The Alps are open for cycling!

The Alps are open for cycling!

A question we get asked a lot is…when is the earliest you can start to cycle the big cols in the Alps? And it’s a good one! Unfortunately it’s not as simple as a given date, it all depends on the snow levels from the winter, how much sun has been hitting the roads and high passes recently and of course how speedy the French road service crews are feeling! As a general rule we say late April/ May for cols under 2000m such as the Col de Saisies, Col du Glandon, Col de Joux Plane and others such as Semnoz over near Annecy. Cols between altitudes of 2000 – 2500m, such as the Col de la Croix de Fer, generally open up at the end of May or early June and ones over 2,500m such as the Col du Galibier can be the end of June or beginning of July, depending on the harshness of the winter.

If you want to be sure to get over some of the higher passes on your trip, such as the Col de L’Iseran you can be waiting until late June or early July, as it is just so high at 2770 metres. Even when the Cols are officially open, you can still find yourself swinging past banks of snow the height of small houses at the sides of the roads. As soon as the passes start to open up it’s a great time to get cycling up them, the weather can be a bit mixed, but it’s usually a bit cooler than in the height of summer and the fewer people at this time of year makes for some stunning and generally more tranquil riding!

The marmottes come out of hibernation to ‘squeak’ at you as you ride by, the alpine flowers start to bloom in their vivid colours, so the views, sights and sounds are just fabulous as you works your way up and down the hairpins. Currently the majority of legendary cols are open, with just a few exceptions so what’s holding you back? – come and make the most of the gorgeous spring conditions and join us for some exquisite alpine riding!