Iconic Climbs Pyrénées Challenge – Day by Day

Our Iconics Pyrénees Challenge Tour offers you the chance to tick off iconic "bucket list" climbs while being able to enjoy your time in the region.

1: Arrival Day

Day 1Friday/Vendredi

Transfers will be available at 3pm from Lourdes Train Station. Lourdes can be easily accessed by TGV train from Paris or train from Pau (closest airport) and other major destinations.

Please contact us for help planning your travel and BEFORE you book your train. Useful links to help plan your trip – Rome2rio – general overview of travel and for the Train – SNCF  (Please be aware 3rd party websites will not show all available options, only what they can sell tickets for.)

From Lourdes we have a short 40 mins transfer up the beautiful valley to our home village of Luz Saint Sauveur. Our hotel, Hotel Les Templiers, is in the historic centre of town alongside the fortified Eglise des Templiers providing easy access to all the iconic climbs and Km 0 start of the infamous climb of the Col du Tourmalet.

Upon arrival we will get you set up on your VéloRoo bike in preparation for some awesome cycling.

Tonight you get to meet your fellow travelers over dinner in a local restaurant and we will discuss the days ahead.

Included meals: dinner

2: Col du Tourmalet

Day 2Saturday/Samedi
53km Distance ride
2148m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 2115m

The Iconic of all Iconic TDF climbs.

So many stories have been written about the “grand daddy” of climbs, and today it is your turn to scribe your own story into the history pages of the Tourmalet’s slopes. The climb from either side is challenging, with spectacular views along the route. Both sides provide 1,000 meters plus of elevation, while not offering a single kilometre of level relief. “Assassins” is what Octave Lapize shouted at the TDF organisers on the first Tour de France crossing of the Col du Tourmalet in 1910, and it is he who is immortalised as the “Geant de Tourmalet” welcoming you at the summit.

After you have reached the summit of Tourmalet, (and celebrated with a VeloRoo salute – we will show you how!) we have the option of descending 4km to the ski station of La Mongie then turn around and enjoy the last part of the ascent from the eastern side.

After the descent back towards Luz we will enjoy a well earned lunch. After lunch you can take a break and either explore the local village or check out one of the local spas for a relaxing dip or massage.

Our June tour co-incides with the party atmosphere of the local cycling communities “Montée du Géant” festival.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

3: Pont d'Espagne

Day 3Sunday/Dimanche
59km Distance ride
1742m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 1530m

We ride from our hotel, down the valley and around the base of the Pic de Viscos.  Climbing though the deep valley we are alongside the raging Gave de Cauterets. The views all along our route are immense. 

The climb to the spa town of Cauterets is moderately challenging, with a highlight on the way being a bunch of hairpins, so tightly packed, they virtually sit upon each other. 

We will take a coffee break in Cauterets, to recharge for the steep climb up to Pont d’Espagne, one of the Grand Sites de Midi-Pyrenees. 

Here we change into our walking shoes and take a short walk into the spectacular valley to enjoy a picnic lunch and soak up the vistas to be discovered in this pristine environment. This is alpine nature at its best.

In Spring, we are surrounded by snow peaked mountains, alpine lakes and rivers, so perfect they hardly seem real. In Autumn, you have the beautiful changing colours on the mountain sides.

For non-cyclists they have the option of doing a guided morning walk and then meeting up for our picnic lunch together.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

4: Col de Tentes

Day 4Monday/Lundi
60km Distance ride
1837m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 2213m

Todays ride is in the direction of the Spanish border and a region listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The steady climbing route takes us along the gorge, it’s river full of massive rocks, a result of previous slides from the dramatic peaks we are surrounded by and a reminder of the harsh reality of the beautiful scenery surrounding us.

We pause for a coffee stop to enjoy the spectacular view of Cirque de Gavarnie. It was described by Victor Hugo as “the Colosseum of nature” due to its enormous size and horseshoe shape resembling an ancient amphitheatre. During the warmer seasons there are a number of large meltwater falls that spill into the cirque. The largest of these is Gavarnie Falls, the second highest waterfall in Europe. It descends some 422 m(1385ft) over a series of steps before reaching the floor of the cirque.

Now our climb starts in earnest. A sinuous climb on good road surfaces, the higher we climb the more open the terrain, the average gradient kicks up to 8%. Col des Tentes is simply most incredible climb you have never heard of but will never forget. On top of that, it will be the highest altitude we reach this week – another 2,000 m plus high summit.

After completing your summit we descend back into Gavarnie for a hearty lunch with a delicious regional specialty. After lunch enjoy the gentle descent back along the valley to Luz.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

5: Col de Soulor & Col d’Aubisque

Day 5Tuesday/Mardi
94km Distance ride
2694m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 1717m

Today we celebrate two wonderful climbs the Col du Solour and Col d’Aubisque. Our route passes through delightful grey stone villages surrounded by open fields and spectacular mountain backdrops.

The first ramps at the foot of the Col du Solour, are challenging with the whole climb offering its own charm and character. A photo stop at the summit marker is a must, before we continue onto Col d’Aubisque. The balcony road between Col du Solour and Col d’Aubisque has been described as the most beautiful road in Europe. Stunning. Awe inspiring. As a bonus it is also a legitimate TDF Monument. At the summit, the famous bike statues await for photo marking your successful climb.

Our lunch stop has been justly earned! And to be honest – not a bad view whilst having lunch!

This is a day in the saddle to remember, 94 kilometres will never be the same again. 2 TDF col’s in the one ride, perfect!

Non-cyclist option – We can drop you off en-route to the village of Argeles-Gazost to enjoy a day of exploring the markets and the town and collect you on our return after lunch. Lunch will be at your leisure.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

6: Luz Ardiden and then .... Au revoir

Day 6Wednesday/Mercredi
40km Distance ride
1367m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 1723m

Today we bid you farewell … but not before one last climb …. and one with the best views over the switchbacks that you have conquered!

It might only be a 15 kilometre ascent, but there is some serious climbing to be had to reach the summit of the Ski Station and numerous TDF finishes that is Luz Ardiden. We have a 12km loop to get your legs warmed up before tackling the start of the climb.

Shaded for the first part, you arrive at the bottom of the open area in sight of the summit. With 9 more switchbacks than Alpe d’Huez, each switchback offers a new view of the towering mountains that surround us.

An incredible chapter to close your Pyrénéan story.

We will return to the hotel for showers and check out before having our last lunch together. We will transfer you to Lourdes Train Station for your ongoing journey by 3pm.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch

Ready to ride? VeloRoo can make your dream escape a reality from

AUD $3995

per person twin share

Single supplement additional $330

Iconic Climbs Pyrénées Challenge

A word from our clients

Don’t take our word for it - discover why our cycling adventurists have fallen in love with the Occitanie Region of Southern France and the VeloRoo way.

The full package and the most generous of hosts for our first ever cycling tour. Extremely knowledgeable, friendly and professional. The bikes are top notch and immaculately maintained. The rides were wonderful and well adjusted to our experience, interests and fitness, with helpful coaching and guidance from Steve. The scenery was amazing - only bettered by the food and wine which was superb! Julia and Steve - thanks for the singing and the laughs. Hope to be back soon.Took South of France Cycling Tour in May 2018
How does gourmet food, French wine and cycling through some amazingly beautiful French countryside sound for a holiday?
Well if you are looking for an authentic French cycling trip, Trish and I have just finished our third cycling adventure in the south of France with VéloRoo and what a fantastic trip it was. Easy access to the region by train from Barcelona or Paris and from there, Julia and Steve look after everything including; pick up from Beziers train station, all your food, your bike, cycling kit, sensational cycling and outstanding accommodation.
This area of France also provides easy access to other French regions including Provence, Bordeaux and the French Riviera as well as the Ligurian coast of Italy and Barcelona and the Costa Brava in Spain.
Our three trips with VéloRoo include a ten day “Tour de France” adventure, a week of cycling in the Languedoc around St Genies de Fontedit and six days riding all the iconic Pyrenees mountain climbs that you watch every year when the “Tour” is being televised on SBS.
But if you don’t feel the urge to ride hills or your partner is a non-rider, do not concern yourself. Steve, who is a qualified Australian cycling coach, caters to all levels of fitness and Julia organises everything else down to the last detail including; local site seeing, local wine tasting, visiting local village markets and even a water colour painting class if that’s what you would like.
We have stayed in the area for additional days both before and after our cycling trips and with Julia and Steve’s local knowledge we hired a car for about fifty dollars a day and easily drove around the area soaking up amazing scenery, eating in quality restaurants and visiting historic towns like Montpellier and Avignon.
VéloRoo’s local knowledge make each day unforgettable and these guys are passionate about making sure you have the most authentic experience you can manage, both on and off the bike.
Trish and I have travelled to nearly 50 countries now and have experienced many different standards on our travels. I can honestly say, that the three trips we have done with VéloRoo have been three of our best.
Took Iconic Climbs Pyrénées Challenge in October 2018