On October 14 2021, the 2022 Tour de France route was announced and Great Explorations was again the first to announce confirmed itineraries for cyclists to ride the course routes and to watch their favourite riders. We have been organizing tours to the Tour de France since 2005 and have unrivalled experience and contacts to allow us to secure accommodation and route intel prior to the public.

The 2022 route is very exciting with many of the classic climbs featured including Alpe D’Huez, Col Telegraphe and Galibier featured in the Alps. Will 2021 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar repeat or will new world champion Julian Alaphilippe put up a challenge. Will Mark Cavendish repeat as green jersey winner in 2022? In addition to spectacular riding and up close race viewing, we know for many this is also an opportunity to experience France and we have many cultural and gastronomic events to please. We stay in charming and luxurious accommodations and dine at the region’s best restaurants.

We have very limited space in 2022 so if you are thinking of joining, don’t delay.

Only Great Explorations:

  • Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
  • A ride you will never forget, ahead of the pros
  • Less time in vans means more time riding
  • Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks.
  • We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
  • We will see 4 stages on this trip!

On our Tour with the Pros trips, we generally try to provide options to cycle 60 km, 80 km or 100+ km on each cycling day. Although anyone of moderate cycling level may enjoy this tour, it is ideally suited to those with intermediate to advanced fitness levels. By this we mean you should be able to cycle 60 km at a minimum with some hills. If you have any questions about this trip, please consult our Travel Advisors.

Location

Annecy

Annecy, France

Day 1+2

Saint-Martin-d'Uriage

Grand Hotel & Spa Uriage, Place Déesse Hygie, Saint-Martin-d'Uriage, France

Day 3+4

Vaison-la-Romaine,

Vaison-la-Romaine, France

Day 5

Mazan

Mazan, France

Day 6+7

Avignon

Avignon, France

Departure on Day 8

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides
Support vehicle
7 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
Wine reception on first and final nights
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and GPS routes
All baggage transportation during the tour
Detailed Trip Planner with tips and general info about travelling in France
All tips in hotels, restaurants etc.

Not Included

Bike rental
Discretionary tips for guides

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2022

July 11-18

Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

8 days / 7 nights

ARRIVE / DEPART

Annecy / Avignon

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Intermediate/Challenging (your choice)
80-100+ km daily (different options)
Van supported

TERRAIN

Variety from rolling to mountainous

COST

Land Cost:
US $3,950 pp until December 31, 2021
US $4,450 pp after January 1, 2022

Single Supplement:
US $1,250

Bike Rental:
US $280

Racing bikes: Cannondale Supersix 5 carbon bikes with compact doubles & shimano 105; Synapse triples.
Hybrid bikes: Cannondale Quick Speed 1 and 2 also available.

FAQ:

We can imagine that it might be overwhelming to try to determine who to travel with for your Tour de France experience. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a quick decision- take the time to do some research. Here are some questions you might ask any tour operator you are considering traveling with:

Ask how much experience running trips in Europe and in particular at the Tour de France.
We have been operating trips at the Tour for over 15 years. Robbin McKinney, founder and owner of Great Explorations has been planning and guiding trips in Europe and around the world for 35 years. It's not our first rodeo.

Ask how many people will be on the trip you are booking.
We feel an ideal number of guests is 16 and we ensure there are 3 guides for this number of clients. Most of the other companies take 24-26 participants which may compromise your trip.

Ask whether the support vehicles used are vans or buses.
If the company is using a bus, you have to factor in waiting for a bus and 48 people. We use 9 psgr vans that can navigate the roads and crowds of France.

Ask how much time you will be shuttling in vans.
This may have the single greatest impact on how enjoyable your trip is. We plan our itineraries to minimize transfers- ask how long you will be in the van each day.

Ask how much experience the guides on your trip will have.
Ask for their bios; if the tour operator doesn’t know or won’t provide, this may be a red flag. We know already who will be leading our Tour trips already.

Why do some companies charge $6,000 and up for a 7 day trip and how do we compare 'apples to apples'?
When comparing prices, consider the number of days and nights, standard of hotels, guide to guest ratio, meals included and other events that may be included including how many stages you will see. At Great Explorations, we strive to create an experience that is unique and special and we charge a price that allows us to include things that we know will make the trip a once in a lifetime experience but at the same time provide value.

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 1.800.242.1825.

Getting There
We suggest flying into Paris and making your way to Annecy (3h40 by train) the night before the trip starts. If you wish to train to Annecy on the morning of our trip start, this is also possible with an early morning train.


1

Day 1 (July 11)

Rest Day for Pros

Arrive to Annecy, perched on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in France with amazing cycling and the gateway to the Alps. We will meet for bike fitting at 4pm, followed by a warm-up ride around the lake, then a welcome wine reception and the first of many fine meals. We stay at Hotel Splendid, a few steps from the lake.

2

Day 2 (July 12)

Stage 10: MORZINE LES PORTES DU SOLEIL > MEGÈVE: 148km
Live Viewing

From our hotel, we will ride out and around the lake and into the mountains arriving in time to watch the final km into Megeve. The final ascent of 19.2km averages 4.1% grade. Giddy up! Back in Annecy, we’ll dine at a favourite restaurant on the lake.

3

Day 3 (July 13)

Stage 11: ALBERTVILLE > COL DU GRANON: 149km
Live Viewing

Those wanting a flat and easy ride, can cycle to Albertville to watch the Stage start. Alternatively, for those that want to climb and watch the race on Galibier, transfer to St. Jean de Maurienne and ride over Col Telegraphe (1,566m; 11.9km with avg grade of 7.1%) and Galibier (2,642m; 17.7km at avg grade of 6.9%). You’ll have bragging rights from us and a soak in the thermal baths in Uriage-les-Bains might be in order.

4

Day 4 (July 14)

Stage 12: BRIANÇON > ALPE D’HUEZ: 166km
Live Viewing

Awaking in the splendour of charming Uriage-les-Bains, cycle from the hotel up valley to Bourg d’Oisans and then up the famous Alpe D’Huez, ahead of the pros. Watching the finish here will be a highlight of the trip. Back in Uriage-les-Bains, we will dine at a refined restaurant to celebrate this day.

5

Day 5 (July 15)

Stage 13 – BOURG D’OISANS > SAINT-ÉTIENNE: 193km
Live Viewing

We are in a good position to join the Tour route as the race heads across the Vercors towards Saint-Etienne. Afterwards, we’ll transfer south to Provence to the charming village of Vaison-la-Romaine, where you’ll have options for rides through nearby vineyards of Rasteau and a longer option to Buis-le-Barronier.

6

Day 6 (July 16)

Stage 14: SAINT-ÉTIENNE > MENDE: 195km

As the Tour continues west, we will ride up one of the most famous mountains in France, Le Ventoux (21.4km at avg grade of 7.1%). This is a 60km ride with an elevation gain of 1,740m. Watch the Tour from a lively bar in Bedoin, a cyclists’ mecca. It will be festive! Want more? Ride a pretty route to the hill-town of Venasque or as far as Chateau-Neuf du Pape and back. Wine tasting anyone? Or enjoy a massage at the hotel’s spa.

7

Day 7 (July 17)

Stage 15: RODEZ > CARCASSONNE: 200km

There are many options for glorious rides in this region, but our favourite (perhaps in all of France) is a ride across the flank of Ventoux to Sault and down the Gorge Du Nesque. Trust us – it will be one of the best rides of your life with a lunch at a mountain auberge where we can watch the race also. Back in Mazan we’ll have a fitting celebratory dinner at a vineyard restaurant that will be truly memorable.

8

Day 8 (July 18)

Departure Day

After breakfast, depart at your leisure. Trains from Avignon reach Paris CDG in 3h12. If you are continuing with our Tour de France Pyrenees to Paris trip, trains from Avignon reach Carcassonne in under 3 hours.

Important note: This is a preliminary itinerary which will be updated as further route information becomes public. Any changes made will be done with the goal of making the trip the best that we can given available hotels, services etc.

Hotel Splendid, Annecy

Overlooking the Jardins de l’Europe park in downtown Annecy, this traditional 3* hotel is a 4-minute walk from the shores of Lake Annecy. Contemporary rooms, many featuring lake views, have parquet floors, flat-screen TVs, minibars.


Grand Hotel, Saint-Martin-d'Uriage

In a historic building dating from 1864, this luxurious 4* property boast bright, airy rooms with wooden floors; amenities include a heated pool, a sunroom and a hammam, plus access to a relaxation lounge at the Uriage Thermal Center. An acclaimed restaurant serves high-end cuisine.


Le Beffroi, Vaison-La-Romaine

Perched in the medieval village, this 3* chateau features lovely gardens and a pool. It is in one of the most beautiful 16th century mansions in the Old City of Vaison; you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.


Chateau de Mazan, Mazan

Located in a small village, this 18th century mansion boasts large guest rooms, a gourmet restaurant and large outdoor swimming pool.



			

Trip Reviews

September 27, 2019

“The trip was a great mix of cycling challenging terrain to beautiful destinations and being able to observe many facets of the TDF. Plus it was fun to be with our leaders who were both cycling and TDF enthusiasts. It is pretty amazing to have cycled the “Alps to Paris!”. We appreciated the small group, enabling us to be nimble when needed, plus be comfortable “living” in the van. Meals were fine; as expected. Guides were helpful with my being a vegetarian. Our “fancy” dining experience in Annecy was really special. The main focus was the TDF. This led to early mornings, a lot of logistical maneuvering for the guides — who handled it masterfully — and quite a bit of time in the van. Enjoyed it all under the circumstances. Massage was nice! Didn’t use the maps. Most of the time we either were following the guides wherever there may have been turns or we were riding up a single road with no chance to get lost. Guides got to know us quickly and assessed our interests and abilities and accommodated our every need. Van/water/snacks were always readily available and plentiful. Bike was just fine. We brought our own pedals to clip in, which was key!”

September 27, 2019

“Our guides really made the trip!! Dimitri and Sebastien felt like friends rather than guides within minutes of meeting them. They were a great team! Sebastien is so organised and Dimitri is so laid back. We were made to feel that they would be happy to accommodate the trip to suit our needs. My partner was able to climb as many mountains as he desired and the rest of us mere mortals could also have a challenging ride. Having been to France before and after having watched the tour for many years I knew what to expect, I already knew I loved the area. I was nervous prior to my arrival knowing that I would be cycling in the mountains and wasn’t sure I was ready however, my fears were allayed as a result of our guides. they were able to rate our riding skills and find something challenging but possible for each of us. All the hotels were great. Dinner at both the Collias hotel and the following night in the town of Collias were delicious. Hot lips hotel was fantastic too! Our gastronomique meal in Annecy was delicious too. Can’t even imagine how complicated it must have been to organize this trip! Adam and I teased Sebastien that he was our parent! I know how my kids feel now…all we had to do was show up at the time specified and everything was done for us! I loved the fact that we were able to be so flexible. Adam and I really wanted a trip with a lot of cycling while catching some of the tour..it exceeded our expectations! Loved the triple ring!! Was wishing for a quadruple ring halfway up the Ventoux but, seems I’ll have to get Adam to invent it for me. Honestly can’t say enough how much we loved this trip! So appreciative!!”

September 27, 2019

“Could not have been happier. Loved being in the Alps. Just beautiful. Guides Sebastian and Dimitri were great. Went above and beyond to make sure we had a great trip. As you know Dimitri even arranged for Karen and me to sit in the grandstands on the Champs Elysees during the final. We enjoyed every aspect of the Tour de France. Sebastian and Dimitri made every effort to combine cycling with tour viewing. Riding our bike from Briacon to the base of Col du Galibier was so much fun.Then watching the tour pass within inches was amazing. Collias Hotel, Annecy Hotel and Le Meridian in Paris were all great. Sebastian and Dimitri customized Karen and my routes. Either a guide was riding with us or the van was close by. We never had to use the RidewithGPS. The paper maps were nice to get an overview. we rode as much as we wanted. Riding up Ventoux was HARD. Glad I did it -almost all the way. There were some challenging rides, but our guides were always close by to help out or give us a ride in the van. Of course Sebastian and Dimitri had the TDF Yellow Book which was great to read and study.”

September 27, 2019

It was absolutely superb. The hotels were all great. The food was excellent. Most importantly the guides were fantastic, knowledgeable, extremely resourceful, flexible in plans and routes that group wanted to take, very well organized and superb communicators in English. They certainly seemed to go above and beyond what I would expect from them and remained bright and upbeat at all times no matter what was thrown at them, or what the day brought. Superb leaders and a great pairing together, I cannot imagine the trip without Dimitri and Sebastien as the guides. Van was there wherever it was supposed to be, stocked with whatever was required. Technical support was tremendous, as guides hunted down pedals for the pair of us having forgotten to pack them. Nice bikes, suitable for the job, mechanically sound. The region is absolutely stunning, with amazing scenery and beautiful little villages. It was the French Alps, nothing more to say.

July 20, 2015

As usual I loved the trip. Being so close to the Tour de France was a real highlight for me! It was wonderful to cycle in France and the Alps!

July 22, 2013

Too many highlights to pick just one. It was the trip we were looking for….great guides, great food, great climbs, great secondary routes, great new friends, great scenery, great viewing spots for the Tour….It may take a year to clean the smiles off our faces.

July 16, 2013

The riding was fantastic. I was expecting challenging climbs and great viewing areas of the riders and this tour delivered.

July 25, 2008

“Great Explorations provided a truly amazing once in a lifetime experience of the Tour de France. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. Again and again!”

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