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The Riding / Trans-Savoie (Guided ‘Mont Blanc’ Enduro Tour)

If epic point-to-point adventure is what you crave, its likely you have already heard about the Trans-Savoie Big Alpine Enduro.  However, we know that the pressure of racing against the clock (and camping) is not everyone’s cup of tea.  

Maybe you would prefer the assurance of enjoying this journey, but personally accompanied and guided by Ali Jamieson (The creator of The Trans-Savoie) and with a dedicated shuttle vehicle at your group’s disposal, all week?

If this more sounds like you, theTrans-Savoie Guided Enduro-Tour could be just the bucket-list adventure you’ve been looking for.

In fact, the Trans-Savoie was originally conceived as a guided Tour long before it ever became a race.  We’ll follow the exact route of The Event, but without any time pressure, navigational worries, concerns about transporting your kit, or dealing with a mechanical issue on your own at over 2000m altitude.

Transport & Logistics

As in the event itself, this tour is designed to suit both regular and/or e-bikes, and benefits heavily from the region’s ski-lift infrastructure, supplemented by a dedicated shuttle vehicle. In addition, we’ll take a local train, jump on a public navette (mountain bus) service, enjoy a funicular railway, and ride in some of the biggest, highest and fastest cable-cars in the world.  With a maximum of 7 riders per group, and a vast knowledge of both past (and future potential) Trans-Savoie trails at your guide’s disposal, we’re able to tailor and adapt the route on-the-fly should the weather turn bad, or should we see that you’d appreciate the higher, lower, increased technicality, lower exposure, or just outright flowier alternative option.  Plus, there’s certainly no shame in taking an extra van uplift (where event-participants would pedal), for the sake of sneaking-in that sublime extra-descent, should the mood take us. (Hint – it usually does!)

Local Knowledge

Joking aside, if you’ve spent time in the mountains, you’ll know that setting out to do a challenging, fixed-itinerary, multi-day route (especially on pre-set-dates), is quite optimistic at best (and rather naive at worst).  Such a rigid plan would inevitably involve some significant compromises to your adventure, enjoyment, safety, or all of the above.  Some flexibility to adapt to conditions and your riding preferences – without taking away from the core of the week’s mission – is key, in our opinion, to offering the very best experience throughout every day of the journey.  In spite of modern technology, we believe there’s still no real substitute to hooking up with a guide who has spent more than 25 years learning about and adapting to the wonders of this entire region.

With our Trans-Savoie Guided Tour, we’d like to think we’ve found the perfect balance between adventure, challenge, and just pure riding pleasure.

Accommodation & Catering

Being a point-to-point route, The Trans-Savoie Tour is backed up with over-nights at Locally-Owned Hotel Traditional Mountain Hotels (2-3*, twin and triple rooms) plus two nights in fully-serviced mountain refuge stop-overs (dormitory-style). Full-board catering is provided 6 Days of 7 in local restaurants.   All linen is provided, including at the refuges.  Yet, despite the creature-comforts, it’s still a journey of epic proportions with an expedition-style feel, that our customers travel from far and wide to come and experience with us at trailAddiction.

On the nights we spend in a refuge, we select fully-serviced locations. You can still get a hot shower, enjoy a cold beer, have a superb meal, and a comfortable night’s sleep in a dormitory room shared with your fellow riders – all in a picturesque and usually remote mountain location.  Click here to read more about a  typical refuge at which you’ll spend the night.

Skill & Fitness Level

We’d recommend only experienced Alpine riders consider this trip. A solid level of technical ability, confidence on exposed trails, general mountain awareness, self-sufficiency in bike-maintenance, and a sustainable day-to-day endurance are needed to get around safely and with a smile on your face. If you’re not  sure you are quite there yet, we’d advise coming on one of our regular Backcountry packages first, and saving this one for another year.  If you’re struggling to decide, just drop Ali and email right now, and let’s talk it through.

Pricing & Dates

This exclusive trip is available to book as both individuals and groups alike. (Max 7 riders per guide-group). Click here to check pricings and dates for this season.

Experience The Journey

Take 4 minutes out of your day & enjoy our mini-movie which combines real footage spanning 10+ years of our Trans-Savoie Tours. All commentary is genuine, impromptu feedback, recorded directly on the trail-side both during the Trans-Savoie Race itself, and on our Guided Tours.   Enjoy!

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

This is a typical itinerary of the Trans-Savoie Tour, but we can’t over-stress that each week and each Tour is 100% Bespoke. We always take the time to understand the riding preferences of each individual in the group, as well as the group as a whole – and we adapt the itinerary accordingly.

Our experience of guiding and running events in this vast area for more than 20 years means our trail repertoire is almost infinite and there’s always an equally impressive alternative route to chose, where appropriate.  We’ll take local weather conditions into account (no-one wants to be caught in a freak summer Hail and Lightening Storm on an exposed 2500m ridge!).

This adaptability allows us to guarantee a perfect trip, every trip – rather than being restricted to a rinse-and-repeat daily fixed itinerary, (as you might find with other providers).

Arrive at trailAddiction’s “Basecamp 1” in Bourg St Maurice and get settled in.   Enjoy a cold beer, wine or soft drink after a long journey before unpacking your bike in our  on-site mini-workshop. Then its time to relax, enjoy a superb welcome &  evening meal whilst getting to know your guide and the other members in your group who you’ll be riding with for the week.

Accommodation: Local Hotel (Dormitory Rooms)

Meals: Served On-Site

VAL D’ISERE to ST FOYE

We’ll jump right into it with a warm-up forest single-track trail that drops right from the from door of our chalet, down 800m vertical drop to the valley floor.  This gives us time to acclimatise to the terrain and tweak any bike set-up issues before heading out into the backcountry. 

Our minibus will take you on a 60-minute shuttle which drops us off at the highest road pass in Europe – The Col d’Iseran, above the boutique ski resort of Val d’isere, at 2764m.  Whilst this world-famous road climb is renowned as one of the Tour de France’s major climbs, we’re not here for the tarmac!

Our High Exposure Isere Descent Itinerary (HEIDI) is a singletrack route that descends a total of around 3000m over an 7-hour day, split into 5 main descents,  Between each descent, you’ll climb back up for 20 to 40 minutes.

Along the way we will pass in front of the Vanoise National Park with its towering glaciers pouring millions of gallons of water down the cliff faces across the valley through its spectacular waterfalls, and a lunch stop at the 18th century Heritage village, Le Monal

Accommodation: Comfortable Mountain Lodge/Refuge  (Dormitory-Style)

Meals: Packed Lunch / Traditional Savoyard Meal at Mountain Refuge

STE FOYE to BOURG ST MAURICE via LA ROSIERE

Setting off from your mountain refuge, its downhill on prime Alpine singletrack, right from your front door…and with a few short climbs of no more than 30 minutes each, there’s enough altitude to keep you going all the way to the valley floor…and lunchtime.  (Let our support vehicle & driver worry about your luggage!).

We’ll take stock for lunch in Bourg St Maurice – the historical market town with 2000-year-old roman-built trails coming in from all directions.  Also chance to call in for a tune-up or replacement brake pads at the local bike mechanic here, if needed.

But our main target for the afternoon is to approach the Italian Border via a 45-minute uplift, close enough to take a photo at the Italian Border Flag and grab a genuine Italian Expresso, before heading back down on the French side on one continuous, epic descent.   High Alpine Pastures through to Dense Pine Forest trails, this one has it all.

Accommodation: Comfortable Mountain Lodge/Refuge  (Dormitory-Style)

Meals: Local Restaurant Set-Meal for Lunch / Evening Meal Served On-Site

 

BOURG ST MAURICE to PEISEY-NANCROIX via LES ARCS

You’ll start the day with a short, easy cruise along a riverside trail, then perhaps time for an extra morning coffee at the lift station before we hop on the impressive local funicular railway that whisks us up +800m of altitude in under 10 minutes.

This historic region is riddled with old trade and hiking routes of ancient singletrack that is easily lift-accessed between 2500m right down to 800m at the valley floor, and we will certainly make the most of if!  Depending on your skill level and appetite for adventure, we’ll vary today’s route between moderate flowing singletrack, to steep, exposed, tight and techie – or any combination of all the above.  Superb views and hidden trails of course, are a theme regardless of the above.

After stopping for lunch at one of Les Arcs’ mountain-view restaurants, the afternoon will see us exploit the lift system to its highest point at 2650m…..then ride on upwards from there a further 200m to a particularly pretty hidden glacial lake.   After pausing to soak in the clear and direct views of Mont Blanc from here (and perhaps say hello to the local Marmot population), we’ll follow the ribbon of singletrack that borders the lake – the very trail marking the border of the National Park, itself.   Starting as a very long, flowing balcony trail, it’ll take all your concentration to focus on where you are riding rather than the spectacular views of the Vanoise National Park that unfold before you.

As the hanging valley joins in to the deep gorge ahead of us, the trail steepens up and becomes more challenging to navigate, but certainly no less fun.  After well over an hour of desending (stops not included – you’ll certainly want some), we finish the ride along superb flowing singletrack following the raging river of Glacial meltwater on the valley floor.    “La Varda” trail (first discovered and named by trailAddiction guides many moons ago, is now a bucket-list trail often reviewed as one of THE best Alpine trails in the world – go google it!).

After a long day, you’ll be glad to enjoy the warm hospitality and a cool beer on the terrace of our hotel for the night, before getting stuck in to some great traditional Savoyard food served up by Greg and Cecile, the owners of more than 20 years.

Accommodation:  2-3* Hotel, Twin and Triple Rooms with Ensuite

Meals: (Lunch) Mountain Restaurant;  (Evening Meal) Local Restaurant

PEISEY NANCROIX to CHAMPAGNY via LA PLAGNE

Today’s route feels very different from the one before it – with a point-to-point feel that sees us ride up and over the band of peaks which separating the main Tarentaise Valley from the “Thee Valleys” region behind it. 

The day starts with a ride on the quaint “Lobster Pots” lifts less than a minute’s ride from your hotel’s front door.  (Yes, they do resemble human-sized Lobster pots and you ride standing up, 2-by-2:  unique in the world, we think?!).  By contrast, the next lift is the impressive “Vanoise Express” – a huge double-decker glass cube that spans the huge glacial valley over to La Plagne, at its highest point is 350m (1000ft) above the river-gorge below you.  

Working our way through some impressive impressive singletrack trails in dense pine forests, you might decide to stop to snack on wild berries or give a wave to the local mushroom picking community – although chances are you will be more focussed on the dozens of switchbacks along the way.

Arriving at the Ski Station of La Plagne, there’s time to re-fuel before jumping into a 20-minute “bubble lift” that spits us out directly at 2600m.  YOu’ll have fun passing along “Brown Trouser Ridge” – an impossible ribbon of singletrack perched along the top of the ridge and definitely worth of posing at, for new Facebook profile photo.  

Ridge completed, we drop off the back of the valley and take a huge, huge, descent which starts in the High-Alpine and eventually takes us through pine forests to the valley floor 2000m below.   Hot Brakes?  You Bet!  You’ll probably not see another biker (or hiker) throughout the descent, although you may be surprised by the “huge & ferocious” mountain dogs who guard the sheep out here. These dogs are unique to the region and look like a cross between a wolf and a polar bear. (They may look scary, but they’re big softies really and usually eager to say hello and have cuddle, if you are!).

At the end of the long day, we’ll arrive at our home for the night – another traditional mountain refuge that is more usually frequented by ski-touring enthusiasts through until the end of May or even early June – such is the glacial terrain all around us.  You’ll appreciate a hearty meal of Raclette (another local speciality) whilst looking out at 360-degree views cascading waterfalls coming from the high peaks and glaciers all around you.

Accommodation: Comfortable Mountain Refuge  (Dormitory-Style) located directly at the foot of the Vanoise National Park. 

Meals: Packed Lunch / Traditional Savoyard Meal at Mountain Refuge.

COURCHEVEL / MERIBEL / ST MARTIN / VAL THORENS

The Three Valleys region is one of the world’s premier ski resorts that has a lift system (and trail network) so vast that you could ride here 7 days a week all summer and never ride the same trail twice – Yes, really – and that’s before even considering the off-the-back trails that are accessible by van shuttle.

It was a tough job, but we’ve done the ‘hard’ work and ridden every bit of singletrack on the map (and many more that aren’t) to string together the perfect circular 1-day itinerary in this domain.  

It’s a big day maximising the use of ski-lifts where we can, but also dropping well outside of the resort-based trails.

We’ll typically end the day with one of the best-rated trails in all of Trans-Savoie’s history…the Meribel Ridge.  Another ultra-long descent starting high and finishing at the valley floor on a warp-speed loamy forest trail that seems almost too good to be true.   Words don’t do it justice, you’ll have to wait and see, for yourself.

Our accommodation tonight is in stark contrast to the refuge where you woke up this morning: We’ll stay in a English-run hotel in Central Meribel (ensuite rooms) with all the facilities you’d expect from a modern resort.   One of the best bar’s in town is right next door, if you have the desire to quench your thirst and finish off the day with a few rounds of Billiards.

Accommodation: 2-3* Hotel, twin, triple, and quad rooms with ensuite

Meals: Packed Lunch / Modern Restaurant

(SECRET LOCATION)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…we up the ante and finish on a true high.

For our last day of the tour, we’ll take you to our very secret place that is even further from the trodden path (we’ve never even seen a hiker on these trails, never mind another biker!)  

Long, fast, flows descent in a loam-filled mountain side.  Our dedicated shuttle will be waiting to pick you up for another run – and its rinse and repeat (a different trail each time, of course) until you just cant take it any more.

 You’d swear these trails were custom made for biking, if you didn’t also see the obvious ancient history on and around which these trails were build.

And they’re big, which of course by now you should have realised, is a bit of a running theme throughout the week.  If you manage 5 full runs in a day, you’ve done well.

The best trails ever?  That’s quite some statement.  Don’t ask us.  We only know that we’ve heard that very sentiment echoed time and time again, from almost everyone we’ve take here.   Shhhhhhh……let’s keep it just between us though, right?

Finishing the day at a lakeside cafe with your endorphins buzzing on overload, your dedicated shuttle will whisk you back up to your hotel to enjoy a final meal and drinks whilst reliving tales of a fantastic week of adventure.

Accommodation: 2-3* Hotel, twin, triple, and quad rooms with ensuite

Meals: Packed Lunch / Modern Restaurant

Breakfast is provided, before it’s time to pack and say goodbye.

See you again next year?  (Usually, yes – our returning customer rate is high, and we always have new trails and new adventures which are just too good to miss!)  FOMO?  You bet!

Enquire / Book Now

There’s no Online booking form or central reservation service, here! Email Ali directly (Trans-Savoie route creator, and your guide for this tour!) to discuss dates, availability,  making a reservation, or any other aspect of this adventure.

What’s Included in the Package?
  • Seven nights of quality accommodation – local mountain hotels (2-3*) with ensuite facilities, including:
    • One/Two Over-night stays in Alpine Refuges (dormitory-style accommodation, bedding & meals provided). 
  • Three quality meals per day (6 days of 7 – Dine-out one evening, mid-week)
  • 5 days of fully-guided riding, accompanied by Ali (creator of the Race)
  • 1 Rest or Self-Guided Supported Riding: (GPX, Maps & notes, Shuttles, provided)
  • Dedicated Minibus & Driver for Uplift support for off-the map adventures and in case of emergency.
  • All Lift Passes (where required).
  • Access to our “mobile” toolkit and work stands and help from your guide with essential repairs where needed.
  • Free Beers and Soft Drinks from our chilly bin in our support vehicle. (Alcoholic Drinks not included in our set-menus at our partner-restaurants) 

More Detailed Info & Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know how to get here from Overseas? What Bike and Kit Set-up we recommend? More about fitness and Skill Levels needed? Travel Insurance, Financial Protection, and other details?  It’s all right here.

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