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Route des Grandes Alpes
700km, 16,000m of ascent, 42hrs of riding
You can choose to do it over any time period that suits. We did it in a week. I know of others that have done it in half that time. Most people take along a vehicle as support, we self supported our trip and stayed in hotels and b&b’s, a small minority carry camping kit!
The official website is here.
The map you need is here
If you can use a map then stick with that, we only made one minor error over the 700km. If you aren’t good with maps then load the route onto a GPS.
Our route started from home in St Jean d’Aulps, though normally you’d start 25km down the hill in Thonon Les Bains.
#Don’t start with such a big day like we did.
#Consider a rest day.
#If a 47km climb (Col d’Iseran) or 35km (Col du Galibier) isn’t your thing then you can split these days in Val d’Isere and Valloire respectively. Most guided groups do this, most purists will want to climb these without an overnight rest!
Day 1, St Jean d’Aulps to Beaufort
121km 3,036m, 7h30
Col de la Colombiere, Aravis and Saises
Day 2, Beaufort to Lanslevillard
123km 3,440m, 8h46
Cormet de Roselend, Iseran
Day 3, Lanslevillard to Briancon
113km, 2,153m, 6h19
Telegraphe and Galibier
Day 4, Briancon to Jausiers
Col d’Izoard, Vars
94km, 2,255m, 6h
Day 5, Jausiers to Valdeblore
90km, 5h26, 2,016m
Col de la Bonette
Day 6, Valdeblore to Nice via Menton
Col St Martin, Turini, Castillon, Eze
116km, 6h25, 2,307m
Day 7, 8hrs on the train back to Thonon and then a ride back up to St Jean d’Aulps
25km, 1h, 424m