Morzine, during the summer months, becomes a road biking Mecca. Thanks to its ideal climate, picturesque scenery and well-maintained roads; Morzine, along with its neighbouring villages, are teeming with people who have planned their road biking holiday here. For some, it's a social outing, sticking to the flatter circuits with friends as they chat along the way. For others, it's serious business, keeping their head down and tackling the steeper climbs, chatting here is out of the question.
Click on the cyclist icons below to read about these popular cols and climbs near Morzine.
There are Road Cycling circuits in and near Morzine to suit all levels of riders. From the less gruelling, flatter routes such as Col Des Gets, Châtillon Sur Cluses and Col de Terramont, to the steeper, more challenging climbs like Col de la Colombiere, Col de la Joux Verte, Col de la Ramaz and Col de Joux Plane.
This stunning ascent is divided into four sections. A gentle ascend to Lake Montriond, followed by a more strenuous journey to the Ardent Ski Station. The area from Ardent to Les Linderets, known as the Goat Valley, is challenging but, if you can get your head up, amazingly picturesque!
Even though the average gradient for this climb comes in at just under 7%, there are a number of challenging sections closer to the summit. Easier climbs are nicely spread across the start, middle and end sections, giving welcome breaks throughout.
This is the official tourist cyclist route, and gives you a less gruelling opening compared with Route de la Piaz. The two routes combine before Sous le Crê, and prior to this, there is an easier gradient and even a bit of a descent.
Given that this route is the main point of access for both Morzine and Les Gets, you can expect relatively heavy traffic. An easier climb compared with the back road via Fry to Pont Des Gets. After you pass Pont du Gets, things get a little steeper before levelling off as you approach the summit.
While the climb from Pont des Gets has its gentle sections, departing from Essert-Romand is challenging from the off. The gradient is consistent at least, allowing you to get into your groove pretty quickly. There is relief in the middle section, before a final push towards the end.
A longish climb, for the area, surrounded by idyllic scenery. There are three tunnels running along the steepest part, one of which is pretty long and two fairly short. The gradient levels out once you reach the resort of Sommand, before picking up again as you head towards the summit.
Travelling to St Jean d'Aulps, by way of Le Biot, is the most strenuous of three routes. After coming off the D902 road, there is a steep climb for a few kilometres - before connecting with the route again from La Baume.
Before reaching Le Cruet after 2km, you're faced with a taxing start. It's all worth it though as the valley below comes into sight, making for some amazing views. The last leg, as you approach the summit, is a welcoming flatter section. Here, you can either head straight for Col de Tréchauffée, or down to the other side.
Offering stunning views of Lake Geneva, the climb towards Col de Tréchauffé is met, on the other side, with a descent through the pass itself. Valley d'Aulps can be seen, in all its glory, through this section. This area is also popular with walkers and hikers.
The shorter, but more challenging, route here is located behind the village of Lullin. Not for the faint-hearted, this ascent has a particularly daunting look to it as it stretches out before you. Mere mortals tend to choose the ride up the Terramont instead.
Both approaches here are relatively gentle. The longer of the two, the climb from Vailly, is flatter and runs for 8km. Coming from Habère-Poche is steeper, still only 5%, and runs for just 2.5km. Both ascents offer stunning valley views; Vallée Brevon from the Vailly climb and Vallée Verte from Habère-Poche.
While less steep than some more famous French climbs, Col de Pierre Carrée is not to be underestimated. Clocking in at just over 21 km and with a whopping 1,343 m ascent, it is seen as the gateway to Flaine; a four km descent on the far side.
While this route, from Taninges, can be quite heavy with traffic - coming from the motorway at Cluses to neighbouring villages - it is the most direct. Ideal for making up time if needed, it's short but steep in sections.
A tough climb by any standards. Its steep gradient and overall length are balanced off with easier chunks, found in the start and middle sections. Energy will need to be kept in reserve for the top section, gradients reach over 9%. For the final 3 or 4 km, you'll be able to see your endpoint; the summit.
Starting at Thônes and passing through the village of Manigod, you can reach the summit after 12.8 km. With an average gradient of 6.6% and an ascent of 842 m.
The views, as you climb from the village of Flumet, are stunning. And the gradient is gentle. The area around the village of Giettaz is a little more challenging. But, soon after, things relax back to about 6% as you head towards the summit.
The Col des Moises road branches off the Col de Cou climb, about 1.3km from the start by Driallant. This is seen as a more challenging climb, compared Col de Cou, although with a shorter distance of around 3km. With a more unsteady gradient and a few steeper sections.
Known to have a steady gradient throughout, Col de Cou is an ideal first climb for anyone new to cycling in the Alps. Jaw-dropping scenery awaits you at every turn. Passing the foothills of Lake Geneva, through the Vallée Verte and a host of picturesque Alpine woodlands.
Part of a collection of gentler climbs, south of Lake Geneva, Col de Saxel is run at just under 5km. Its ascent is steady throughout. If you're looking for more of a challenge, (a gradient average of over 4.3%, along with some sections over 9%), the nearby climb to Monastery of Bethlehem also runs at about 5km.
Located on the border of France and Switzerland. On the French side, you'll pass Abondance Valley - worth a stop to sample some of their famous cheese. Heading uphill from Monthey, there are two routes. Both clock in at 16 km and split off after the first 6 km, joining up for the last 3 km, and have pretty much the same profile.
Starting off at Marlens, the Col de l'Epine's average gradient is 7.1% and runs for a total of 7.8 km, with a climb totalling 485 meters.
Heading for Bogève via the main road is the less challenging of two routes. You won't be offered the stunning views of some neighbouring climbs, but it is a charming route in its own right. Well worth it when you're looking for a no-frills, steady climb.
If you're looking for an abundance of hairpins in a quiet setting, this is a great col. Although it gets busier during the weekend as it is popular with hikers and tourists in general, it is always a relaxed route. Featuring stunning views of Mont Blanc and a good mixture of flat, steep and downhill sections.
If you're looking to avoid the hassle of bringing your own bike and equipment, or you're not quiet ready to invest in your own bike while you're here, you can find a great range of bike hire shops in Morzine.
Located on Taille de Mas du Pleney, and offering a selection of high-quality Pearson and Giant bikes.
Offering high-performance road bikes and servicing, located on Rue du Bourg in the heart of Morzine.
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