Cycling Event Guides

A Spectators Guide to Criterium du Dauphine

The Critérium du Dauphiné is an annual professional road cycling stage race held in the Dauphiné region of southeastern France, typically in early June.  It is considered one of the most important preparatory races for the Tour de France.

Where To Watch The Race

As it is an epic event spread across France it is not practical to watch all the stages. It would be more practical to pick locations that compliment your other passions in life.

Overview Start Finish Points of Critérium du Dauphiné

1. Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule

  • Food: Known for its local vineyards, so trying local wine is a must.
  • Tourism: Visit the Saint-Croix Church and the Museum of Vine and Wine.
  • Activities: Enjoy wine tasting tours in the surrounding vineyards.

2. Gannat

  • Food: Explore local restaurants for traditional French cuisine.
  • Tourism: The Paleopolis is fascinating for learning about paleontology.
  • Activities: Attend the annual world folk dance festival if you’re there in July.

3. Col de la Loge

  • Food: Local mountain inns offer hearty meals perfect after a day outdoors.
  • Tourism: It’s more about natural beauty, so enjoy the landscapes.
  • Activities: Hiking in summer and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in winter.

4. Celles-sur-Durolle

  • Food: Sample traditional Auvergne dishes in local inns.
  • Tourism: Visit the Plan d’Eau and the surrounding forested areas.
  • Activities: Great spot for fishing and hiking.

5. Les Estables

  • Food: Enjoy dishes made with local cheeses and meats.
  • Tourism: The Mezenc and Gerbier de Jonc peaks are must-visits.
  • Activities: Ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and winter sports.

6. Saint-Germain-Laval

  • Food: Look for restaurants offering Loire specialties.
  • Tourism: The historic town center and castle are worth exploring.
  • Activities: River activities on the Loire are popular.

7. Neulise

  • Food: Indulge in local bakery products.
  • Tourism: Explore the quaint streets and local architecture.
  • Activities: Walking and cycling in the nearby natural areas.

8. Amplepuis

  • Food: Try regional specialties at local bistros.
  • Tourism: The Musée Barthélemy Thimonnier de la Machine à Coudre et du Cycle.
  • Activities: Hiking around the nearby lakes and hills.

9. Saint-Priest

  • Food: Modern eateries and traditional French cafes.
  • Tourism: Check out the Castle of Saint-Priest.
  • Activities: Visit local parks and recreational areas.

10. Hauterives

  • Food: Local cafes offer delightful French dishes.
  • Tourism: The idealistic ‘Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval’ is a must-see.
  • Activities: Explore local artisan shops and galleries.

11. Le Collet d’Allevard

  • Food: Mountain restaurants with views serving Savoyard specialties.
  • Tourism: The views from the Collet d’Allevard ski area.
  • Activities: Skiing in winter and paragliding or hiking in summer.

12. Albertville

  • Food: Rich in Savoyard cuisine.
  • Tourism: The Olympic Museum and medieval Conflans village.
  • Activities: Cultural festivals and mountain sports.

13. Samoëns 1600

  • Food: Alpine restaurants specializing in fondue and raclette.
  • Tourism: The Grand Massif ski area and the charming village of Samoëns.
  • Activities: Skiing, snowboarding in winter, and hiking or biking in summer.

14. Thônes

  • Food: Known for Reblochon cheese, so try dishes incorporating it.
  • Tourism: Visit the Heritage Museum and the local cheese factory.
  • Activities: Mountain biking and hiking are excellent here.

15. Plateau des Glières

  • Food: Local inns serve rustic mountain dishes.
  • Tourism: Famous as a historical site from WWII and for its natural beauty.
  • Activities: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and trekking.

Each of these locations offers a unique taste of French culture, cuisine, and nature, making them perfect for those looking to explore beyond the typical tourist paths.

Event Details

Official Website



Number Of Days

8 days



Entry Costs

Pro Riders/Teams Only


Euro: 1 = £0.86 (Check)

Visa Requirements


Schengen Area Advice


What is a Carnet, The ATA Carnet, often referred to as the “Passport for goods”, is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of nonperishable goods for up to one year

Hotel Cost

Range: ££ – £££££

Food Cost

££ – £££££


  • Average Temp (Jun): -15C (59F) to 25C (77F)
  • Hours of Sunlight: 8 to 10 hours
  • Average Rain: 55mm


  • Daily
  • Cost: £ – £££

Travel Advice

UK Gov

Useful Info

More Cycling Events

1 On lineSunday, june 2, 2024Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule174.8 kmSTAGE 1
2 On lineMonday, june 3, 2024Gannat > Col de la Loge142 kmSTAGE 2
3 On lineTuesday, june 4, 2024Celles-sur-Durolle > Les Estables181.2 kmSTAGE 3
4 Individual time-trialWednesday, june 5, 2024Saint-Germain-Laval > Neulise34.4 kmSTAGE 4
5 On lineThursday, june 6, 2024Amplepuis > Saint-Priest200.2 kmSTAGE 5
6 On lineFriday, june 7, 2024Hauterives > Le Collet d’Allevard173.2 kmSTAGE 6
7 On lineSaturday, june 8, 2024Albertville > Samoëns 1600145.5 kmSTAGE 7
8 On lineSunday, june 9, 2024Thônes > Plateau des Glières152.5 kmSTAGE 8