This relatively short ride includes an 11km climb (av. gradient 6.7%) but is pretty easy going when compared with the climbs that surround it!
The views from the cliff road between Villard-Reculas and Huez are mesmerising.
If you want to make this ride harder, it’s easy to do: ride it in reverse and climb all the way up Alpe d’Huez before looping back to Bourg d’Oisans via Villard-Reculas.
Route map and profile
Distance: 34 km
Elevation Gain: 920 m
Max Grade: 17 %
All metrics in this guide are approximate
The panoramic views over the Bourg d’Oisans valley from the Pas de la Confession road between Villard-Reculas and Huez.
1. Bourg d’Oisans to just outside Allemond: 0-8km
It’s a straightforward, flat warm up along the main road (there’s a bike path), to the bottom of the climb.
2. Allemond to Villard Reculas: 8-20km
It’s a relatively gradual, 11km climb up to the pretty village of Villard-Reculas. Gradients aren’t too intimidating (for this part of the world), with a 6.7% average.
3. Villard Reculas to Bourg d’Oisans: 22-34km
This is the best bit of the ride. You start with the winding balcony road (aka the Pas de la Confession), which offers jaw-dropping views down over the towns in the valley bottom. Just make sure you keep your eyes on the road as it’s narrow! From Huez you then get the swooping descent down the hairpins of Alpe d’Huez to Bourg d’Oisans.
You could divert into the village of Allemond where there are a few bars and cafés. Or water is available from a water fountain at bend 16 of Alpe d’Huez (La Garde en Oisans).
We stayed at Chalet Ribot at bend 12 of Alpe d’Huez. It’s right on the route of this ride, so convenient on the way home! We found Chalet Ribot an excellent base from which to explore the region.
Want to see some alternative options? Take a look at our suggestions in our ultimate guide to the Alps: Alpe d’Huez and surrounds.
VILLARD-RECULAS LOOP TIPS
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