Tour de France road closures

Some of the most common questions I get asked in the lead up to the Tour de France are about road closures. Here's what you need to know.

tour de france col d'aspin

Crowds on Col d'Apsin.

Road closure times during the Tour de France vary from region to region and even town to town. Closure times depend on many things: how popular that section of the route will be; how difficult access is; whether there are any access roads; whether it's a mountain stage, a town centre stage or a rural road.

The following general information applies to both the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes.

I have listed stage-by-stage closures for the men's event (because I've done it every year for as long as I can remember). As it's the first year of the Tour de France Femmes, I cannot promise to do the same for that event – I am just unsure at the moment how clear the local guidance will be and if I will receive it in time. I will do it if I can, but my list below (as always) depends on the availability of information from local authorities.

Even so, the general info remains the same for both events in terms of planning ahead and general parking guidance, etc.  

Who are the roads closed to?

When people talk about the 'road closing', they mean 'closed to motorised traffic': that's all cars, campervans and motor cycles with the exception of emergency vehicles, local organising staff, and Tour de France vehicles.

As always, the best way to get around is by bike. Even after the roads officially close, they are still 'open' to pedestrians and cyclists. Again, though, there is no rule of thumb here. In some areas you can ride the route anything up to an hour before the caravan comes through (sometimes even later), while on other sections the road will be barricaded off completely.  

tour de france caravan

Can I access the route via public transport?

I usually advise against relying on any form of public transport except trains to major towns/cities. I try and advise people to be as self-sufficient as possible with a car, bikes or electric bikes. Bus services are usually disrupted by road closures and taxis will often either be already full booked or be unable to guarantee how close they can get you due to the same traffic constraints regular motorists experience.   

What time do the roads close?

The best advice I can give anyone is this: check locally about road closure times. Ask B&Bs and hotels (see here for our TDF accommodation page), and ask tourist offices as they will have the best and latest information. On the more common Tour de France cols of the Pyrenees and Alps, they deal with road closures on an almost annual basis so they really are the experts at navigating closed roads and finding the best vantage points. Also check local government websites – search for 'Mairie' (town hall/mayor) – and tourist office sites as they often have dedicated Tour de France pages, which are all managed locally.

Note that specific information on road closures may be confirmed as late as the week before or even a day or two before the event.

See the official Tour de France race guide for a handy overview of what time the caravan will pass through. This can also help you plan your arrival times.

I am adding below specific links as they come to hand.

On busier sections of the routes, expect traffic jams in and out (and this also affects feeder roads used for parking and access). The later you arrive, the further you will have to walk/cycle to the route itself from local access roads.

Road closure times are subject to change - always err on the side of caution and arrive early if you are driving. Major cols and sections of the route where there is only one way in and one way out will be closed for longer (eg Ventoux, Tourmalet and most major Alpine cols will USUALLY close AT LEAST the afternoon before, sometimes up to a day or two earlier).

Try to avoid driving in host cities on the day of the Tour. City centre traffic is usually always affected – park outside and walk/cycle, or take public transport, into the city centre (or research public parking spaces and access in advance).

What time do the roads open again?

Again, this differs. The Tour de France is a massive event and all local authorities manage it differently. You can generally walk or cycle on the route again after the entire Tour entourage has been through. On less crowded sections, cars will also start using the route again fairly quickly afterwards. However, it can take much longer before traffic flows freely on more crowded stages. As with the closures, things are geared to ensure spectator safety, and traffic movement largely depends on access roads and how big/popular that stage is.

If you need to get away quickly after the peloton goes through, DO NOT PARK ON THE ROUTE ITSELF! Find somewhere to watch that can be accessed from other local roads. Park up and walk/bike to the route.

What time do stages start/end?

These are all listed on the official Tour de France website, as well as in the official Race Guide. We find this invaluable and generally do not go to watch a stage without it.

Who do I ask on the day?

The route is policed by local police and volunteer marshals. Follow their instructions or ask if you're not sure.

Mountain routes are generally more problematic to get to than flat stages. For flat stages and town stages, it is usually much easier to find somewhere to watch that has a local access road feeding onto the route. If you use these, then you can avoid having to drive onto the route itself and the closures won't affect you. Some feeder roads WILL be affected by organisational traffic etc but local advice and signs informing you about the deviation are usually available.

As stated above, road closures are managed locally, which means it can be a nightmare to find out individual area details – it really does mean researching town-by-town. The info below is mostly in French but decipherable using an online translator. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time or resources to translate everything or to search for info on every single town that the Tour de France goes through.

If the info you need is not below, it's either not yet published or I haven't had time to search for it. You can do this yourself by Googling such terms as 'circulation' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in'. You can also try 'parking' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in' and 'stationnement' + 'Tour de France' + 'the town or stage you are interested in'.

If you find anything out that's not on the list, I'd be grateful if you emailed me at lyn@freewheelingfrance.com with the details or posted them in the comments below. 

Donation button

We will post 2022 road closure information below as it comes to hand.

* If you live locally and hear about road closures, please email details to lyn@freewheelingfrance.com *

All info is given in good faith. Many of the links are in French (sorry, but I won't have time to translate everything - Google will be your friend!)

Tour de France 2022 road closures (work in progress)

Stage 1: Friday, July 1 – Copenhagen, Individual Time Trial, 13km

For the Danish stages you will need to check local guidance – unfortunately confirming this information is difficult enough for France and I may not have time/resources to do it for the first three stages as well. See here for route info.

Stage 2: Saturday, July 2 – Roskilde to Nyborg, 199km

For the Danish stages you will need to check local guidance – unfortunately confirming this information is difficult enough for France and I may not have time/resources to do it for the first three stages as well. See here for route info.

Stage 3: Sunday, July 3 – Velje to Sønderborg, 182km

 For the Danish stages you will need to check local guidance – unfortunately confirming this information is difficult enough for France and I may not have time/resources to do it for the first three stages as well. See here for route info.

Transfer day: Monday, July 4 (no cycling)

Stage 4: Tuesday, July 5 – Dunkirk to Calais, 172km

 

Info to come when I get it.

Stage 5: Wednesday, July 6 – Lille to Wallers Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 155km

 

 

Info to come when I get it.

Stage 6: Thursday, July 7 – Binche to Longwy, 220km

Info to come when I get it.  

Stage 7: Friday, July 8 – Tomblaine to La Super Planche des Belles Filles, 176km 

Info to come when I get it.

Stage 8: Saturday, July 9 – Dole to Lausanne, 186km

Information will be added here once available.

Stage 9: Sunday, July 10 – Aigle to Les Chatel Portes du Soleil, 183km

 

Info to come when I get it.

Rest day: Monday, July 11 – Morzine

Parking in Morzine will be in short supply, but here is the tourist office's standard guidance. It includes campervan info.

Stage 10: Tuesday, July 12 – Morzine to Megeve, 148km

 

Parking in Morzine will be in short supply, but here is the tourist office's standard guidance. It includes campervan info. 

Stage 11: Wednesday, July 13 – Albertville to Col du Granon, 149km

 

For the Col du Granon side, watch the Serre Chevalier Vallée Briançon website for info.

Stage 12: Thursday, July 14 Bastille Day - Briancon to Alpe d'Huez, 166km

 

I cannot stress this enough – this will be a MASSIVE stage. Accommodation, parking, bike hire – EVERYTHING – will be at a premium for this stage – PLAN AHEAD. On the evidence of previous years, if you plan to DRIVE UP Alpe d'Huez, you will need to arrive several days in advance. It is likely the road will shut to cars/campervans 24-48 hours before the stage for safety reasons/due to crowding. You will be able to walk or CYCLE up on the morning of the stage. Watch the Alpe d'Huez Tourism website for guidance. Their email address is info@alpedhuez.com 

For the Briancon side, watch the Serre Chevalier Vallée Briançon website for info.

Stage 13: Friday, July 15 – Bourg d'Oisans to Saint-Etienne, 193km

 

Another busy stage - if you are here for Stage 12 then you will be able to catch this stage down the hill from Alpe d'Huez. Watch the Alpe d'Huez Tourism website for guidance. Their email address is info@alpedhuez.com. Accommodation, parking, bike hire – EVERYTHING – will be at a premium for this stage – PLAN AHEAD.  

Also, watch this local page (it has a local contact number).

Stage 14: Saturday, July 16 – Saint-Etienne to Mende, 195km

 

Info to come when I get it.

Stage 15: Sunday, July 17 – Rodez to Carcassonne, 200km

 

For Carcassonne, watch this page for info. 

Rest day: Monday, July 18 – Carcassonne

For Carcassonne, watch this page for info. 

 

Stage 16: Tuesday, July 19 – Carcassonne to Foix, 179km

 

For Carcassonne, watch this page for info. 

Stage 17: Wednesday, July 20 – Saint-Gaudens to Peyragudes, 130km

Info to come when I get it. 

Stage 18: Thursday, July 21 – Lourdes to Hautacam, 143km

 

Info to come when I get it.

Stage 19: Friday, July 22 – Castelnau-Magnoac to Cahors, 189km

 

For stages 19 and 20, watch the Valley of the Dordogne website. The local tourism office has set up a special TDF page.

See also this Lot Tourism page for local info and contacts.

For the area around Auch, see this page.

Stage 20: Saturday, July 23 – Lacapelle Marival to Rocamadour, 40km time trial

 

For stages 19 and 20, watch the Valley of the Dordogne website. The local tourism office has set up a special TDF page.

See also this Lot Tourism page for local info and contacts

Stage 21: Sunday, July 24 – Paris La Défense Arena to Paris Champs-Elysées, 112km

 

See this page for more tips on watching in Paris and an idea about what to expect.

Avoid driving in Paris – there is no need to. Use public transport or one of the public bike share bikes to get around. Note Metro stops and underpasses near the route are sometimes closed to avoid overcrowding or for security reasons. It's usually best to plan to arrive a few stops away from the route and to walk.

Paris is big and the circuit is spread out. There are often casual observers who are tourists in the city on the day and not there specifically for the Tour – this means more crowd movement and fewer people sitting in the same spot all day. That means that with a little patience it can be possible to wiggle your way close to the front with relative ease. Take water and other supplies with you and pinpoint cafes or other toilet spots nearby. It's good to watch in pairs or groups so someone can guard your spot while you duck off to the toilet, etc. Portable step ladders or chairs are also handy, but be considerate with neighbours and don't block their view.

I'll keep adding to this list as info comes to hand.

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