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Classic Climbs of the Alps



Classic Climbs of the Alps

Alpe d'Huez, Telegraphe and Galibier

Bicycle the most dramatic climbs of France on our 6-day bike trip through the French Alps.

Surrounded by scenic views and the most rewarding alpine passes in France, we’ll greet each day with challenging climbs like Col de la Forclaz, Col du Télégraphe, and the Col du Galibier. You can even tempt yourself with a harrowing ascent of Alpe d’Huez. Like all Explorer adventures, the Classic Climbs bike tour emphasizes scenic beauty and spectacular riding in classic Trek Travel style.

Find 2016 dates on our new Annecy to Alpe d'Huez bike tour.
Upgrade your experience with the Trek Emonda SLR



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6 days | 5 nights
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Start | End

Annecy, France | Grenoble, France



Daily Itinerary



Today's Ride:

Menthon to Col de la Croix Fry, Col des Aravis & La Clusaz Loop
Approximately 45 miles with 4,700 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Menthon to Col de la Croix Fry & La Clusaz Aravis Loop
Approximately 38 miles with 3,375 feet of climbing


A short drive through the bustling heart of the city will take you and your new traveling companions around Lake Annecy to your hotel. After some initial introductions and a thorough bike fitting, you’ll take to the road for a spin in the alpine mountains. We will first tackle the famous Col de la Croix Fry with its amazing panoramic views of the high alpine mountains. After a short descent, you have the option to climb the famous Col des Aravis, with its gentle grade and stunning views. On clear days, you may even be able to see the famous Mount Blanc off in the distance. After challenging - but beautiful – climbs, the long and winding 30 kilometer descent is well worth it. We will finish your warm-up ride along Lake Annecy with a late afternoon lunch at a bistro before arriving at the hotel with ample time for a swim in the pristine waters of the lake. Tonight, you’ll gather with the rest of the group for an evening wine reception and then enjoy dinner at the hotel.



Le Palace de Menthon
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Included Meals:

Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner



Today's Ride:

Menthon-St. Bernard to Col de la Forclaz to Col de Leschaux to Annecy
Approximately 37 miles with 4,400 feet of climbing

Short Option

Menthon-St. Bernard to Col de la Forclaz Loop
Approximately 30 miles with 3,600 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Menthon-St. Bernard to Col de la Forclaz to Col de Leschaux to Col de Semnoz Loop
Approximately 54 miles with 7,200 feet of climbing


With many options for spectacular riding, you’ll be sure to find the perfect route. Today’s ride takes you up the imposing slope of Col de la Forclaz, the first of the trip’s many challenging ascents. After enjoying a bird’s eye view of Lake Annecy and the surrounding mountains, you’ll descend and continue your ride around the pristine waters of Lake Annecy and follow traffic-free bike lanes that circumnavigate this alpine lake. You’ll tackle the remote and quiet Col de Leschaux and also have the chance to ascend the 2013 Tour de France favorite, Mont Semnoz, before exploring Annecy for lunch. A leisurely ride along the bike path and through quaint neighborhoods will bring you back to the hotel. Tonight you’re free to indulge in a dinner of your choice at a restaurant in Menthon.


Le Palace de Menthon
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Included Meals:




Today's Ride:

St. Etienne-de-Cuines to La Grave
Approximately 50 miles with 6,700 feet of climbing

Short Option:

St. Michel-de-Maurienne to La Grave
Approximately 35 miles with 6,000 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

Albertville to La Grave
Approximately 80 miles with 7,900 feet of climbing


Today will be a “King/Queen of the Mountains” day with the opportunity to ride over three major passes: Col du Télégraphe, the lofty Col du Galibier, and the Col du Lautaret! An early transfer to Albertville will take you to the banks of the Isère River, where you’ll start this epic challenge, a route similar to the one the professionals ride each July. Trek Travel van support will be available to help fuel your bodies for the hours you’ll spend in the saddle, marveling at the alpine beauty around you. Relax with a cold drink and a smile on the terrace, or opt for a recovery massage once you arrive at your home for the next three evenings, at the base of the tumbling Meije glacier. This evening savor a hearty, well-earned Savoyard dinner at the hotel.


Auberge Edelweiss
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Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner



Today's Ride:

La Grave to Bardonecchia, Italy with Col du Lautaret and Col de l’Echelle
Approximately 56 miles with 5,600 feet of climbing

Short Option:

Vallee de la Claree to Bardonecchia, Italy via Col de l’Echelle
Approximately 32 miles with 3,300 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

La Grave to Bardonecchia with Col du Lautaret and Col de l’Echelle double
Approximately 84 miles with 8,200 feet of climbing


This morning you begin by cycling one of the Tour’s most famous climbs and descents, the Col du Lautaret and descent to Briançon. Here is where Alberto Contador and Alexander Vinokourov won some of their most heralded Tour stages. Once in Briançon, make your way to the Vallée Névache, with its quiet roads and stunning scenery, and after a short climb over Col de l’Echelle you descend into Bardonecchia, Italy for lunch. Enjoy the superb Italian food and coffee, and a fleeting taste of what makes Italy so magical. Later you have the option to tackle both climbs again, or alternatively opt out for a shuttle back to La Grave. Tonight you are free to explore La Grave to find a great restaurant to refuel before more stunning climbs tomorrow!


Auberge Edelweiss
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Included Meals:

Breakfast | Lunch



Today's Ride:

La Grave to Alpe d’Huez to Creperie via Col de Sarenne
Approximately 40 miles with 5,200 feet of climbing

Short Option:

La Grave to Alpe d'Huez
Approximately 27 miles with 4,800 feet of climbing

Avid Option:

La Grave to Alpe d'Huez to La Grave
Approximately 52 miles with 7,300 feet of climbing


Today’s ride is a cyclist’s dream—ascending Alpe d’Huez, the most revered and famous mountaintop finish. The day begins with an easy 19 mile downhill warm-up to the base of Alpe d’Huez. After ascending the infamous 21-switchbacks to the summit of this most imposing pass, fuel up with a lunch of your choice. Like a pro, linger at the top and soak in the reward of the grueling ascent—astounding views, the support and good cheer of your Trek Travel guides, and the knowledge that you’ve just conquered one of cycling’s most difficult climbs. If this isn’t enough, follow the winding alpine road over the Col de Sarenne back to La Grave and witness some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever experience from the seat of a bicycle. Tonight, you’ll gather for drinks at the hotel with your newfound friends and raise a toast to the last day of epic ascents and France’s Classic Climbs.


Auberge Edelweiss
Visit Website

Included Meals:

Breakfast | Social Hour | Dinner



Today's Ride:

Le Chazelet Hill Climb
Approximately 10 miles with 1,300 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.


Included Meals:


Dates & Pricing

New trip name in 2016: Annecy to Alpe d'Huez


30th -
/ 6 days / 5 nights
$3599 / Person, $500 / Single OCC.
Sold Out



Le Palace de Menthon

Menthon St. Bernard, France

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

La Grave, France

Located along the route between the Col du Lautaret and Alpe d’Huez, the charming Auberge Edelweiss is run by a family passionate about cycling. Accustomed to housing cyclists - even a stage winner or two - this hotel knows how to cater to active travelers and has the appropriate facilities, including a whirlpool and sauna. Additionally, the hotel’s terrace offers the ideal setting to enjoy a cold beverage and spectacular views of the Meije glacier after a great day of cycling.

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. Learn 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 luggage transfers
  • 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 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 trip, you’ll be experiencing a variety of regional Savoyard cuisine. It is noted for its succulent cheese-based food.This is the home of the fondue, raclette, and tartiflette dishes.The food is discovered over a number of courses and the portions are smaller to enable you to extend your appetite and enjoy each course. Breakfast is always served at the hotel, buffet style.
  • 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
  • Trek Electric Assist FX+ also available in a limited quantity
  • 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 water bottles
  • $300 USD off any 2015 5 Series or 6 Series Trek Domane including Project One and the Trek Emonda SL6 and SL8 models.
  • Trek Travel Bontrager RL jersey

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 | Mountainous
  • 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. Classic Climbs of the Alps is best suited for our Type 4 Riders. Our Trek Travel guides can also easily accommodate Type 3 Riders, who seek less mileage or fewer uphills, with a boost in the van. 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 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
  • Dordogne
  • Bordeaux

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 the brand new Trek Emonda SLR with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting or Bontrager Aeolus carbon wheels for the ultimate riding experience. 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.

Meeting & Departing

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 or speak with our travel agent for current train schedules.

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 short drive through the bustling heart of the city will take you and your new traveling companions around Lake Annecy to your 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 8:00 AM at the Auberge Edelweiss to accommodate the road closure and arrive by 11:30 AM at the Grenoble main train station. Please do not book a departing train before 12:00 PM on this day. If you have later travel, the original departure of 10:00 AM is still planned. For all train travel, feel free to confirm train times on the posted timetable at France’s rail site,


Gorgeous Annecy! 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'Imperial Palace houses the Casino Imperial, 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 | www.Hotel-Imperial-Palace. com | ~$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 | | ~$250

Hotel Splendid

This recently renovated hotel is ideally located between the lake and the mountains.The Splendid Hotel 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


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 Rhone-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 | | ~$150


Historic hotel built in 1870, the Grand Hotel Grenoble Hyper Centre is located in the heart of the Alps capital. The Bastille cable railway, the Antique dealers district, the Grenoble museum and its theater are less than 5 minutes on foot from the Grand Hotel. Located close to Grenoble’s city center, this 4 star hotel offers you many of the modern comforts you enjoy.

5 rue de la République 38000 Grenoble | +33 (0)4 76 51 22 59 | | ~$150

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.

Experience It

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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.