We start at the rooftop bar in the Spanish coastal seaport of Bilbao overlooking the city skyline at twilight. You may make some time on your arrival to visit the 2nd of the famous Guggenheim Museums. From Bilbao, we begin our journey to France along the rugged Basque coastline through small fishing villages to arrive at the iconic seaside town of San Sebastian for Tapas and Sangria in the old town. Our green route inland toward the Pyrenees is carefully chosen for smooth quiet roads all the way with the option to bag the trophy climb of Col d’Aubisque on arrival to Lourdes.
This route was chosen to offer exceptional landscape and cultural experiences on a route that is not too challenging.
San Sebastian Old Town
Col d’Aubisque, Col du Soulour
Coastal Roads and views
5th June 2020
Fly into Madrid or Barcelona then fly or fast train to Bilbao. We suggest arriving a day early to recover and to visit the Museum.
11th June 2020
if not continuing: Fly from Pau or Tarbes or train from Lourdes to Toulouse or Paris airport.
We toured Switzerland 2019 and have been dreaming of going back. If you are looking for new terrain to explore or you want to see the top of the world, this should be called ‘Tour du Bucket List.’ From Annecy to Lake Como via the scarcely populated European wilderness through Switzerland and the Italian Alpes. This tour is the jewel and a tour to forget about normal life and just focus on yourself.
*If this tour is a bit long, you can start on day 3 as we leave Annecy or we can plan a pick up / drop at Interlakin half way on day 7.
*We suggest you stay with us at least an additional day to ride our Como discovery ride to Como Village and Magreglio.
Col du Forclaz
Lac Annecy and Village
Mont Blanc / Aguille du Midi and 'The Void'
Interlakin $40 hamburgers
Swiss trains inc Steepest Funicular
Grindelweld and the dedicated mountain traverse bike road
Lago di Lugano
Lago di Como and Como Village
10am 19th July 2023
Fly into Geneva and TGV to Annecy
*If you would like to split the trip half way there is an opportunity to connect via Basel or Zurich then train to Interlakin.
10am 30th July 2023
Shuttle to Milan Airport
*If you would like to split the trip half way there is an opportunity to connect to Basel or Zurich airports via train from Interlakin.
Day 1 - 19/07/2023 Col du Forclaz
52km 916m LEVEL 4 – INTERMEDIATE
To settle into tour life, we start with a few easy days exploring Annecy. We will be following the route of the recent Tour de France up Col du Forclaz. Short but with a 3 km pinch to finish (double digit gradient) will soon be forgotten whilst enjoying a bevy looking back over the Lake with Paragliders filling the sky. If you love descending, this will be a great introduction for what is coming. Smooth roads and lots of corners. We are looking forward to seeing you pulling your bike up to a stop at the bottom of the descent with an ear-to-ear grin and knowing you are on the right tour.
Day 2 - 20/07/2023 Montee de Semnos
59km 1500m LEVEL 5 – INTERMEDIATE
On the west side of Lake Annecy there is a climb called Montee de Semnos. A short ride, 17km and up 1100m. Today we will test your climbing legs before a great fun descent back to Annecy. We have all afternoon to explore Annecy for shopping and recreation on the lake. Annecy is the place most people would like to stay longer!
Day 3 - 21/07/2023 Le grand Bornard
38km 1100m LEVEL 3 – EASY
60km 2044m LEVEL 7 – CHALLENGE
We normally ride directly to Chamonix however, this year we want to share a few special things on the way and get a few rides in before our rest day on Mont Blanc. You have a choice of two rides today, ‘over or around’. You can get in another trophy climb on Col du Collet or the gentle ride around through the cute Savoy village of Thones for a cafe stop.
Day 4 - 22/07/2023 Chamonix
74km 1232m LEVEL 6 – INTERMEDIATE
83km 1663m LEVEL 8 – CHALLENGE
Saint Gervaise holds a history and we will learn what changed after that faithful night in 1892. With the switchbacks of Flumet and through Megeve, we are deep in Tour de France country. The Savoy region offers the scenery that has millions glued to the TV each July, but not us, we live it.
We have a challenging little backroad up into the valley of Chamonix. Riding along the high valley will have you breathless curtained by mountains including Mont Blanc.
Day 5 - 23/07/2023 Mont Blanc
63km 1744m LEVEL 7 – CHALLENGE
Today is a rest day, well sort of. It is actually a bucket list day! We suggest that you take The Aiguille du Midi cable car from Chamonix Mont-Blanc (1035m), hanging over the forest to reach le Plan de l'Aiguille in only 10 minutes to 2317m high. Then further onto the secont cable car to 3842m to what is called, the Terrace. ‘Step into the Void’ is an unforgettable experience with more than a thousand metres of emptiness beneath your feet inside this glass box. Thrills are guaranteed...This is as high as you can go up Mont Blanc without climbing gear.
Day 6 - 24/07/2023 Swiss Immersion
93km 1132m LEVEL 6 – INTERMEDIATE
Leaving France and our 2 night stay in Mont Blanc with so much more to see, we ride across a small mountain range into Switzerland. You will experience a spectacular view coming down the long switchback looking onto the Swiss sedimentary valley of Martigny. You will clearly notice the change in culture and environment in Switzerland!
After lunch in Martigny, we have a flat ride between the rural mountains to Sierre.
Day 7 - 25/07/2023 Interlakin
49km 507m LEVEL 3 – EASY
Only a short easy 30km ride before we go through the mountain by Train to Spiez for lunch, then finish off with an easy 25km flat ride to Interlakin. An easy ride to celebrate our arrival accommodation right on the lake. Not many tours take you to these parts but every hour in Switzerland and you will know why we are here.
Day 8 - 26/07/2023 Grindelweld
67km 1718m LEVEL 7 - CHALLENGE
Interlakin feels like a mini Chamonix but Swiss style. Above the dual lakes of Interlaken is Grindelwald. Steep trains and big mountains are easy to find but, we have a new treat. From Grindelweld to Interkitchen there is a special little road for bikes and walkers that traverse the mountains at altitude. This we expect will be a highlight of your life or a highlight of the tour at least.
Day 9 - 27/07/2023 Bond country
61km 2380m LEVEL 8 – CHALLENGE
From Interkitchen to Hospental, we will be in Bond country! Just spectacular scenery on big mountains and smooth roads. We have a small plan during the climb to stop for a special treat at the steepest funicular rail in the world over 100% incline. It is sadly currently closed but we have let them know we are coming and to hurry up and get it ready. There are a few iconic scenes on the way that we will leave for you to discover as the ride rolls out, It is better when it comes as a surprise.
Day 10 - 28/07/2023 Swiss Lakes
105km 960m LEVEL 6 – INTERMEDIATE
We start with a 10k climb, average at 6% before a 95km downhill to Locarno on the Swiss / Italian boarder. The Lago Maggiore is a clear sign that our Italian lakes portion has begun. This is a long day but very cruisy.
Day 11 - 29/07/2023 Italian Lakes Lake Como
78km 1307m LEVEL 6 – INTERMEDIATE 3 lakes Day.
Starting today with a lakeside ride along Lago Maggiore before a little ferry to Luino and onto Lago di Lucano rolling through to Como and yet another ferry. Tonight’s accommodation is at the romance town of Lake Como, the iconic Bellagio.