Cycling holidays - road cycling and mountain biking in the French Alps
Road cycling and Mountain biking holidays in beautiful Megève.
Megève is a mecca for road cycling, having hosted four days of the Tour de France in 2016, loads of great routes pass in and around this pretty village. Check your speed by trying the tour de france time trial route from Sallanches, the village at the bottom of the valley and end in Megève! Or, try the brutal Megève to Morzine stage encompassing four categorised cols.
Whether you’re part of a regional road cycling club, a university club or just have lots of friends who are as cycle-mad as you are, we can provide a great base for your group to come and enjoy summer in the French Alpes and ride the same routes as the pros.
Here are a few tasters of what you might find hidden in our hills…
A round trip starting and ending in Megève, taking in views of Mont Blanc from the town of Saint Gervais before traversing the valley floor to access the 2016 Tour de France time-trial route from Sallanches back up to Megève. See the route here.
- The famous Col des Aravis and Col des Colombieres, starting within 10km of our hotels. Both Cols have featured in the Tour regularly. See route here.
- The infamous Col des Saisies featured no less than 11 times on the Tour de France is very rideable from Megève. See route here.
- The 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné Stage from Ugine to Albertville, 132km of winding climbs and sweeping descents ridden by all the pro teams in June this year; See the route here. Or cycle from Megève to Albertville and back with fast as you dare descent down the famous Col des Aravis. See route here.
- A glorious cycle ride over the Col des Aravis to the historic town of Annecy. A quick plunge in the lake and home for tea! See the route here.
- The full 20th and penultimate Stage of the 2016 Tour, a gruelling 146km from Megève to Morzine, encompassing 4 categorised cols along the way. See the route here!
Or choose your own! We will pick you and your group up or drop you off at start/finish points in our vans or come and get you if your legs fade and supply you with maps. We also have tools on hand for minor repairs.
Mountain Biking Holidays:
There is some fabulous mountain biking during summer in the French Alps, particularly in Megeve. Whether your taste runs to wide tracks with scenic views of Mont Blanc or whether you prefer single track steeps, Megève has both to tempt you. As with road cycling, we can drop you off/pick you up at start/finish points and supply you with maps and itineraries. Rochebrune has wide fire tracks suitable for beginners. Mont d’Arbois has wide fire tracks, a bike park for starting to get used to lumps and bumps labelled as green and a blue single track mountain biking piste down to Le Bettex and you can take the lift back up so you can keep going round the circuit if your legs are up to it. NB when I did this, I found it much harder than red mountain biking runs that I had done in the Lake District. Standards do seem to be harder in the French Alps! Jaillet, has the most purpose built mountain biking tracks with black, red and blue single file tracks. The Rochebrune, Mont d’Arbois, Bettex and Jaillet cable car lifts all run every 30 mins in the summer from July until the beginning of September and you can take your bikes on the lifts so not too much uphill! See below for information on hiring bikes. Lots of people are using electric bikes now and I have to report that they are fab! We went out as a family up to the top of the mountain and whizzed up. You still have to put in the effort so you feel like you are doing some exercise but it takes the pain away.
Here's some ideas for mountain biking routes - using the trail map below:
- Take the Jaillet bubble up and cycle straight ahead to the Sommet des Salles (top of the Pertuis/Pres chair lifts). Then follow the route markers for blue route number 11 - suitable for intermediates (Rory, as an expert, finds this easy, myself, as a fit and active 45 year old who has done the mountain biking routes in the Lake District found it a slightly terrifying challenge, my kids loved it!). This is a single track blue mountain biking route which starts for 100 yards on fire track before cutting off through the woods on single track with flowing switchbacks. The route cuts through picturesque cow fields before heading back into the woods with plenty of humps and bumps to enjoy. There are optional extras for people wanting more of a challenge.
- Take the Mont d'Arbois bubble up to enjoy two purpose built mountain biking routes. Turn right out of the bubble and head to the top of the Bettex bubble. Firstly, warm up on the green route (for beginners - sort of!) marked C on the map. A nice fairly short route that you can go round and round. Single track and includes some gentle switch backs and humps and bumps. If you're feeling like you've conquered that then go for the blue route marked W which heads to the bottom of the Bettex lift. This has lots of single track, windy, switchback sections through the forest and through pastures. It has nice rollers and tables and sections of easy north shore in the woods with some wooden bridges. Take the Bettex lift up when you get to the bottom and do it again or catch the Mont d'Arbois lift back home. We did this route as a family in the rain which was not a good idea. Best done in good weather if you are intermediates.
- As a family, we took out the electric bikes this summer and did blue route 39 and then 21 from the Rochebrune to the top of the Cret du Midi in Praz sur Arly. This is wide fire track and a great route through woods and pasture. There are several mountain restaurants along the way for refreshments. We descended via red route 23 and 45 to Praz sur Arly. This starts as fire track which I was able to do, although tentatively - the kids and the hubbie zoomed down! Keep an eye to your right as the track suddenly comes off the main road and goes into single track through the forest. This part is good fun. Tree roots in places which we walked over. Then you get back on to fire track. Some of this is quite steep and we walked down it but the kids managed most of it. On reaching Praz sur Arly we took the green route 35 to Cassioz which was well needed after a steep descent on the red and picturesque along the river. Feeling brave, we took the black route 37 back to join the blue 39. The black is single track and loose. OK for going up but you would need to be an expert to come down.
- Lastly, Rory (the expert) is eyeing up the black route 56 which if your legs are feeling up to it is a whopping 45km to and from Rochebrune. However you can do shorter sections. Rory hasn't done this yet so we'd appreciate feedback. Having walked it, I can report that from the top of the Mont d'Arbois bubble it is wide fire track with a steep section up to Mont Joux and then along to the Croix du Christ. At this stage it becomes single track through the woods with plenty of tree roots to negotiate and steep. When you reach Le Planay, you have the option to return to Mont d'Arbois on the road or continue on. It will be road/fire track to the Pre Rosset and along to Rochebrune. The descent there I think will be single track through the woods but we'd appreciate confirmation!
If you'd like a comprehensive mountain bike trail map of Megeve and surrounding areas, click on the link below to download our free PDF version
Where to stay
Not sure where to stay for your summer in the French Alps. There's plenty of options:
Self-catered apartments & chalets:
- Superior chalet Les Clochettes - Ideal for a couple of families or group of friends. Sleeps 10 people in 5 en-suite rooms with balconies, spacious sitting room and dining room with sunny terrace and garden. Well equipped separate kitchen and sauna! Great location close to Rochebrune cable car and 5 mins walk from the centre of town. WIFI and parking.
- Apartment Les Clochettes - Ideal for a family or friends. Sleeps 4-6 people in 2 en-suite bedrooms, open plan sitting room, dining room and kitchenette with sofa bed. Great location close to Rochebrune cable car and 5 mins walk from the centre of town. WIFI and parking.
- Le Chamois apartment - Ideal for a couple or a family. Sleeps 2-4 people in a double room with separate bathroom, open plan sitting room, dining room and kitchenette with bunk beds in a curtained alcove and a small balcony. Superb location in the centre of the Megeve pedestrianised area just off the central square but quiet. WIFI but no parking.
Available for weeks or short breaks - 3 nights minimum
- Hotel Sylvana - 1 star hotel, B&B only. Great for eating out and investigating Megeve's wonderful restaurants. No minimum stay so ideal for cycling groups doing the Tour de Mont Blanc etc. Great location close to Rochebrune cable car and 5 mins walk from the centre of town. WIFI and parking.
- Hotel Rond Point - 2 star hotel, B&B only. Great for eating out and investigating Megeve's wonderful restaurants. No minimum stay so ideal for cycling groups doing the Tour de Mont Blanc etc. Superb location in the centre of the town, just 1 minute from the pedestrianised area. WIFI and parking.
No minimum stay.
Bike Storage/Bike Hire
At Stanford, we know how important your bikes are to you. We have storage facilities in the Clochettes for several bikes on bike racks. If we don’t have enough space then we are happy for you to keep your bikes in your rooms provided they are cleaned first (we’ll provide facilities for this).
If you wish to hire a racing bike or need more major repairs done on your own, there is an excellent shop in the village below Megève, Combloux. We will transport you there and back.
For mountain bikes go to Phillippe Sports. They also offer children’s mountain bikes and electric bikes for those who need a little extra assistance! Prices start from 39€/day.
Prices – Short breaks and week stays
|Full Week||Short breaks|
|3 nights |
|4 nights |
|Self-Catered £ per apartment|
|Chalet Les Clochettes|
|Apartment Les Clochettes|
|Apartment Le Chamois|