Allos Pass – Col d’Allos

The Col d’Allos is located in the Southern Alps, in the department of Alpes de Haute Provence. Culminating at an altitude of 2,247 meters, it connects the Ubaye valley in the north to the Verdon valley in the south. It is located on the famous Route des Grandes Alpes.

The area attracts every year many visitors, motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and hikers. The Col d’Allos is also a starting point for hiking. You take a path to reach the Col de Rochegrand for example, but also the Mercantour National Park, the Lac d’Allos (Europe’s largest natural high-altitude lake located 2,228 meters above sea level), Mont Pelat, the Estrop Massif or the Cimet and the great Séolane. You will enjoy an exceptional mountain landscape.

The col d’Allos by bike

You can take the Grandes Alpes road to reach the summit of the Col d’Allos pass. This route has been open since 1891, from May to October and has an average slope of 5,5% with maxima of 9%.

The Col d’Allos is one of the best known and most popular passes for cyclists. It has been crossed 34 times by Tour de France riders since 1911. François Faber, from Luxembourg in 1911, the Spanish Julian Berrendero in 1936, the Italian Fausto Coppi in 1949, the Belgian Eddy Merckx in 1975, the French Pascal Hervé in 2000 and the German Simon Geschke in 2015 are among the riders who have successfully crossed the Col d’Allos during the Tour de France.

The ascent to the pass can be done from Barcelonnette. You will need to count more than 17 kilometers and a difference in altitude of 1,108 meters with an average slope of 6.33% for a maximum of 11%.

On the other side, you can climb the pass starting from Colmars. More than 22 kilometers are waiting for you to reach the top of the Col d’Allos. The road has an average slope of 4.48% with maximums of 8%.

Along the way, you may come across marmots, sheep or cows grazing in the fields. Once at the top, you get an incredible panorama of the two valleys, for a welcome break before an exhilarating descent.

The most experienced cyclists will be able to complete the 126-kilometer loop that allows you to pass through the cols d’Allos, de la Cayolle and des Champs at the same time. This sporty itinerary offers breathtaking scenery.

You will evolve in a high-mountain landscape, where climatic conditions can vary rapidly with intense rainfall. We invite you to consult the weather forecast before your ascent.

History

The Col d’Allos pass is located at the limit of the towns of Allos and Uvernet Fours. Between the massifs of Pelat and the Three Bishoprics, it enjoys a proximity with the source of the Verdon, which continues its way in the gorges of the same name, and which makes it a tourist attraction.

Opened in 1891, the road was previously hardly practicable. After tarring, it still remains very narrow in places and therefore requires great care.

At the summit, you can make a stop at the Col d’Allos mountain hut which welcomes you in a warm setting for dinner and overnight. You will also enjoy a breathtaking viewpoint.

In winter, the road is closed because of snow. Part of it is used as a ski slope on the resort of La Foux d’Allos in Val d’Allos 1800. Skiers will be able to take advantage of the 230 kilometers of slopes of the Espace Lumière which connects Pra Loup to the Val d’Allos ski area. Val d’Allos, at the foot of the pass of the same name, in the Mercantour National Park, gathers the picturesque village of Allos and two ski resorts, benefiting from the Ski France and Famille Plus labels, Seignus and La Foux d’Allos. Other activities are also possible on site such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating.

Get the IGN map of the Route des Grandes Alpes (ISBN / EAN: 9782758540939) and take your turn on an itinerary that has been delighting tourists since 1911.

Events

Some mornings in July and August, the Col d’Allos is closed to motorized vehicles and exclusively reserved for bicycles. The Community of Communes and the General Council organize this event to allow cyclists to be alone on the road to the pass. The Reserved passes operation (“Opération Cols réservés”)  is free of charge, without timing or classification.

The TransVerdon is a mountain bike race that starts at the sources of the Verdon, at the Col d’Allos, at 2,247 meters. It covers about 260 kilometers between the alpine mountains to reach Gréoux les Bains. It is one of the largest mountain bike crossings in France and is labeled by the French Cycling Federation. Trained mountain bike enthusiasts can therefore try their hand at this race which offers a great diversity of landscapes, but also technical and sporting sections.

Sélection de cols en Région Sud

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