2013 Grand Depart

Grand Depart Trip

10 days of unforgettable cycling and experiencing the first 5 stages of the 2013 Tour de France on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica and the scenic Cote d’Azur.


Duration: 10 days (9 nights)
Dates: Tuesday, 25 June to Thursday, 4 July, 2013
Start: Nice Finish: Nice
Accommodation: 3 and 4 star hotels in 2 locations.
Group Size: Maximum 25 people (4 Staff)
Cost: AUD$6150.00 – Single Supplement AUD$1760.00
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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Optional Extras:

Bike Rental $540.00 (Cannondale Synapse carbon fibre)
Travel Insurance and Car Rental.
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  • Experience the historic 100th edition of the Tour de France
  • See 5 Stages of the Tour
  • The excitement of the team time trial in Nice
  • Explore the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica
  • Fabulous cycling in the most beautiful areas of the Cote d’Azur and Corsica
  • Relax and ride to some of the most beautiful villages of France
  • Excellent seaside accommodation

Who is this trip for?

An exciting 10 day tour that takes in the spectacular coastal and mountain scenery of the Cote d’Azur and the Mediterranean island of Corsica.  Over 10 days this trip will experience the first 5 stages of the 100th edition of the Tour de France including the spectacle of the team time trial along the Promenade des Anglais.  A highlight of this trip will be 5 nights on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, known to the French as Ille de Beauté (Island of Beauty). Corsica is a true paradise for cyclists with winding mountain roads and spectacular coastal views.  On the Cote d’Azur we stay in the attractive resort of Menton, close to the Italian border. On Corsica we base ourselves on the coast in L’Ille de Rousse close to the island’s best scenery on the north west coast. This trip offers the best of both worlds – great race viewing and riding combined with time to explore and relax these two beautiful regions of France. Please note that on the island of Corsica the cycling is challenging, with 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. This trip

Each day we’ll have options for rides to suit people 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 2012 Tour: Client Comments


Tuesday, 25 June 2013: Bienvenue

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you as you arrive at Nice Cote d’Azur airport.  We will then transfer to our hotel by the sea in the quiet resort town of Menton on the famous Cote d’Azur, the last town on the French / Italian border.  Nice is easily reached by train from Paris, or by flights from many international and European airports.

This afternoon, 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. This will be an easy spin of 35 – 40 kms across the border to the town of Bordighera for a “real” coffee.  Like most of the Cote d’Azur routes there is a bit of climbing, but the rewards are the lovely views of  the Mediterranean coast along the way.

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: Menton
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.


Wednesday, 26 June 2013: A Spectacular Ride

We have a full day to explore the stunning corniche roads and villages of the Cote d’Azur. The region we are in is called Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, and the riding is spectacular with everything from flat coastal roads to challenging climbs. Today you have the opportunity to test yourself on the most famous climb of the area, the 925 meter Col de la Madone, well known as a favourite training route for the many pro riders in the area.

Our longer ride of 70 km will take us from Menton along a small winding road to the pretty hilltop village of Castellar before starting the climb to the top of Col de la Madone. After a stop for a souvenir photo we’ll descend back down to the fortified medieval village of Eze, perched high above the Mediterranean coast halfway between Nice and Monaco. Here you have the choice of continuing on for the full 70km route, or jumping in the bus if you’ve had enough for the day. An equally enjoyable but shorter “tourist” route with less climbing to Eze will be offered for anyone not wanting to tackle Col de la Madone.

Tonight is free to dine in one of the many restaurants in the streets of the old town of Menton.

Overnight: Menton
Meals: Breakfast

Thursday, 27 June 2013: Corsica!

Today we travel by ferry from Nice across the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Corsica. Before we head to Nice we’ll have time for an early morning ride before we return to the hotel to pack for our sea voyage.

This is the first time the Tour de France has visited Corsica, which is one of the most breathtaking and challenging places to ride a bike in the world. The island is home to sun, sea and mountains which can be up to 2,000 metres in height. This makes it a fantastically challenging yet rewarding place for both us and the pros of the Tour de France.

We will depart Nice after lunch and journey across the Mediterranean to the port of Calvi on Corsica.  The ferries are modern and comfortable with bars, restaurants and comfortable seating to relax in while you enjoy the view. We have arranged for private cabins if you would like a rest or just a little privacy (on twin share basis). On arrival we’ll travel a short distance from Calvi to our hotel in the coastal town of L’Ille Rousse, on the beautiful north west coast of Corsica. Our very comfortable hotel is located close to the seafront and an easy walk to the old town of L’Ille Rousse. Dinner will be provided on the ferry just before arrival.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday, 28 June 2013: Our First Corsican Ride

A full day to enjoy the delights of Corsica ahead of tomorrow’s start of the 2013 Tour de France. This morning we will head off into the hills high above the sparkling waters of the Balagne coast and pass through quiet villages over quiet minor roads.

The roads leading from the coast all go up, so we’ll do a bit of climbing today, with a choice of  scenic 45km and 60km rides.  A small winding road from L’Ille Rousse will lead us to Santa Reparata di Balagna, a terraced village of crumbling ancient buildings and arcaded streets which yield spectacular glimpses of the sea.  From here we’ll pass through a series of ancient hill villages before you make your choice – return to the coast of challenge yourself with a climb up to the 1100 meter Col de Battaglia? Both rides will return via Monticello, an elegant village surrounded by a belt of olive trees and one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Corsica. On return to L’Ille Rousse we’ll have free time in the afternoon to explore the old town or relax by the pool.

Tonight is free to explore the narrow streets of the old town of L’Ille Rousse and eat in one of the local restaurants. Corsican cuisine is a mix of the influences of France and Italy with an emphasis on seafood and the fresh produce of this sunny island.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast


Saturday, 29 June 2013: Le Tour

This is the day we’ve been waiting for, the first stage of the 100th edition of the Tour de France. Unlike many years there is no short prologue to start the race but a long 200 km stage that covers the island from north to south with a start in Porto-Vecchio and finish in the historic port of Bastia. Travelling up the island’s east coast it’s the flattest of the 3 stages on Corsica, but no doubt will be hotly contested with a probable sprint finish to see who is the first wearer of the yellow jersey for 2013.

We will travel inland this morning to the centre of the island, where we will start our ride down to the coast to see the race come by this afternoon.  Our ride will take us through the Castagniccia region, an area of Corsica rich in tradition, history and culture. The name derives from the Corsican ‘Castagna’ meaning after the many chestnut groves that dot the landscape. Here you will find a relaxed, peaceful lifestyle complemented by forest hamlets and picturesque villages and ancient stone houses chiselled into the mountainside.

We’ll have rides of roughly 60 and 40 kms, plenty in this mountainous landscape in the heat of a Corsican summer. Eventually we’ll descend to the east coast where we’ll catch the race as it makes its way to the finish in Bastia. We’ll arrive down on the coast in time to experience the fun of the race caravane, then eventually the peloton as it speeds by towards the finish.

Overnight: L’ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast

Sunday, 30 June 2013: The Stage Start in Bastia

Up early this morning to head across the island to the Port of Bastia where the second stage of the Tour de France departs on a hilly 155km route through the centre of the island to Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.

We will drive a short distance from our hotel in L’Ille Rousse to bypass the busy main coast road and then head across country to the pretty coastal resort of Saint-Florent. We’ll pause here for a coffee in one of the waterside cafes before continuing on along the coast before climbing up across the peninsula and down to the magnificent Place Saint Nicholas in Bastia for the stage start. This should be a special day in such a beautiful setting for a stage “depart” and hopefully the riders will be relaxed and looking forward to the day’s racing as we try to grab their attention for a quick photo or autograph as they make their way to the sign in.

After we’ve seen the riders sign on and the race is underway we’ll have some lunch in Bastia then make our way back to the hotel where we can relax, take a swim in the pool and catch the race finish on TV.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast


Monday, 1 July 2013: Corsican Wine and a Stage Finish

Today’s stage of the Tour takes the peloton on a relatively short 145 km stage along the west coast of the island from Ajaccio to the town of Calvi on the north west tip of Corsica. It’s the final stage on Corsica and it’s likely that today’s short stage will finish earlier than usual to allow plenty of time to transport what is one of the world’s largest sporting events back to the mainland in time for tomorrow’s team time trial in Nice. The stage finish in Calvi is not far from our base in L’Ille Rousse, so we’ll take a ride in the cool of the morning and head to Calvi this afternoon to await the arrival of the race.

Our rides will take us up in to the hills above the north coast of Corsica, on quiet roads with charming small towns and fabulous views down to the coast. We’ll offer a pleasant 35 km route, with a 30km detour out on to the race route to small 443 meter Col de la Marsolinu, which is the final climb on today’s stage before they descend to the finish in Calvi. Both rides will finish at a boutique winery, Domaine Orsini, in the hills above Calvi. We can enjoy some local snacks at Domaine Orsini while tasting the local wines and liqueurs before heading off in the bus to the stage finish in Calvi. We’ll try to arrive nice and early in Calvi so you’ve got time to take a walk around town, enjoy a drink in one of the waterside cafes and line up to see the race arrive in town. It’s bound to be a fast stage today as the race drops down to the coast and although the stage is classified as “hilly” we can expect an exciting spring finish.

After the race finish we’ll head back the short distance to our hotel and enjoy a final Corsican dinner together at a local restaurant.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday, 2 July 2013: The TTT in Nice

We say farewell to Corsica this morning and travel to Bastia for our ferry across the Med back to Nice. It will be a very early start this morning so we can drive across to Bastia in time for our 8 am ferry, arriving in Nice early in the afternoon. On the ferry you can relax, have some breakfast and enjoy the view.

On arrival in Nice we’ll make a stop to take in a unique stage of the 2013 Tour de France, the team time trial. It’s an amazing sight and with a finish today along the flat seafront of Nice’s Promenade des Anglais the riders will be hitting speeds in excess of 60 kmh crossing the finish. The fastest team time trial in the Tour de France was by Discovery Channel in 2005 who rode the 67.5 km stage Tours-Blois with an 57.324 km/h average.

While the exact route and schedule for the stage are not yet known we expect to arrive in plenty of time to catch the race today and return by bus or bike to our hotel in Menton.

Overnight: Menton
Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday, 3 July 2013: See the Feed Zone

The Tour de France leaves the Cote d’Azur today with a stage start to the west of Nice in the town of Cagnes-sur-Mer.  While the exact route is not known yet it’s expected that the destination for the stage is the coastal city of Marseilles, one of the host cities in the first Tour de France in 1903.

We’ll skip the stage start this morning so we can take a final ride in the delightful hill country above the Cote d’Azur. We will drive from Menton down past Nice to start our ride. Our exact route will be decided later once we know the final stage details but as always we’ll offer different ride options. With a bit of luck we’ll be able to make it to the feed station to see the riders pass through to collect their bidons from the soigneurs waiting on the roadside.

The cycling in the hills above the Cote d’Azur is wonderful with attractive villages, undulating country roads and lush sub-tropical vegetation making it unlike anywhere else in France. Where ever we end today it will be a great final day on the road in what is one of the best areas of France to throw your leg over a bike.

Tonight is our final night together so we’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner in a local restaurant in the old quarter of Menton.

Overnight: Menton
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Thursday, 4 July 2013: Au Revoir

Its farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning. It is the final day of our tour. Over the past ten days you’ve experienced the excitement of the Tour de France up close and had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours. We hope we see you again one day.

For those flying out this morning from Nice Cote d’Azur airport we will provide a transfer to the airport from the hotel at 8.30 am, arriving at the airport at approximately 9.15 am. For those departing later in the day shuttles and taxis are available locally.

Meals: Breakfast



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
– 9 night’s accommodation, in excellent seaside hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
– 3 course evening meals on 4 nights
– Ferry from Nice to Corsica including a private cabin and dinner with wine
– Ferry from Corsica to Nice including a private cabin and breakfast
– Transfer on Tuesday, 25 June from Nice Cote d’Azur airport to hotel
–  Scheduled transfer on Thursday, 4 July from hotel to Nice Cote d’Azur 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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If paying by bank deposit or cheque see below

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below

Grand Depart ($1000pp)
Grand Depart Bicycle Hire $540.00
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 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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