The big descent to Nice.

After the alps, there was the ocean.


Into the Haut-Alps

Climbing all day long until the sun set.


Lavender Fields

En route to the Gorge du Verdon.


After the excitement of cycling Xinjiang in Western China and the length of New Zealand I was itching to get back into the saddle. As every European citizen knows, there’s no place like southern France in summer – and my good friends live in Geneva. So the plan formed quickly: a five day cycle-touring adventure from Geneva to Nice.

With a tent, a touring bike, excitement and a great route planned out, we set off from Geneva.

Day 1:
Geneva to Allevard (132km, +1.254m / -1.150m)
Ride with GPS route and elevations
Camping: – 67 Av de Savoie, tel 04 76 975023

That was the plan. What really happened was:
When building our bikes straight off the plane, Laura’s back wheel wouldn’t fit back into its hinge and we had to start the day with finding a bike shop that would be a) open and b) able to sort this issue out. We were successful but our Geneva departure was significantly delayed and we didn’t get out of town until after lunch. The day was super extra hot. The mountains were looming. And in short: we didn’t quite make it.

We made it all the way to Chateauneuf and found a cute little campground that let us pitch our tent. Here’s the route.


Day 2:
Allevard to Corps Chateauneuf to Corps (106.1km, +1.521m, -1.177m)
Ride with GPS Route and Elevations
Sous les chenêts 38970 Corps
Tel : ou
courriel :
camping on the lake for 21 EUR.

That was the plan. What really happened:
After having left the first day a little short, it comes as no surprise that once again we struggled to hit the target for the day. In fact, we only made it to Ser Sirant. This wasn’t because of the ambitious distance target – the Route Napoleon simply killed us. Once again a crazy hot summer day, the climbing was steep and never ending and we ended up walking quite a bit. Nonetheless, we found still ourselves camping (and subsequently swimming) by the lake and had a rather fantastic rewarding dinner.
Here’s the route for day 2.

Route Napoleon

Day 3:
Corps Ser Sirant – Digne-les-Bains (130km, +1.326m, -1.632m)
Ride with GPS Route and altitudes
Camping du Bourg, Route de Barcelonnette, – Code postal 04000 – Digne-les-Bains – tél.: 0492310487 – GPS : 44.10021 N / 6.24927 E – 15Eur/nacht.. mit Klettersteig und See.
Alternative: Camping Les Eaux Chaudes
Route des thermes
04 400 Digne-les-bains

That was the plan. What really happened:
We obviously hadn’t reached our daily target once again, so today we were gonna get down and dirty and do it! And we DID! We busted out a strong 164km and climbed 1.500m in a solid 9 hours and came through some of the best that France has to offer. Crossing various cols led us straight into Dignes les Bains, a mere week before the Tour de France circus would roll in. Of course, we had to ride through the starting line.

This was the route.


Tag 4:
Digne-les-Bains to La Roque-Esclapon (107km, +2.269, -1.911m) – YES – finally we are on track!
Ride with GPS Route and Elevations
Camping: camping Municipal Notre-Dame
Camping Municipal Notre-Dame ***
Quartier Notre-Dame
83840 La-Roque-Esclapon
04 94 76 83 18

Today everything happened as it was supposed to. We were SO excited. It was the day for the Gorges du Verdon! On the way we were to cross lavender fields, have a steady up and down (yey!) and see some more Best of France.
Epic, epic day! Here’s the route.

Day 5:
La Roque-Esclapon to Nice (75km, +835m, -1.784m) FINALLY DOWNHILL!!
Ride with GPS tracks.
no camping – Hotel Petit Palais.

YES – all came true!! The bestest of days – almost all downhill, towards the sparkly blue ocean. What a day. And at the end of it – fluffy boutique hotel beds, a pool, and the feet in the sea. All topped off with 2 bottles of Rosé and a big portion of Moules Frites. Vive la France.
Here’s the final leg. Should you choose to replicate any of this trip: don’t detour on the last day – this is the bestest downhill of the entire ride – fun to be had!!


Go and see the entire photoalbum here.

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