Chamonix to Briançon is our newest point-to-point mountain bike adventure. 100% new trails for Ride the Alps linking the beautiful, historic towns of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and Briançon with breathtaking scenery along the way. As always Jamie has chosen a route that capitalizes on some of the best and lesser-known singletrack in the Alps.
Email us for a quote specific to your group size and needs.
Chamonix to Briançon is the first leg of our Summit to Sea trip (Chamonix to the Mediterranean Sea). The Summit to Sea is our longest point-to-point adventure, including 11 days of guided riding and one rest day at the halfway point in Briançon.
What is included?
The basic package includes six days of guiding with half board accommodation (dinner, bed and breakfast). You then decide the level of van support you want. Choose from the comfort of full van support with airport transfers to riding bike-packing style carrying your own gear. For the bike-packing option we can arrange for a van and driver to bring your bike bags and excess luggage to Briançon at the end of the trip and then transport you back to Geneva airport. We will arrange whatever level of support you choose. If you want to shorten the trip by a day you can miss out the final day exploring the trails around Briançon.
When can I ride the route?
Choose your own dates. It is best to ride the route from Chamonix to Briançon in July and August when all of the lifts are open. However, if you are riding bike-packing style or don’t want to use any lifts then it is possible to ride the route in late June and throughout September. Any earlier and there may be too much snow on the high passes. Any later and the refuges and mountain hotels will be closed. We are flexible on start and finish days.
How do I get there?
Fly or take the train to Geneva airport and we can help you with travel arrangements for getting to the first night hotel. For the return you can fly from Turin and Geneva. You can also drive over and leave your car in Chamonix.
How hard is it going to be?
Chamonix to Briançon has a similar level of technical difficulty as the Tour du Mont Blanc, The Eiger Tour and Chamonix to Zermatt. You need to be an experienced mountain biker, comfortable on technical terrain with a good enough level of fitness to ride 1000m+ climbs on consecutive days.
This trip is flexible in that we can make the most of the lifts in July and August to save the legs and maximize singletrack playtime or we can ride all/most of the climbs with leg power alone. It can be ridden with full van support for luggage and medical/mechanical assistance where possible or it can be ridden bike-packing style, whereby you carry your own gear for the trip.
This route is point to point and provides a great chance to see some of the best views and scenery from the Northern to the Southern Alps. There are some hike-a-bike sections but also lots of fantastic singletrack descents! We cover around 212km in distance and ascend approximately 4,200m. We descend around 10,000m. None of these figures include the last day in Briançon as there are so many options to chose from here. The amount of ascent and descent could be more depending on chairlifts used and how much playing off the lifts you do en route.
The maximum altitude is approximately 2,500m so there are no problems with altitude sickness but you may still feel the altitude in your lungs on the climbs.
What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation is in a mixture of good quality 3* hotels with en-suite rooms and mountain refuges. There will be group sleeping arrangements in the refuges. There is a choice of accommodation in Chamonix. The other nights of accommodation are fixed. There are hot showers and good and plentiful food every night.
What sort of bike do I need to bring?
A mountain bike! In good working order, recently serviced prior to the trip. Full suspension and disc brakes are highly recommended for this trip to make your life more comfortable. Your bike must be a good quality mountain bike with at least decent front suspension forks, disk brakes and tyres suitable for descending steep rocky terrain. No hybrid bikes as these are not suitable. We ride dual suspension 5 to 6 inch travel “all mountain” and “enduro” style bikes.