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Road cycling holidays in Samoens

Road cycling holidays in the French Alps

Samoens is simply a great location for road cycling in the French Alps. Combine epic Tour de France cols with superb chalet accommodation and you have all the ingredients for a great road biking holiday.

The mountains & cols around Samoens have provided many memorable stages in the annual Tour de France race and provide spectacular training terrain whether you are a competitive cyclist, a Sportive rider or recreational biker. It all amounts to a great combination for a road cycling holiday where you can do as much or as little as you please. As keen cyclists we take great care in planning routes with guests to make sure you get the most out of the area, from 30km valley rides to 150km mountain epics. Generally Chris will host one or two group rides a week and on other days we provide detailed route plans & maps including GPS guidance.

Here’s a taster of some of our regular routes, but bear in mind that as well as the cols there are some lovely valley bottom routes too that provide much easier terrain and make for great intro / rest day rides. It’s really up to you how easy or how hard you want to make your cycling holiday, we always help with route choices and then point you in the right direction.

Easy circuit – 50km / 250m ascent: Sixt-fer-a-cheval loop

From the chalet take the scenic valley road all the way to the head of the valley at Sixt-fer-a-cheval to admire the wonderful waterfall amphitheatre. Enjoy the fast & gradual descent before taking the extra 25km loop around the valley via Taninges. Wonderful mountain views and numerous cafe stops make this a perfect first-outing, time-trail training route or easy recovery ride.

Moderate circuit – 75km / 1250m ascent: Col de l’encrenaz

A cracking climb on a quiet back-road over a delightful col with constantly changing views. This route has a nice 10km flat start to loosen the legs before a 800m ascent up the Col de L’encrenaz, which is frequently used in one of the local Cyclosportives. A fast alpine descent makes for an exhilerating ride down before the rest of the loop back to Samoens via the resorts of Morzine and Les Gets

Hard circuit – 125km / 3100m ascent: Col de la Colombiere

A truly epic day out and not one for the faint-hearted. There are numerous places to shorten this route or miss climbs out but the real epic heads across to the famous Col de la Colombiere via the Col de Romme, itself a steep 800m climb before the descent down to Le Reposoir. The route returns via a cracking climb up the road to Col de Pierre Carré which at 1400m is the longest single climb possible in the area, before taking the swooping descent on quiet roads back to the chalet.

The ‘Chalet Challenge’

As a bit of fun and to provide some healthy chalet competition we keep a record of all our guests’ efforts up the main climb from Samoens, the iconic Col de Joux Plane that features regularly in the Tour de France.  This is the climb that Pantani has won, Armstrong has struggled on, Landis got disqualified and Wiggins rates as one of hie ‘5 most difficult climbs’. All our cycling guests at some point do this col and it starts just a short ride away from the chalet door in Samoens. Here’s the top times recorded so far, but it’s more about the achievement of just doing the climb and enjoying the views (and the celebratory beer) at the café at the top.

  • Mark Tickner – 51 mins 54 secs
  • Malcolm Jeffries – 52 mins 16 secs
  • Mark Wilkins – 53 mins 39 secs

You can see a full route description & detailed climb profile at climbybike.

Road cycling events & races

In June & July the local Cyclopsortive events take place in the surrounding area. The courses vary slightly every year but participants can generally choose from routes ranging from 90km / +1500m ascent up to a challenging 130km / +3500 m ascent options

The Morzine event can be entered directly at the website here and takes place on 23rd June 2013

The even more local Les Carroz event with several distance options is scheduled for Sunday 7th July 2013 more details here

The Avoriaz hill-climb event takes place twice a year from nearby Morzine up to the ski resort of Avoriaz. Event No.1 is always held on Bastille Day on 14th July with Event No.2 taking place generally on the middle Sunday of August. It’s a 12km climb with 800m ascent, so not as tough as some other climbs in the area but anybody who ventures up it will be feeling it in their legs by the top. Great descent down too.

Thanks again to climbybike for a full profile.


We are always interested in Guests feedback so they can share their road cycling exploits with others. Just click on the

  1. 10 July 2010

    Epic cycling…. some great routes. Thanks for all your help & advice

  2. 23 July 2010
    Paul & Hetty McConnon

    The road biking is spectacular and we have covered 300km in 4 days – I have never climbed so much but return with great confidence. Many thanks to you both and we very much hope to be back!

  3. 17 July 2011
    Neil & Deborah

    Many thanks for a really fantastic week – we really enjoyed every aspect…the chalet, the food, the cycling, the weather, the fellow guests and of course the hosts! We have no doubt you will see us again at some stage.

  4. 09 December 2011
    Jo & Robbie

    The cycling was fantastic, we loved your ‘decent’ rides Chris ! Thanks for taking us out and giving us loads of great route advice.

  5. 18 June 2012

    Fantastic hosts. Amazing chalet and scenery. Fabulous food and lots of fun cycling up the Col de Joux Plane! The perfect holiday, Merci!

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