Tour de France Comes to Chamonix! TDF 2016 Official Route is Announced

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!

Emosson Dam in summer
Emosson Dam – Stage 17

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.

Tour de France route 2016 alpine stages

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!

Tour de France route 2016

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!

Tour de France route 2016

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 in summerChamonix 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

mountain-biking-chamonix-01In 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

Summer of Adventure : Our Top 5 Adrenaline Highs in Chamonix

Summer in the Alps isn’t all cow bells, accordions and stinky cheese – sometimes it can also be about thrills, spills and ice axes. Here’s our guide on how to get your kicks in the mountains.

chamonix rafting

White Water Rafting
For an introduction to rafting the River Arve that runs through Chamonix is ideal. But for a full-on wild ride through some intense rapids we’ll take you through the Mont Blanc tunnel to the Dorea Balta in Italy for 30km of fast and furious adventure. You must be over 15 years old and a competent swimmer to take part.
Rafting in Chamonix – find out more

Skydive chamonixSky Diving
On a sunny day you can guarantee that the skies over Chamonix will always be filled with brightly coloured parapente wings, floating serenely past the snow-capped peaks, twisting and twirling with the thermals. But what if you want something a bit faster? How about taking to the skies in a helicopter, flying high above the valley until conditions are just right to lean out of the door and… jump! Strapped to an experienced and fully qualified skydive pilot, you will plummet for a few heart-stopping seconds before deploying your parachute and taking a huge breath of relief as you drift back down to earth.
Sky Diving in Chamonix – find out more

Chamonix climbingExtreme Rock Climbing
There are countless rock climbing sites in Chamonix, many of them super-accessible and therefore very popular. Get away from the crowds by going up high; you can kit up with crampons and axes to go ice climbing at the Mer de Glace, or step out onto the Cosmiques Arret – a stunning ridge of rock and ice at almost 4000m high. Accompanied by a mountain guide, you’ll see Chamonix from a whole new perspective once you’ve scaled it’s highest peaks.
Rock climbing in Chamonix – find out more

mountain-bike-01Downhill Mountain Biking
Get kitted up like Streethawk and take to the trails on a full suspension downhill mountain bike, with a guide who will show you the very best trails in the Chamonix valley. Most of the lifts are bike-accessible, meaning that you spend less time slogging uphill and more time tearing downhill. See those great big mountains? Pretty much anything that is skiable in winter, is bikeable in summer on excellent trails that snake down from the high peaks through pine forests back to the valley. If you’re really up for a challenge then how does biking the Tour de Mont Blanc sound? 200km over 5 days of thigh busting climbs and gnarly descents through three countries…
Mountain biking in Chamonix – find out more

mont-blanc-01Climb Mont Blanc
You don’t have to be Sir Ranulph Fiennes to summit the highest mountain in the Alps, you just need a decent level of fitness and a qualified mountain guide. The ascent takes 2-3 days, depending on weather conditions, with nights spent in a remote mountain refuge. If you want to build your confidence before you strike out for the summit then join one of our 5 day courses that will teach you invaluable skills that you’ll use every time you go into the mountains.
Climbing Mont Blanc – find out more