VLS les Gites is a lower-cost alternative to Velo la Source providing accommodations in condominiums with full, modern kitchens. At VLS les Gites, guests prepare their own breakfasts and have the option of dining in local restaurants or cooking their own dinners at the gite. Kitchens in the gites are set up with the basics, free of charge, and groceries are available at the village epicerie, which in only steps away from les Gites. VLS has two gites suitable for four people, one for six people, and two for ten people.
Click HERE for photos and descriptions of the Gites.
As with our Velo la Source chalet holiday, VLS les Gites is based in the tiny alpine village of Villard-Reculas, just four kilometres from Alpe d’Huez. VLS les Gites does not chase the Tour around France; we are located in a single, beautiful, comfortable location that is the epicenter of alpine cycling action. Click HERE to see what's included in this trip.
VLS les Gites is a group holiday, with each gite priced by the number of people it can accommodate. The cost of VLS les Gites depends upon the number of options you select to pay for.
VLS sets up each gite with the basics necessary for preparing breakfast. Fresh bread and pastries are available every morning from the epicerie next door to les Gites.
Guests pay for their own lunch at cafes and restaurants along our cycling routes.
VLS les Gites includes one welcoming meal at the fabulous la Bergerie restaurant in Villard-Reculas. VLS provides dinner reservations for every evening in local restaurants; however, guests are also free to make their own arrangements, or to cook for themselves in their gite.
Gites are ski condominiums with modern bathrooms, full kitchens, dishwashers, and washer/dryers. Each gite has common and dining areas suitable to its occupancy, and all gites have south-facing terraces or balconies. Click here to see the gite options and amenities.
Tour de France Viewing
VLS les Gitesis built around the alpine stages of the Tour de France. In most years, we see two stages live, and we have the best seat in the house in years that include a stage on Alpe d’Huez, as was the case in 2003 and 2004. Every year, Velo la Source features a gourmet cook-out on the mountain during one stage. This year we will ride parts of the stages and view the Tour at Courchevel and on the Col du Galibier, with a picnic on Alpe d'Huez for la Grimpee de l'Alpe.
This year, La Marmotte, Europe's biggest one-day race/ride for amateur cyclists, coincides with the arrival of the Tour de France peloton in the French Alps. For a supplement of $250, VLS les Gites offers its guests the unique opportunity to ride in the three race/rides of the Trophee de l'Oisans: le Prix des Grandes Rousses (40 km), la Marmotte (174 km), and la Grimpee de l'Alpe (14 km). There is absolutely no pressure to compete in these events, but we think all of our guests will want to take on at least the time trial up Alpe d'Huez, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. VLS provides support in all the feed zones and at the finish line for all three races, and we will be barbecuing on Alpe d'Huez on the day of the time trial so that all guests can join us after their ride to eat, drink, and celebrate.
For a supplement of $500, VLS les Gites offers guided cycling everyday on the greatest alpine routes of the Tour de France: Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Galibier, Col du Lauteret, Les Deux Alpes, Cold d’Ornon, Col du Telegraphe, Sestrieres, Col d’Izoard, la Berarde, and of course Alpe d’Huez. We ride some or all of these routes every year, regardless of whether or not the Tour de France is using them. All rides are led by our resident pro, Jimmy Riccitello, who is also available to provide informal pointers and more formal coaching. Click HERE to see 2005's tentative riding itinerary with profiles of all the climbs.
Sag Wagons and Mechanic
For those paying the supplement of $500 for guided and sagged cycling, VLS les Gites divides the peloton into faster and slower groups, each of which is supported by its own sag wagon. The sag wagons provide guests with power food, sports drink, and water bottles throughout the cycling day. VLS has a mechanic to help you build your bike on the first day and break it down on the last.
VLS Jersey and Swag
VLS les Gites guests receive a free VLS tee shirt and waterbottles. VLS jersey, bib shorts, wind vests, cap, socks, and other swag are available for purchase.
Off the Bike
Afternoons at Velo la Source are a time to explore the trails around Villard-Reculas, watch the Tour de France on television (there are televisions in every gite), relax on the deck of the gite with a glass of wine or beer, take photographs of the stunning alpine scenery, practice your French with our bilingual staff and French neighbors, or get a massage from VLS’ resident masseuse, Nancy Vallance.