Briançon to the sea: the final stage of the TransAlps


From Briançon we are already in the Southern French Alps and as long as we keep heading South the smell of the pine trees and the salty taste in our mouths of the sea will guide our wheels to the final stop in sunny Nice!

From the fortified town of Briançon to the Mediterranean Sea, we will ride a wide variety of trails and the scenery will change daily. The route comprises a mix of jeep tracks through to technical singletracks. It crosses remote valleys and quaint old Provençal villages. This week will ensure you have your dose of Mountain Biking with the final highlight: a swim in the Mediterranean sea!

310km of awesome Mountain Biking adventure awaits you…

Please note: Due to the complexity of organising a multi stage tour, we can only propose two complete TransAlps Chamonix to the sea tours for the next summer (two trips of 7 days). The tour can be made as two separate weeks or as a continuous two week tour.
With a minimum of 4 riders we can propose an additional shedule.

INCLUDED

ALPSMOUNTAINBIKE cycling jersey 7 nights accommodation all meals from dinner on Saturday of arrival to breakfast Saturday of departure picnic lunches Professional guiding luggage transfer to evening accommodation (inc. mountain refuge)

NOT INCLUDED

Flights/Travel etc Expenses of repair and maintenance of bikes Cancellation/medical insurances and repatriation costs Bike hire Alcohol and extra drinks All that is not included/understood in the heading 'Included'.

Warning: This itineray is given for your information and may be changed at the discretion of the guide depending on the weather conditions, physical ability of clients and the trail 'options' we decide together.

The Schedule : arrival Saturday

DAY 1 of arrival (Saturday) : 'Meet and great' by ourselves at Briançon or Embrun train station. Deposit baggage at evening accomodation with view of Lake of Serre Ponçon (hautes-alpes). Unpacking and preparation of bikes. Last minute shopping requirements and possibilty to visit Embrun town.

DAY 2 (Sunday) : Lake of Serre Ponçon to the Monges mountains
Departure from the Lake of Serre Ponçon, the largest dam in the Alps, we begin with a gentle climb on a jeep track. The descent is a mix of an old jeep track and singletrack with smooth pine needles, spongy like carpet and excellent tight corners... Hummmmm!! An 800 metre ascent on an easy rolling jeep track to reach the summit which dominates the village of Gigors with the reward of a terrific singletrack slaloming between the trees on loose gravel terrain: skids and slides are a must… yeeaaahhaaa!!  A last ascent comprising half road and jeep track then descend to our cosy accommodation for the night.

Ride distance: 57km Uneven positive: 1800m Uneven negative: 1800m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5


DAY 3 (Monday) : Monges mountain to Digne
A short transfer by van avoids a long section of road and enables us to hit the trails in the direction of the Col de Clapouse, passing through the awesome remote valley of Esparon. Today and tomorrow we will ride in one of the least habited places in France... So we won’t meet many people on the trails! The singletrack from the Col of Clapouse is just magic... Nestled in a wild narrow valley, we will cross flower covered fields, on flowing and technical in places singletracks and finish next to a little stream. We will then climb the Col de Geruen, starting on a jeep track and ending on an amazing singletack offering splendid views of the wild and remote neighbouring valleys.
The descent towards the Col de Font Belle begins with a technical but ride able section and becomes the perfect trail… flowing, smooth, a few roots, a few steps we can jump, corners at full speed… You will definitely have a big smile on your face at the bottom of this singletrack!
Depending on time we can choose between riding the amazing ridge of the Col de Mounis or a network of singletracks and jeep tracks to arrive in Digne.

Ride distance: 52km Uneven positive: 1800m Uneven negative: 2000m Physical difficulty: 4/5 Technical skills: 3/5

DAY 4 (Tuesday) : Digne to Verdon gorges
A long day awaits us, however with lots of jeep tracks to ascend and nice descending trails, you won’t notice the distance! This stage is very varied, we will pass through remote typical Provençal villages. Passing from one valley to another by a ‘clues’ (a slice in the limestone made by the river over the last 10,000 years.) We will pass through the lost village of Majastre nestled at the bottom of a small open valley, a splendid track in between the pine trees takes us from the valley and we finish the day in the quiet village of Bondils underneath the massive summit of the Chiran (1905m).

Ride distance: 60km Uneven positive: 1600m Uneven negative: 1500m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5

DAY 5 (Wednesday) : From Verdon to Lac de Castillon
Today starts with short descent then a traversing trails to reach the ruined castle of Chateauneuf Les Verdon. From here a nice singletrack brings us to La Palud, a well known climbing spot in the Gorges du Verdon. Stopping here to take in the amazing views over the Verdon river and the narrow and deep canyon (also called the" french Grand Canyon") where it’s turquoise water flows. Then a short climb to the pretty village of Rugon followed by the climb to the Plateau de Suech, from where the panorama over the canyon of Verdon is breathtaking. In this area if we are lucky we may have the chance to see a rare bald head vulture. The descent from the Plateau de Suech is an ancient Roman road (almost 2000 years old) wher we arrive in the small remote village of Chasteuil. The day culminates in a hilly traversing trail to Castellane where we can swim in the lake and enjoy a beer.

Ride distance: 45km Uneven positive: 600m Uneven negative: 800m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5


DAY 6 (Thursday) : From Castellane to the Esteron valley
Today the program is simple: Turn your brain into singletrack mode and go…
 After a short transfer by van avoiding 14km riding on the road, and then we will head to the mini ski resort of Vauplanne via a short gentle road climb. From here the view of the snowy alpine summits is breathtaking.From here the ride is 90% singletrack… Yipppeeee!
We will start this singletrack box of treats with a short descent then a traversing trail crossing pine tree forests, open flower covered meadows and dry rocks, altering between short ascents and descents, it seems to be endless! Arriving at the Col du Buis, 20 metres on tarmac and hop back onto the singletrack party again… The Esteron valley is definitly a jewel for mountain bikers! The day just rolls on happily to the final descent into the charming village of Roquesteron.

Ride distance: 45km Uneven positive: 700m Uneven negative: 900m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5

DAY 7 (Friday) : From Roquesteron to the Mediterranean Sea
The final day of the second stage of this ‘Traverse of the Alps’ will be engraved in your Mountain Biking memory forever. Riding facing the Mediterranean Sea with the realisation that you have almost accomplished the complete ‘Traverse of the Alps’ is huge!!!
From Roquesteron we will climb the Cheiron mountain range via a gentle jeep track, followed by a short ‘hike-a-bike’ section to reach the top and then a technical descent to Bouyon. A short section on a quiet Provençal road will bring us to the foot of the last ascent of the Baou d’Anou, the last summit that separate us from the sea… The view over the famous Bay des Anges (Angles Bay) is amazing. The final descent of the tour is certainly by no means the least. The trail is awesome, passing through ancient cultivated terraces, slaloming between oak and olive trees... A short ride on the road from where we can almost hear the sound of the waves on the beach. The final night is spent in the beautiful medieval village of Saint Jeannet with its panoramic sea views.
Next stop… wriggle your toes in the sand, get your feet wet in the sea and toast a fabulous weeks Mountain Biking with a few beers!

Ride distance: 40km Uneven positive: 800m Uneven negative: 1000m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5

Stage 2: Total ride distance: 310km!!

Total ‘Traverse of the Alps’ ride distance: 550km… and still alive!


Dismantle and pack bikes ready for departure the following day.
Yes I think a well earned cold beer or two is a definite!


Day 8 : departure day (Saturday) : Departure day and transfer to Nice train station/airport. Or maybe you would like to stay longer by the sea?



NB: this tour is run with a minimum of 4 clients. Lunches on Saturday of arrival and Saturday of departure are not included, but can be arranged at an additional cost.

Second stage from Briançon to the sea: PRICE 1495 €
Complete TransAlps from Chamonix to the Sea: From 1995 €
Departure
possible
Every Saturday from May 11th to October 19th
Level
MORE INFOS


Physical
difficulty
  • You are a mtb fan and ride 3-4 times a week at least for 2 hours non stop or more.
  • You can ride at intense pace for short periods (15 minutes)
  • You are able to cope with longer anaerobic efforts( 3-5 minutes).
  • You are comfortable with cycling more than 5 hours at steady pace per day.
  • you are able to climb 1 hour non stop.
  • you do not mind riding in rain if it occurs.
  • you are able to climb more than 1000 meters (3000 feet).
  • vertical ascent a day over 5 days including hike-a-bike sections ( more than 10 minutes).


    Technical
    difficulty
  • You are a mtb fan and ride 3-4 times a week at least for 2 hours non stop or more.
  • You can ride at intense pace for short periods (15 minutes)
  • You are able to cope with longer anaerobic efforts( 3-5 minutes).
  • You are comfortable with cycling more than 5 hours at steady pace per day.
  • you are able to climb 1 hour non stop.
  • you do not mind riding in rain if it occurs.
  • you are able to climb more than 1000 meters (3000 feet).
  • vertical ascent a day over 5 days including hike-a-bike sections ( more than 10 minutes).
    YOUR BIKE
  • The best option is to ride on your own mountain bike, as it is familiar to you.
  • PLEASE NO XC bikes or short travel bikes (below 130mm)
  • A full suspension bike with at least 130 mm of front and back travel is required.
  • You need to have big grippy tires front and back, minimum 2.3 solid casing.
  • Possibility of renting a full suspension bike from 365 euros a week in the local sports stores (list on request).
  • Distance : 310 km - Ascent : 7300 m - Descent : 8200 m
    Duration8 days: arrival on saturday , departure on saturday
    7 nights accomodation
    6 days riding
    Saturday to Saturday
    Terrain
    From easy to very technical singletracks (some very technical) 'rocky and rooty' trails.
    Several hike a bike sections
    Location
    Starts in Briancon France and finishes both feet in the sand
    Accomodations and food
    7 nights accommodation in hotels (based on double occupancy twin bedrooms). Each accomodations has a secure bike storage, bike-washing facilities, a bar with fresh beers ( there are important things in life! Dinners are 3-courses and each hotels can cater for specific dietary requirements ( veggy, vegan, gluten intolerant etc...), please let us in advance if you have specific diet.
    Lunch
    Our gourmet sandwiches are now reknown as we love to prepare some " deeluxe" lunch for fill your biker's hungry stomchs! So we provide a different sandwich freshly prepared everyday with delicious bread ( organic or whole wheat when possible) and local specialities. In addition we propose unlimited acces to trail snack and fruits!
    Pick up / Drop Off / Meeting point
    The closest international airport is GENEVA / Switzerland, about three hourw transfer Briancon. The pick up from / to Geneva airport is included in the price of the trip, but NOT hte drop off aftet the trip. Please let us in advance your flight details. You will meet your guide and driver in Briancon at dinner time. Please do not assemble your bike before you have arrived in at the hotel you'll stay in on saturday evening. Dependding wich trip you ride , you can leave your bike box safely at the hotel and find it back on friday
    Lodging
    7 nights accommodation in a mix of hotels
    (based on double occupancy twin bedrooms)