Mediterranean to Pyrenees

Mediterranean to Pyrenees

Starting with the Team Trial in Nice this unique trip will follow the race through Provence to the climbs of the Pyrenees. It includes the chance to climb the big cols of the Pyrenees plus the infamous Mont Ventoux in Provence.

TRIP DETAILS:

Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
Dates: Sunday, 30 June to Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Start: Nice Finish: Toulouse
Accommodation: Selected 3 and 4 star hotels.
Group Size: Maximum 35 people (5 Staff)
Cost: AUD$5690.00 – Single Supplement AUD$930.00
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)
Travel Insurance
Email us for details

Highlights:

  • See 5 stages of the 2013 Tour de France live including the Pyrenees
  • Great cycling on the coast and through the hills of the Cote d’Azur
  • Experience the team time trial in Nice
  • Ride the famous climbs of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees
  • Conquer the Giant of Provence – Mont Ventoux
  • Relax and ride to some of the most beautiful villages of France

Who is this trip for?

A special trip that takes in the sun, sea and mountains of the South of France, travelling from Nice on the Cote d’Azur to the famous cols of the Pyrenees. We’ll take in several stages of the race including the spectacle of the team time trial along the Promenade des Anglais, followed by a stage start the following day. We’ll catch up with the race another 3 times during our trip and take in various aspects of the race including stage starts and finishes. Along the way we’ll have time to explore some of the most beautiful areas of France including a stay in Provence with the chance to tackle Mont Ventoux. After Provence we’ll head west towards the Pyrenees where we’ll once again catch up with the race and climb the famous cols of the Tour. This trip offers the perfect balance between seeing the race and riding on some of the most beautiful roads of Southern France. Please note although this trip spends quite a bit of time on the coast of France there is climbing involved on most days, so it’s not a trip suited to novice riders who are not comfortable riding hills.

Our trips are 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 who feel like a challenge, or an easier 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 experienced team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

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

Itinerary

Sunday, 30 June 2013: Bonjour.

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you as you arrive in Nice, with a transfer to our 4 star waterfront hotel at Rocquebrune-Cap-Martin on the famous Cote d’Azur, close to Monaco and the Italian border. Nice is easily reached by train from Paris, or by flights from many international and European airports. 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. Our ride of about 30K will head up the coast to Menton, taking in a few hills along the “corniche” with views to the sparking Med below.

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

Overnight: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Cote d’Azur)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Monday, 1 July 2013: Villages of the Cote d’Azur

This is our day to explore the Cote d’Azur and some of the most scenic and challenging rides of France! We will offer two rides today, a challenging 60 km ride over Col de la Madone and an easier coffee run across the border in to Italy of 50kms.

The longer ride takes us in to the hills behind the coast and make our way to the famous Col de la Madone (yes, the one the bike was named after). With many pro cyclists basing themselves in the area for pre-season training there are many beautiful rides, but this is perhaps the most famous and the favourite ride to test the fitness of many top cyclists. Our shorter ride is flatter, hugging the coastline and taking us to the Italian coastal resort of Bordighera where we can grab a real Italian coffee before heading back to Menton for lunch in the lovely old town centre.

After our rides we’ll have the rest of the day free to relax or catch up with today’s Tour de France stage taking place just across the water on the island of Corsica.

Overnight: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Cote d’Azur)
Meals: Breakfast


Tuesday, 2 July 2013: Nice Team Time Trial

The Tour de France returns from Corsica to the mainland of France today with a 20 km team time trial and a finish on the waterfront Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Team time trials are quite a spectacle and are not included in every year’s tour, so it’s a great chance to see the teams gain valuable seconds and possibly see a change in the overall lead. Whoever is wearing yellow at the end of the day it will be a great way for us to get our first taste of the Tour de France.

It’s likely that the first team will not will not head off from the start until well in to the afternoon, so we’ve got plenty of time for our ride from Rocquebrune-Cap-Martin to Nice. We’ll decide on our final route once we have some more details on the time trial route, but we’ll have a couple of different ride options. The easy option will be a scenic ride along the sparkling waters of the Cote d’Azur via the millionaires playgrounds of St-Jean-Cap-Ferat and Beaulieu-sur-Mer to the lovely old town of Nice to see the teams head off. A harder option will be available up through the hilltop villages before heading down to the coast in the afternoon in time to catch the race. At the end of the day and after the winning team is known we’ll return to our hotel in the bus with the evening free to enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants.

Overnight: Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Cote d’Azur)
Meals: Breakfast


Wednesday, 3 July 2013: See the race in Provence

The race leaves the Cote d’Azur today with a stage start close to Nice, in the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer. The final destination for today’s stage is the coastal city of Marseilles, one of the original cities of the first Tour de France in 1903. It is highly likely it will head west through the scenic hills above the coast in the direction of Marseilles. We will make our final decision on where to see the race once the final route is known, but it’s likely we’ll take a ride out along the race route and catch the race as it makes its way through the small towns of Provence later today, perhaps taking in the race as it passes through the feed station.

After our ride and seeing the race we will continue on towards the small town of  Nyons, close to Mont Ventoux in the region known as Drome-Provencale. It’s France at its best, an area of lavender fields, olive groves and beautiful villages. Our hotel is a typical country hotel in the centre of this historic town. Tonight we’ll have dinner in the hotel restaurant, which is well regarded locally and specialises in Provencale dishes with the local olives which the area is known for. For an authentic local meal why not try a glass or two of the local red wine, Cotes du Ventoux.

Overnight: Nyons
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Thursday, 4 July 2013: Mont Ventoux Challenge

We will take a day away from the Tour de France to seize the opportunity to ride one of the most famous cols of the Tour, Mont Ventoux.

We’ll get away in the cool of the morning and travel to the village of Malaucene where we will begin our warm up ride over to the base of Mont Ventoux, Bedoin. This is the most famous and traditional route of the Tour de France that winds its way up through the forest to Chalet Reynard where the well known “moonscape” of Mont Ventoux comes into view. With the hardest section now behind us, the last 6 kilometres of bare landscape provides magnificent views over the plains of the Luberon as you pass by the monument to Tom Simpson, who died tragically on the slopes of the mountain in the 1967 Tour de France.

For those not wanting to tackle the difficult climb that is Mont Ventoux, we’ll offer an alternative easy ride returning from Bedoin where you will pass over the little Col de Madelaine and capture some wonderful views of the Mont Ventoux.

This afternoon we will be able to watch the race on television with a refreshing drink in hand.

Overnight: Nyons
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Friday, 5 July 2013: Provence to the Pyrenees

After a challenging day yesterday we will travel west today and catch up with the Tour de France in the Midi- Pyrenees with a stage from the Mediterranean city of Montpelier via the hills of the Haut Languedoc to Albi,  a town visited many times by the Tour de France.

We will leave Nyons early this morning and travel to Clermont-l’Hérault, where we will start our ride out to through the local hills to the race route.  This area, which is close to the Bikestyle French headquarters, offers some of France’s finest cycling on quiet rural roads that we know well from our years of exploring the Midi Pyrenees. Our exact tour will be decided once we know more details on the race route, but it will definitely be a great day on the bike in one of the nicest areas of France to explore on two wheels.

The next two nights will be spent in an historic abbey that is now a comfortable 3 star hotel set in 6 hectares of park in the small village of Soreze. Tonight we will enjoy dinner in the former monk’s refectory, now converted to a restaurant for hotel guests.

Overnight: Soreze
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Saturday, 6 July 2013: Race Start in Castres and the Montagne Noire

 

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.  As the race start in Castres is an easy ride or drive from our hotel we’ll take the opportunity today to experience a race start, then take a ride over some of our favourite cycling roads in the afternoon.

After breakfast we will travel to Castres where 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. Castres is an attractive town with a pleasant town centre intersected by small canals where you can relax over a coffee and lunch today.

After seeing the race start we will have lunch before taking a ride through this lovely area, known as the Tarn. The race start today is just up the road from our headquarters in France so we’ve ridden these roads many times and know you’ll enjoy your ride today! You will have the choice of a challenging 80 kilometre ride back to the hotel via the beautiful roads of the Montagne Noire or a shorter ride that skirts around the bottom of the hills passing through small villages and farming communities.

Overnight: Soreze
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Sunday, 7 July 2013: The Tour de France in the Pyrenees

 

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 Alps 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.

We will leave Soreze early and travel 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 continue on to our hotel in 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
Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch


Monday, 8 July 2013: Col d’Aubisque

Today we will ride what is regarded as the most scenic of the famous climbs of the Pyrenees, Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque.

We will head south from the hotel down the bike path to Argeles Gazost where we begin our ascent of the Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque. 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 standing on the road with his bell ringing to warn you if there happens to be some mist.

At the top of the Col d’Aubisque we will take the obligatory photos to commemorate our achievements and enjoy the long descent back to Argeles Gazost and up the path back to Lourdes making a total of 80 kilometres. For those wanting something less taxing we can go to Argeles for coffee or even go to one of the lovely villages part way up the climb and return to Lourdes.

Overnight: Lourdes
Meals:
Breakfast


Tuesday, 9 July 2013: Col du Tourmalet

We will have seen several stages of the Tour de France by now and the race has left the Pyrenees (although we won’t know for sure until the race route is announced on October 24!)  As it’s our last day we will take the opportunity for one last ride, the epic climb up the mighty Col du Tourmalet.

It’s a ride that deserves some respect, so we’ll dedicate the day to it. This is the most famous Tour de France climb in the Pyrenees and the highest paved road.  From our hotel we’ll travel up the Gorge de Luz to Luz St Saveur, where the climb up the western side of Col du Tourmalet begins, using the same route the Tour de France took in 2012.  From Luz St Saveur it’s 19kms of climbing until you reach the summit at 2175 meters – the highest paved point of the French Pyrenees. After we’ve reached the top of Tourmalet we’ll take our reward – the exhilarating descent back to meet the bus in Bagneres-de Biggore. It’s 29 kms back to Bagneres and it’s all downhill. You won’t have to turn your pedals until you reach the small village of St Marie de Campan, 17 kms after the summit.

From Bagneres-de-Biggore we will travel in the bus back to Toulouse for our final night together. Tonight we’ll have a farewell dinner and celebrate a great trip through the south of France together.

Overnight: Toulouse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Wednesday, 10 July 2013: Au Revoir

Au revoir as our trip comes to a close this morning after breakfast and we bid you farewell. You are free to depart Toulouse at any time during the day. Toulouse has frequent flights connecting to all major European cities and a frequent train service to Paris and other areas of France.

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
-10 night’s accommodation, in selected 3 & 4 star hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
-3 course evening meals on 6 nights
– Picnic lunch on race route
-Transfer on Sunday, 30 June from Nice Cote d’Azur airport to hotel
-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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If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

Mediterranean to Pyrenees ($1000pp)
Mediterranean to Pyrenees Bicycle Hire $600.00
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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