Toulouse to Paris

Toulouse to Paris
Follow the race through the Pyrenees and onto Paris (inc. Final TT)

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
Dates: Friday, 13 July to Monday, 23 July 2012
Start: Toulouse Finish: Paris
Accommodation: Selected quality 3 and 4 star hotels
Group Size: Maximum 25 people (4 Staff)
Cost: AUD$5950.00 – Single Supplement AUD$990.00
Deposit: AUD $1000.00
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room.

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Inclusions

Optional Extras:

Bike Rental $600.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Paris Triomphe Package (Final day)
Grand Palais Seating (Final day)
Pre or post tour accommodation to extend your stay
Travel Insurance and Car Rental.
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • See 6 stages live including all the Pyrenees stages
  • Catch the action of the Final TT
  • Ride in Paris on the final morning and see the stage on the Champs Elysees
  • Great Riding including Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque and many more
  • Multiple nights in locations (less moving)

Who is this trip for?
See all the Pyrenees stages, the final time trial and the spectacular final stage on the Champs Elysees in Paris. Ride some famous climbs including the Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque and Port de Bales. Stay multiple nights in each location including 2 nights Soreze, 4 nights Lourdes and finally 3 nights in the city of lights, Paris.

The trip is geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the biggest of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France. This (and riding our bikes) is our main focus for the trip although this trip will incorporate some tourist days as well. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day. To enjoy our trips you don’t need to be an athlete, but do need to be someone who cycles regularly and in good health. Each day we’ll have options for rides to suit people of who feel like a challenge, or an easy day enjoying the scenery. We ride on quiet scenic roads and where possible we ride on the race course ahead of the race. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

See what our clients said about us after the 2011 Tour: Client Comments

Itinerary

Friday, 13 July 2012: Bonjour

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you as you arrive in Toulouse, with a transfer to our 4 star hotel just near the airport. Toulouse is easily reached by train from Paris, or by flights from many European airports. If you need any suggestions please feel free to email us.

As the old capital of Languedoc and France’s fourth-largest city, Toulouse (known as la ville en rose, or the city in pink) is the major city of the southwest, and the gateway to the Pyrenees mountain range. It is an ancient city with a stormy history. Complimenting this distinguished history, Toulouse is also a city of the future and the high-tech centre of the aerospace industry in France. It is home to Airbus and Aérospatiale — and the National Centre for Space Research has been headquartered here for more than 3 decades. The extraordinarily high population of students, some 110,000 out of a population of more than 800,000, also contributes to the pulse of the city.

Once we’ve got you settled into the hotel we will assemble bikes and take a short local ride to make sure you and your bike are all in good working order after your long journey.

Tonight we will have a welcome dinner where you will meet your fellow travellers and where our staff will answer all your questions on your upcoming adventure.

Overnight: Toulouse (Midi Pyrenees)
Meals: Dinner

Saturday, 14 July 2012: Canal du Midi

Today we will leave the hotel by bus and travel a short distance where we will begin our rides to our hotel for the next two nights in the historic village of Soreze. This small town is a great chance to experience the quiet life of a French village without the tourists you may find in some of the more well known places.

Each day we offer a couple of ride options for you to choose from, usually a shorter or easier ride and the other being longer and/or more difficult. Today is no exception so there will be a more direct ride of around 60 kilometres or a longer “Tour of the Tarn” of approximately 90 to 100 kilometres. Both rides will begin by following the famous Midi Canal which links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. For part of our journey we will use its old tow paths which have been converted to bike paths.

We will arrive at the hotel, an historically listed Abbey, in time to see the finish of today’s stage on TV and enjoy a relaxing beer. Here, in this remarkable building and in the middle of a 6-hectare park, is our hotel.

Today we have the opportunity to take a guided tour of our historically listed accommodation. We will visit the Abbaye Ecole and its museum tracing 12 centuries of memories. The Abbaye Ecole de Soreze features exceptional architecture. The Abbaye, its park and part of the village of Sorèze are listed “Historical Monuments”.

Situated in the south of the Tarn department, between Toulouse – Albi – Carcassonne, Sorèze stretches out over the last ramparts of Black Mountain and borders the pilgrimage path to Saint Jacques de Compostelle.

Overnight: Soreze (Midi Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday, 15 July 2012: See the Start in Limoux and Ride to Carcassonne

This morning we will take the bus to the stage start in Limoux. We’ll see close up the amazing event that Le Tour has become with the departure of the caravane, the riders arriving to sign on for the day and the loyal French fans who will be out in force today and adding the local flavour.

After seeing the race start we will have some lunch in one of the many restaurants in Limoux before we head off.

We have the choice of a 75 kilometre ride back to the hotel via the beautiful roads of the Montagne Noire or a short bus ride to see the medieval fortress at Carcassonne followed by a 45 kilometre ride to the hotel.
Carcassonne is among the major attractions in France. It consists of two towns: the Bastide St-Louis (also known as the Ville Basse or Lower City) and the medieval Cité. It is one of if not the best example of a medieval fortress and paints a stunning picture as it stands proudly on the hill overlooking the plains of the Aude.

There are remarkable views over the surrounding countryside from the three kilometres of ramparts, with two fortified enclosures (4th and 13th century), four gateways, 52 towers, and barbicans. You are free to enter the fortress and inside you will find cobbled streets with shops and restaurants. We will have two ride options and also the option to visit the medieval castle at Carcassonne.

Overnight: Soreze (Midi Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday, 16 July 2012: Ride and See the Finish in Pau

This morning we will leave Soreze with our final destination being Lourdes where we will spend the next four nights in a modern 4 star hotel with dinner included each night.

But first we will head to Tarbes where we will begin our ride for the day. As usual there will be two options of 60 and 80 kilometres with both rides following the course for some kilometres towards the finish in Pau. On arrival in Pau we will meet our bus and have a refreshing shower and see what has happened with the race on television before heading down to see it live and soak up some of the atmosphere. The caravane will precede the race by about an hour ensuring that there is plenty to keep us occupied. The race will be screening live on a big screen so make sure to get a spot with a view.

Finishes are great and it will be interesting to see if the climbers hold out of if someone like Thor who can climb a little comes back to the group on the flat run in. After the race we will head back to the bus for the short trip to Lourdes.

In the heart of the Pyrenees, Lourdes is a religious centre and receives more than 5 million pilgrims from all over the world every year most of whom come to take the healing waters. Lourdes was just a small market town on the 11 February, 1858 when Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary along the Gave. Today Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels in France (outside Paris) with 230 establishments. For us though it is the geographical position, at the foot of the mountains making it an ideal starting-point for our cycling trips into the Pyrenees with all of the major climbs not far from us. The candlelight parade is held each night at 9.00pm and is a must see.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, 17 July 2012: The Mighty Tourmalet

Drum roll please. This morning we tackle the highest road in the central Pyrenees, the 2115 meter Col du Tourmalet. You’ve all seen the TV images of this mighty mountain each year on the Tour de France, now is your chance to see what it’s all about. We will ride from the hotel on a hilly 35km to St Marie de Campan where we begin the final17 kilometre ascent to the summit of the Tourmalet. The cafe at the top is a nice warm place to be and has a nice collection of cycling memorabilia.

From the top of the Tourmalet it is 35km downhill back to the hotel making a ride of 100 kilometres. Of course there will be shorter options available today including riding with the group from Lourdes to St Marie de Campan, a pretty little town at the foot of Col du Tourmalet where you should stop at the Forge of Ste Marie de Campan. This is one of the famous places of the Tour de France. The cyclist, Eugène Christophe repaired the front fork there after being struck by a car during the descent of the Tourmalet in the 1913 race. The rules prevented him from obtaining assistance and he had to walk 15 km to do the repairs himself. A plaque recalls the event.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wednesday, 18 July 2012: See the Race on the Col d’Aubisque

Today we are in an excellent location again to see the race and take the opportunity to tackle another of the epic climbs in Tour history, Col d’Aubisque. The Col d’Aubisque is both beautiful and difficult and will give you a memorable day.

We have two options for riding today. The more difficult of the two will be to travel towards Pau and then take the climb up the middle where we will intersect the road at the Col du Soulor. From here you can choose to stay to see the race pass here or turn right and head across to the Col d’Aubisque along the ridge that joins these two cols (Cirque du Litor). It is one of the most beautiful roads in France.

The second option will be a ride from Lourdes along the scenic bike path to Argeles Gazost and then onto the course following the Gorge du Luz to Luz St Saveur at the base of the Tourmalet and see the race there.

After the race has passed and we have cheered on the grupetto who will need all our encouragement to get to the finish, each group will return to Argeles and then up the path to our hotel for a well earned beer and to see the last hour of the race on TV.

Of course the other option is to do one of these rides and return to the hotel for a shower and a look around Lourdes.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday, 19 July 2012: See the Race, Ride some Climbs!

Today we will head across a few valleys to see the race on one of the newcomers to Tour de France history. Today the Port de Bales will be climbed for only the third time in the Tour. This once little known climb remained virtually impassable until resurfaced during the summer of 2006. This was partly done at the instigation of the Tour de France who were looking for new challenges with which to confront the riders. The 2007 Tour de France crossed the col for the first time on stage 15 and in the 2010 Tour de France the col was crossed during stage 15 which began in Pamiers and ended in Bagnères-de-Luchon. Starting from Mauléon Barousse, the Port de Bales stands at 1755 m with an ascent of 18.9 kilometres and an average percentage of 6.3 %.

Our ride options today will be to ride 70 kilometres from the hotel to the base of the climb and then up the climb to see the race pass and then return to catch the bus home afterwards. Should you make it to the top your ride distance will be approximately 115 kilometres.

Or your second option will be to take the bus out to a point near the base of the climb. From here it seems quite possible to see the race twice by riding up the valley to the Col de Mente and onto the lower slopes, see the riders pass here and then return down the valley and across to Mauleon Barousse at the base of the Port de Bales to see them again there. Then after seeing the race pass, returning to meet the bus.

Overnight: Lourdes (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday, 20 July 2012: TGV to Paris

We will have an early start today and head off to the nearby train station and catch the TGV directly to Paris while your luggage and bikes will be transported separately to save you lugging them about.

Once in Paris we will take the short walk to the hotel and from there you will have the afternoon free to explore Paris and/or watch the race on TV.

This evening we will have our final dinner together at a local restaurant. We have decided to bring it forward as the next few days will be pretty busy and we know you will want to spend some free time in Paris.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday, 21 July 2012: The Final Time Trial

Maybe it will all come down to today, the final Time Trial as it did it 2010 when Cadel overtook Andy Schleck in the time trial around Grenoble and rode into Paris as the winner. We will be in Chartres at the finish to see all the action today.

We will leave Paris and travel to near Versailles where we will begin our ride to the historic city of Chartres. Today’s ride will be a pleasant surprise as we are close to Paris, but riding on roads that will make you believe you are in the middle of the French countryside. Our ride through the Chevreuse Valley will follow some of the roads of tomorrow’s stage in to Paris and is gently undulating with the occasional chateau or small village thrown in for interest. We will offer a couple of rides as usual, one of around 75 kilometres and another of around 40 kilometres.

Once we arrive in Chartres we will freshen up at the bus with a shower if you wish and head off to watch the final chapter of the 2012 Tour de France unfold. After we have seen the race decided for 2012 we will then go to Paris and our hotel for a free evening.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Breakfast

Sunday, 22 July 2012:  Ride and see the Race on the Champs-Elysees

This morning we have a special treat in store. We are going to take a ride through the streets of Paris taking in some of the famous sights such as the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde to mention a few.

We will leave our hotel nice and early to give ourselves the best possible chance of completing a lap of the famous Champs Elysees before they close the road. On our ride we will pass many famous icons of this romantic city. You will be surprised by the difficulty of the cobbles on the Champs Elysees and the steepness of the climb up to the Arc de Triomphe. It will give you an even greater respect for the riders when you see them almost gliding over the cobbles later this afternoon. You will be able to see the preparations for the finale this afternoon, take photos and soak up this great city in a way not many people get the opportunity to do. Eventually we will return to the hotel for breakfast and to pack our bikes (if necessary) before heading back to see the race this afternoon.

The last stage is traditionally a procession until the entrance onto the Champs-Elysees where the racing really starts. Riders traditionally chat, celebrate the final stage, pose for photographs, drink Champagne… sometimes they even dress-up, swap bikes and generally horse around. Traditionally, once the race gets into Paris, the Yellow jersey and his team lead the peloton onto the Champs-Elysees for what is a basically a big criterium in the centre of the French Capital.

The riders will arrive at the Champs Elysees just after 3.30pm but the caravan will be there to entertain you from around 2.00pm.

If you wanted to make the most of today you could choose one of the Hospitality Packages available: Paris Triomphe Package or Grand Palais Seating.

Overnight: Paris
Meals: Breakfast

Monday, 23 July 2012: Au Revoir

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. For those flying out today from Paris CDG airport our staff and coaches will be available to help you on your way.
It is the final day of our tour. Over the past weeks you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, challenged yourself over some famous climbs and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:
-Transport throughout by private luxury coach with custom bike trailer
-Services of our experienced tour guides, plus our coach driver
-10 night’s accommodation, in selected hotels (with private facilities)
-Buffet breakfast daily
-3 course evening meals on 8 nights
-TGV fast train from Lourdes to Paris
-Transfers on Friday, 13 July from Toulouse Airport to hotel
-Transfer on Monday, 23 July to Paris CDG airport
-Mechanical assistance with your bike
-Sightseeing as listed
-Maps and Bikestyle guide to the Tour de France
-Bikestyle Tours cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

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Reserve your Place Now

Payment by Credit Card

If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

Toulouse to Paris Deposit ($1000pp) 

Toulouse to Paris Bicycle Hire $600.00 

Grand Palais Champs Elysees Seating $390.00 

Triomphe Champs Elysees Hospitality $730.00 

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions


  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions.
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD). We recommend that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque. Please see below.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

_____________________________________

Payment by Bank Deposit and Cheque

If you wish to pay by Bank Deposit or Cheque please tick the box below to go to our Bank Details

Prior to paying a deposit it is advisable to confirm a place is available by sending an email to our Office Manager Michelle Knibbs, michelle@bikestyletours.com or telephone our office 07 38465999.

Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions

  • By paying a deposit you are deemed to have accepted our Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com.
  • Don’t forget it is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
    Purchase your International Travel Insurance here.
  • * We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.

_____________________________________

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