Day 1: Arrival in Geneva
Geneva is easily accessible by car, train, and air — many low-cost carriers stop at the city’s manageably sized airport. You’ll arrive in a cultured and cosmopolitan city with more than enough attractions to fill a day, so you can check in to your hotel in the heart of the city, then head on out to explore. Whether you want to stroll around the city’s beautiful botanical gardens, go shopping for world-famous watches, chocolates, and Swiss knives, or set sail on sparkling Lake Geneva, it’s up to you.
Day 2: Geneva — Seyssel (39 miles/63 km, elevation gain 2,733 ft/833 m, descent 3,179 ft/910 m)
We will outfit you with bikes and provide your itinerary briefing after breakfast, so you’ll be ready to jump on your bikes and ride! This is the toughest day of cycling during the whole tour; with rolling hills, you’ll climb your highest ascent – but the good news is you’ll get to enjoy plenty of downhill riding (nearly 800 meters/2,625 feet)! The route itself winds its way southwest, across the Swiss border at Chancy into the picturesque wine region of Rhône-Alpes, France, where you will spend the remainder of your tour. There are plenty of reasons to stop along the way: stunning panoramas, striking rock formations, and intriguing ruins, to name a few. Your hotel in Seyssel sits right on the river, providing the perfect spot to give your biking legs a rest.
Day 3: Seyssel — Champagneux (Short Option: 34 miles/54 km, elevation gain 1,647 ft/502 m, descent 1,585 ft/483 m; Long Option via Bugey 48 miles/77 km, elevation gain 2,418 ft/737 m, descent 2,372 ft/723 m)
On more level terrain, today’s ride will feel like a picnic compared to the previous day. Consider exploring Chanaz – the Little Venice of Savoie – or park your bikes to try the exquisite local cheeses in the Roman town of Belley. Or, if you are content to add some extra kilometers to the journey, you can also head just off route to enjoy lunch in one of the ancestral wineries on the banks of Lac du Bourget. Whatever you choose, make sure to save a little energy for the climb up to your hotel in Champagneux. Your extra effort will be entirely worth it when you feast your eyes on the incredible valley view — and a delicious dinner.
Day 4: Champagneux — Pérouges (Short option: 42 miles/68 km, elevation gain 1,637 ft/499 m, descent 1,604 feet/489 m; Long option: 55 miles/88 km, elevation gain 1,906 ft/581 m; descent 1,873 ft/571 m)
The Rhône River will show you the way through small villages and quiet countryside...the navigation couldn’t be easier: all you have to do is follow the traffic-free bikeway. From Saint-Sorlin, you’ll leave the Via Rhona and ride on secondary roads through the rural “Bugey.” Your destination will soon be in sight as you approach the hilltop medieval village of Perouges. This is where you’ll stay overnight.
Day 5: Pérouges — Lyon (Short Option 27 miles/43 km, elevation gain 984 ft/300 m, descent: 1,220 ft/372 m; Long Option 37 miles/59 km, elevation gain 1,647 ft/502 m, descent 1,857 ft/566 m)
If you just can’t get enough of France’s pretty villages, you’ll want to opt for the longer route we’ve devised. You’ll leave the path of the Rhône River for a while, but trust us, it’s well worth it (and you won’t have to worry about falling in the river when the marvelous scenery steals your attention)! On the other hand, if you’re dreaming of diving right into the food stalls at Les Halles in Lyon, you may follow the Via Rhona directly into the city. Tonight, you’ll retire your wheels in the hilly neighborhood of La Croix Rousse.
Day 6: Departure
After breakfast, depart at the time of your choice.