From Morzine to Mont Ventoux, ride one of the most ambitious routes across the legendary French Alps. Test yourself on the battleground of the world’s greatest race.
38 Guest Reviews
Guest Reviews for this trip
A wonderful week. So many great memories, rounded off by our day on Mt Ventoux. We look forward to seeing you again next year.
This was my 5th trip with Thomson and they are always top notch ! The guides are always there when you them !
This trip was an impeccably organized experience and provided a wonderful combination of physical challenge, incredible scenery and good company. This was my 5th Thomson tour and I am nowhere near done.
Thomson French Alps Challenge was outstanding in every facet - typical Thomson terrain, first-rate rider support and a great group who grew closer together with every passing day
TBT’s Trans Alps Challenge was an extraordinary experience. It is indeed a challenge - and in the first couple of days, I pondered early end points for myself. And that is perfectly fine. The staff would have accommodated me, and knowing that allowed me to ride with ease. In the end, I rode every mile - including the double ascent of Ventoux. The overall experience I had was spectacular. Knowing that I had excellent support from Thomson’s staff allowed me to push myself a little harder, and to experience the great satisfaction of achieving a goal. The reward for all that was the phenomenal of the Alps - experienced on a bike! We were all there to have fun - and we had a lot of it. Thomson provided the routes, the support, the expertise - and we guests took it from there. The result was awesome. The climbs, the descents, the superb beauty of the French Alps will stay with me for a long time. I’m so grateful to Thomson. I was so impressed by how many repeat guests were on my trip. And I was intrigued by these VIP trips they mentioned. I’m not sure how one qualifies for that, but I look forward to that day! I’d like to mention a couple of minor things that didn’t fit into the questionnaire. If you can, encourage your staff to take photos of us riders and share them with the guests. I realize that that can become burdensome. But if there’s a way for them to do that without creating an undo workload for themselves - that would be nice. As I mentioned, I’m a veteran of 3 Trek trips, and their roadside food is pretty elaborate. The simpler fare offered by Thomson worked fine. Gabi wins the award for best spread. He made sure we had the ingredients for sandwiches and all that, and then had these nice little treats he concocted - a bit of cheese with a slice of tomato, and some nice sweet creations too. I’m a TV news producer by profession, and so I’m often solving logistically problems. And as I see it, the biggest one you guys have is the restaurant in St Jean de Maurienne. I took a walk around town, and I see the problem you have: there appears to be no other restaurant! And the town is so well located for our routes. But on night one, they could barely handle our big group. And night two was just a mess. Had I known it what that night was going to be like, I would have just bought groceries in the supermarket and cobbled together a meal in my hotel room. But in a week-long journey…to have just one meal experience that was trying - well that’s pretty good! There are a number of factors out of your control, and that restaurant in St J de Mne is one of them. Maybe something will open next year! (And maybe not…) Thank you so much for everything! As I contemplate future trips, I may be in touch with Peter or Sergi or Pere (both guys are so awesome!) for some advice.
Since I started cycling i’ve always dreamed of riding the famous cols of the Tour. I had no idea how special and memorable the reality of the experience would be. The itinerary created by Thomson tested our mettle. The dedicated and passionate staff gave us the freedom and confidence to take on the challenge through preparation, attention to detail and by being there on the rides, both on the road and with the support vans. All in all, the trip exceeded all my expectations to give me a memory and feeling of accomplishment that will be with me all my lifetime.
4th Thomson trip, and as always exceeded my expectations. Amazing routes and the best staff
Two things made this a great trip. First, the guides were outstanding. They made the trip fun and did an outstanding job. Really a great group of guys. Second, the routes were spectacular. Any cyclist could only be so lucky to get to ride those climbs. Everything was well organized and on time, except for me. Will definitely use Thomson again for any cycling vacation that I might go on. Thanks for a great trip. Robb Peterson
As much as I loved the trip, I probably wouldn’t have gone if I had known there was such a small group (even though most of the group were my good friends). Not having other riders present of my capability made me feel very uncomfortable about everyone else having to wait for me, a guide having to hang back for only me, and also made me feel a lot of pressure to keep up with the more advanced riders, or that I should skip rides or sections of rides so that people weren’t inconvenienced by me. I know that this was Juan’s first time as a trip manager. He was excellent. It was a small group so didn’t impose some of the logistical challenges that larger groups may, but between Judi’s broken wrist and picky eating, my breast milk pumping and storage needs, and Rob and Justin always being late, we attempted to make it as hard as possible for him and Juan took it all in stride and accommodated all of our needs. Thank you!!
Another amazing trip.
The ALPS tour exceeded all my expectations. The scenery and support were spectacular. No matter if you are first up the climbs or the last one up the support is the same. Everyone is treated like a superstar cyclist. Any problem you may have is easily resolved by the team so you can just think about the cycling and nothing else.
This trip gave me the experience I was looking for and gave me the opportunity to challenge myself with support that enabled my ability to achieve what I wanted but was otherwise invisible. I could focus on enjoying where I was and managing my effort to ride every mile.
This trip was very well done and lived up to my expectations. It was not easy as the climbing is quite intense, but then again, its called the Trans Alps “Challenge”. The scenery was beautiful and I will never forget it. The guys did such a nice job with the Van support I never felt isolated or out of touch. Knowing that they were there with water, food and assistance took a lot of the pressure off. Fantastic value for the money.
had the time of my life riding with the best support and a great group of guys grinding through the Alps, i will be back for sure!
The trip exceeded for me what were already lofty expectations. The staff was superb, and to a person went out of their way to ensure we had a world class experience. Course was epic, accommodations and food ranged from very good to excellent. If you are looking for a serious cycling trip in the Alps in which you don’t have to worry about any logistics, this is it!
Was as good as advertised. Exceeded my expectations.
The Trans Alps trip was another outstanding Thomson adventure. We tackled many iconic and challenging Alps climbs, and even took an excursion to double down (up) on Mt. Ventoux. As always, the Thomson team did an excellent job with trip logistics and support, route and hotel selection, and provided excellent alternatives when faced with the inevitable early season road closures. One of the trip highlights remains the family atmosphere and camaraderie that’s created by the team meetings, group meals, and long hours spent on together on the bikes. Every Trans trip has something special and different to offer and the centerpiece for the Trans Alps trip is no doubt the beautiful and challenging almost daily 20km climbs.
An excellent trip. The route required modification due to road/weather conditions, but this was done confidently and did not impact on the overall experience.
This is the 4 th trip I have taken with Thomson Bike Tours they are always spectacular
This was my fourth Thomson trip, and was overall the best trip of the four. The rides were very challenging as usual, but the scenery and excellent support staff made it worth the effort. Nobody does it better than Thomson!
The Trans Alps Challenge was the most amazing cycling experience ever. The climbs were epic, the Thomson team was fantastic, and the logistics handled impeccably. If you have the opportunity to do so, book a trip with Thomson
This was my second Trans Challenge trip and because it provides me with the perfect package, perfect rides, scenery and organization, I’ll be back hopefully for my third trip!
This trip did not disappoint in the least. All of the climbs were well planned and very challenging, but with great support. I’ll definitely consider Thomson for my next adventure cycling holiday.
TransAlps is fantastic. If you want to do tour du France Alps climbs this does it in spades.
Peter and Toni Crystal (a non rider) and I thoroughly enjoyed our second Thomson trip (the Trans-Alps Challenge). When I made the decision to ride in Europe again, the decision was easy. Based on our experience with Thomson on our first trip, the only decision we had to make was which trip to choose. Thomson has a great staff that took care of all our needs and was very generous with the encouragement. If I can whip my 61 year body into shape one more time, Crystal and I will be back in 2017.
I felt the support group could do no better. The vehicles were excellent, accommodation was normally of a high standard, food always good to excellent and the chosen courses ticked off bucket list of famous French climbs with magnificent scenery as well. The photographer was a great and unexpected bonus.
The Trans-Alps challenge was my 4th Thomson trip in 4 years. At age 69 I’ll keep coming back as long as I can. The scenery was spectacular, the company great and Toni and the guides are always fantastic. There were 24 riders on this trip and nearly all had ridden with Thomson before-the best testament to the service you provide. Where next?
This was my 12th Thomson trip and the French Alps are absolutely spectacular. The Thomson crew is first class and I really appreciate how the rides, routes, and support gets better each year. There’s no better way to see Europe and experience the iconic climbs and views.
Quite simply when asked to suggest anything Thomson could do better I was unable to highlight any area of weakness. The team just did everything so well.
The Trans Alps Challenge was a great experience. Each day, we were riding over the iconic climbs in the Tour de France. To undertake these rides was a physical and mental challenge; and, having completed them, I will never forget the experience. The support provided by Thomson Tours in all aspects of the trip was outstanding. The hotel accommodations were outstanding, the meals provided were excellent and designed to support the effort being made on the road, and the support on the road was great. I hope to go on trips with Thomson Tours in the future.
Challenging routes and exceptional support make every tour an incredible cycling experience.
The Trans Alps is a great ride and a real challenge. But with the fantastic support the TT crew provide anything is possible.
Amazing trip!!! Awesome ride leaders and staff, beautiful climbs, fabulous support—couldn’t have asked for a better way to experience some of cycling’s most iconic climbs.
Fantastic week. Really enjoyed the company of your staff.
Epic trip! Every day was spectacular, with Mont Ventoux at the end (both sides!) the crowing jewel of the week! The Thomson support team is top-notch!
Absolutely fantastic trip and first rate support
Trip was great except that 2 guys were obsessed with Go Pro—had to wait while they got things set up and they at times were not in back of pace lines despite trying to video—made riding in line more than its baseline danger—Tony did admonish on the last day
The riding locations , bike, and most of your staff were fabulous. Food and accomodations were overall a little less satisfying.
Alpe d’Huez, La Madeleine, Galibier, Mont Ventoux, Glandon, Joux Plane, Colombiere - these are just a few of the iconic Tour de France climbs that we’ll conquer in the French Alps. We’ve prepared an awe-inspiring, week-long adventure that will test your limits and introduce you to the majesty and wonder of cycling’s most celebrated terrain.
Climb the ‘Giant of Provence’ - Mont Ventoux - with the option to climb it not once, but twice on the same day! You’ll be thrilled by the stunning Col de Sarenne, the back-road to Alpe d’Huez and a classic loop over the Lacets de Montvernier, the Col du Chaussy, the Col du Glandon and the Col du Mollard. You can’t fit more Alps into one week!
Check out the highlights from the climb up to Mont Ventoux:
Bienvenue en France
Our trip starts at Geneva airport where our staff will be there to welcome you. We’ll transfer to our hotel in the beautiful Alpine resort of Morzine.
After lunch, orientation meeting and bike build-up we’ll head out for our first ride in the French Alps. Our ride takes us iver the Col de la Joux Verte with its stunning views of the snow covered peaks around Mont Blanc.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:30am - either at Geneva Airport or at the Holiday Inn Express Geneva Airport.
The Joux Plane and the Colombiere
Today’s ride gives us our first real taste of Alpine climbs. From our hotel in Morzine the road heads upwards towards the famous Col de Joux Plane. Enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the Joux Plane before heading down the valley to Cluses.
Our final climb of the day is the Hors-Categorie Col de la Colombiere. From the Colombiere, enjoy the descent before the short climb up to our hotel in La Clusaz.
Our ride from La Clusaz to St Jean de Maurienne is one of the most beautiful rides in the Alps. We start with the Col des Aravis where we’ll be met at the top by the ringing of cowbells from the many herds of cows that graze on these slopes. On a clear day enjoy the spectacular views of Mont Blanc to the south.
Next up is the Col des Saisies followed by one of the all-time Tour de France favourites, the 26km Hors-Categorie Col de la Madeleine. The 25km descent from the Madeleine is one of the best in the Alps - ENJOY!
Today’s ride features a classic loop around the mountains of La Maurienne. First up is the incredible route up the Lacets de Montvernier followed by the climb to the Col du Chaussy. Both of these climbs featured in the 2015 Tour de France and were a huge success.
From the bottom of the Chaussy we tackle another Tour de France favourite, the Col du Glandon. From the Glandon, we have a short ascent to the Col de la Croix de Fer before tackling the final climb of the day to the Col du Mollard.
Galibier and Alpe d'Huez…
Our first climb today is the massive Col du Galibier. Almost 35 km in length and with a total elevation gain of over 1900 m, the Galibier is one of the most challenging climbs in Europe.
The climb starts in St Michel de Maurienne and after 12 km tops out at the Col de Telegraphe. A short descent into Valloire and then we’re climbing again as we attack the final 18 km to the Galibier summit at almost 2800 m.
From the Galibier we have a 45km descent to Bourg d’Oisans where the first of the famous 21 switchbacks signals the start of the climb to Alpe d’Huez!
Col de Sarenne
A short ride this morning, but one of the most spectacular routes in the French Alps. We start the morning by descending Alpe d’Huez before taking the single track road that runs along the ridge from La Garde to Le Freney.
From Le Freney we ride up to the Chambon Reservoir where we take a sharp left turn that signals the start of the climb to the Col de Sarenne. The Sarenne takes us back up to Alpe d’Huez but via a wild and spectacular single-track road that featured in the 2013 Tour de France.
After lunch at the hotel we’ll transfer down to Provence to get ready for our assault on Mont Ventoux tomorrow.
Giant of Provence
Today’s ride features the Giant of Provence - not once, but twice. In true Thomson style we’ll take on the climb to Mont Ventoux from both sides - Bedoin and Malaucene.
The southernmost point of the French Alps, Mont Ventoux is unique - and a fitting end to our Trans-Alps Challenge.
Unfortunately, our trip must come to an end. Our shuttle will take you to Marseille airport, arriving at approximately 9:00am.