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

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World’s Toughest Triathlon Comes to Chamonix with Evergreen Endurance

This weekend see the first of what will hopefully become an annual event – the Evergreen Endurance Triathlon; Chamonix’s first iron-distance competition, boldly billed as “the world’s toughest, most beautiful and most environmentally responsible iron-distance event”!

Chamonix triathlon swim
Photo Credit : Evergreen Endurance

The action starts tomorrow, Saturday 12th September, at 6:30am as the sun comes up over Lac Montriond in Morzine. The athletes will plunge straight into a 4 hour swim, completing two laps of the lake with an Australian exit in between before leaping on to their bikes for a 181km ride across the many climbs of the Savoie and Haute Savoie roads.

Chamonix triathlon, bike ride
Photo Credit : Evergreen Endurance

The bike ride will take them from Montriond to Chamonix via Morzine, Marignier, Le Grand Bornand, La Clusaz, Col des Aravis, Megeve and Domancy. As if 181km isn’t far enough they will also climb a total of almost 4500m on steep mountain roads.

Chamonix triathlon, trail run
Photo Credit : Evergreen Endurance

Once they’ve completed their transition in the centre of Chamonix, they’ll head off into the mountains to run a full 43km marathon by doing two loops of the Grand Balcon Nord. From Chamonix centre they’ll climb up to the Forbes Signal (alt 2188) at Montenvers, traverse across to the Plan de l’Aiguille (alt 2205), then charge down the steep descent past the Cascade du Dard to Chamonix.

If you want to see the action and cheer the athletes as they run past, the best spectator points once they reach Chamonix will be at:

Chamonix webcam imagePlace de l’Eglise: the square in front of the tourist office in Chamonix centre is where the second transition will take place, competitors will be tearing off their bike gear and grabbing whatever they need for the run before dashing off again through town – should be very exciting!

Mer de Glace ChamonixMer de Glace: the steep climb up to the Forbes Signal will pass by the Mer de Glace, via the Buvette du Caillet – hop on the Montenvers train to get a great view of them charging past! The Montenvers train is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass.

hiking-aiguille-chamonix-donkey-01

Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille: this charming old mountain hut sits just below the Plan de l’Aiguille lift station, on the Grand Balcon Nord hiking route. Grab a coffee and a slice of myrtille tart as you wait for the runners to come through. You’ll probably have time to take the second stage of the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to the viewing platforms at the summit and even Step Into the Void, in between the first and second laps. The Aiguille du Midi cable car is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass.

Cascade du Dard waterfall and hiking trail in ChamonixCascade du Dard: one of Chamonix’s hidden gems, this beautiful waterfall is on one of the less frequented hiking routes and is completely secluded in the forest until you get right up to it. There is a lovely little chalet serving local dishes and homemade cakes, so you can hike up and enjoy a nice lunch while you cheer the runners down the descent. Please note that the hiking path is very narrow, so make sure that you look out for runners and give them right of way!

Chamonix in summerChamonix Centre: the two-lap course ensures that the athletes will be passing through Chamonix at least once before finally crossing the finish line in the centre of town – no matter where you are, you’re sure to see some of the action!

If you have friends or family who are competing in the Evergreen Endurance Triathlon, you can follow them online here – best of luck to everyone taking part!