Cycling Lake Geneva to Chambéry Plus! Lyon

Cycling Lake Geneva to Chambéry Plus! Lyon

Cycle from one cultural capital to another as you ride between the border of France and Switzerland enjoying captivating landscapes including the crystal waters of France’s deepest lake, Lac du Bourget. Cycle past quaint villages and rolling vineyards, explore abbeys and architectural feats including cycling over the "Pont de l'Abime, a stunning suspension bridge constructed in the 1800's. Along the way you’ll stop in colorful towns nestled in the shadow of the Alps and then cycle past breathtaking lakes and forests all the while tasting some of France’s most famous culinary specialties. Finally, you’ll end in one of the most renowned food capitals in all of France, if not the world, Lyon.

If this sounds great but you don't have time for the 11-day tour, join us for 7-days on Cycling Lake Geneva to Chambéry

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 25-Jul 5, 2020
USD$5745
USD$650
Book by November 15th and Save $200 per person!
Aug 20-30, 2020
USD$5745
USD$650
Book by November 15th and Save $200 per person!

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Tour Style: Classic Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Download Itinerary Request Custom Date

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Total Distance / 427km (267 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 47km (29 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 2.0 Classic
  • Countries / France, Switzerland
  • Begin/End / Group transfer from Geneva to Yvoire / Lyon
  • Price / From USD$5745
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Four, two-night stays, Lake Geneva, Lake Annecy, Lake du Bourget, medieval villages, Savoy French Cuisine, wine tasting in the Beaujolais, guided tour of Lyon and Cluny
  • Includes
    11 days, 10 nights' accommodation; 6 dinners with wine, 1 lunch, 10 breakfasts; guided visit of Cluny; guided visit of Lyon; 1 wine tasting.

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Geneva (GVA) / Lyon (LYS)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    37km / 325m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    3
    50km / 619m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    Longer optional ride available
    4
    37km / 281m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 1.5
    5
    63km / 579m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    6
    39km / 260m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    Longer optional ride available
    7
    29km / 188m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    8
    51km / 812m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    9
    60km / 718m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    10
    66km / 738m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    11
    Last day

    Tour Level Note:

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Group transfer from Geneva to Yvoire

Highlights: Medieval port town Yvoire, Welcome dinner

We'll do a group transfer from Geneva to the tiny medieval port village of Yvoire. Enjoy stunning views of the shores of Lake Geneva from this romantic medieval town. You'll have two nights in Yvoire to enjoy the cobble stone streets where seemingly every balcony and windowsill are lined with blooming flower baskets. We'll enjoy lunch together before getting on our bikes and heading out for a scenic test ride. Dinner is together this evening on the hotel's terrace.

DAY 2: Yvoire Loop

Highlights: Shady forests, farmland, and enchanting villages

This morning you'll pedal along tiny shaded lanes and through forests and enchanting villages on a loop ride into the interior of Eastern (or Alpine) France. Extend your ride into the afternoon, or head back to Yvoire for lunch and an afternoon of exploration or relaxation. Take advantage of the hotel spa - take a swim, get a massage, or sooth your muscles in the jacuzzi. If you’re in the mood to explore, take a short boat ride across the lake to Switzerland and visit Nyon. Choose from Yvoire's many excellent restaurants this evening for dinner on your own.

  • Distance: 37km (23mi)
  • Gain: 325m (1066ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Yvoire to Annecy

Highlights: Cross borders between France and Switzerland

You'll cross the Swiss border several times this morning on your way south to our next destination, Lake Annecy. As you ride, take in the subtle cultural differences between the two countries. This afternoon, we'll meet up in La Roche sur Foron, where you can opt to take a train into Annecy, or if you're looking for an added challenge with stunning views, we'll set you up with an extra ride all the way to Annecy. You’ll quickly see why it’s commonly referred to as “Venice of the Alps" with whimsical canals running through this ancient town nestled below the snow-capped Alps. Enjoy the winding cobblestone streets of the Vieille Ville (old town) as you pass pastel houses and bright flower boxes on the way to dinner together this evening.

  • Distance: 50km (31mi)
  • Gain: 619m (2030ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Annecy Loop

Highlights: Local market

It's market day today in Annecy's gorgeous historic center. Grab some picnic supplies and pedal around the lake for incredible views. If you prefer a day off the bike, Annecy provides something for all tastes. Lounge on the beach of Lake Annecy's crystal-clear water, rent a paddle boat, or visit some of the city's historic monuments. Be sure to get a "glace artisanal" this afternoon, without a doubt some of France's best ice cream is in Annecy.

  • Distance: 37km (23mi)
  • Gain: 281m (922ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Annecy to Chambéry

Highlights: Aix les Bains, Lac du Bourget

This morning we leave Annecy for an intriguing ride through forests, hills, and across the "Pont de l'Abime, a stunning suspension bridge constructed in the 1800's. Stop and enjoy the views of France’s deepest lake, the Lac du Bourget, before pedaling a bike path into charming Chambéry, our home for the next two nights. Located in a valley, Chambéry provides almost a 360 view of the French alps and been a "crossroads to the Alps" dating all the way back to the 11th century. Though it’s hard to beat Chambéry’s rich history and stunning views, the diverse culinary scene might be a contender. Dinner is on your tonight so you have an opportunity to see how they compare.

  • Distance: 63km (39mi)
  • Gain: 579m (1899ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Chambéry loop

Highlights: Abbaye d'Hautecombe, Chanaz, Abbey

Your options are endless today. Pedal up to the lake for a swim or to sight-see in Aix-les-Bains. From Aix, take a cruise to the secluded Abbaye d'Hautecombe, with a history that goes back to a religious community founded there in 1101. Your cruise can continue to the port village of Chanaz, or head back to Chambéry to continue your exploration of the city or enjoy a relaxing aperitif below the castle. For those looking for a gorgeous cycling challenge, we'll propose an exhilarating vineyard loop to the Abbey and back. We'll experience some of the Savoy's most famous culinary specialties this evening: Fondue, Raclette, and Tartiflette!

  • Distance: 39km (24mi)
  • Gain: 260m (853ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Shuttle to Cluny then pedal to Macon

Highlights: Guided tour of Cluny Abbey, Saone river

After breakfast this morning we'll shuttle to the historic Cluny Abbey. This was once the largest church in all Christiandom! You'll learn its intriguing history with a local guide. After the tour enjoy a relaxing lunch in a local cafè before pedaling to our elegant hotel in the center of Macon, on the bank of the Saone river. We'll enjoy some delicious Beaujolais during dinner together this evening.

  • Distance: 29km (18mi)
  • Gain: 188m (617ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 8: Beaujolais loop

Highlights: Stunning wine country ride

This is the France you dream about! Our loop ride today weaves through picturesque Beaujolais villages and vineyards, farm houses, wineries, and turreted villas. We'll enjoy a drink together this evening on our stunning roof-top terrace overlooking Macon and the Beaujolais hills you cycled through today. Stroll down to the river for dinner on your own.

  • Distance: 51km (32mi)
  • Gain: 812m (2663ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Mâcon to Villefranche sur Saone

Highlights: Vineyards and medieval villages

If you thought yesterday's ride was nice, wait for today! Ancient Romanesque chapels await you in picture-perfect hamlets. Each town is an immaculate masterpiece. We'll be in Villefranche sur Saone this evening, the capital of the Beaujolais. A local expert will explain the different kinds of Beaujolais wine in a delicious tasting this evening.

  • Distance: 60km (37mi)
  • Gain: 718m (2355ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Villefranche sur Saone to Lyon

Highlights: Pierres Dorées

Today we're pedaling in the land of the "Pierres Dorées," these picturesque villages carved from "golden stones" have the warmest golden-orange glow you've ever seen. We'll weave through these hamlets until we get to the banks of the elegant Saone river, which we'll follow on bike paths that lead into the heart of Lyon. We'll celebrate this amazing cycling trip together at (what we think) might be Lyon's best restaurant.

DAY 11: Bon Voyage! - Lyon

Highlights: Guided visit of Lyon

Our journey ends this morning after a fascinating guided tour through Lyon and its secret passageways. For those of you who would like to spend more time visiting this unique city, we'll suggest some highlights. It was a pleasure having you join us.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Group transfer from Geneva to Yvoire

Lodging: Le pré de la cure

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.  The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Geneva Airport (GVA).

We offer two complimentary ExperiencePlus! shuttle options on Day 1 of the tour. Reservations required. Please make your shuttle reservation by emailing us no later than 30 days prior to your tour start date:

  • Option A: 10:30 a.m. shuttle from the Meeting Hotel in Geneva, the Kipling Hotel Geneva
  • Option B: 11:30 a.m. shuttle from the Geneva airport

If you can’t meet the shuttle on Day 1, you will be responsible for your own transportation to Yvoire, which is about a 1 hour drive from the Geneva Airport and costs around 150-200 CHF.


We will be glad to arrange your pre- and post-tour stay at the Meeting Hotel for you upon request. Note that we will not sleep there as a group and the stay there is not included in the tour price.

How to get to the Meeting Hotel:

  • Taxi from the Geneva Airport to the meeting hotel (20 min/CHF 55)

or public transportation:

  1. Train from Geneva Airport to Gare de Geneve station (8 min/ every 15 min/CHF 3 or free*)
  2. Walk from the Gare de Geneve station to the hotel (5 min).

*Note: Alongside regular tickets, Unireso, the network of public transport operators, offers free tickets, which can be claimed if you arrive to Geneva airport by plane. There are ticket machines for free tickets available at the baggage claim. Have your valid plane ticket ready in case tickets are inspected. Both regular and free tickets are valid for a certain amount of time after purchase, i.e. 90 minutes anad 80 minutes, respectively. The airport is in Zone 10, so you will need a zone 10 ticket to get into central Geneva.

Day 11: Departure Information

Bon Voyage! - Lyon

Your trip ends on the final day after the tour of Vieux Lyon, at around 11:30 a.m. back at the hotel.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

The closest airport is Lyon (LYS). Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) can be reached in 2 hours by train.

Flying out of Lyon:

  • Taxi to the Lyon Airport (45min/EUR 80)

Or public transportation:

  1. Taxi to the Lyon Part Dieu train station (5 min/EUR 15)
  2. Rhonexpress train to the Lyon airport (departures every 15 minutes, no pre-booking necessary) (30 min/EUR 15)

Look up French train schedules and book tickets, if necessary, at SNCF.com or Trainline.com. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to Departure

  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike comes with a pack for the rear rack, lock, cyclometer (bicycle computer), a spare tube and patch kit and pump. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages and straps available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet. Daily Routine (Procedures and Logistics)

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

At breakfast each day we will make the "Master Route Map" available so you can highlight your map for the day's ride. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

We'll be taking photos throughout the tour and we encourage you to do the same. Please note that we may use these for promotional purposes. Please inform us if you prefer images of you not be used. We realize that many of our travelers are great photographers and often people want to share photos after the trip. We'd love to see and share your photos from the tour with the world so if you don't mind the possibility of being famous (at least in the ExperiencePlus! world) send us a link to your tour photo gallery, or upload your favorite 20 - 30 pictures to your tour departure gallery - we'll send you the link to that online photo gallery in your final email!

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.

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