4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
This brilliant route, starting and finishing in Chamonix town centre, is a must for any keen cyclist.
It takes in some difficult ascents but the rewards for these include some fast descents and the opportunity to explore a series of lovely Savoie villages. Start at the famous Chamonix church and then follow the back road through the valley to Les Houches.
Go past the 2 major ski lifts in Les Houches (Bellevue and Prarion) and carry on into the lovely wooded settlement of Vaudagne.
From here make a long and fun descent to the village of Servoz and then carry on through Joux, La Motte and L'Île down to Passy, in the bottom of the Arve Valley. Cross the base of the valley to reach Domancy, which marks the start of a very historic section of the route.
At the 1980 Cycling World Championships, Bernard Hinault won the gold medal on a course that repeatedly climbed the road behind Domancy and in 2016 part of the road was renamed in his honour.
Knowing that you're cycling up a road named after a 5 time Tour de France winner should provide a decent spurt of motivation just when you need it most! The climb takes you out of Domancy and then through the villages of Le Coudray and Combloux before a long, almost straight final ascent leads you into Megève itself.
Enjoy sipping a drink in the town square and then reverse the route all the way back to Chamonix.
The climb up to Vaudagne is tough but stick with it because once that is done you can cruise back into Chamonix and savour your achievement. Should you run out of energy or the weather deteriorate on the way home, there is the option of taking the train from either St Gervais or Servoz back to Chamonix, but if you take this option you'll have to come back and finish the route some other time!