8 Days in the Pyrenees

8 Days in the Pyrenees

Formerly a Week in the Pyrenees, our ever popular cycling trip (For Cyclists Only) based in 2 locations to see the race. We begin with a warm up in the Tarn where Bikestyle Tours has its Euro base, followed by the main event, the famous climbs of the Pyrenees.

 

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Thursday, 4 July to Thursday, 11 July 2013
Start: Toulouse Finish: Toulouse
Accommodation: Selected 2 and 3 star hotels.
Group Size: Maximum 22 people (3 Staff)
Cost: AUD$3950.00 – Single Supplement Not Available
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 $420.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • See 3 stages of the Tour de France live including the Pyrenees
  • Great cycling on the quiet roads of the South West of France
  • Ride the famous climbs of Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque
  • Cyclists only trip with a focus on riding
  • Relax and ride staying in just 2 locations making minimal moving

Who is this trip for?

8 Days in the Pyrenees Trip for Cyclists Only starts with 2 nights in a 3 star hotel in Castres, a pretty town in the Tarn that is hosting a stage start of the 2013 Tour de France. The area around Castres is an undiscovered region of great scenery and quiet roads perfect for cycling.  We will stop here 2 nights and see the stage start followed by 5 nights in Argeles Gazost in the heart of the Haute Pyrenees, where we will base ourselves to follow the Tour and ride our bikes on the famous climbs. The trip is designed for those who are keen to ride their bikes combined with some race viewing.  We will ride some of the famous climbs of the Pyrenees including Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque and Hautacam.

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 guides and support staff.

See what our clients said about us after the 2012 Tour: Client Comments

Itinerary

Thursday, 4 July 2013: Bienvenue

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you at Toulouse airport, with a transfer to our hotel in Castres. We will have two transfers today, at 10.30 am and 3.30 pm.  Toulouse is easily reached by train and plane from Paris, or by flights from many European airports. If you prefer it is possible to travel through to Castres by train and make your own way to join us at the hotel.

Once we’ve got you settled into the hotel we will assemble bikes and take a short local ride through the surrounding countryside to make sure you and your bike are all in good working order after your long journey. Depending on your arrival time and how you are feeling after your travel we’ll be able to offer rides of between 30 and 50 kms, which is plenty if we venture in to the foothills of the nearby mountains!

Our home for the next two nights is Castres, a small town at the foot of the Montagne Noire in the Tarn region. The town has a population of 45,000 people and was once a major centre for the textile industry in France. The historic centre is attractive with canals lined with fine houses, the former homes of rich merchants. Bikestyle know this area well as it’s very close to our French headquarters, so we’ve enjoyed riding the beautiful roads of the Tarn for many years and have chosen some of our favourite routes for you to try.

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: Castres (Tarn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Friday, 5 July 2013: First Taste of Le Tour

This morning we will leave the hotel and take a ride through the rolling countryside of the Tarn to get our first look at the Tour de France with the stage finish in Albi.  The peloton will have ridden 205kms from Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast over a course that is rated as a medium difficulty stage and will no doubt finish in a sprint in the small winding streets of Albi.

The Tour de France has visited Albi many times and with good reason. This historic town is unlike any other in France with a beautiful medieval centre dominated by the massive Sainte Cécile cathedral. First built as a fortress in the 13th century and under construction for 200 years, it is claimed to be the largest brick building in the world and when you see it for real you’ll believe it!

We will offer 2 ride options from our hotel in Castres of approximately 60 and 100 kms with the longer route being quite challenging. First we will ride through the beautiful and challenging Sidobre region with its huge granite boulders before getting onto the race route and riding on to Albi for the stage finish.

At the end of the day after we’ve enjoyed our visit to Albi and seen the stage finish we will head back to Castres for dinner and a well earned rest to prepare for tomorrow’s big day in the Pyrenees.

Overnight: Castres (Tarn)
Meals: Breakfast


Saturday, 6 July 2013: See the Start in Castres

Today the race heads south from Castres to the eastern end of the Pyrenees, with a mountain top stage finish at the ski resort of Ax-3-Domaines.  So this morning we don’t have far to go to experience a race start, just a short walk from our hotel!  We’ll offer a short ride out through the local hills over part of the race route early this morning to get in our fix on the bike before heading off to the race start.

This morning we will see close up the amazing event that Le Tour has become.  First of all there is the departure of the caravane, then the riders arriving to sign on for the day and finally the departure of the peloton to the cheers of locals and visiting race fans.

After we have seen the race start in Castres and had lunch we will travel to the small town of Argeles-Gazost in the heart of the Pyrenees. This is our home for the rest of the trip, staying in a small family run 2 star hotel of just 18 rooms located close to the town centre. The hotel has pleasant gardens and a swimming pool to relax by, while the hotel’s restaurant will keep us fuelled for our daily cycling over the nearby cols.

Overnight: Argeles Gazost (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Sunday, 7 July 2013: The First Big Mountains Day

The Tour de France marks its visit to the Pyrenees with a stage from St Girons to the spa town of Bagneres de Biggore, before the race travels north to enjoy the first rest day of the tour. This will be the last chance until the race enters the Alpes in the final week for the climbers to show their prowess so we can expect an exciting stage. Today’s stage will be the Queen Stage of the Pyrenees with no less than 5 climbs: Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de Menté, Col de Peyresourde, Col de Val Louron-Azet and finally the 10 km climb up the La Hourquette d’Ancizan. This will be a great chance to see the race in the spectacular setting of the Haute Pyrenees.

This morning we will drive from our hotel to the heart of the Pyrenees where we will begin our ride. We have numerous options for rides today including one or a number of the famous climbs of the Pyrenees. The possibilities include the Col de Peyresourde, Col de Val Louron-Azet, La Hourquette d’Ancizan and the Col d’Aspin. Once again we will have a few mouth watering (or leg snapping) options for you.

After the “lantern rouge” has made their way over the climb and the road opens we’ll ride back down to meet the bus and watch the final moments of the race live on TV before we return to Argeles Gazost.

After the “lantern rouge” has made their way over the climb and the road opens we’ll descend back down to Arreau to meet the bus and return to Argeles-Gazost for the night.

Overnight: Argeles Gazost (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Monday, 8 July 2013: Col d’Aubisque

The Tour de France has moved on and the professionals have a rest day, but not us! Today we will ride what is regarded as the most scenic of the famous climbs of the Pyrenees,  the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque.

We will begin our ascent of the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque from the hotel. The climb starts straight from the town centre but once the first few kms is out of the way it settles down and is a pleasant ride through small villages until the village of Arrens-Marsous, where a series of switchbacks and some quite steep sections reminds us that we are in the mountains! Once at the top of Col du Soulor we can stop at the cafe for refreshments and admire the stunning views before continuing on to the Aubisque along the Corniche du Cirque de Litor, which is a highlight with stunning scenery and the odd cow, sheep, mountain pony or llama standing on the road reminding you they have right of way!

At the top of the Col d’Aubisque we will take the obligatory photos to commemorate our achievements and enjoy the long descent directly back to our hotel where the rest of the day will be free to relax and explore this charming small town.

Overnight: Argeles Gazost (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Tuesday, 9 July 2013: Col du Tourmalet

The Tour de France has moved on and the professionals have a rest day, but not us! 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 tackle it from the same direction that the race took in 2012, so we will head up the bike path which is a converted rail line and then up the Gorge de Luz to Luz St Saveur at the base of the Tourmalet before the final 17 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. For those who don’t want to ride the Tourmalet it’s possible to ride to Luz St Saveur and return for a ride of 40 kilometres.

From the top of the Tourmalet we will head back to the hotel by the same way making a 75 kilometre ride or it is also possible to continue over and down through Bagneres de Bigorre, making a ride of 100 kilometres.

Overnight: Argeles Gazost (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Wednesday, 10 July 2013: Luz Ardiden and Hautacam

Today is our last riding day and we intend to make it a memorable one for you. From our hotel we will leave for the relatively short ride to the base of Luz Ardiden where we will climb to the top of this famous climb. We will ride to the base via the Gorges de Luz to Luz St-Sauveur. There we turn right for the ski station Luz Ardiden (1720 metres). The first 7 km of the 14.7 kilometre climb are pretty steep. About halfway up the climb, it gets a bit more modest with a km of about 5%. But the lasts kms are again quite hard.

Part two of our day (or part one if you choose to skip Luz Ardiden) will see us heading back towards the hotel and then past the hotel and onwards up to another of the Tours famous climbs, the ski station of Hautacam. The top of the Hautacam is 1520 meter however the road continues to the Col de Tramassel at 1635 meter.

The first few kilometres after Argeles are downhill but you soon 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 kilometres of 9-10% on average. After this the climb continues to be consistent, never really going below 8% until the top.

After photos at the top we will return to the hotel for a well earned rest. Congratulations you have made it through your trip to the Pyrenees.

Late this afternoon we will pack our bikes and tonight have a final dinner and celebrate the week with our new cycling friends.

Overnight: Argeles Gazost (Pyrenees)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Thursday, 11 July 2013: Au Revoir

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. We will provide a scheduled transfer this morning to Lourdes rail station, as well as Toulouse Blagnac airport for those with flights out this afternoon. Check with Bikestyle before booking your flights out to make sure you don’t book your flights or trains too early in the day!

Over the past week 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 (with shower)
-Services of our experienced tour guides, plus our coach driver
-7 night’s accommodation, in selected 2 and 3 star hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
-3 course evening meals on 6 nights
– Picnic lunch on race route
-Transfer on Thursday, 4 July from Toulouse Blagnac Airport to  hotel
-Transfer on Thursday, 11 July to Toulouse Blagnac Airport or Lourdes Train Station
-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

2013 8 Days in the Pyrenees ($1000pp)
2013 8 Days in the Pyrenees Bicycle Hire $420.00
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

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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 on 1300 882494.

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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