Pyrenees Coast to Coast - Cycling Tour
- Guided 9 Nights
- Arrival - Biarritz / San Sebastian
- Departure - Girona
- Difficulty - Hard
- Price - €1595
- Dates - June to October
This cycling tour crosses the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, conquering over twenty-five of the most famous passes in the cycling world.
In eight days you will cross the entire mountain range, including climbs such as Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque and Port de Pailheres.
Unlike the well known Raid Pyrenees route, the emphasis of this tour is not to get from one coast to the other as quickly as possible, but rather to take our time to fully appreciate the stunning scenery along the way.
This is a really beautiful tour which combines incredible scenery along the entire route, with climbing some of the great arenas of professional cycling.
If you would prefer a self-guided cycling holiday, you may be interested in our Pyrenees: Classic Cols Tour.
Day 1 - Hondarribia & JaizkibelWe will transfer you from the arrival point to our first hotel, situated in the picturesque Basque town of Hondarribia.
Here we will fit you to the bikes, and give you chance to swim in the Cantabrian Sea, before we have our welcome dinner.
Depending on your arrival time, as a bonus, there is the opportunity to climb Jaizkibel, the decisive mountain in the San Sebastian Classic cycle race.
Day 2 - Basque PyreneesThe first cycling day is quite long at 125km and we quickly leave behind the busier coastal roads, entering the western edge of the Pyrenees range.
The passes today are the Col d'Ibardin, Col d'Ispeguy and the Col Burdin Olatze - all fairly gentle climbs.
This area of the Pyrenees is not as popular with cyclists as the central part; however, the scenery is stunning, with very narrow roads, winding along the edge of the vibrant green hillside.
There is also the chance to climb Port Larrau and Col de Pierre St Martin - the climb on which Chris Froome secured victory in the 2015 Tour de France.
Short Route: 118km Long Route: 129km
Day 3 - Marie-Blanque & AubisqueThe two marquee climbs on the 100km route today are the Col de Marie-Blanque and Col d'Aubisque - two of the most ridden passes in the history of the Tour de France.
The Marie Blanque is short but steep, while the Aubisque is a genuine Hors Categorie climb and also one of the most picturesque roads in France.
The route finishes in the town of Argeles Gazost. For cyclists with a lot of energy, there is the chance to extend the route to Hautacam before we go for dinner in an excellent local restaurant.
Short Route: 107km Long Route: 141km
Day 4 - Tourmalet, Aspin & PeyresourdeThe cycling tour continues heading east over another two of the most iconic climbs in cycling. First up is the Col de Tourmalet which, at 19km long and 7.4% average gradient, is probably the toughest climb in the Pyrenees.
Following Tourmalet comes the fairly gentle Col d'Aspin, before one final 10km climb over the Col de Peyresourde.
From the top of the Peyresourde it is a really enjoyable downhill all the way in to Luchon, where we stay for the evening.
Luchon is a lively town in the heart of the central Pyrenees, and is always an entertaining place to visit.
Short Route: 107km Long Route: 134km
Day 5 - Luchon - SuperbagneresToday is an optional rest day in the charming town of Luchon. You may not feel as though you will need a rest while sat at home reading this itinerary, but on the day after Tourmalet and several other hard climbs, you may feel differently when you are there!!
However, if you are not seduced by the exquisite patisseries and cafes of Luchon, you can tackle one of the nearby climbs. The most scenic is the HC Superbagneres - used numerous times during the Tour de France, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Other options include the Col du Portillon or the little known, but stunning Artigue.
Superbagneres Route: 38km
Day 6 - Port de Bales & Portet d'AspetThere is no easing into the cycling today, as the tour continues by climbing the Hors Categorie Port de Bales. This is one of our favourite climbs for the scenery, great road surface and lack of traffic.
After a technical descent the route becomes easier, with the Col des Ares and Col de Portet d'Aspet among the highlights on the way to St Girons.
The scenery begins to change as we head further east, with the sharp peaks of the Central Pyrenees being replaced by more rounded hills.
Short Route: 108km Long Route: 112km
Day 7 - Col de Port & Plateau de BeilleThe famous cols keep coming today as we head south-east towards Andorra, climbing over the Col de Port.
Near to the end of the route we tackle the climb to Plateau de Beille - a challenging 15.8km with an average gradient of nearly 8%.
The route finishes in the Spa town of Ax-Les-Thermes where we enjoy a well deserved dinner.
Short Route: 100km Long Route: 143km
Day 8 - Port de Pailheres & Col de JauAt just over 80km long this is one of the shorter routes on the cycling tour; however, it begins by climbing to Port de Pailheres - one of the few passes in the Pyrenees with an altitude of more than 2,000m.
From here we continue over the picturesque Col de Jau before a long and welcome descent into the town of Prades.
On the edge of Prades you will stay in a fantastic spa hotel, with the ideal facilities for relaxing after a tough day in the saddle.
Short Route: 84km Long Route: 100km
Day 9 - The Mediterranean CoastThe final day of the cycling tour sees us reach the Mediterranean coast. At 100km and with no Hors Categorie climbs, this may even seem easy compared with some of the previous days!
As you get nearer to the coast, the landscape becomes more like the Atlantic coast, with rolling hills replacing the high mountains of the central area.
The cycling comes to an end in Argeles-sur-Mer, a pleasant town close to the Spanish border. Argeles-sur-Mer has the longest beach in the region, giving you plenty of space to enjoy a celebratory swim!
In the evening we will mark the achievement with our awards evening in a local restaurant.
Day 10 - Depart or Extensions
After breakfast we will transfer you to either Perpignan or Girona so that you can continue your journey home - hopefully tired but fulfilled.
If you would like to continue your holiday, we would be happy to arrange for you to spend time in a city or coastal town nearby. Popular options include Barcelona, Girona and the Costa Brava.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement|
|15th-24th July 2018||€1595||€250|
|Other Dates||contact us|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- Nine nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure point
- Continental breakfast every day
- Lunch and refreshments every day
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Experienced guide cycling the route with the group (fluent English)
- Support vehicle along the route
- Cycle Fiesta water bottle
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle
- Carbon Road Bike Hire (see here for details)
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
- Tour Extensions
The following are not included in the tour
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
The daily average is about 105km (65 miles); however the longest day is 125km (78 miles).
There are optional extensions for any riders that wish to cycle further.
There will also be a support vehicle with the group, so if you need a rest or would like to take a short cut, that is no problem.
Can non-cyclists come on the trip?
Absolutely! Non-cyclists are more than welcome and will be fully involved in all aspects of the tour, except the cycling!
Non-cyclists have the option of following the group in the support vehicle, or spending longer exploring the towns and cities where we are based, before being transfered separately in the afternoon.
How difficult is this tour?
This tour is rated as hard - it is our most difficult cycling tour. There is over 2,000m of climbing on most days and distances are often in excess of 100km.
In order to get the most out of the holiday it is important that you have some recent cycling experience, and are comfortable riding back to back days.
However, it is important to note that this is not Raid Pyrenees or another timed cycle event. We have two guides along the route, one at the front of the group and one at the back, so nobody will ever be left behind, and every rider can go at their own pace.
There is no minimum speed to maintain, and the route is fully supported, so if you are feeling off one day, or would like a rest, it is no problem to be transported up a climb, or even for the whole day.
What are the altitude profiles for each day?
Below are the altitide profiles for both the shorter and longer route each day (the shorter one is always first). In addition to this there are optional extensions, with a lot more climbing available!
Please click on a profile to see it in more detail
Can I make any changes to the itinerary?
If you are booking a private tour as part of a group, the itinerary is entirely flexible. Feel free, for example, to change the number of days, the difficulty of the routes, to add longer transfers or to include evening meals.
Please contact us and we would be happy to discuss all the options with you.
On the 'public' tour, there is still some flexibility in the itinerary, with different route options each day and the possibility of being transferred at times.
What are the arrival and departure points?
The arrival point is either Biarritz or San Sebastian. Biarritz has an international airport flying to a range of international destinations, as well as regular flights to Paris. It is also easily reached by rail from Paris.
San Sebastian also has an airport, although it only serves domestic flights from Madrid and Barcelona. However, it is well served by train, with regular services from Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona.
The departure point is either Perpignan or Girona. Perpignan has a small international airport, with flights to the UK, Ireland and Netherlands. It is also on the rail network, with high speed trains to Paris, Toulouse and Marseille.
Girona (Spain) has a reasonably sized airport with international flights to a wide range of European destinations. It is a major hub of Ryanair, who offer low cost flights throughout the continent.
Girona is also just a short distance by train from Barcelona.
In all cases we will transfer you to/from the airport or rail station as is required.
What type of bikes do you provide?
For this tour we only provide road bikes. Given the distances and the amount of climbing involved, hybrid bikes are not suitable for the tour.
All of the road bikes that we use on this cycling tour have full carbon frames and a compact chainset (50-34). They are also fitted with a generous cassette (11-28 / 12-30) to allow to spin up even the toughest climbs.
Please see our bicycles page for further details.
When can I do this tour?
We run this tour in summer and early autumn each year when all of the passes are open.
The weather is generally warm and sunny, but in the mountains it is also unpredictable, so we advise that you bring appropriate clothing for all conditions.
Groups of more than six people please contact us to arrange the dates for a private tour.
What cols will I climb on this tour?
The accommodation on the route is in rural cottages and mountain chalets, that we believe really reflects the character of the region.
The rural cottages and chalets are all en-suite and have a level of comfort and facilites similar to a decent *** hotel.
Please see our accommodation page for more details.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do this tour in a group of more than six people as a guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided tour.