Climb the Alpine passes by bike

Col du Glandon à véloCycliste de dos en direction du col du Glandon
©Les cols mythiques des Alpes à vélo|Cyrille Quintard
Oz 3300s, the ideal base camp for cyclists!

Cols de la Croix de Fer, du Glandon, du Galibier… take on the great Alpine passes. But any cyclist with strong calves won’t also miss climbing the 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez, one of the Tour de France’s legendary climbs!

On the roads of the Alps

by bike

Level, duration, mileage, percentage of gradient… choose your route according to your desires and your level! Helmet, water bottle, goggles… mount your trusty steed and set off to conquer the greatest passes around Oz 3300s. Le Lautaret, le Glandon, le Galibier, the 21 bends of l’Alpe d’Huez: you’ll be pedaling through some exceptional and varied scenery. And what better reward for a cyclist than the joy of reaching the top of the pass? Maybe coming back down again!


up to the task!

L’Alpe d’Huzes, La Marmotte… these major summer events bring together thousands of cyclists every year… while some will prefer to cheer, others will be tempted to take part! Fans of sporting challenges can take advantage of the “Oisans Cols Series” to pedal on roads reserved exclusively for cyclists. Each week, “La Montée d’Oz”, also offers a timed ascent between the village and the resort, a convivial moment to pedal solo, with friends or family!


du cyclo

Lovers of the little queen will also fall under the spell of Oz 3300s! With the “Accueil Cyclo Oisans” label, many accommodations offer services adapted to cyclists and cyclo-hikers: bike room, charging point, repair tools, advice…

The timeless photo in front of the pass sign!

Already in the days of black and white, cyclists posted themselves in front of the pass sign proudly holding their bikes.
And today the tradition lives on, so no matter how tired you are when you arrive at the top, there’s always a little smile left for the souvenir photo!

The most beautiful routes

to pedal

To climb the Col de la Croix de Fer, located at the foot of the Pic de l’Etendard, you’ll pass through the typical little village of Rivier d’Allemond, skirt the turquoise-blue Lac de Grand Maison and then, once you’ve reached the summit you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aiguilles d’Arves…

At the Col de la Croix de Fer is the source of the Eau d’Olle, which is why this pass was once called the Col d’Olle. It owes its current name to the imposing iron cross that sits atop it.

27.50 1292m

km vertical drop

In Roman times, the Col du Glandon provided a link between the Oisans and Maurienne regions, via the Villards valley. From 1912, it was finally possible to reach Saint Jean de Maurienne directly via the Col de la Croix de Fer link. The memorial at the top of the pass pays tribute to the Oisans maquis who repelled a German attack during WW2.

The Col du Sabot, Isère’s highest “road” pass, takes you past the Côte 2000 into the calm of the alpine pastures.

Until 1860, the Col du Sabot marked the border between France and Savoy. The road was equipped with a border post to protect the province of Dauphiné. Sabot” comes from Sabaudia meaning Savoie in Savoyard dialect. Where the Grand’Maison reservoir stretches today, vast alpine pastures were once shared between the French and Savoyards. The dam is France’s most powerful hydroelectric facility, and owes its name to “la Grand’Maison”, once a large building used to house shepherds.

This winding road offers exceptional views of the Grandes Rousses massif, villages clinging to the mountains like Villard-Reculas and Auris-en-Oisans, and of course a breathtaking panorama of the Romanche valley. But to access this spectacular landscape, you’ll need to hold on tight to your handlebars: between the hairpins, the gradients oscillate between 8 and 9%! Apart from one bend that requires a restart, the others are followed by a flat, and what a reward to reach the last hairpin…

Advice from the pro

  • Preparation and training are essential before climbing the big passes.
  • Mountain roads are busy in summer, with motorized and non-motorized vehicles, cows, sheep… be careful on the descents!