Cycling in the Alps in two weeks time!?

***Tom-1986*** Posts: 4
edited April 2015 in Tour & expedition
I am due to be going cycling in the Alps with a few friends (first day cycling 11 May) and we are staying in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

We are hoping to do a few of the big Cols in the area (Col de la Croix de Fer and Col de la Madeleine) but I notice from the website that these are both currently closed and not expected to be open until late May early June. Does anyone living locally know if there is any chance these will be open in time for visit?

If they are not going to be open can anyone recommend an area in the low alps (where the roads will be open) to stay for four days of cycling?

I should add that we are hoping to do Mont Ventoux on the 10 May and therefore should we just stay in this area for the whole time and plan some routes from Bedoin?


  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    On the western fringe of the Alps are four really good areas for cycling where the roads should be open.

    Starting from the north, the hills around Mont du Chat and Lac d'Aiguebelette, just west of Chambery, are a lovely place for riding. I also like the national park area of the Massif des Bauges, east of Chambery.

    Then, going south, you've got the Chartreuse and the Vercors. Both fantastic cycling areas.

    All these areas have got some challenging cols. They may not be as high as the central Alps, but there's plenty there to test your climbing legs.

    I'm off to France in my camper van on May 10 and plan to climb Ventoux during that week. I think I'll stay at Beaumes de Venise as I like its municipal site. There's plenty of rides to keep you occupied in the Ventoux area for four days or more. There's great riding in the Baronnies hills north of Ventoux and the Gorges de la Nesque to the south.
  • Thanks Mercia Man
  • cc78
    cc78 Posts: 599
    It's unusual for the very high cols to open before the end of May and with snow forecast down to 1300m this week, that will remain the case this year.

    As above the Bauges area between Chambery and Annecy is great, no issues with road closures around there. To the North of Annecy, Mont Saleve is also worth a look. And the Aravis/Beaufortain area is also a good option, although the Colombiere and Cormet de Roselend are currently still closed.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,901
    If you want a bit of warmth and some decent hills, Die 26150 is a good centre for cycling. Lots of stuff on my blog at - I think all the cols within 50 miles will be open by now - I rode the 1400m Col de Menée at Easter, which was open- and the only one that I'd not be sure of is the Col de la Bataille, which is turned into a ski slope in the winter, but I'm 99% certain it'll be open now. In any case, there's a month's-worth of fabulous riding round the area without needing to go over that col, though it's a nice one. Daytime temperatures in Die are hovering round the 24C mark from next week.
  • Thanks cc78 and briantrumpet.

    Looking at both areas the Bauges looks best for what we are looking for. Just need to find a suitable hotel, please let me know if you have any suggestions of bike friendly hotels.
  • cc78
    cc78 Posts: 599
    There are plenty of decent hotels in Annecy itself or a quick google search on any of the villages around/close to Lake Annecy should give you some more options, such as Sevrier, Talloires, Doussard or Faverges. Albertville would be another possibility although it's one of the less attractive towns in the region.

    The mrs and I actually run our own chalet in the Aravis area, but we are on holiday for the first two weeks in May, sorry.