Pyrenees Journey Bike Tour

  • Region: France
  • Destination: Pyrenees
  • Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
  • Level: Four
  • Price From: $4395
  • Single Supplement: $475
Tour Dates
Aug 19 - Aug 26, 2018 $4395 Book Now
Sep 9 - Sep 16, 2018 $4395 Book Now

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The Pyrenees have formed an untamed island in the heart of civilized Europe. Those who bike across the Pyrenees join a long line of adventurous spirits, from Hemingway to the heralded campaigns of Charlemagne to the humble treks of medieval pilgrims. With spandex replacing chainmail, our Pyrenees cycling journey will take you from the sunny shores of the Mediterranean to the lush hills of the Atlantic coast. Along the way you’ll ride the passes made famous by the Tour de France on a route of incredible beauty. This is the ultimate bucket-list, once-in-a-lifetime, make-your-friends-jealous cycling challenge.


Tour by Day

Day One: Med to Mountains
After an early pickup in Narbonne, take a short drive to the coast. We’ll fuel up and get fitted on our bikes before we start cycling across the Pyrenees. You’ll have a chance to dip your wheel in the Mediterranean, or sacrifice a white bull to the gods before we climb 991 meters above sea level to the Col d’Aussières. This ride puts us well into the mountains where plenty of higher passes await. Rest and refuel at our peaceful mountain hotel to prepare for another big day tomorrow.

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-One-Elevation-Chart-0F7B1. Leucate  2. Vingrau  3. Sournai  4. Col des Souillals (991m)

Meals: Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Leucate, Sournia, Gincla
Accomplished: 64.4 miles / 103.6 km, elevation gain: 2311 meters
Accommodations: Hostellerie Du Grand Duc

Day Two: Camurac and Luzenac
Wake up and enjoy the tranquility of the French countryside. We still haven’t hit the big mountains just yet, and there probably aren’t a lot of 20-kilometer climbs like the one up to Col du Portet in your backyard. It’s only a 5% average grade, but no one will think you’re a hero for staying in your biggest chain ring, so save your legs. Enjoying the scenic castles, mountain villages, and 12,000-year-old cave paintings in Tarascon along the way is permitted. We are 100 kilometers closer to the Atlantic, but the High Pyrenees are looming.

Pyrenees-Bike-Tour-Day-2-Elevation NEW Jan 20161. Espezel  2. Col du Portet (1,301m)  3. Col de Marmare (1,221m) 4. Luzenac  5. Tarascon-sur-Ariège

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Puilaurens, Axat, Tarascon-sur-Ariège
Accomplished: 60 miles / 96 km, elevation gain: 1777 meters
Accommodations: Manoir Agnes

Day Three: The Three Cols
Add three major climbs to your col-lection. Today, the elevation profile says it all: three big climbs followed by a long descent to Saint Lary. First up is the Col de Port (16 km at a respectable 5%), then Col du Saraillé (9 km at 3.8%). It may not be one you’ll brag about at home, but we refuse to overlook the middle child. These roads are unreal, and you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on why you never want to go home on the epic descent to our bed and breakfast.

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-Three-Elevation-Chart1. Tarascon-sur-Ariège  2. Col de Port (1,250m)  3. Massat  4. Col du Saraillé (980m)  5. Seix  6. Col de Core (1,395m)  7. Saint-Lary

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Blert, Castillon-en-Couserans
Accomplished: 58 miles / 93.4 km, elevation gain: 2372 meters
Accommodations: L’Ancienne Bergerie

Day Four: Port de Balès
For the 2007 TDF, the tour organizers paved the last five kilometers of an old trail on the south side of Port de Balès to create this HC (beyond category) climb. Don’t let the easier grades at the beginning lull you into a false sense of security; this climb is 19 kilometers at an average grade of 6%, but the 12% ramps near the top are the real kicker. Be sure to refuel here because we still have the Col de Peyresourde to tackle. Tonight we’ll stay in Arreau, a quintessential French mountain town on the banks of the Louron.

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-Four-Elevation-Chart1. Saint-Lary  2. Col de Portet-d’Aspet (1,069m)  3. Ore  4. Port de Bales (1,755m)  5. Col de Peyresourde (1,569m)  6. Arreau

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Saint Larry, Arreau
Accomplished: 64.4 miles / 103.7 km, elevation gain: 3134 meters
Accommodations: L’Hotel d’Angleterre

Day Five: The King Stage—Tourmalet and Hautacam
The Tourmalet needs no introduction. Both feared and loved by cyclists, it’s the most frequented climb in TDF history. First up is the Col d’Aspin before hitting the approaches to the Tourmalet. If this isn’t enough, from Argeles-Gazost, at the bottom of the descent, you can add on the Hautacam, another HC climb, considered by many to be the toughest in the Pyrenees. Or you can drink a beer in town and rest your legs. (We won’t tell anyone. What happens on a journey, stays on a journey.)

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-Five-Elevation-Chart1. Arreau  2. Col d’Aspin (1,489m)  3. Tourmalet (2,115m)  4. Bareges  5. Argeles-Gazost

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Arreau, Argeles-Gazost
Accomplished: 49 miles / 78 km, elevation gain: 2915 meters (Hautacam adds 21 miles / 34 km, elevation gain: 1170 meters)
Accommodations: Les Cimes

Day Six: Goodbye to All That
Our last day cycling across the Pyrenees begins with the Col d’Aubisque. The Aubisque was part of the famous 1910 stage where Octav Lapize called the race organizers “assassins.” The Aubisque has been featured in the Tour de France 70 times since. It’s not exactly all downhill from here; the last two days of riding are tough (tougher than the first two). Rest up and enjoy some country hospitality on your free night in preparation for the final ride to the sea.

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-Six-Elevation-Chart1. Argeles-Gazost  2. Col du Soulur (1,474m)  3. Col d’Aubisque (1,709m)  4. Laruns  5. Montory

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch
Destinations: Laruns, Arudy, Montory
Accomplished: 63 miles / 101.5 km, elevation gain: 2861 meters (Easier option: 60 miles / 96.8 km, elevation gain: 1292 meters)
Accommodations: L’Auberge de l’Etable

Day Seven: Ride to the Sea
The nice thing about leaving the High Pyrenees is that there are no more famous climbs, so you may have a chance to rule the Strava segments here. Here we’ll ride on narrow farm tracks through the green hills of Basque country, reminiscent of the rolling hills of Ireland or France? We’ll make our re-acquaintance with sea level in Saint Jean de Luz, a French fishing village on the Atlantic Coast. If you brought your own bike, you can throw it in the sea to celebrate. Congratulations, your cycling friends have all stopped following your updates. But beer tastes better than jealousy, so enjoy it. You’ve earned it.

Pyrenees-Journey-Day-Seven-Elevation-Chart1. Montory  2. Ahusquy (1,072m)  3. Osses  4. Saint-Jean-De-Luz

Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Destinations: Montory, Mauleon-Licharre, Saint-Jean-De-Luz
Accomplished: 68 miles / 110 km, elevation gain: 1800 meters
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Loreamar

Day Eight: Farewell
Sleep in and enjoy a decadent breakfast or enjoy an optional extra ride early this morning. You biked across the Pyrenees of France, why not keep on pedaling? Later in the day, catch a train on to your next destination.

Meals: Breakfast

Bragging Rights

Total of 431 miles / 695 km and 16,389 meters of climbing