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REF: #07104

Guided cycling long weekend in the Pyrenees

Tick off the best of the Pyrenees most famous mountains on this 3 night cycling weekend.

Come to Tour de France country and spend a long weekend cycling the classic cols based on the Tour de France itinerary and previous Tour routes taking in the classic cols of the Pyrenees.

This weekend includes:

  • Two and a half days of guided/vehicle supported cycling
  • Three nights Half-board accommodation
  • Secure storage for your bikes
  • Return airport transfers from Lourdes €30

Book on to the shared group dates above. Private group trips available from £_pp.

  • Catered chalet
  • Pyrenees —Les Cailloux, 8 rue Mme de maintenon, Bareges, 65120 Barèges, France
  • Activity Type
    • With guide
    • Fixed base
  • Groups up to 14 in 5 bedrooms
  • Features
    • Bar
    • Bike shop nearby
    • Bike tools
    • Cooking facilities
    • Drying space
    • Ensuite rooms
    • Family rooms
    • Garden
    • Music system
    • Private parking
    • Secure bike storage
    • Terrace
    • TV/DVD
    • Uncovered bike maintenance area
    • Wifi

Service

The Plan

Saturday – arrival, then Barèges - Luz-Ardiden**

This was the Tour de France stage finish in 2011. It’s a short, but tough ride taking in a mountain top finish – a stiff climb with great views.

We’ll leave straight after lunch and head downhill from Barèges, through Luz St-Sauveur and then begin the climb up the Luz-Ardiden.

At 1680m, this 2011 stage finish, is a short, sharp ride but an excellent introduction to road cycling here in the French High Pyrenees. You’ll cover approximately 44 km this afternoon.

Sunday – Barèges - Hautacam - Villelongue**

Today you will cycle a 60km circuit, enjoying the mountain foothills of the Hautacam valley. The Tour passes through here every few years.

We’ll leave straight after breakfast, so you can head down the mountain, following the passage of the river as you head out of the valley.

After enjoying some relative flat, we then begin our 1635m climb at Hautacam, then heading back via the village of Villelongue.

This day has a variety of terrain for you to enjoy and allows you to trace some of the famous Tour routes coming in to the Vallee de Barèges.

Monday – The classic Tourmalet circuit**

Today’s classic route follows part of the 2008 Etape and Tour de France route. It’s a great ride through stunning scenery.

For your last day, we leave Barèges to tackle the classic circuit of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, taking in the best-known climb of them all – the Col du Tourmalet.

You’ll do the 2115m climb up to the top of the Col du Tourmalet and then enjoy the descent. With 98km cycling to do today, your last day with us will be one to remember.

Accommodation is provided Monday night before your departure on Tuesday.

This trip is aimed at keen cyclists who want to experience the exhilaration of riding the classic cols for themselves. It is ideal for those short on time or those who want to take their road biking to the next level. You’ll be doing mountain climbs of over 1000m and cycling up to 98km in one day; knowing that you will be coming back to the excellent Hotel du Tourmalet and a three-course evening meal cooked by its resident French chef.

While you tick-off the cols, you’ll also have the chance to discover the local food and wines of the area and find out about the history and culture of the mountain people.

Cycling dates & prices

The highest Cols (Passes), such as the Tourmalet are usually open from mid to late June, as the snows clear, with the lowers passes open from May time. Conditions remain good until Mid Ocotber, cycling in the mountains in mid-summer is also not a problem with the altitude giving natural cooling the higher and harder you push. We are a great base for many of the classic passes such as Tourmalet, Apsin, Luz, Ardiden, Col d’Aspin, Cols du Soulor and Aubisque etc.

Local bike hire costs from around 120€ per week.

Accommodation

Our 18th century chalet, “Les Cailloux” has five spacious, characterful and well-appointed bedrooms, one of which is a very large two-bedroom suite sleeping 4 or 5 people in a family or group.

Each bedroom has an en-suite shower room, and we can offer double, twin or family accommodation for up to 14 people.

As well as your own room, guests have access to the spacious lounge, with a wood-burning stove, well-stocked and reasonably-priced bar, coffee bar, free internet access, big-screen home cinema and a selection of English and French books, magazines, games, and DVDs.

We also have a large dining room, a heated equipment room (for coats, boots and skis), and a sauna - perfect for relaxing tired muscles after a hard day in the mountains! The chalet has free Wi-Fi access throughout.

Our half board accommodation includes home-cooked meals, freshly made to a high standard and featuring local ingredients or specialities of the area.

A typical continental breakfast would include fresh bread and croissants with butter and jams, a selection of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, orange juice, tea and coffee.

A Summer packed lunch consists of a generous baguette sandwich, chocolate bar, cake/cereal-bar, piece of fruit and a bag of crisps. Plenty to keep you going for a day on the mountains!

Afternoon tea is served with a freshly baked cake or biscuits, allowing you to relax after a day in the mountains, before we serve our generous 3-course evening meal with after dinner coffee in the living room.

Location

From Barèges - following in the tracks of the Tour de France

Situated on the classic ” Tour de France” route, Barèges sits below the legendary “Col du Tourmalet” - one of the most memorable Pyrenean climbs of the Tour. The descent down the Col du Tourmalet to the village is an incredible 865m, but it doesn’t stop there. Another exhilarating drop of around 400m takes you to the historic tourist town of Luz St-Sauveur, well known for its thermal baths, fortified Templars church and massive ice-creams.

From Luz there are three further fantastic Pyrenees cycling routes. Climb South to the incredible “Cirque de Gavarnie” at the Spanish frontier, West on the Luz-Ardiden ski road past lovely stone villages and ancient watermills, or descend North through the narrow Pierrefitte gorge beside the roaring “Gave de Pau” river. On your way to the magnificent spa town of Argeles-Gazost there is an optional ascent to the Hautacam ski station. This is a challenging climb through pretty perched villages and with panoramic views into the Argeles basin.

From Argeles the Tour route continues into the beautiful “Val d’Azun”, with its rolling pasture and flower-filled villages. The climb takes you 7km at an average gradient of 8%, to the “Col de Soulor” at 1474m. From the col you can re-descend to the town of Argeles, via the “Col de Spandelles” and the wild Bergons valley, or continue by the “Col d’Aubisque” via the ski station of Gourette into the neighbouring department of Béarn.

F.A.Q.

Why book with Much Better Adventures?

Forget complex planning, we’ve taken care of all the details to maximise your time away - you just need to turn up and be epic. Expect:

  • Expert local guides and hosts
  • A hassle-free, all-inclusive package
  • Best price guaranteed
  • Bragging rights in the office on Monday
  • A charity donation made by us via our Foundation.

What skills/experience/fitness do I need?

There is no denying this is a tough weekend. On Sunday alone you’ll be tackling over 5,000m climbing over close to 150km therefore a very good level of cycling fitness is required. You’ll have the support of your local guide or a following vehicle so you’ll be well looked after, but this trip is aimed at experienced cyclists looking for a challenge.

What’s the weather like?

The weather in summer is beautiful. Expect blue skies and sunshine unless you are unlucky, with temperatures ranging from 25-30C, maybe a little less at the top of the cols.

What's included in the price?

To maximise convenience we include as much of your travel and logistics in this package, so you just need to turn up and ride. In this trip:

  • Two and a half days of guided/vehicle supported cycling
  • Three nights Half-board accommodation
  • Secure storage for your bikes
  • Return airport transfers from Lourdes

What's not included in the price?

  • Flights.
  • Optional bike hire (from €20 per day).

What flight should I get?

We recommend getting an early morning flight into Lourdes Airport.

What's the food like?

Breakfast will be continental style with a large buffet of different options available. Lunch will be out on the road so bring some cash to grab a quick snack or come prepared with your own Jersey-pocket food. Afternoon tea is served with a freshly baked cake or biscuits, allowing you to relax after a day in the mountains. Dinner will be a three course evening meal with everything you need to recover from a long and challenging day in the saddle.

Can I book on my own?

Sure can! It’s a great way to meet new likeminded people. But prices are based on two people sharing so a single supplement will apply.

Can I bring my own bike?

Definitely! There is secure bike storage and a maintenance area, just book it on to your flight.

Can I hire a bike?

Sure thing. Bike hire for the weekend starts from €20 per day.