La Ville des Glaciers and Les Arcs 2000


A superb day climbing in the French Alps. The plan was for two long, beautiful, but not too steep, climbs.

Starting from Bourg-St-Maurice, I started up the south side route to Cormet de Roselend.

But after 13.5 kms I turned off to explore the little road to La Ville des Glaciers – I’d wanted to check this out for quite a long time. Beautiful. Another great little detour off the Route des Grandes Alpes.

I was able to get above the town to about 1870 metres before the road turned to gravel. It’s certainly possible to go much higher – a future hiking or mountain biking project.

La Ville des Glaciers

The end of the road above La Ville des Glaciers:

Road to La Ville des Glaciers

After descending the beautiful Roselend hairpins back to Bourg-St-Maurice, it was time to cycle up to Les Arcs.

A Perfect Hairpin?

We have skied here a lot and love the 1950 village. At about 1800 metres is the most amazing gourmet restaurant – in the middle of no-where. It’s Doreen’s favourite and was her cycling goal while I did my two climbs.

The route to Les Arcs is never steep, but it’s a long way. There are milestones showing the distance and grade up to Les Arcs 1800. To 2000 is much further as the route goes around the mountain, with a few flattish kilometres.

Near top of Les Arcs 2000

After meeting Doreen at her feast (wow was she happy!), I did the last few steeper kilometres to the top. I suddenly found myself in the middle of a cyclosportive. I shamelessly crossed the finish to cheers heading immediately to the great French-Irish pub ‘Les Belles-Pintes” for a beverage.

Perfect day.


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Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. Tom, Sorry I don’t know the name of the restaurant. But it’s just after the small downhill and first of two avalanche overhangs (basically tunnels) as you approach Les Arcs 1950. It’s at a right turn and not completely obvious from the road. It’s around the other sode of the mountain from Les Arcs 1650 and 1850.


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  3. That is some spectacular scenery captured on those photo’s! I have mainly cycled though Tuscany but have participated in cycling events in UK and France too but this is one route I have not done yet but will love to try one day.The photo’s even remind of some parts of Tuscany as well.

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