Downhill to Nice | CycleVentures

Downhill to Nice

Geneva to Nice

We first ran this trip in 1984 and it became the epic journey in our repertoire of trips. This is an impressive route to the Mediterranean as you cycle from near Lake Geneva into the French Alps within sight of incredible Mont Blanc and the breathtaking panoramas of the Haute Savoie region, over the Alpes de Haute Provence and deserted backroads of Provences’ Alpes Maritimes with a final descent to Nice and the palm strewn Cote d’Azur. Conquer historic high alpine passes made famous by the Tour de France like Col de Galibier, Col d’Iseran, Alpe d’Huez and more.  


Day 1: Welcome to Geneva

Cycleventures’ guides will meet you at the Geneva airport and transfer you to our hotel in nearby Bonneville, France. Overnight: Mont Blanc Hotel

Day 2: Cycle to Flumet — 80 km

Our opening route takes us into France’s Haute Savoie region into the verdant foothills of the French Alps. Two cols are on our agenda today including the formidable Col de la Colombiere and Col des Aravis. Key climbs: Col de la Colombiere (1613m), Col des Aravis (1486m). Elevation: +1958m / -1521. Overnight: Hotel Le Panoramic

Day 3: Cycle to Val D’Isere — 102 km

Keep an eye out over your left shoulder as today’s route skirts Europe’s highest peak, the impressive Mont Blanc. Another great day in the saddle as we tackle two formidable passes. Our destination is the world-renowned ski village of Val d'Isère. Key climbs: Col des Saisie (1650m), Cormet de Roselend (1967m). Elevation: +3553m / -2623. Overnight: Hotel Bellier

Day 4: Cycle to Valloire — 108 km

Start the day with an ascent out of Val d’Isere to the Col de Iseran as we cross the heart of the mountainous Haute Savoie region. Key climbs: Col de Iseran (2764m), Col de Telegraph (1586m). Elevation: +2224m / -2593m. Overnight:  Grand Hotel de Valloire

Day 5: Cycle to La Grave — 40 or 121 km

Another epic ride as we start the day with the monster 2646 m Col du Galibier, often the highest point of the Tour de France. Options today depending on how you’re feeling: end the day in La Grave (40 km), or keep going to ride Alpe D’Huez and the Col de Sarenne. Tonight we bed down in one of France’s most beautoful mountain towns, La Grave. Key climbs: Col du Galibier (2646m), Alpe d’Huez (1250m), Col de Sarenne (1999m). Elevation: +3847m / -3707m. Overnight:  Auberge Edelweiss

Day 6: Cycle to Jausiers — 130 km

Soon after you depart the hotel you’ll summit the Col du Lauraret and start a long downhill to historic Briancon. The air will become more fragrant and the landscape drier as you enter the Alpes de Haute Provence. Key climbs: Col du Lautaret (2058m), Col d’Izoard (2360m), Col de Vars (2109m). Elevation: +3304m / -3583. Overnight:  Hotel l’Equipe


Day 7: Cycle to Rimplas — 85 km

Today’s remote ride is defined by deserted roads in a rugged and semi-arid landscape with the Col d’Allos to keep you on your toes. Bed down in the heart of Haute Provence. Key climbs: Col d’Allos (2247m). Elevation: +2104m / -2594m. Overnight: Hotel du Levant


Day 8: Cycle to Nice — 80 km

Our final ride is downhill to Nice - after some gentle climbs its nearly 60 km of descending. Soon you’ll smell the salty air of the Mediterranean and start seeing palm trees. Key climbs: Col St.Martin (1500m), Col de Vence (963m). Elevation: +1386m / -2373m. Overnight: Hotel de la Fontaine


Day 9: Au revoir!

Your guides will drop you off at the Nice airport for your flight home.


Dates: Private trips only
Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
Joining In: Geneva, Switzerland (departing Nice, France)
Skill Level: Spécialiste
Single Room Supplement: €480.00
Land Cost: €2695 EURO

Ride Map

See the approximate route of the trip on Google maps. Register today!

Skill Levels

Here are descriptions of the skill & fitness levels required for our cycling trips.  Remember, the support van is never far away if you need a lift and on all of our trips you can always ride more if you wish. We’re here for you.


Flat and rolling terrain and shorter riding days of approximately 50–70 km. Elevation gains of up to approximately 700 meters daily. Suitable for beginner and intermediate cyclists. Stronger riders looking for more kilometers can extend most days.


Rolling terrain with some bigger climbs and averaging approximately 70-100 km daily. Elevation gains of approximately 700 meters and above daily. Suitable for fit beginners, strong intermediate riders and above. A triple crank or compact crank is recommended. Stronger riders looking for more kilometers can extend most days.


Long riding days over 100 km daily and long climbs with steep sections can be expected. Caters to strong cyclists or riders in good physical condition seeking a mental and physical challenge. Elevation gains of approximately 1000 meters and above daily.