor activities, including via ferrata, a mountain route equipped with fixed cables, ladders, and bridges providing access to otherwise isolated routes to climbers with a variety of skills. Not to be missed in this Rhône-Alpes town is a ride on the téléphérique: egg-shaped cable cars, les bulles, take you across the Isère River to the Bastille, a series of ancient fortifications. Enjoy the view from the summit, then wander the many trails leading down to the city. We recommend the following accommodations for your post-trip hotel.

Park Hotel

Situated adjacent to the Paul Mistral Park in the center of Grenoble, the city’s only 4-star hotel is sure to win you over with its elegance and charm.

10 Place Paul Mistral | +33 (0) 4 76 85 81 23 | | ~$395

Patrick Hotel

Located close to Grenoble’s city center, this hotel offers you many of the modern comforts you enjoy.

116, cours de la Libération | 33 (0) 4 76 21 26 63 | | ~$425

Best Western Terminus

This Belle Epoque hotel (1906), with modern conveniences, such as air-conditioning and WiFi, is conveniently located just across the street from the Grenoble train station.

10, place de la Gare | +33 (0) 4 76 87 24 33 | | ~$175

* Hotels listed above are local properties we love. We do not have special rates available.

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Trek Travel Difference

Our Bikes

Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the full-carbon, ultra smooth Trek Domane 5.9, to the comfortable Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid–both included in the trip cost, to our numerous upgrade options, you deserve the best ride on your vacation.

Our Guides

Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.

Your Day. You Decide.

Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.