Good base for Alps or Pyrenees.

Neil65

Active Member
Hi everyone, hoping to get to France perhaps in may or june. I'd like to go to, or have easy access to a mountainous region for the scenery and to have a go at a few climbs. I'm on a mountain bike and got a few years under my belt so maybe nothing too brutal. Prefer quieter places and little traffic. I'll be with my missus who doesn't cycle so a nice area for walking as well. Any suggestions very welcome. Cheers.
 

bianchi1

Guru
Location
malverns
Vaujany in the french alps.

It's a small ski village, and the lifts fun in the summer for walking etc. it's got a great leasure centre with an olympic standard ice rink and good pool with outside decking.

Some good cycling both on and off road, and I suppose the only issue is that it's at 1200 meters so most rides end with a struggle to get home.
 
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Neil65

Active Member
Vaujany in the french alps.

It's a small ski village, and the lifts fun in the summer for walking etc. it's got a great leasure centre with an olympic standard ice rink and good pool with outside decking.

Some good cycling both on and off road, and I suppose the only issue is that it's at 1200 meters so most rides end with a struggle to get home.
Thanks Blanche1 I'd just been looking at Vaujany so I'll have a look in more detail.
 

bianchi1

Guru
Location
malverns
Thanks Blanche1 I'd just been looking at Vaujany so I'll have a look in more detail.
I use ski peak to book my accommodation, which is good value in the summer. There are free to use tennis courts (at 1300 m so a bit lung busting) and if you are into your climbing there is a new (free again) via ferrata. I'm off with some friends and my daughter in June. We will cycle and she will sit in the sun or go swimming.

Don't tell to many people about it, because it's still a hidden gem! Fortunately the fact the village is so small, one tiny bar and a small shop tends to put most people off.
 
I just visited the Pyrenees. One place which sticks out would be Chez Passet which is just outside Lourdes and at the entrance to many fantastic cycling valleys, including the two which access both climbs up the Col du Tourmalet. In a couple of weeks the 1st round of the UCI world mountain bike cup will be taking place just outside Lourdes. So this place has mountain biking, road biking and plenty of lovely walks on the doorstep. Plus theres an airport at Tarbes/Lourdes. ps I can also confirm that Vaujany is beautiful.
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Neil65

Active Member
Thanks Will,looks good. Fabulous photo.
 

Donger

Convoi Exceptionnel
Location
Quedgeley, Glos.
Don't rule out Annecy in the Alps. Stayed there last year and it was a superb base for cycling. All the way along the west side of the lake and up the valley to Albertville there is a superb cycle path (an old railway line), so you can quickly get away from the traffic without any strenuous climbing. Every valley to either side of the path is rideable, and I took in the Col de l'Epine from Marlens (a 500 metre climb over about 8km that featured as a Cat 1 climb in the 2012 TdF) as my first Alp and rode several very quiet roads near Chevaline and Doussard at the South end of the lake. There are big Tour de France rides nearby up the Semnoz (was an HC climb in the 2012 TdF), the Col de la Forclaz and others with great views back over Lake Annecy, . I'm going back later this year to try the Col des Aravis and the Col de la Colombiere, which are about 600 and 800 metres of climbing respectively. Annecy itself is a beautiful old town full of waterside restaurants. We stayed at Doussard at the South end of the lake, and are going back to the same place again. Can't recommend it highly enough.
 

neil_merseyside

Über Member
Location
Wirral
Another vote for Annecey here, a circuit of the lake itself is worth doing (23m?) and best done clockwise to avoid the hairpins in the nastier direction.
The bikepath from Annecey to Ugine is all off road and is supposedly for wheeled traffic only - walkers are meant to use the gravel strip either side of the black top!

PS I've done both Aravis and Colombiere (the easy side from GrandBo) and although they nearly killed me (being a flat lander wuss) but the descents back are awesome
 
Mont Ventoux is fantastic at that time of year. Bedoin or Malaucène. If you're on a MTB bike, its a tough climb, but you do then have the option to return to the valley via the off road trails.
 
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Neil65

Active Member
May/June is a bit early if you're looking to do the higher mountain passes.
Good point andym, trying to avoid the heat of high summer, might have to settle for lesser climbs ( probably no bad thing ),
 
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Neil65

Active Member
Another vote for Annecey here, a circuit of the lake itself is worth doing (23m?) and best done clockwise to avoid the hairpins in the nastier direction.
The bikepath from Annecey to Ugine is all off road and is supposedly for wheeled traffic only - walkers are meant to use the gravel strip either side of the black top!

PS I've done both Aravis and Colombiere (the easy side from GrandBo) and although they nearly killed me (being a flat lander wuss) but the descents back are awesome
Cheers Neil, thanks for the tips.
 
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