Nice to Geneva


  • 732km / 459 miles of riding
  • 8 nights accommodation & all meals included
  • Ridden the RdGA already? This is a new challenge
  • Qualified guide, mechanical support & baggage vehicle
  • 9 days / 8 nights
  • Following in the tyre tracks of classic TdF stages
  • Ride Airport to Airport – Med to Geneva
  • Galibier, Izoard, l’Iseran, Vars & Bonette-Restefond
Number of Days: 9
2020 Land Only Price From: £1,795
Grade: Spicy
Group Size: 6-14
View: Kit List


Mon 3 Aug – Tue 11 Aug 2020 

Private Group?  Date/s above not suitable? 
Other dates available by arrangement – contact us for details.

Trip Overview

Day 1 Fly, Arrive, Ride

Arrive at Nice Airport between 12:00 & 16:00.  Build up bikes and then ride to our accommodation in Castagniers.  Bike bags and luggage transferred to accommodation in our baggage vehicle (after last arrival/s at Nice Airport).

30km / 19 miles.  Overnight in Castagniers in a hotel.  Meal/s included: D

Day 2 Foothill Frolics

Ride from Castagniers to Auron.  Meandering through the small quiet hill roads to the delightful village of La Tour, we then start the steady climb up the stunningly pretty Tinee Valley.

120km / 75 miles.  Overnight in Auron in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 3 Riding High

Ride from Auron to Guillestre via the Col de Restefond / Cime de la Bonette-Restefond (2,807m) & the Col de Vars (2,108m).  Tackled in this direction only twice by the Tour de France, the Bonette-Restefond lays claim to being Europe’s highest paved road.  Following a long technical tarmac descent we tackle the Col de Vars before arriving in the delightful small town of Guillestre.

100km / 63 miles.  Overnight in Guillestre in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 4 Classic Cols

Ride from Guillestre to Valloire via the Col d’Izoard (2,361m) & the Col du Galibier (2,645m).  Today we cross, arguably, two of the three most legendary TdF Alpine climbs.  We start with an ascent of the Izoard from the classic side climbing up through the Casse Deserte before dropping down to Briancon.  The gentle climb of the Lautaret follows before the challenge of the mighty Galibier …… we reckon this is one of the best day’s riding you will find anywhere in the World.  A beer at the end of the day never tasted so good.

88km / 55 miles.  Overnight in Valloire in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 5 In the Wheel Tracks of Le Tour

Ride from Valloire to Val d’Isere via the Col du Telegraphe (1,566m) & the Col de l’Iseran (2,770 m).  The Telegraphe is a very short climb from the Valloire side.  A long, steep, twisting descent follows taking us down to the valley floor at St Michel de Maurienne.  A long and gentle spin up the valley follows before the ascent of the l’Iseran proper.  It’s only fair to say that it’s 2,000m of vertical ascent from St M de M to the top of the l’Iseran but then it is downhill all the way to Val d’Isere, our stop for tonight.

110km / 69 miles.  Overnight in Val d’Isere in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 6 What Goes Down ….. Goes Back Up (and Down and Up and Down again)

Ride from Val d’Isere to Areches via the Cormet de Roselend (1,968m) & Col du Pre (1,703m).  A gloriously long downhill start is followed by the beautiful ride over the Cormet de Roseland.  Cutting off the final section of the descent to Beaufort, we climb the stunning Col du Pre, largely for the excellent hot chocolate at the top, before dropping down a very steep and narrow descent into the delightful village of Areches.

75km / 47 miles.  Overnight in Areches in an auberge.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 7 The Triple Col Challenge

Ride from Areches to La Clusaz via the Col du Pre (1,703m), the Col des Saisies (1,652m) & the Col de l’Aravis (1486m).  Retracing yesterday’s last few kilometres we tackle the Col du Pre in reverse (worth it for the section of the Cormet de Roseland descent into Beaufort we missed yesterday).  We are now starting to leave the big Cols behind us and ride through a landscape of minor cols, hills, valleys and spectacular gorges.

87km / 55 miles.  Overnight in La Clusaz in hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 8 Farewell to the Alps

Ride from La Clusaz to Thonon-les-Bains to via the Col de Cou (1,116m).  After a small climb it’s a downhill blast this morning as we lose all that Alpine altitude.  The final challenge is the minor, but very beautiful, Col de Cou.  The final run to the hotel in Thonon is downhill all the way but it’s worth taking time to stop and admire the view of Lac Leman visible through the gaps in the forest.

75km / 47 miles.  Overnight in Thonon-les-Bains in a hotel.  Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 9 Departure Day – After Riding of Course

Ride from our accommodation in Thonon-les-Bains to Geneva Airport.  Today we savour our Trans Alp epic with a gentle spin along rolling roads into Geneva before joining the cycle path route to the airport.  Rendezvous with baggage vehicle at Geneva Airport, pack up bikes and catch return flights (check in from 14:00 hrs onwards, earlier flights will require a taxi transfer at your own cost).

47km / 29 miles Meal/s included: B

What’s Included

  • 8 nights Hotel / Auberge accommodation*.
  • All meals as detailed in the trip overview.
  • Meal Key: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner.  Please note that all lunches are picnic style and are designed to suit cyclist’s appetites.
  • All baggage transfers in our baggage vehicle.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling trip leader.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling baggage vehicle driver / assistant.
  • A daily provision of Clif Bar nutritional products.
  • Access to commonly required tools, mechanical advice & assistance.

*All accommodation is allocated and priced on a twin occupancy basis.  Please contact us for Single Occupancy Rates.

What’s Not Included

  • International and / or Domestic Flight/s to and from the start and end points of the trip.
  • Visa/s if necessary.
  • Travel Insurance – compulsory.
  • All drinks e.g. bottled water, coffees, teas, alcohol, etc.
  • Entry fees e.g. to visitor attractions, etc.
  • Spare / replacement bicycle parts & accessories e.g. tyres, tubes, wheels, etc.
  • Other expenses e.g. souvenirs, additional food, etc.
  • Tips – at your discretion.

Bike Spec

  • This is a road cycling holiday and a road, sportive or touring bike is ideal for this trip.  We recommend 700x23c tyres and have found Michelin Pro 3 tyres to perform very well.  Compact or triple gearing giving a bottom gear of between 30″ and 40″ is suggested for this trip.  Alloy rims or carbon rims with alloy braking surfaces are preferable to full carbon rims for this trip.
  • Your bike should be fully serviced, and thoroughly tested, before your holiday.