Guided Tour de France Pyrenees Week, Bareges

Watch Stage 7 and 8, do 5 days of supported riding with 7 nights half-board chalet, 2nd July to 9th July.

REF: 07106

Guided Tour de France Pyrenees Week, Bareges

Watch Stage 7 and 8, do 5 days of supported riding with 7 nights half-board chalet, 2nd July to 9th July.

Do something different from the French Alps and venture to the Pyrenees for an awe-inspiring week in the saddle. You’ll be riding the same roads as the pro’s, climbing the same mighty cols, all before watching the race unfold right in front of you in the crucial Stage finish in Payolle.

This trip includes:

  • Seven nights half board catered chalet accommodation (except one free day, when you have breakfast only).
  • Picnic lunches on cycling days.
  • Five days of guided/vehicle supported cycling.
  • Road-side viewing of two Tour Stages.
  • Local transfers to the very best Pyrenees climbs.
  • Storage for your bikes.

Book your slot now - spaces filling fast. Alternative dates and private trips available.

Contact the host

Service back to top

The Plan

Saturday 2nd July – Arrival. High point: Barèges, 1250m

Arrive in your own time, prepare the bikes and settle in with a drink in our local bar the “Richelieu” for the best spot to view the day’s Tour de France and soak up the atmosphere with the local French cycling fans. Or hoon off straight up the Col du Tourmalet if you prefer, there is always one…

Sunday 3rd – Barèges, 1250m, to Luz-Ardiden, 1720m. High point: 1720m

We set out from Bareges with the 8km sweeping descent into Luz-St. Sauveur (710m) – start point for our climb to Luz-Ardiden. This classic Tour de France favourite was a finish most recently in 2011, but is best known for Lance Armstrong’s crash in 2003 when his handlebar snagged on a spectator’s bag.

The climb is a big one – a 1010m ascent in 14.7km, averaging a gradient of 6.9% making it a is a Cat HC climb up to the ski station. The climb is on a well made road that was constructed in the 1970s and is regularly re-surfaced. Maximum gradients is 12%.

The high light of the ride is descending, with 25 hairpin bends and long straight sections in between taking your down from Alpine meadows through the forests and beautiful perched villages of Grust and Sazos to finnaly roll into the ancient and vibrants spa town of Luz.

From Luz you can call it a day and cruise back up, or take a lift with the bus back to Bareges for afternoon tea, or if you don’t fancy relaxing there is always the epic ride South to Gavarnie and the Spanish border at the Col de Tentes (2200m).

Monday 4th - Cols of Soulor, 1474m, and Aubisque, 1709m. High point: 1709m

These two Pyrenean giants steeped in Tour history are on the cards for today. A long, but rewarding day through breathtaking scenery in the Natura 2000 protected reserve of the Azun valley.

We start out with an exhilarating descent from Bareges, through the Pierrefitte gorges and down to the pretty market town of Argeles-Gazost. From here, the classic Tour de France route climbs through a string of picturesque mountain villages, first summiting the Col de Soulor at 1474m.

Last featuring in the Tour in 2010, this 19.5km climb rises 1019m with an average gradient of 5.2%. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a relaxing ride though, as the gradient picks up after Arrens-Marsous reaching 10% or more (the is a short section at 16%)!

Rolling onwards, our route takes us a further 10.6km and 235m ascent to reach the Col d’Aubisque at 1709m. This section of the ride is famous for the two narrow tunnels and airy cliff-side road around the Cirque du Litor.

After celebrating our double summit, we return through the Azun valley, branching off to escape the traffic and skirt back on a quiet lane through the villages of Bun and St. Savin before rejoining the main road at Pierrefitte.

Tuesday 5th - The Col du Tourmalet and Pic du Midi 100km circuit. High point: 2115m

A big day before the mid-week rest day.

The classic 100 km circuit of the Pic du Midi du Bigorre (2877m) finishing with the Eastern ascent of the Col du Tourmalet and the flying descent into Bareges.

The day begins with a leisurely descent to Pierrefitte where we pick up the suberb “Voie Verte” cycle track to Lourdes – a great warm up with no chance of any traffic! At Lourdes our route takes us East to Bagneres de Bigorre via the rolling foothills of the Pyrenees.

Although the hills here might not rival their high-mountain big brothers for altitude, there are some tricky steeps and long, sweeping descents that guarantee the grin-factor of this ride. From Bagneres – itself a regular Tour de France finish, most recently in 2013, the route ploughs South to Sainte Marie de Campan.

This is the official start point for the ascent of the Eastern flank of the Col du Tourmalet – a gruelling climb of 1268m over 17.2km, with the gradient averaging 7.4% (much of the last 10km clocking 10%). The Eastern ascent is considered to be the most challenging approach to the Tourmalet giant, at 2115m, but on the other side the 11km descent to Bareges makes is all worthwhile – especially when we make it home in time to see the stage finish of the Tour on the TV.

Wednesday 6th - FREE DAY

Today you can rest, hike, paraglide, raft, cave, canyon…Or we can advise you on other local routes to tackle including: Borderes, Soulor/Aubisque, Cambasque, Luz Ardiden, Tourmalet, Aspin, Col des Tentes, Hourquette d’Arcizans, Cirque de Troumouse, Hautacam…

Thursday 7th - Cirque de Troumouse 2125m. UNESCO world heritage site

You can’t come to the Pyrenees and not experience the truly breath taking beauty of the Pyrenees National park and the Mont Perdu UNESCO world herritage sites of Troumouse The Cirque de Troumouseand Gavarnie. The climb is 16.4km at 6.5% to an altitude of 2125m. The scenery is some of the most breathtaking and beautiful in the world with thundering waterfalls, soaring 3000m peaks, golden eagles, wild chamoix, marmots and a challenging climb to boot!

Friday 8th - Stage finish Payolle, Pyrenees.

The Tour enters the Pyrenees today right on our door-step.

To quote the official Tour route description ”the pace of the race should increase and the race enter a new dimension. The climb to the Col d’Aspin will be the only theatre of battle on the day… in terms of climbing! But the descent, as splendid as it is technical, heading to the Lac de Payolle will also be a decisive exercise.”

One that we will have front line seats to watch and will have experienced ourselves that same morning riding that section of the route before the riders!

In the morning we have the choice to ride up and over the Col du Tourmalet from Bareges or take the mini-bus transfer to the Lac de Payolle where we leave our road support before the roads are closed to traffic.

We will then gently climb up from the lake through the open rolling unspoilt estives (summer pastures, stone barns and old growth trees) to the Hourquette d’Ancizan (1564m), following the route the Tour will be taking on Saturday. We then get a long descent into the St Lary valley before swinging back to the start of the Apsin climb just after the village of Arreau.

After the finish, podium presentations and celebrations we make our way home by pedal or bus power back over the Tourmalet to our chalet in Bareges.

Saturday 9th July – Passing of the Tour over the Col du Tourmalet and Departure

You are welcome to leave your things with us and experience the Tour de France passing through the village and our front door on its way to the Col du Tourmalet on way to Bagneres de Luchon, before heading off back home!

Accommodation back to top

Your 18th century chalet 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.

5 Bedrooms

Room 1
Sleeps 2

1 × double or twin bed + sink + shower + toilet

Room 2
Sleeps 4

2 × single beds 1 × double bed + sink + shower + toilet

Room 3
Sleeps 2

1 × double or twin bed + sink + shower + toilet

Room 4
Sleeps 3

1 × single bed 1 × double or twin bed + sink + shower + toilet

Room 5
Sleeps 7

3 × single beds 2 × double beds + sink + shower + toilet

Dates & Prices back to top

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Custom & Private Trips back to top

Alternatives arrival dates and short breaks available - just enquire about a custom trip.

Ride the best cols in the French Pyrenees, soak up the atmosphere and be roadside for the decisive stage of the Tour de France.

Get a quote now!

Trip Photos

Location back to top

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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.

About Pyrenees

Picturesque and quieter than the Alps, no less ferocious!

Frequently Asked Questions back to top

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:

  • A unique, handcrafted mini adventure
  • 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?

This trip is aimed at experienced cyclists looking to get their yearly Tour de France fix. The riding for this week is focused on famous col’s like the Tourmalet and HC category climbs, and therefore requires a good level of fitness. However, they’ll be a support vehicle behind you the whole time so no matter your fitness level you will be well looked after.

There are optional extra ascents throughout the week for very keen riders.

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?

  • Seven nights accommodation.
  • Breakfast and Dinner each day (except dinner on the Free Day).
  • Five days guided and vehicle supported cycling.
  • Local transfers to/from the very best routes in the Pyrenees.
  • Secure bike storage for your bike.

What's not included in the price?

  • Flights.
  • Transfers.
  • Bike hire ( Available for around 120€ per week).

What’s the food like?

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.

Can my dietary requirements be catered to?

Absolutely. Just let us know about your catering preferences when you confirm your booking to ensure any dietary requirements are met.

Can I book on my own?

Sure can! It’s going to be a great week for meeting like minded people - as long as you’re happy to share a room! (Alternatively a single supplement can be arranged).

Is there bike hire available?

Definitely! Local bike hire costs from around 120€ per week.

Can I bring my own bike?

Sure thing! There is secure bike storage and a maintenance area at the chalet. Just book it on to your flight.

Can I book a similar trip on different dates?

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 October, 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. We also offer bespoke cycling holidays, where we can tailor-make an itinerary for a group of 4 or more. These dates aren’t advertised as it depends when you’d like to come, so please contact us for more details.

How should I get there?

There are numerous options for getting to Pyrenees, from flying, getting the train to embracing a long drive, but we recommend flying to Lourdes if possible.

For flights, these are the closest airports to consider:

  • Lourdes (50 minute drive)
  • Pau (1 hour 30 minute drive)
  • Toulouse (2 hours 30 minute drive)
  • Biarritz (2 hours 30 minute drive)

These are the current UK airline options:

  • Ryanair from London Stansted to Lourdes.
  • Pyrenees Direct from Manchester to Lourdes.
  • Ryanair from Stansted, Manchester and Dublin, to Biarritz.
  • City Jet from London City to Pau.
  • Easyjet from Gatwick to Toulouse.
  • Easyjet from Bristol to Toulouse or Biarritz.
  • British Airways from London Heathrow to Toulouse.
  • Jet2 from Manchester to Toulouse.

Lourdes

We can offer return transfers from Lourdes airport for €30 per person - but please let us know to organise these.

A private taxi will be priced around €80 each way.

If you’d rather do it all yourself, you can get a bus from the Airport to the Train Station, where you can catch a train to Bareges.

Book Now

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Prices include

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Guide
  • Vehicle Support

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