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 & Luz Ardiden

Day 1Friday/Vendredi
40km Distance ride
1370m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 1715m

Transfers will be available after lunch from Lourdes Train Station at designated times. Lourdes can be 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 beware that there are 3rd party websites that will not show you all the available options, only what they have tickets for.)

Transfer time of approx 40 mins drive to our hotel in the quaint centrally located mountain village of Luz Saint Sauveur.

Our hotel is in the historic centre of town alongside the fortified “Eglise des Templiers” providing easy access to all the iconic climbs and Kilometre 0 start of the infamous climb of the Col du Tourmalet.

Upon arrival we will get you set up on your VéloRoo bike and then head out on our first ride.

Climbs – 1 Cat 1. 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.

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.

Already we will have so much to share over our first evening meal together!

Included meals: dinner

2: Col du Tourmalet

Day 2Saturday/Samedi
53km Distance ride
2150m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 2115m

Climbs – 1 HC,1 Cat 2, 1 Cat 5            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.

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 elevation

Climbs – 1 Cat 1, 1 Cat 3

Todays ride follows the final kilometres of 3 previous Tour de France stages. However we will continue past the finish line where the road kicks up as we climb to Pont d’Espagne, one of the Grand Sites de Midi-Pyrenees. Here we change into our walking shoes, grab our 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.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

4: Col de Soulor / Col d’Aubisque / Col des Borderes

Day 4Monday/Lundi
96km Distance ride
3010m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 1709m

Climbs – 1 Cat 1, 2 Cat 2, 1 Cat 3, 1 Cat 5

Today we celebrate two wonderful climbs the Col du Solour and Col d’Aubisque.  

After a short transfer from our base we start our ride in a village founded in the fourth century as a Benedictine Abbey. 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!

Our return adds the challenging Col des Bordères for extra colour, itself being included for only the second time in this years TdF. This is a day in the saddle to remember, 96 kilometres will never be the same again.

3 TDF col’s in the one ride, perfect! 

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

5: Col de Tentes

Day 5Tuesday/Mardi
60km Distance ride
1840m Accumulated elevationSummit Altitude 2207m

Climbs – 1 HC

30km at av 5%

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.

An incredible chapter to close your Pyrénéan story.

Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

6: Au revoir

Day 6Wednesday/Mercredi

Today we bid you farewell.

This morning, after breakfast, we will transfer you to Lourdes Train Station for your ongoing journey.

Included meals: breakfast

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

AUD $3680

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.

We were welcomed off the train by Julia & Steve and made to feel relaxed and well looked after from the very beginning. B&B VeloRoo chose for our stay was outstanding with the most yummy breakfasts & on occasion dinner. Made us feel like we were visiting old friends. The bikes were Cannondale and in very good condition. I needed my own seat fitted and some other changes nothing was to much trouble for Steve who not only was our ride leader but also a great bike mechanic. Our ride kits were cleaned daily by Julia whom also had the Sag Wagon ready if any of us needed a breather. The rides were picturesque with interesting facts thrown in along the way. The trips are tailored to each riders skills so no problem recommending this tour to all levels. We chose the wine and cheese tour, the meals were gourmet and the wine lovely and plenty. Would not hesitate in recommending VeloRoo to anyone wanting a well organised ride with the comforts of life added in.Took South of France Cycling Tour in Sept 2018
For us, the tour was a perfect balance of challenging cycling in spectacular scenery and enjoying the local sights, delicious food and wine. Steve and Julia went 'above-and -beyond' to tailor the tour to the needs and interests of our group which included spending an extra day before the tour to ride around their home village of St Genies de Fontedit. Steve was a friendly, hospitable and enthusiastic cycling guide and Julia was superbly reliable and organised - always in the right place at the right time in the support van with refreshments, extra jackets (or a lift home).
We would highly recommend VeloRoo for a cycling holiday!Took Iconic Climbs Pyrénées Challenge in June 2017