New Zealand Cycling and Hiking Adventures

Haute Route by Mountain Bike

Haute Route by Mountain Bike

Trip Highlights

  • Incredible alpine scenery
  • Cycling rewarding, world class mountain bike trails
  • Legendary Haute Route adapted for mountain bikes
  • Breathtaking views of Mont Blanc & the Matterhorn
  • Ride through several high alpine passes at an altitude of over 2500m
  • Pass through charming old Swiss villages

Trip Summary

The Haute Route is one of the most famous walks in the European Alps and recently this famous trail has developed into one of the most rewarding mountain bike trails in the world. Setting out under the stunning shadow of Mont Blanc above Chamonix, we ride through the heart of the alps, crossing high alpine passes at altitudes of over 2500m including Pas de Lona, Basset de Lona and Illsee pass. The well maintained Swiss single tracks offer outstanding riding as we appreciate the breathtaking alpine summits and glaciers surrounding us. The fantastic final descent into Zermatt takes us underneath the stunning and unforgettable Matterhorn - the most recognisable peak in the Swiss Alps. This is a fitting end to a superb mountain bike tour.

Trip Grading

This mountain biking trip is for more experienced riders. Graded as challenging, it involves a combination of easy to technical singletracks (some very technical), to rocky and rooty trails with distances from 40 to 65km including ascents up to 1900m. Over the course of the 6 days of cycling you will climb 8300m and descend 11000m. The emphasis is on moderate riding with several challenging stages that will test you. The itinerary describes each days physical and technical challenges and provides a rating out of 5.

Itinerary

On arrival at Geneva airport, you will be met and transferred to Chamonix. Alternatively, if you are coming from somewhere else, please make your own way to Chamonix. Our accommodation for the night has a view of Mont Blanc (weather permitting) which helps to inspire us for our forthcoming adventure. There is time to unpack and prepare our bikes; also to take care of any last minute shopping requirements in the town of Chamonix.

Meals:  D

We begin our mountain bike journey this morning with a ride to Le Tour at the head of the Chamonix Valley. From here we will take the gondola to Col de Balme then ride our first technical descent to the village of Trient, Switzerland. From here we climb the Col de la Forclaz before descending to the Martigny Valley and its vineyards. We continue on to Val de Bagne by following the contours of the valley along both road and trails. Finally we take a chair lift to arrive in the ski resort of Verbier, where we overnight. Ride distance: 40km Ascent: 1000m Descent: 1500m Physical difficulty: 2/5 Technical skills: 3/5

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we start from the village of Verbier, with amazing views of the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc range. We follow the route of the 'Grand Raid Marathon' - one of the world's toughest mountain bike races. Firstly we cross the Croix de Coeur Pass and descend on superb single track. Several climbs and descents follow throughout the day; one a ski lift ascent rewarded by a long descent on a spongey, spruce- needled single track. A long final climb (about 1 hour) takes us to the top of Sex Pey, followed by a technical final descent to the quaint Swiss village of Evolene nestled in a narrow valley. Over night in Evolene Ride distance: 65km Ascent: 1900m Descent: 2400m Physical difficulty: 4/5 Technical skills: 3/5 NOTE: there will be some sections today where it is too steep to ride and it will be necessary to hike with your bike. These sections may be up to 30 - 45mins at a time, depending on your fitness level. All descents are on single track.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today involves climbing the highest pass of this trip, the Col de Torrent (2916m) via a combination of dirt roads and single tracks. Our reward is a long, varied descent passing near the beautiful Lake Moiry and finishing with a great single track descent to the village of Grimentz. Overnight in Grimentz. Ride distance: 45km Ascent: 1600m Descent:1900m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5 NOTE: there will be some sections today where it is too steep to ride and it will be necessary to hike with your bike. These sections may be up to 30 - 45mins at a time, depending on your fitness level. All descents are on single track.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have an early start for another long day on the bike. We will ride via the Illsee pass at 2544m, from where we can see both the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. The panorama of what we have achieved and where we still have to ride is beyond words. After a short descent, a 30 minute hike/bike section follows with an epic and varied downhill descent. This descent is a mix of all the best types of trails imaginable: fast tracks, swooping and technical sections, and tight corners. It is sensational. From here the climbs are finished and a vehicle track brings us to a point above Eischoll, finishing with an easy downhill to the village for the night. Overnight Eischoll. Ride distance: 55km Ascent: 1400m Descent: 2000m Physical difficulty: 4/5 Technical skills: 3/5 NOTE: there will be some sections today where it is too steep to ride and it will be necessary to hike with your bike. These sections may be up to 30 - 45mins at a time, depending on your fitness level. All descents are on single track.

Meals:  B,L,D

We have a change of ambiance today. We use single tracks and large trails and pass through alpine villages barely hanging on the mountain side. We will ride along the ridge of the Swiss Rhone Valley and enter into the German speaking area of Switzerland. After a warm up on a jeep track we will take a single track, then finish the climb with a 'hike/bike' section to the highest point for the day, the 'Moose Pass' at 2048m. The view of the neighboring peaks is stunning as we stand at the junction of the Zermatt and Saas-Fé Valleys. The descent to Saint Niklaus and the Zermatt Valley is excellent. Overnight in St Niklaus. Ride distance: 40km Ascent: 1100m Descent: 1100m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5 NOTE: there will be a small section today where it is too steep to ride and it will be necessary to hike with your bike. This section may be up to 30 mins, depending on your fitness level.

Meals:  B,L,D

The final day of riding will be engraved in our memory forever. From Saint Niklaus we will ride to Zermatt using trails and roads. We will then cycle the superb trails of the Zermatt Valley. There is an option to use a lift for the ascent: either the Gornergrat train to 3016m or the Sunnegga funicular. From both of these lifts the view of the Matterhorn, the Breithorn and the Monte Rosa is inspiring. The descent to Zermatt is fantastic and will definitely make our disc brakes burn! We dismantle and pack our bikes this evening then celebrate as we reflect on the spectacular journey just completed. Overnight Zermatt. Ride distance: 40km Ascent: 700m Descent: 1800m Physical difficulty: 3/5 Technical skills: 3/5

Meals:  B,L,D

Today our trip concludes with a transfer to the Geneva airport. Please make sure to book a late afternoon or evening flight, due to the transfer time to Geneva airport from Zermatt.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in a mix of hotels (based on double occupancy twin bedrooms)
  • arrival and departure transfers from Geneva (Days 1 & 8 only)
  • professional experienced guide
  • luggage transfers to overnight accommodation
  • lift passes in Chamonix valley, Verbier and Siviez
  • cycling jersey
  • organic energy drinks and snack bars

What's Not Included

  • international flights and airport taxes
  • arrival and departure transfers if not arriving or departing on Days 1 & 8
  • mountain bike - you can bring your own or hire is available for cost of EUR 340 per person per trip (subject to change). Please ask for details
  • cycling helmet (compulsory). Included in hire cost if not bringing own bike
  • meals and beverages not indicated in the itinerary
  • items of a personal nature such as alcohol, postage, phone calls and laundry etc
  • any optional excursions or sightseeing
  • visas
  • tips
  • travel insurance (compulsory)
  • lift passes in Zermatt

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Starting Point:Geneva
Finishing Point:Geneva
Activities:Cycling
Grade:Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:HRB
Prices From:NZD$2690

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Since 1992, Adventure South NZ has operated an exciting range of guided cycling, hiking and multi-activity holidays right across New Zealand – and the world - to suit all levels of fitness. We are part of the World Expeditions Travel Group.

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