Pick up at Biarritz Airport and transfer to your hotel in the quiet little Basque village of Sare next to Saint-Jean-de-Luz just South of Biarritz. Get some rest to get ready for your great, unforgettable ride across one of the most beautiful parts of France “the mighty Pyrenees”. Welcome drinks at the main square Sare near Saint-Jean-de-Luz followed by dinner in an excellent local restaurant. Dinner is included.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Saint-Jean-de-Port 52 km - altitude 1150m
After breakfast, you start with your first cycling day! To leave the pleasant sea village of Sare behind us. Soon you will ride into Spanish territory (region of Navarra) over Col de St Ignace, a fairly easy climb just 3.5 km long. This climb is perfect as a warm-up ride. Our second climb to Spain's Puerto de Otxondo will be a bit tougher 602m and 9.5 long. After the Oxtondo we head back into France over the most beautiful climb called: Col d'Ispeguy (672 m). The views are incredible on the descent into St Etienne de Baigorry. Your final destination will be the ancient Pyrenean village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
Saint-Jean-de-Port to Eaux-Bonnes 119 km - altitude 2350m
The first climbs to Col des Gamia and Col d'Osquich, will give you the taste of the real beauty of the Pyrenees. You will face Col du Marie Blanque. The ascent of the Marie Blanque isn’t an easy one, especially the last 4 km will be hard. From here you continue to your hotel located on the way up to Col d'Obisque.
Eaux Bonnes to Argeles-Gazost 77 km - altitude 1520m
Col d'Aubisque is a legendary Tour peak added in 1910. The Tour de France hosted the Aubisque more than 60 times. The mountain summit has been conquered by great climbers. Col d’ Aubisque culminates at 1.709 meters (5.605 feet) and progresses for 16.5 kilometers with an average grade of 7.1% rising to 1.190 meters. You will start the ride from our Hotel in Eaux-Bonnes, about 8 km from the ski resort of Gourette. Once reached the top, the 20 km descent towards the village Argeles-Gazost is incredibly beautiful, especially the first part to the Col du Soulor where the road runs along cliffs in the Cirque du Litor and there are two short, narrow tunnels.
Argeles-Gazost 77km - altitude 1520m
You will stay an extra night in the quiet Pyrenean village of Argeles-Gazost . That gives you the chance to get organized and have some extra time to wash your jerseys and bibs. Today you will climb to the top of the French ski station: Hautacam. You step on your bike In front of your hotel. You ride towards Argelès Gazost and here starts the real climb. The Hautacam ascent is 17 km long; over this distance, we will climb 1.170 meters and the top is at 1.520 meters. In the afternoon you will visit the pilgrim’s town of Lourdes.
Argeles-Gazost to Saint-Lary-Soulan 88 km - altitude 2650
Today you will face our "Queen Stage". After 12 km you’ll reach Luz-Saint-Sauveur. Left you to climb the Tourmalet and the road to the right takes you to the ski station of Luz Ardiden. You turn left and up towards the legendary Col du Tourmalet: first included in the TDF in 1910 and was nicknamed "Circle of Death”. This Pyrenees super climb is where the legendary rider Octave Lapize called race officials "assassins" as he negotiated the mountain in its Tour debut. At the peak of the Tourmalet, a monument honors race founder Henri Desgrange. You will then continue and climb to the Payolle plateau and finally the spectacular Hourquette d'Ancizan! This climb is truly beautiful even though not very well known. We will finally ride to our comfortable Hotel in Saint-Lary-Soulan through a very quiet country road. The gentle climb up the Col d'Aspin is 13km long (7km to reach the Payolle plateau).
Saint Lary-Soulan - Rest day
Today is a rest day in Saint-Lary-Soulan.
Saint Lary-Soulan to Bagneres-de-Luchon 46 km - altitude 950m
Today is an easy stage. The ride just includes the Col de Peyresourde. Bagneres-de-Luchon is a pretty good size village with many shops and you will have the chance to wash your cycling clothes for a few Euros in one of the many "laveries automatique".
Bagneres-de-Luchon to Saint Girons 81 km - altitude 1500m
Today's ride will include two really beautiful but rather difficult climbs right in succession: the Col de Menté and the Col de Portet d'Aspet. Especially the second Col will engage you, particularly with a couple of steep sections.
Sant-Girons to Couiza 142 km - altitude 1850m
The climbs of today are less famous but still challenging starting with Col de la Crouzette up to Sommet de Portel, Col de Py and Col del Teil Overnight at a beautiful medieval castle turned into a Resort/Hotel. Dinner (in the castle) is included Total distance of 142km – climbing 1850m Climbs: Col de la Crouzette, Sommet de Portel, Col de Py, Col del Teil, and Col du Portel.
Couiza to Molitig de Bains 152 km - altitude 3400m
The top climbs of today: the Col du Portel, Col de Coudons, Col des Sept Freres, Col de Chioula, Port de Pailheres and over the Col de Jau to the thermal town of Molitg-les-Bains.
Molitig-de-Bains to Collioure 69 km - altitude 1100m
Via the village of Vinca, over the Col Palomere and the Col Xatard finishing in Amelie-Les-Bains.
Transfer to Bedoin (Mont-Ventoux)
Morning transfer to Bedoin will take about 4hours. Afternoon free or optional light ride.
Col du Mont Ventoux 44 km - altitude 1650m
Cycle the Mont-Ventoux and expect a hard day in the saddle; if you like climbing, this will be your day where you will face the huge beast "The Mont-Ventoux". Today’s ride starts again in Bédoin in front of your hotel. Here begins the challenge! The most famous ascent to the Mont-Ventoux. After breakfast, you‘ll climb this big challenger with its top at 1912 meters (6273 feet). You will follow the cycle path of all the greatest riders in the Tour de France.....come on you can do it! After the 22 km climb, you'll reach the summit of “Mont-Ventoux”. Relax on top and prepare yourself for a very spectacular descent to the villages of Malaucène. From here it's only 12 km back to Bédoin.
Departure day…..Time to say goodbye, a good flight back home, or a pleasant stay in France. Transfers will be made by the tour guide to Marseille airport.