Grand Depart Spectator Trip

Grand Depart Spectator Trip

A special non-cyclists trip for a small group (14 people) that offers the perfect combination of race viewing and sightseeing on the island of Corsica and the beautiful Cote d’Azur.


Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Dates: Friday, 28 June to Thursday, 4 July, 2013
Start: Paris Orly Airport Finish: Nice
Accommodation: 3 and 4 Star Quality Accommodation
Group Size: Maximum 14 people (3 Staff)
Cost: AUD$4990.00 – Single Supplement AUD$1150.00
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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  • Experience 5 stages of the historic 100th edition of the Tour de France
  • Visit  the beautiful Mediterranean island of Corsica
  • Sightseeing of the most beautiful areas of the Cote d’Azur and Corsica
  • Small group experience

Who is this trip for?

If you want to see the opening stages of the Tour de France up close but don’t want to ride a bike then this trip is tailored for you. This small group experience follows the Tour de France in its exciting first week on the beautiful island of Corsica and the fabulous Cote d’Azur. Starting with a flight from Paris to the island of Corsica we look after all the details, all you have to do is enjoy the experience. A highlight of this trip will be 4 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 a small hotel on the Promenade des Anglais, the location of the stage 4 Team Time Trial. 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 with time to explore and relax these two beautiful regions of France.

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


Friday, 28 June 2013: Bienvenue

Our tour starts today with our staff meeting you late this morning at Paris Orly airport for your included Air France flight to Calvi on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. It’s the quickest and most comfortable way to get from Paris to the Med, on an Air France jet. On arrival we’ll travel a short distance from Calvi to our hotel for the night 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.

This is the first time the Tour de France has visited Corsica, which has some of the most breathtaking scenery in Europe, making it the perfect backdrop for the drama of the Tour de France. The French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte was born in 1769 in the Corsican capital of Ajaccio. His ancestral home, Casa Buonaparte, is today used as a museum. The northern town of Calvi claims to be the birthplace of the explorer Christopher Columbus.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday, 29 June 2013: Le Grand Depart, Corsican Style

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 probably sprint finish to see who is the first wearer of the yellow jersey for 2013.

We will start the day with a trip down the beautiful Balagne coast to the gateway to Cap Corse, Saint Florent, a former fishing village that is now a popular tourist retreat. We can stop for a coffee and look around this attractive town before heading off to Bastia. On our drive from L’Ille Rousse to Bastia we’ll take in the diverse scenery of northern Corsica including rolling hills covered in vines, rugged gorges and the sparkling sea of the Balagne coast.

We’ll arrive in Bastia early this afternoon in time for lunch and a look around this busy port town before the arrival of the race. The colourful buildings of Bastia are built into a steep hillside above the atmospheric old port. The city’s narrow streets are crowned by a crumbling 15th-century citadel built by the once powerful Geneose invaders. Once the wearer of the first Tour de France jersey is announced we’ll head off for a dinner in a local restaurant in Bastia before the drive back to L’Ille Rousse.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday, 30 June 2013: Corsican Heartland

The Tour de France stage for today is a 155 km stage from Bastia via the capital city of Corte in the heart of the island to Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. As we visited Bastia yesterday for the stage finish we’ll explore another beautiful area of Corsica today and pay a visit to the capital of Corte in the island’s mountainous centre.

After breakfast we’ll drive south from L’Ille Rousse and head in to the mountainout centre to take a drive along the Gorges de la Restonica, one of the scenic highlights of Corsica, before returning to to Corte, a small town in the heart of Corsica that was the capital of the island from 1755-1769 under Pasquale Paoli – a name you will hear often in Corsica. As well as being an interesting town in itself Corte is in a great location for exploring the mountains, valleys and scenery of central Corsica and the surrounding Natural Park.

We’ll have time to have a look around Corte and stop for lunch before heading off to see the race. Depending on the timing we will be able to see the race caravane pass through town and if you are quick you can collect a few race souvenirs as they are thrown from the cavalcade of brightly decorated vehicles that precede the race each day of the tour. Eventually the race will arrive and don’t be surprised to see a breakaway by this stage of the race as it’s a course well suited to the opportunist. The road out of Corte climbs as it makes it’s way to the 723 meter Col de Bellegranajo and this should be a good place to see the race pass by this afternoon.

Once the ride passes through Corte it will still have roughly 93 kms  to the finish in Ajaccio (over 2 hours, even for the athletes of the Tour), so we’ll head back towards L’Ille Rousse where we can catch up with the final moments of the race on TV .

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast

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

Today’s stage of the Tour takes the peloton on a relatively short 145 km stage along the rugged 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 relax this morning and head to Calvi this afternoon to await the arrival of the race.

On our way to the race finish today we will take a detour up in to the hills above L’Ile Rousse to a boutique winery, Domaine Orsini. We can enjoy some local snacks at Domaine Orsini while tasting  the local wines and liqueurs before heading off 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 with the rest of the evening free for you to enjoy.

Overnight: L’Ille Rousse
Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday, 2 July 2013: To the Cote d’Azur and 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 head straight to our hotel, situated on the Promenade des Anglais where today’s stage will take place. Our hotel is 100 meters from the finish line of the team time trial! Put your walking shoes on as we may need to walk from the ferry if the road is closed for the race!  Today we will witness a unique stage of the 2013 Tour de France, the team time trial. Seeing the riders in tight formation at high speed is an amazing sight.  Approaching the finish along the flat seafront of Nice’s Promenade des Anglais the teams could be hitting speeds in excess of 60 kmh. 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.

Tonight is free to enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants in the Vielle Ville, the colourful old town of Nice.

Overnight: Nice
Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday, 3 July 2013: One Last Look!

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.  The destination for the stage is the coastal city of Marseilles, one of the host cities in the first Tour de France in 1903.

This morning we will visit the stage start in Cagnes-sur-Mer. We’ll arrive in plenty of time to witness the massive organisation involved in the Tour de France as it gets ready for another day. About one hour before the race start the riders start heading to the sign on area where they must sign on for the race and if they are a popular rider no doubt have a short interview and photos taken by the hordes of press. It’s a good time to see the riders and maybe grab an autograph or photo.

Once the race has departed Cagnes-sur-Mer we’ll also take to the road and make a visit to the artists village of St Paul de Vence, a beautiful hill village with spectacular views over the hills to the coast below. You can wander the small cobbled streets and visit some of the small galleries to pick up a souvenir for the way home.

Tonight is our final night together so we’ll celebrate with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Nice.

Overnight: Nice
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 eight 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 today we will provide transfers from our hotel to Nice Cote d’Azur airport.

Meals: Breakfast



Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

– Flight Paris Orly to Corsica with Air France
– Ferry from Corsica to Nice including a private cabin and breakfast
– Transport throughout by comfortable mini-van
– Services of our experienced tour guides
– 6 night’s accommodation, in selected 3 & 4 star hotels
– Buffet breakfast daily
– 3 course evening meals on 3 nights
– Wine tasting and snacks at Domaine Orsini
– Sightseeing as listed
– Bikestyle guide to the Tour de France
– Bikestyle Tours t-shirt or cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Special Notes:

  • Our trip from Corsica is via ferry. It is possible (although unlikely) that the operators may cancel a ferry service due to extremely rough seas. This of course would be out of our control and we would be forced to modify our itinerary to suit our new schedule.
  • Although this trip is not a cycling trip there is often quite a bit of walking involved in order to see the race stages. If you are unable to walk reasonable distances without difficulty you may find this trip is not suitable for you.




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Grand Depart Spectator Trip ($1000pp)
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  • 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


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, 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
  • 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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