Starting from Annecy, the majority of this loop is on the very nice (and virtually flat) Annecy bike path – with two quiet, attractive little climbs in the middle – both under some fairly big mountains.
Col du Vorger is a perfect shortcut to Col de Tamié that avoids entering Abertville. 4 kms, roughly 8%, plenty of hairpins, nice views, quiet. Nice.
This was my first time climbing the south side of Col de Tamié. There are two principle ways up this side — I took the quieter of the two – primarily on the D104. The road in fact climbs to the Collet de Tamié at 955 metres and then descends to the Col de Tamié (907 metres).
For details of the easier but very worthwhile north side of Col de Tamié see here.
Col de Tamié will be the third climb during the gigantic stage 19 of the 2013 Tour de France. The summit is quite a good choice as a viewing spot as one could visit the 19th century Fort de Tamié and enjoy its dominating views of the valley below, and/or visit the lovely Cistercian (Trappist) Abbaye de Tamié (11th century) – nicely perched a little north of the Col. Both the Abbaye and the Fort are marked on the map above.
Construction of Fort de Tamié began in 1872 after the humiliating French defeat to the Germans in 1870. Designed to protect against an Italian invasion, it was built almost entirely by Italian workers. It never saw action.
Abbaye de Tamié is famous for its cheese:
It was fun to do a little more *flat* riding than usual on a lovely and car-free bike path, yet still get in a couple of Cols. A very nice route.