Dates: 04-Jul-2019  - 12-Jul-2019

Group size: 8

Rider type: Intermediate to Advanced

Price: $5400 per person twin share ($AUD)

Deposit: $750 per person twin share ($AUD)

Single Supplement$800 ($AUD)

Classic Climbs Pyrénées
Classic Climbs Pyrénées
Classic Climbs Pyrénées
Classic Climbs Pyrénées
Classic Climbs Pyrénées

9 Day European Bike Tour in the Pyrenees, France

Last place available. Twin share (male)

Book Now and save $1260 (includes bike hire (value $720) & 10% off the tour price ($540). Limited time only.

Contact us today on connect@velobiketours.com

The Parc National des Pyrénée is truly a unique area of natural beauty with outstanding vistas, amazing local cuisine and of course incredible cycling. Why not relive the recent battles that we have witnessed in the Tour de France, while riding at your own pace. Who could forget “chain gate” on the Porte de Balès or the summit finish on the Col du Tourmalet in 2010 which was won by Andy Schleck and marked the 100 year anniversary of the Tourmalet’s first Tour inclusion.

From Toulouse, Saint Girons provides a perfect entry point into the heart of the Pyrénées. Over the next 9 days we will visit the magnificent spa town of Bagnères du Luchon, ride classic Tour de France mountain passes en-route to Arreau which sits at the crossroads of the Louron valley and the Aure valley. Once over the giant Col du Tourmalet our resting point for the following two nights is the history-rich village of Saint-Savin, which was founded in the fourth century as a Benedictine abbey. After a rest day visit to Lourdes our last riding day is a blend of famous Tour Cols and picturesque villages, as we emerge from the mountains and roll to a halt in the historic town of Pau.

Our Pyrénées tour is designed as a truly boutique experience, limited to 8 people, with a VIP wrap to ensure your every need is catered for. We will stay in 3 and 4 star accommodation noted for their ‘character and charm’; while immersing ourselves in the cultural, gastronomic and aesthetic delights this magnificent region of France has to offer.

On tour we will ride almost all of the legendary climbs of the Tour de France in this region; the Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de Menté, Porte de Balès, Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, Pla d'Adet, La Hourquette d'Ancizan, Col du Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, Hautacam, Col du Solour and the Col d'Aubisque.

Every day we can tailor the distance and amount of climbing to ensure each person truly enjoys the experience of Paradise in the Pyrénées.

Day 1

Saint Girons - RIDE: 30km – 50km, flat

We gather and meet in Toulouse before transferring to our Château (hotel) in Saint Girons, which is less than 1-hour away. The old town of Saint Girons is full of character that breaths culture and grace; a simple pleasure to stroll through the town and along the Salat River; the perfect relaxing introduction for our tour in the Pyrénées. Let yourself be intoxicated by the tranquillity of the Château; and once settled in there is time for a swim or spa before we get our bikes set up and ready for the week ahead. The welcome dinner this evening will be in the restaurant of the Château; renowned for its authentic Gascon dishes where you'll rediscover the flavours of yesteryear in the cuisine. After greetings and introductions we can get to know each other as we chat about the week ahead.

Dine tonight in an authentic Gascon 19th century restaurant, where you will find the flavours of the past with real wood fire cooking.

Meals included: Dinner
Accommodation:
Saint Girons 

Day 2

Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de Menté, Spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon - RIDE: 75km, 2000m

We leave Saint Girons this morning and rolling through field after field of sunflowers, we have a full menu of climbs ahead today as we move from the Ariege and into the Hautes Pyrénées. This is classic Tour de France territory as we start the Col de Portet d’Aspet followed by the Col de Menté. The Col de Portet d’Aspet is an 18km climb but with a 3.1% average gradient, so it is a gentle introduction , only the last 2km will challenge us as the gradient rises to 8%. After a flowing forested descent we reach the start of the Col de Menté which is a sterner but shorter climb at 7km with an average gradient of 7.8%. Once over the climb we have a steady 15kms into the famous Spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon, which will be our base for the next two nights.

Enjoy a relaxing dinner this evening in Luchon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Bagnères-de-Luchon 

Day 3

Porte de Balès - RIDE: 65km, 2,000m

After an authentic French breakfast, we follow the back roads and lanes to Mauléon-Barousse, which is the official starting point of the Porte de Balès. It is 18.8km long with an average gradient of 6.3%. The route initially follows a tight and slightly twisting forested valley with a fast flowing stream at our side; it then breaks out into an open moor type landscape with some 5km to go. Once we leave the summit, we have a superb 22km descent on a newly laid road surface back down to Bagnères-de-Luchon.

The Porte de Balès has been included in the Tour and Vuelta multiple times in the last few years and for very good reason as it is not your typical French climb. It has irregular pitches on tight, twisting narrow roads, offering closed and then open landscapes - it is quite spectacular!

Explore Luchon tonight at your leisure with its fabulous bars and restaurants.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:
Bagnères-de-Luchon 

Day 4

Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Aspin, La Hourquette d’Ancizan - RIDE: 75km, 3000m

It’s time for us to leave Luchon and what a journey we have in front of us today, plenty of breakfast will be required as we fuel up and embark on a classic Tour de France combination. Starting with the Col de Peyresourde at 15.2km long and with an average of 6%. It looks tame on paper however it is a tough start out of Luchon, then some respite in the middle before it kicks up with elevator-like switchbacks for the final 3kms.

Following a fast descent to the lovely village of Arreau for a coffee stop and views of the pretty village centre, we are straight on to the Col d’Aspin; find a rhythm and you seem to arrive at the summit in no time! At 12km with an average gradient of 6.5% it looks harder than it feels on the bike. Its open nature means you are always captivated by the views, including the spectacular Pic du Midi astronomical observatory at nearly 3000m high.

We loop back to the Aure Valley over the La Hourquette d’Ancizan. This beautiful, quiet and narrow pass made its first Tour de France appearance in 2011.

We stay in an 18th century former coach inn for the next two nights and enjoy relaxed dining on the delightful terrace.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Arreau  

Day 5

Pla d'Adet, Col de Val-Louron Azet - RIDE: 45km, 2000m; or 65km 3000m

Our route today takes us over to the ski town of Saint-Lary-Soulan via Génos and the Col de Val-Louron Azet. The Azet has been included in the Tour on 6 occasions since 2001 so it has pedigree. There are lots of switchbacks as we climb off the valley floor and at 7.3km long with an average of over 8% this is no gimmy. On 3 of those 6 occasions the Tour stage went on to finish at top of the Pla d'Adet which is an optional extra for those seeking more on today’s ride.

The Tour has had a mountain top finish on the Pla d'Adet ten times and the winner’s names are a who’s who of modern Tour history. Armstrong and Merckx are multiple winners, with Hinault, Indurain and Vincenzo Nibali included on this very impressive list. Our own Phil Anderson also won here in 1981. The climb to the ski-station starts near Saint-Lary, with double-digit % for the first 2kms. It is 10.7km long with an average of 8% and the views from the top are spectacular. Tour history should keep you focused on this climb; do you want to know the Tour de France winners times for comparison?

Arreau is a delightful village to explore and dine tonight at your leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:
Arreau 

Day 6

Col du Tourmalet – RIDE 75km - 2750m

Today is our “Queen” stage – the mighty Tourmalet which at 2115m is the giant of the Pyrénées! We leave Arreau this morning by climbing the La Hourquette d'Ancizan from the opposite direction (of two days ago). This breathtaking mountain pass starts in the tight twisty streets of the village of Ancizan, with an initial ‘bang’ before easing off a bit. At around halfway up as the road hugs the mountainside you round a bend where a superb mountainous panorama appears. Once over the top a long flowing descent takes you down to Saint-Marie de Campan, the start of the Col du Tourmalet. In 2015, it was the 84th time the Tourmalet has been included in the Tour de France. It is such a mythical mountain and has enormous significance within the cycling community. The view to the west is magnificent and the picture opportunities at the top with the ‘Geant du Tourmalet’ statue are too good to resist.

We descend down to the lively vibrant town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur for lunch, saving some energy for the short climb up to our hotel in the medieval village of Saint Savin.

Prepare yourself for an exquisite gastronomic indulgence tonight in this quaint village.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Saint-Savin 

Day 7

Hautacam, visit to Lourdes or rest day - RIDE: 40km, 1250m

Yesterday was an epic day the stories over dinner last night will have been filled and fuelled with the satisfaction of conquering one of the three biggest legends of the Tour. Today we have the choice of a rest day, an afternoon visit to Lourdes, or for those wanting to ride we will conquer the impressive Hautacam. Remember we always have vans at the ready so we can mix, match and tailor today, and any day, to ensure you always get the best of out of it.

For those riding we will take it easy …. well that is if you can call climbing the Hautacam easy. It is a steady climb with the middle 7km section consistently between 8% and 10%. At 17.3 km long and with an average gradient of some 6.8% it is a challenge, however the open feel, the constantly changing views and the tiny villages that we pass through will see us at the top in no time.

A rest day is always good for the soul and Saint-Savin is a tranquil place to relax, spend the morning and investigate the 12th century abbey remains. . In the afternoon you have the option to visit the historic and religious town of Lourdes.

The fromage of this area is mouth-watering. Savour and enjoy with a drop of the local vino!

Relax and enjoy dinner at your leisure tonight along with the stunning views from Saint-Savin.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Saint-Savin 

Day 8

Col du Solour, Col d'Aubisque, Pau - RIDE:85km, 2000m

After hopefully recuperating a little yesterday we have a final riding day to truly remember, another classic Tour stage, the Col du Solour followed by the Col d'Aubisque. An early coffee in the famous tour town of Argelès-Gazost is first on the menu this morning. The Col starts as we leave Argelès, a sharp rise for the first 3km of around 7-8% gives a false impression of the climb ahead, as the Solour is a long challenge at 19.5km with an average gradient of 5.2%. So the next 9km are very gentle, some 2-3% through open pastures along the rising valley floor. The climbing really only starts again as we leave the beautiful village of Arrens, the final 7km are between 7-9% with short pitches of up to 10%, however we will be rewarded for our effort at the top with great panoramic views while savouring a coffee at the summit café. Do not forget the picture opportunities at the top on the three huge Tour de France jersey inspired bikes.

From the top of the Solour here, the top of the summit of the Col d'Aubisque is only 10km away and only the last 3km are challenging. The narrow road snakes along the side of the mountain and looks as though it was ‘glued on’; it offers an amazing almost surreal journey and is a great climb on which to conclude our tour. Take time to savour the Col d'Aubisque as its one of the three mythical passes of the Tour de France along with the Tourmalet and Galibier. After lunch in Laruns its 38km downhill, well slightly down hill, to our final destination, Pau.

Tonight, we can let our hair down, a dinner to celebrate and enjoy the best that Pau has to offer. By the way the Tour de France has visited the town of Pau 64 times, which is currently the third highest behind Bordeaux and Paris.

Pau is an historic city and an architectural gem. It contains a mix of French and English inspired buildings with a magnificent castle and a relaxed atmosphere. Good shopping, and gardens. make it a great place to explore.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Pau  

Day 9

Au revoir, vous revoir

After our final breakfast together it’s time to say our fond farewells as we start to dream and plan for next time ….

We hope you have had a magnificent experience and we look forward to seeing you again.

Transfers are available back to Toulouse.

Meals included: Breakfast 

Questions? Or would like more information? Send us an email at connect@velobiketours.com

 








HIGHLIGHTS
  • Majestic scenery and natural beauty all-round
  • Superb riding on quiet accessible roads; switchbacks and long winding roads to entertain and challenge you as the scenery expands and changes
  • Enjoy the charm of historic, quaint villages, spa and market towns
  • Featuring the legendary climbs the Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de Menté, Porte de Balès, Col de Peyresourde, Col d'Aspin, Col du Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, Hautacam, Col du Solour and the Col d'Aubisque.
  • Stay in specially selected accommodation from elegant neo-classical places, to hotels noted for their ‘character and charm’ or even bright modern places with superb outlooks. Some accommodation has pool and/or spa facilities.
  • Our tour routes have been carefully designed for variety and enjoyment, to experience diverse areas, scenery, terrain, and include the legendary cols that the pro's ride.
  • Enjoy the velobiketours boutique touring experience. Our VIP wrap is designed to create a memorable tour and deliver a fantastic holiday experience – see the full Tour Inclusions for more details.
Always remember there are flexible ride options available every day so you can ride as much or as little as you desire.



INCLUSIONS
  • A truly boutique experience with group sizes limited to 8 guests
  • 3-4 staff per tour creating an industry high ratio of staff to guests
  • Transfers - pickup & drop off
  • We only use modern luxury 9 seater air-conditioned vans to ensure the best possible travel experience
  • Accommodation in carefully selected bike friendly 3-4 star hotels often noted for their ‘character and charm’
  • Fresh and filling daily breakfast - buffet style aimed at getting the cycling day off to the perfect start
  • Delicious 3-4 course dinners including a selection of local wines (4 out of 9 nights)
  • We create and personally delivery your tour experience, the owners of velobiketours are with you every day
  • On transfer days our VIP wrap ensures that everything is ready for you upon arrival. Full luggage transfer service between your accommodations - hop off the bike, and your room with luggage in is ready for you
  • Flexible ride options available every day so you can ride as much or as little as you desire
  • velobiketours cycling kit - includes cycling jersey, cap and gloves
  • Cycling kit laundry services - two washes included for the tour
  • Riding nutrition including fruit, energy bars, gels and rehydration drinks
  • Full vehicle backup and support services provided throughout your ride every day
  • On road experienced rider guides and support, assisting the group each day
  • Mechanical assistance and support
  • Purpose built bike racks for safe and careful bike carriage
  • Quality bike hire options available - fees apply. Bike hire options
  • Daily photos to capture your memories.
  • Road guide book including detailed itinerary, ride maps, climb profiles, hotel details and daily activity information.
  • Prior to your trip we can provide advice on preparing for you trip, including a cycling packing check list. Other travel planning and arrangements (flights, additional accommodation, travel insurance etc), are available through our travel partners.
  • General information and tips on travel in France
Optional extras (fees apply):
  • Post ride massage
  • Additional laundry service
EXCLUSIONS
  • Meals that have not been included in the itinerary (most meals are included, refer to the tour itinerary)
  • Pre and post tour travel arrangements, including flights, any additional accommodation or transfers required (however we can provide assistance for additional travel requirements)
  • Personal purchases
  • Activities not scheduled in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (compulsory requirement for guests. Enquire for assistance with travel insurance)
Click here to read more detail about what is included in our tours.