Tour of Monviso by bike
The legendary climbs of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia
5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS
Cycling tour in the Occitan Valleys of Monviso, rich in culture, traditions and good food, and the French valleys of Queyras - Guillestrois, Ubaye and Tinée, renowned for their sunny, dry climate.
It is a fairly complex route that alternates winding roads with quieter paths, rich in history and charm: magnificent landscapes, villages where time stands still, secret valleys, steep climbs and speedy descents in unspoiled surroundings.
Meeting of participants, room assignment, own arrangements for dinner and one night's accommodation in the selected facility.
From the characteristic town of Saluzzo, rich in traditions and charm, we go up towards Chianale. The climb to the Col Agnel pass begins as soon as we leave this village with its stone and wooden houses; a 10 km climb made particularly difficult by the gradient, which exceeds 14% in some sections, and by the absence of shade. The pass, at 2,744 metres above sea level, is the second highest paved road pass in Italy and the third highest in Europe after the Iseran and the Stelvio passes. Second stage of the day, the climb to the legendary Col d'Izoard pass (15.9 km - 6.9% average gradient - 10.5% maximum gradient), which holds the record for the most passages of the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia. The route climbs through the renowned Casse Desert, and then descends to Briançon, the former capital of the Republic of the Escartons.
Two more exceptional passes: Col de Vars and Col de la Bonnette. The initial part of the climb to Col de Vars is not too challenging: on a wide road, with an average gradient of 6% and a maximum of 10%. After 14 km of descent alongside the Alpes de Haute Provence, the route follows the road of the Ubaye valley to the village of Jausiers. From here we start the never-ending climb to Col de la Bonnette, the highest road in Europe (2,715 metres, 6.6% average gradient - 9% maximum gradient). The descent into the Tinée Valley passes through an extremely wild alpine environment.
As on the previous day, we start pedalling hard, with the climb to Col de la Lombarde (2,351 metres, 6.8% average gradient - 9.3% maximum gradient), the alpine border pass that connects the Tinée Valley in the Maritime Alps and the Stura di Demonte Valley (Italy). The next descent takes us back into Italy, on a winding road in the unspoiled valley of Sant'Anna which leads to the main town of the Stura Valley, Vinadio, a town protected by its "Albertine" fortifications, commissioned by the Dukes of Savoy. A few kilometres later, in Demonte, the long climb begins to the Colle dei Morti/Colle Fauniera Pass located at 2,481 m above sea level. A 25 km climb through meadows and high altitude pastureland until we reach more rugged and austere alpine scenery where at last we get a view of the "Cima Coppi" peak; here a statue of Marco Pantani, the cycling champion who died prematurely in 2004, and who thrilled his fans with his extraordinary successes, on these climbs too, has stood for the past few years.
we allow ourselves some R&R on our last day of the tour. Only one climb: up to the Colle di Sampeyre pass which, from the bottom of the Maira Valley, rises to 2,283 metres on a secluded road that offers extraordinary views of the Alps. There are some breathtaking sights to be seen: the church of Sampeyre, which is easily spotted on account of its stone spire bell tower, and the village of San Martino, located on a ledge overhanging a precipice. The descent along the Varaita Valley brings us back to Saluzzo, the starting point of our tour. The mere sight of the town makes all the effort worthwhile! The artistic and cultural heritage of the Marquises of Saluzzo (Middle Ages) is still evident in the local architecture: numerous castles and countless noble houses to be admired in the medieval alleys. The streets of Saluzzo are dotted with historic buildings and ancient churches, where tourists flock also to enjoy the local cuisine, which is based on produce from the orchards and the cattle farms with breeds such as the Fassona and the Piemontese. The tour ends in the late afternoon.
Price per person from:
€ 700,00 (groups of 6 pax)
The price includes:
4 nights in a hotel (3-4 stars) in a double room on half-board basis.
Training programme and GPS coordinates to be downloaded on the Odometer.
Videos and photographs.
Welcome gift: t-shirt of the Monviso bike tour.
The price does not include:
Transport to/from meeting point (Saluzzo)
Accommodation on last night (Saturday)
First evening's dinner.
Expenses in the event of an accident.
Drinks with meals and from the minibar.
Extras, any tourist taxes to be paid locally.
Wellness services and sports massage.
Picnic with local products.
Anything not expressly indicated under "the price includes".
Hooded rain jacket
Micro-fibre technical t-shirt