Route des Grandes Alpes

The riding background

17 passes - of which 5 are classified as being outside the categories - amongst the most mythical, with more than 17,000 metres of differences in height, that is 3 times the Mont Blanc...

The ‘Grandes Alpes' Route is a monument to the efforts of touring cyclists. Its link with the legendary ‘Tour de France' route, mainly explains its popularity with tourists: the Route is one of the biggest challenges for cyclists to take up.
The Route des Grandes Alpes traverses six Alpine Departments (Haute Savoie, Savoie, Isère - via its variants - Hautes Alpes, Alpes de Haute Provence, and Alpes Maritimes) and is accessible in its entirety from June to October or in sections before the snow is removed from the highest passes.

From Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean sea, the Route meanders for almost 700 km (430 miles), and special road signs mark the way.



At the start of the 20th century. Innovation is the order of the day. There is great faith in progress of all kinds… particularly for roads, opening the Alps to mass tourism.
1909 ➝ The Touring Club de France initiates works on the Great Alps Route.
1913 ➝ The Compagnie Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée organises the inaugural run along the Great Alps Route, in five one-day stages…
1930 ➝ It now only takes a day and a half to drive from Nice to Chamonix.
1937 ➝ Albert Lebrun, President of the Republic, inaugurates the Iseran pass, the highest road pass in Europe.
1970 ➝ The Cormet de Roselend pass is opened.