Cycle the Alps: the Climbs

La Clusaz is almost unique in the Alps in offering no fewer than five different roads out of the village, in five different directions. There is no better base from which to cycle the Alps.

The summits of three well-known climbs from the Tour de France are within less than 20 km of cycling, and in total there are thirteen major Tour de France climbs that can be reached directly by bike from la Clusaz. In a typical week, we climb nine or ten of them.

All of the following 27 climbs can be managed by any moderately fit rider in a day’s ride from our base, although riding there and back to either the Joux Verte, the Cormet de Roselend or the Madeleine is quite a serious challenge! Sometimes the best option is to stop for lunch and ride back in the minibus.


  Local Climbs Altitude   Distance
  Col des Aravis 1487 m 8 km
  Col de la Croix Fry 1467 m 8 km
  Col de la Colombière 1618 m 17 km
  Col du Marais 843 m 19 km
  Col du Plan Bois 1299 m 21 km
  Col de l’Epine 987 m 25 km
  Col de Romme 1297 m 30 km
  Col de la Forclaz (Annecy) 1157 m 32 km
  Col des Saisies 1650 m 35 km
  Mont Saxonnex 975 m 35 km
  Col de la Forclaz (Ugine) 871 m 37 km
  Côte de Domancy 796 m 40 km
  Col de Tamié 907 m 41 km
  Col des Fleuries 920 m 43 km
  Col de Leschaux 897 m 48 km
  Le Semnoz 1641 m 50 km
  Col de l’Arpettaz 1581 m 50 km
  Col des Glières 1440 m 51 km
  Col du Joly 1989 m 56 km
  Col de la Ramaz 1610 m 59 km
  Col du Pré 1703 m 65 km
  Col de Joux Plane 1691 m 66 km
  Col de Plainpalais 1173 m 69 km
  Col de l’Encrenaz 1432 m 70 km
  Cormet de Roselend 1968 m 73 km
  Col de la Joux Verte 1760 m 89 km
  Col de la Madeleine 2000 m 92 km

Further afield: more legendary ‘Cycle the Alps’ climbs

Many other famous Alpine climbs, such as the cols de l’Iseran, d’Izoard, du Télégraphe, du Galibier, du Glandon, du Mollard, de la Croix de Fer, du Chaussy – including the amazing lacets de Montvernier – as well as, last but not least, the climb to Alpe d’Huez and even Mont Ventoux (which is not in the Alps) are all accessible from La Clusaz but are best tackled via an initial minibus ride.

We are delighted to guide you on any of these climbs, so long as a large enough group is in agreement. The climbs are listed below, together with their approximate journey time from La Clusaz by minibus.


  Climb  Altitude Travel time
(by minibus)
 Col du Chaussy 1533 m 1h 10
 Lacets de Montvernier 787 m 1h 10
 Col du Glandon 1924 m 1h 20
 Col de la Croix de Fer 2067 m 1h 30
 Col du Mollard 1630 m 1h 30
 Col du Télégraphe 1566 m 1h 30
 Col du Galibier 2645 m 2h
 Col de l’Iseran 2770 m 2h 15
 Alpe d’Huez 1815 m 2h 30
 Col de l’Izoard 2361 m 2h 40
 Mont Ventoux 1912 m 4h