THE TOP FIVE MOUNTAIN PASSES FOR BIKING

The mountain passes in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions in France have become as legendary as the scenes of spectacular athletic confrontations during iconic biking competitions. Here are five passes known not only for the technical efforts but also for the beauty of the landscapes. Whether you choose to do it with your strength or with a little help from a pedelec, an awesome challenge awaits you.

Cyclistes au col du Galibier à Valloire

THE CORMET DE ROSELEND

We adore this pass located in the middle of alpine pastures. It's the centre of Beaufort cheese, and you can hear the cowbells ringing in the distance. With all of your senses activated, you might not feel the difficulty of the route. Climbing to the Cormet de Roselend on the Beaufortain slope is the moment to discover French heritage from another point of view and to tackle a legendary pass in the Tour de France.

Beaufort Commune de départ
1204 m Dénivelé cumulé positif
20,3 km Distance
Relais du Mont du Chat

RELAIS DU MONT DU CHAT

This quirky climb has a bit of mystique within the biking scene in the Savoie Mont Blanc. The Relais du Chat offers one of two average slopes in the Alps with 10 consecutive kilometres at 9.96%. Our tip: take a well-deserved pause at the restaurant terrace at the top to enjoy the superb panorama of Lake Bourget below and the mountainous backdrop.

Le Bourget-du-lac Commune de départ
1260 m Dénivelé cumulé positif
14,3 km Distance

COL DU GLANDON

This pass is a mix of all of the great alpine passes in one and a must for any biking enthusiast.  After Saint-Etienne-de-Cuines, a series of zigzags cross the valley. After Saint-Colomban-des-Villards, a slight uphill stretch gives your legs a break.

A 13% gradient awaits you before arriving in Léchet. You'll then bike through a beautiful alpine area before the final push and its succession of intimidating hairpin bends. 

Saint Etienne de Cuines Commune de départ
1449 m Dénivelé cumulé positif
22 km Distance

COL DES GLIÈRES

The ascent from the village of Thorens to the Col des Glières offers a fresh ride on a great road. Several hairpin bends will give your legs a good workout. A stunning view suddenly reveals itself up once you arrive at the pass.

You'll descend a few hundred metres to a slight climb once again to reach the Plateau des Glières and then the end of the paved roadway. By continuing on the stone path, you'll cross the area of the plateau where the French Resistance once held its ground.

Thorens-Glières Commune de départ
780 m Dénivelé cumulé positif
14 km Distance

CLIMBING THE NORTH SIDE OF THE SEMNOZ 

Ascending the Semnoz is listed as one of the top 10 challenges for mountain cyclists. With the proper training, you'll love this long and difficult slope.

Get ready for an extraordinary panoramic view of the Mont Blanc peaks and the Aravis, Bauges, and Jura ranges. 

Annecy Commune de départ
1210 m Dénivelé cumulé positif
18 km Distance