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584 km - 13,360 m of height gain - 23 cols - 9 days
The High Alps tour is a very mountainous 9-day circuit through the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys and the Beaufortain Mountains, starting and finishing in Albertville.
En-route it takes in some of the Tour de France’s most legendary passes, including the Col de l’Iseran, Col du Galibier, Col de la Croix de Fer and Col de la Madeleine.
Many of the area’s passes have now been fitted with cycling kilometre markers indicating the distance to the summit and the gradient.
Numerous accommodation providers along the route cater specifically for cyclists, providing all the services cycle tourers may need.
Day 1 -Albertville/St-Jean-de-Maurienne - Height gain: 1310 m- Distance: 95 km
After a gentle start along the valley floor, this first stage provides a good introduction to the difficulties to come, with ascents of the Col de Champ-Laurent and Col du Grand Cucheron.
Day 2 -St-Jean-de-Maurienne/St-Jean-de-Maurienne - Height gain: 2245 m - Distance: 70 km
The Montvernier switchbacks provide a spectacular appetiser before the climb to the Col de la Madeleine.
Day 3 -St-Jean-de-Maurienne/St-Sorlin-d'Arves - Height gain 1640 m - Distance: 41 km
Follow in the wheel tracks of the Tour du France over the Col du Glandon and Col de la Croix de Fer. The stage finishes in the pretty village of Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves .
Day 4 -St-Sorlin-d'Arves/St-Michel-de-Maurienne - Height gain 1310 m - Distance: 61 km
A panoramic stage through the traditional mountain villages at the foot of the famous Aiguilles d’Arves.
Day 5 -St-Michel-de-Maurienne/St-Michel-de-Maurienne - Height gain 2130 m - Distance: 68 km
The Galibier, a legendary climb.
Day 6 -Modane/Val-Cenis - Height gain 1165 m - Distance: 60 km
After a short train ride to Modane in order to avoid the busy main road, the route heads up to the Col du Mont Cenis, overlooking the Mont Cenis Reservoir and the Italian border.
Day 7 -Val-Cenis/St-Foy-Tarentaise - Height gain 1410 m - Distance: 60 km
The transition from the Maurienne to the Tarentaise Valley is via the Col de l’Iseran, in the heart of the Vanoise National Park.
Day 8 -St-Foy-Tarentaise/Bourg-Saint-Maurice. - Height gain 1050 m - Distance: 60 km
This superbly scenic climb goes up through the village of Montvalezan to the Col du Petit Saint Bernard, on the Italian border. The descent back to Bourg St-Maurice is outstanding.
Day 9 -Bourg-Saint-Maurice/Albertville - Height gain 1310 m - Distance: 69 km
The route from Bourg-Saint-Maurice climbs through the beautiful meadows of the Beaufortain to the Cormet de Roselend before heading back to Albertville via Beaufort-sur-Doron.
From 15/03 to 30/10.