France: Alps & Provence

France: Alps & Provence – ‘Cycling Greats’ or ‘The French Experience’

Next trip – summer 2016

Cost US$4,750 or $3,499*    11 days, 10 nights or 7 days, 6 nights

Includes luxury 4* – 5* hotels , all breakfasts, some evening dinners, ride support, coaching before and during the trip, all transfers, all non cycling activities on the itineraries, CCSD region & language guides + much more! *based on double occupancy (single supplement $750 or $550)

Plus, anyone wanting to fly through London, we can do all the planning for you for an extra few days in London before or after the trip AT NO CHARGE.


The perfect trip for friends, partners, or spouses with one who cycles and one who does not, or you can both take part in our ‘Cycling Greats’ package or both follow our ‘French Experience’ itinerary. This tour has separate but overlapping itineraries to enable cyclists and non cyclists to enjoy an amazing trip together.

Cycling participants get to tackle some of the classic ‘tour climbs’ of the the Alps;  Galibier, Telegraph, Alpe d’Huez (to name just a few,  as well as many other lesser known but equally amazing ‘cols’ around the Rhône-Alpes region.  Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we take you to the stunning Provence region where you’ll get to ride the beautiful Gorges de la Nesque and tackle the infamous Mont Ventoux.
Those that want to can attempt to join the elite members of the Club des Cinglés (literal translation the ‘club of the crazies’), a club that can only be joined once you have reached the summit of Mont Ventoux three times in one day by each of the three road routes up there.  Finally, we whisk you to Lyon for a short visit to France’s second city.

The French Experience gives participants a unique opportunity to discover the best of the regions we visit:  hiking in the Savoie national parks, a French cooking class, an afternoon at the spa in Aix Les Bains, wine and lavender tours and visits to the historical sites and buildings of each region.  Plus, we schedule in some down time for everyone to visit the towns, tourist sites, cafes, and experience the French culture and gastronomic delights together.

This is an all out first class experience.  While the riding may be hard the hotels, dining experiences, support and pre trip assistance will blow you away.  You’ll stay in a 4* converted châteaux, dine on Lake Annecy, receive coaching before and during the trip, have a pre trip comprehensive guide and generally relax while CCSD does all the hard work for you (you still have to cycle up the hills though!)

Lyon International Airport

Rides are designed to offer shorter and longer options of between 40 and 100 miles. Most days will involve climbing to some degree although there are some flat ride options through valleys and around lakes.  Structured training / professional coaching is available for those that want it and a pre trip training plan is included in the price of the tour.

More information about the weather here for Chambéry and here for Provence.


  • All participants:
    • Accommodation in luxury 4* or 5* hotels
    • Daily substantial breakfasts
    • Group dinner in Chambéry
    • Dinner cruise on the Lac du Bourget or Lac Annecy
    • Group dinner and wine pairing in Provence
    • CCSD guide to the regions
    • CCSD language guide
    • All transfers from and to airport
    • Luggage handling
    • Transfers during the trip to scheduled activities and towns
    • Tourist taxes and fees
  • Plus – Cycling Greats:
    • Advance coaching tips and suggested training plan to help you prepare for riding in the Alps
    • Bike unpack and set up in France (bike rental is also available)
    • Bike box storage / transportation
    • Daily GPS files
    • Transfers to and from ride start locations where necessary
    • Fully guided and supported rides with CCSD qualified coaches
    • Entry fee for the Club de Cinglés & full support during the challenge
    • All energy drink, light snacks on the road and sports nutrition
  • Plus – The French Experience:
    • Entry into selected castles, museums etc.
    • Shuttle into local towns each day or CCSD transfer to selected activities
    • Traditional French cooking class in the Rhone Alpes
    • Locally guided tours of towns and villages
    • A treatment at the spa in Aix Les Bains
    • Guided hiking trip in the Parc Naturel
    • Provence lavender and winery tour with wine tasting


  • Airfare.
  • Lunches are on your own, so you have maximum flexibility in your day
  • Some dinners
  • Bikes (bike rental can be easily arranged though – please contact us for details)
  • Personal incidentals, telephone, hotel minibar charges, etc.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks (other than included in group meals)

*Full confirmed itinerary to be provided upon registration.

Day 1
All: Arrival to Lyon International Airport.  Transfer to Chambéry (c. 1 1/2 hour).
Group dinner and welcome

Day 2
Cycling Greats: 40-70 mile ride in the Chartreuse Alps to the South of Chambéry
The French Experience: Guided tour of Chambéry, led by a local guide
All: Meet for lunch

Day 3
Cycling Greats: 40-70 mile ride (short and long option) covering the Cols to the North of Chambéry, through the Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges and Le Bourget du Lac, finishing in the spa town of Aix Les Bains
The French Experience: Spend time having a treatment at a spa in Aix Les Bains
All: Spend the afternoon in Aix Les Bains / at the spa

Day 4
Cycling Greats: Ride all, or part of the route of “La Marmotte” covering Alpe d’Huez, Col du Glandon, Col de La Croix  Fer, Col du   Galibier & Col du Telegraph. 108 miles in total if you do the whole route
The French Experience: Guided hike in the nearby Parc Naturel Régional du Massif des Bauges

Day 5
All:  Day off at your leisure.  Many activity options in the nearby towns or at the lake

Day 6
Cycling Greats: 50-90 miles of riding the Alps close to the historic town of Annecy
The French Experience: Take part in traditional French cooking class
All: Evening Dinner Cruise on the Lac du Bourget or Lac Annecy

Day 7
All: Transfer to Provence region (c. 4 hours) in our CCSD vehicles (or return to Lyon Airport for those on the 7 day tour)
Evening group dinner offering local specialties and wine pairings

Day 8
Cycling Greats: Light ride around the Provence region, including the Gorges de le Nesque, with stop at a market town for lunch
The French Experience: Explore the vineyards and lavender fields with stops at selected wineries for tastings

Day 9
Cycling Greats: Mont Ventoux challenge.  Ride the “Giant of Provence”. Those that wish can opt to take on the challenge of the Club du Cinglés – a 3 ascent challenge up the mountain from each of the 3 different routes
The French Experience: tour of the local area

Day 10
All: Transfer to Lyon to spend your last 24 hours in France’s second city

Day 11
All: Breakfast & depart from Lyon International Airport



Places are limited on this trip to ensure clients experience the best service and individual attention.


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