Alpe D'Huez & Mt. Ventoux advice sought...

Rich-Ti Posts: 1,831
I'm planning to try one or both of these sometime next year, most likely near my birthday in September.

Is there an easy option as far as route / flights to get there, hotels to stay in, self-planned V's tour company etc? I've done zero research to date so don't even know where the nearest towns / villages are in each case so I'm completely blind to it at the moment! :roll: :oops:

Also is September a good or bad time of year to go to either? I would guess summer would be more ideal, but a little after might be a little more bearable temperatures to ride in?

Any advice appreciated! 8)


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  • hammerite
    hammerite Posts: 3,408
    For Alpe d'Huez probably Grenoble is the best destination to fly into. Or you could consider driving, about 10-11hrs from the ports in the north west.

    Staying in or around Le Bourg-d'Oisans is probably most convenient for Alpe, but there are lots of smaller ski villages that connect to Alpe, and most are a perfect distance for a nice warm up before attempting the climb. There are loads of other climbs in the area, check out Galibier, Ornon, Croix de Fer.

    check out

    and this is a very good route book for rides

    Can't help at all with Ventoux, sorry!
  • homercles
    homercles Posts: 499
    I agree with Hammerite re: Alpe d'Huez - staying in B-d'O sets you up nicely for a load of other great climbs in the area and it's a nice little town too.

    For Ventoux I would stay in Bedoin. Again, a nice small town with a bar in the centre of town which acts as the hub of village life.

    Both towns have numerous bike shops for running repairs, supplies etc too.

    When I was out there we had the car so just drove from place to place (loosely following Le Tour). Without a car, I'm sure the excellent French rail network could accommodate moving from place to easily enough. Airport is prob a choice of which you want to do first.

    I'm by no means super-fit but managed both climbs "easily" enough in the middle of July. I'd imagine September could be perfect.
  • I did both this summer.

    Go to the alps every year fly into geneva and stay around lake Annecy, usually in Doussard. Rentals in septmeber can be very cheap. Annecy is great as you can ride out from your rental to some great mountains in the area, the higher mountains d'huez, Galibier etc are about a hour and a half drive away. Good thing about annecy is plenty of restaurants, bars, shops etc which are open whereas the higher mountain areas are quiet often deserted in the summer.

    This year i took two days out of the trip and drove down to provence, which was around a 3 and a half hour drive. Booked a nights accomodation at, which is run by an english guy right at the foot of Ventoux. I think he sometimes posts on here under the name of craigenty. His place was great for a cyclists stay.

    I've travelled both independently and in organised trips and prefer the former as the greater freedom definitely appealed.

    let me know if you want any advice, been doing it for five years now. What started as 2 man trip now runs to a ten man trip in june every year now

  • Ken Night
    Ken Night Posts: 2,005
    September is a good time of year, as if you don't like hot weather it's a bit cooler by then but it's also outside the main tourist season, so it's less busy and prices are cheaper too. .

    Crisp mornings, giving way to hot afternoons, with autumnal's nice then

    There are plenty of flights out to the area, to Geneva, Grenoble, Lyon and other airports..
    Geneva is about two and a half hours by car from BdO. Grenoble doesn't have many flights
    Alpe d'Huez is a great climb but the resort at the top is a bit bleak in summer there aren't so many routes to do once you've done the climb.
    There are LOADS of routes in the Oisans area, Col Sarenne, Col D'Ornon, Villard Raymond, the back way up Alpe d'H so called the Pas de Confession as the bus dirver gets more to pray than the village priest at Huez, and the biggies, Glandon, Croix de Fer, Lauteret, Galibier, and loads of really nice routes not too far away at La Mure
    If you want to ride the Alps, think about basing yourself near Lake Annecy, where you can have monster climbs but also more scenic, quieter roads..

    True. Annecy is really nice, but you're away from the really big stuff-you can however do the Joux Plan and lots of stuff from there. The Joux Plan is underrated. The Madeleine, Iseran etc as easy to get to from Bourg
    Ventoux is near Orange, Carpentras and Bédoin. .
    Flying from Exeter to Avignon works perfectly for me. Otherwise NIce for Ventoux works too

    The riding around Ventoux is sensational-Vaison La romaine, the three routes up the mountain itself, La gorge du Nesque......then add in the foot hills of Provence, the Luberon, and the hardly visited Montanes de Lure.....
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • If you're interested in Mont Ventoux, I'd recommend you get in contact with Craig at . He has a lovely place in Faucon, nestling in the shadow of Ventoux. I have been back three times now, and I'll be going back next year too - to have a crack at the Cingles!!
  • Annecy is really nice, but you're away from the really big stuff

    If you stay a little further north, in Grand Bornand or le Clusaz (both large enough to have plenty of open restaurants) then you're right on the doorstep of the Colombiere, Croix Fry, Aravis, Saisies, Roseland, etc.
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  • DaSy
    DaSy Posts: 599
    Another vote here for Veloventoux, Craig is really helpful and has lots of route cards for rides in the area. Faucon is a nice little village, but as said above, there are loads of routes in the area, and Vaison la Romaine is very nice.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • bahzob
    bahzob Posts: 2,195
    If planning to stay near Alpe highly recommended base. Run by Guy and Helyn, both keen cyclists themselves, who will be happy to recommend routes/ride with you. Also good chance other cyclists will be staying there.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • Mossrider
    Mossrider Posts: 226
    Here's another vote for Annecy - I was there three weeks ago and there is plenty to get your teeth in to. On two longish morning runs I was able to do Croix de fer/ Col des Aravis and the Cormet de Roseland, and I didn't do a lot of the tasty runs that were around the Lake. The cycle "piste" out beyond Ugine is truly excellent and will allow you to go at speed straight in to the mountains (its a cycle path but not as we know it!).

    The lap around the Lake is fun and wasn't too busy to "time trial" (and the motorists are very forgiving!) Just save some energy for the climb on the East side.
  • as they are offering Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux in 2009
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    Sept for Mt Ventoux is is fine. I was there two years ago and the weather was perfect. Still hot though and there is so much more cycling in Provence than the Ventoux - we disappeared into the wilderness one day and never saw a car for about 40 miles!!

    Oh - And another vote for as Craig and Vicky looked after us perfectly.
    Brian B.
  • If you want to see some video clips of Alpe d'huez and Mt.Ventoux, check out the stuff over on Cyclefilm
    Alpe d'Huez is here: Part of their Marmotte Recon
    Ventoux is here: Part of their L'Etape Recon

    I think September is a great time to ride. Enjoy your trip!

    Ride Hard, Fall off!
  • As people have said, September is a good month. If the weather is nice, the mornings are fresh, but the afternoon can be nice and warm. It's also outside the main holiday season so things will be a lot quieter on the roads. We often get the first snow on the Alps after the summer in September, but it doesn't last.

    For bases in the Alps, there are two places in the high mountains that stand out to me. Bourg St Maurice and Bourg d'Oisans. There's plenty to do around Bourg d'Oisans for a week. Lyon is probably the easiest airport, but Geneva may be cheaper. Mont Ventoux is probably three and a half hours from Bourg d'Oisans.

    I have a couple of Alpe d'Huez video's on my Youtube channel, as well as this year's Marmotte.

  • Also to mention that they do a group timed time trial up d'Huez every Thursday morning at 10.00am. Meet at the Tourist office in Bourg to enter.
    OFOAB Posts: 905

    I have a couple of Alpe d'Huez video's on my Youtube channel, as well as this year's Marmotte.


    My God that brought back memories. How the f*** did I complete that! Thanks for the memories.
    I wish I was any place but the someplace I\'m in
  • With the pound dropping through the floor against the Euro you may want to stay somewhere where your money goes further. I would suggest Italy as a good option. If you stay near the border with France you get the benefit of all the good climbs in France with the added bonus of some great Italian climbs, good food, excellent wines and easy transfer and flights from Turin.
    Accommodation is a lot cheaper than the likes of Bourg d'Oisins etc. and local restaurants, bars etc. charge less than their French equivalents. There are plenty of sportives throughout the year. If you cannot get a place on the Etape then why not thing about doing the equivalent for the Giro?
    My playground is the Alps, come and join me!
  • I stayed in a place called Les Lusettes near the Col De La Croix Haute and on the Col De Grimone, around 50-80Km away from Huez itself. Try for accommodation.
    Don't rake up my mistakes, i know exactly what they are.
  • we did a good trip last year working in both l'Alpe and le Ventoux amongst others. Flew to Geneva, drive to Malaucene for a bit of riding in Provence and the big V, then drove to B d'O for the big stuff. Camping at both places, some really nice campsites and great food and wine as always in France. A day up around Lac Annecy too for some more quality riding on the way back to Geneva.

    This year it's just a Provence trip, again staying with veloventoux and doing the Cingles amongst lots of other routes.
  • AGuppy
    AGuppy Posts: 44
    Yet another vote for as Craig and Vicky looked after me in great style this summer. Great info on their site if u need it.
    Guppy :D