Have you heard the exciting news? The world’s biggest cycling event is coming to Chamonix!
The official Tour de France 2016 route has just been announced and guess what… Chamonix is right at the hub of the Alpine stages; with three stages within an hour’s drive, Chamonix is going to be right at the heart of all the action!
Stage 17 – 20th July 2016
A 184km ride from Berne in Switzerland will finish with a brutally steep climb up to Emosson; a spectacular dam high in the mountains that can be seen from the Le Tour ski area. Less than an hour’s drive north of Chamonix, Emosson is a popular day out for a ride up the world’s steepest funicular train, many beautiful hiking routes and 250 million year old dinosaur footprints. The dam itself is extremely impressive and its sheer walls have been used for BASE jump and wingsuit stunts by daredevil flyers. There will be plenty of opportunity to cheer the riders on the hairpin bends of the 10km climb from Chatelard up to Emosson.
Stage 18 – 21st July
Sallanches is a small town just 25 minutes south of Chamonix, you’ll have passed it if you’ve ever driven from Geneva airport to Chamonix. Sallanches has some lovely hiking routes and if you bring your bike, it is a great access point for some excellent road biking circuits. This is the starting point for stage 18, a short 17km stage but with a cheeky climb of almost 700m ending in Megeve, a pretty and very chic little alpine village with lots of charm and beautiful scenery. This is the first time that Megeve has been part of the Tour de France, so expect lots of excitement and a buzzing atmosphere!
Stage 19 – 22nd July
After another long ride of 146km, stage 19 finishes in Saint-Gervais, a pretty little alpine town just 25 minutes east of Chamonix. This stage has no less than three big climbs and will really put riders through their paces – the finish line should be quite a sight! Saint-Gervais is a popular day trip from Chamonix; as well as strolling round the town you can also take a ride on the Tramway du Mont Blanc up through Les Houches to the Bionnassay Glacier (including in the Mont Blanc Multipass), or if you’re feeling particularly brave, do a bungee jump from the bridge that spans a deep gorge, a 90m plunge over the raging Torrent du Bon Nant!
Our partners at Haute Transfer are Tour de France fanatics and they are very excited to be offering spectator trips to all the local stages. You’ll be picked up from Chamonix in a comfortable 8 seater minibus, with refreshments on board, and driven to each of the stages in plenty of time to see the likes of Froome, Quintana and Pinot whizz past followed by the peloton. As well as the excitement of the TDF, you’ll be treated to a BBQ lunch and selected accompanied rides – so you can bring your bike along as well!
Tour de France Spectator Trips – find out more
Chamonix is sports-mad, so as well as the stages that you get to see live, you’ll also be able to watch the rest of the tour on big screens in one of the many bars and cafés in Chamonix. If you’ve never been to Chamonix before then take a look at our Chamonix Resort Information page to get an idea of why we love it so much.
Chamonix – find out more
In between stages there is so many things to do in Chamonix that you’ll struggle to squeeze it all in; how does canyoning in mountain waterfalls sound? Or paragliding over the peaks? A glacier hike on the Vallée Blanche or the Mer de Glace? All of the lifts are open at this time of year, so there are hiking and mountain biking trails galore, as well as lots of rock climbing and mountaineering to enjoy.
Chamonix Summer Activities – find out more
If you’ve brought your bike with you then there are plenty of excellent road cycling itineraries such as the Col de Forclaz or the Col de Plaine Joux; if you want to hire a bike we can recommend some excellent rental shops in Chamonix.
Stage dates are 20th, 21st and 22nd – already a busy time of year in Chamonix – so book now to be part of the 2016 Tour de France!
Chamonix Accommodation – find out more