2018 Col du Tourmalet to Paris 8 Days

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TRIP DETAILS : 
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Monday, 23  July – Monday, 30 July, 2018
Start: Toulouse, Occitanie
Finish: Paris, Îles-de-France
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star hotels
Group Size: 30 Guests (4 Staff)
Suitable for: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
TRIP COST: AUD$5190.00 (US$4000.00)
OPTIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: AUD$650.00 (US$500.00)

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively, you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • Experience the excitement of the 2018 Tour de France
  • Climb the Tour de France’s oldest mountain, Col du Tourmalet
  • Watch the decisive stages for General Classification in the Pyrenees
  • Explore the French Basque Country and watch the final time trial, just a short distance from your hotel
  • Catch the TGV to Paris and watch the final stage on the Champs-Elysees

Who is this trip for?

Our Col du Tourmalet to Paris trip is our most popular final week trip. For guests who only have a week, or just want a taste of the tour. We ride on the famous climbs and watch the tour live in a very social environment. Whether you are a cyclist or a non-riding partner, this trip is great to extend a European vacation. Many of our guests join us and travel elsewhere in Europe before or after their Bikestyle trip. Many of our guests hire our carbon bikes, they will be shiny and new in 2018, so they can travel light for the rest of their journey. A great way to escape by (hire) bike.

In 2018, this trip differs from our other trips in not only its length but it follows all of the final week of racing including the final individual time trial, where the general classification may be decided. Our hotel is right on the finish line of the time trial, so we will see all of the drama unfold with all the necessary comforts close by.

As the title suggests, the most famous climb we will conquer on our trip is the Col du Tourmalet. It is the most visited summit of the Tour de France. In fact, the top 5 most visited summits of the Tour are in the Pyrenees – our guests will experience the top 3. After riding these famous mountains and watching the tour race on the same roads, we will transfer to the Pyrenees Atlantiques to watch the final time trial. We will also have the company of the friendly and patriotic Basque people. Finally, we’ll express your transfer to Paris on the TGV train for the finish on Champs-Elysees. A great short trip to watch the most exciting stages of le Tour de France live and ride along the same roads.

Itinerary

Monday 23 July: Bienvenue (Welcome) to France

Our staff will meet you at Toulouse-Blagnac airport at 11:00 am. Toulouse is easily accessible from many European destinations by train or plane. There are also some international flights that arrive into Toulouse. Arriving into Europe a day early is the best way to prepare for your trip.

After collecting you from the airport, we’ll transfer you to our 4-star hotel in Toulouse. 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 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 contributes to the pulse of the city.

Staff will help you ready your bike, or fit your pedals to your hire bike before heading out for our warm-up ride. Our purpose of today’s ride is to get your bearings, meet the rest of the group and check over your bike.

Tonight we’ll enjoy a special welcome dinner at our hotel, a perfect opportunity to meet fellow guests and staff who will be on hand to answer any questions about your cycling holiday with Bikestyle Tours.

Bikestyle 2017-07-11 -17

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Welcome Dinner

Overnight
Hautes Pyrénées, Occitanie

Harder Ride Option

Tuesday 24 July: Le Tour enters the Pyrenees

After breakfast, we’ll set off toward the Pyrenees to see the riders attacking the climb. Today, they begin their final week of racing. We will ride to and watch riders on their second last climb, Col de Menté. This climb starts gradual enough, but the final 7 kilometres is consistently around 8%. Most climbs in the Pyrenees avoid steep pinches and you are always riding through lush green forests and pastoral lands.

Bikestyle 2017-07-20-101

The canopy moderates the hot temperatures and rides are very scenic. It is both a pleasant place to ride and to watch the race. For non-riders, our van will be going to the race, so you can transfer into the van after the short bus journey.

After we see the race pass, we will finish the climb over the summit and descend into a village to watch the closing moments of today’s stage. It was at a similar stage in 2016 that Chris Froome attacked his rivals on the descent to the finish.

Our bus will then transfer us into the heart of the Pyrenees, which will give us great access to watch the next few stages and complete some great rides ourselves. Our hotel for the next 3 nights is a 3-star family run hotel, close to the centre ville with a wonderful square. We are at the base of the most famous climbs of the Pyrenees, it is a great place for riding.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Hautes Pyrénées, Occitanie

Harder Ride Option

Wednesday 25 July: Col du Tourmalet

Today is the shortest stage in Tour de France history. Dubbed more of a mountain sprint than a mountain stage, it will be exciting to watch from beginning to end. With riders not heading off until mid-afternoon, it gives us plenty of time for our ride this morning. We will conquer the other giant today, Col du Tourmalet which has featured more than any other mountain in the Tour de France, it is a great climb.

The summit of the hors categorie climb up to Col du Tourmalet has been crossed more than 75 times in the Tour. We’ll ride from our hotel this morning taking the Western approach to the summit. This side is the steeper of the two sides, but less vertical ascent, so choose a low gear and enjoy the view. We have no time pressure today, so everyone will have a great opportunity to reach the summit. When we reach the top, it will all seem worth it and the cafe at the top is a nice warm place to meet up and regroup, with an interesting collection of cycling memorabilia.

It will be a carnival atmosphere at the top with the tour coming through in a couple of days. If you feel good and are absorbed by the carnival atmosphere, you can descend down to La Mongie or as far as Campan, to climb the Eastern side as well.

Our main ride for today will return from the summit back to Luz-Saint-Sauveur where we’ll have lunch and settle in for the afternoon watching today’s very short stage on TV.  This evening we will enjoy a delicious meal prepared by our hosts.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Hautes Pyrénées, Occitanie

Harder Ride Option

Thursday 26 July: Col du Soulour, Col d’Aubisque and stage finish in Pau

Today we will tackle another famous climb of the Pyrenees and it is always a highlight ride for our guests. We’ll give you chance to ride this before race day, so that you can experience the joy of riding along la Corniche du Cirque de Litor. Views reward those on the spectacular balcony road between Col de Soulor and Col d’Aubisque. Our rides will guide us to the finish of today’s stage in Pau, via the village of tomorrow’s stage finish, Laruns.

After fueling up at breakfast, we’ll head off down the gorge road toward the village of Argeles-Gazost. An initial climb starts from Argeles-Gazost but it’s not too long before the road flattens taking us to the village of Arrens-Marsous. From here the real climbing begins, a manageable 7.5km averaging close to 8% takes us to the first col, Col du Soulor. For the faster riders, there is also an option to follow the final climbs of tomorrow’s stage and include le col des Bordères.

Our welcoming party at Solulor of local cattle and horses grazing on these high pastures will greet us before we carry on. With the most difficult climbing behind us now, we have a short descent before the final 7km to the summit of Col d’Aubisque, where we can reward ourselves with lunch. We will descend to Pau to see the finish and meet the bus before our transfer back to our hotel.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Hautes Pyrénées, Occitanie

Harder Ride Option

Friday 27 July: Luz Ardiden, Hautacam and a mountain stage live

Today is our last riding day in the high Pyrenees and we intend to make it a memorable one for you. From our hotel, we will climb to the top of the famous Luz Ardiden – think Lance Armstrong and plastic bags. The first 7 km of the 15 km is pretty steep. About halfway up the climb, it gets a bit more modest with a kilometre of about 5%. But the last kms ramp up and are again quite hard.

TDF by Gruber 1512

Part two of our day (or part one if you choose to skip Luz Ardiden) will see us heading down Gorges du Luz and up to another of the Tours famous climbs, the ski station of Hautacam. The top of the Hautacam is where the Tour has finished before, however the road continues to the Col de Tramassel.

Shortly after starting the climb, you get a hard section of 10%+ before a small descent. Now, you’re close to the hardest part of the climb, near Saint-Andre there is 3 kilometers of 9-10% on average. After this, the gradients are ever changing, but never really going below 8% until the top. A rewarding climb with a sting. After photos at the top, we will return to the valley in time to watch the race come through on the slopes of their final 2 climbs.

After the race has passed through we will meet up with our bus and transfer to our hotel at the finish of tomorrow’s time trial. Our hosts will have dinner available for us soon after our arrival.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Harder Ride Option

Saturday 28 July: The final Individual Time Trial

Today will be a special day for watching the tour, and it will hold in your memory for a long time to come. Our situation at today’s finish area will give us great access to hopefully witness the decisive stage of the 105th edition of Le Tour. There are great mountain stages in the final week for riders to put pressure on the strong time trial abilities of Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome. It could well come down to this important final time trial.

We will head out this morning to check out this innovative course, aimed at riders leveraging their strengths. There is a great little climb for climbers to position themselves among the strong time trialists. It will be a cracking stage to witness. After our ride, you can freshen up and watch today’s race with all the necessary comforts close by.

We will have our special farewell dinner tonight, leaving tomorrow night free for you to explore Paris. Our final night is celebrated with a lovely meal and accompanying wine. We’ll acknowledge our new friendships and reflect on our memorable week riding the famous roads in France during the world’s biggest annual sporting event, the Tour de France.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Overnight
Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Harder Ride Option

Sunday 29 July: From Sud-Ouest to Paris at 320km/h

We’ll have an early start today and head off to the nearby train station to catch the TGV. You haven’t travelled if you have not experienced this amazing high-speed train which will transport you to Paris in comfort, travelling at speeds of up to 320km/h! To make life easy for you we will transport your luggage and bikes separately to save you lugging them about.

On arrival in Paris we will transfer to our hotel, where you can leave your bags and head into today’s big event, the finale on Champs-Élysées. The last stage of the Tour de France is traditionally a procession until the entrance onto the Champs-Élysées 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-Élysées for what is basically a big criterium in the centre of the French Capital. Again, the Tour will have the spectacle of an evening finish on the Champs-Élysées, with the riders expected to cross the finish line for the last time at about 7.00 pm.

Tonight, after the finish you are free to explore the city of Paris, taking in a show or dining in one of the many famous restaurants.

Easier Ride Option

N/A

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Paris, Île-de-France

Harder Ride Option

N/A

Monday 30 July: Au Revoir (Farewell)

It is a farewell to your new friends as our Col du Tourmalet to Paris trip comes to an end this morning. Over the past week, you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close, explored the spectacular Pyrenees and challenged yourself on their most famous climbs. Most of all you can take with you new friendships and great memories. Hopefully, you’ve had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

Meals: Breakfast

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans or luxury coach
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • 8 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 6 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Toulouse-Blagnac airport
  • TVG tickets from the Pyrenees to Paris
  • Ride files and Bikestyle guide to the 2018 Tour de France
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2018 Col du Tourmalet to Paris 8 Days ($1000pp)
2018 Col du Tourmalet to Paris Bicycle Hire ($490.00)
2018 Col du Tourmalet to Paris Single Supplement ($650.00)
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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