PYRENEES COAST TO COAST
Guided Cycling Holiday
In eight days you will cross the entire mountain range, including climbs such as Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque, Port de Bales and much more.
This is a really beautiful tour which combines incredible and diverse scenery along the entire route; all while climbing some of the great arenas of professional cycling. 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. But don't underestimate it, this is still a very physically demanding challenge with long distances and significant climbing each day.
If you would prefer a more flexible tour to the Pyrenees, you may be interested in our Best of the Pyrenees cycling holiday. Or, to find out more about this tour, click on the tabs to see the itinerary, tour highlights, and all the practical information about the holiday.
Day 1 - Arrival - Biarritz
Here we will fit the bikes, and then you are free to explore the town. You can also visit the huge city beach near to the hotel and take a dip in the Atlantic. Depending on your arrival time, there is also the opportunity to do short circular ride around the town.
In the evening we go for dinner in a local restaurant and the guides - Ian and Lucia - will give you all the detailed information about the trip and the climbs to come!
Atlantic Coast - Biarritz
Day 2 - Basque Pyrenees
The first cycling day is quite long at just over 100km as we quickly leave behind the busier coastal roads, entering the western edge of the Pyrenees range.
The basic route is relatively gentle, with rolling terrain along beautiful country lanes, rather than any steep climbing.
This area of the Pyrenees is not as popular with cyclists as the central part; however, the scenery is stunning, with narrow roads, winding around vibrant green hillsides. The main climb of the day is the very modest Col d'Osquich, which is a nice way to get the legs warmed up for the days to come.
For those looking to start the tour with a real challenge, there is the opportunity to extend the route to climb the formidable slopes of Ahuski towards the end of the day.
The Route: 105km (1,650m Elevation)
With Extension: 129km (2,400m)
The steep slopes of Ahuski - an optional extension
Day 3 - Marie-Blanque & Aubisque
The medium route is the same length as the shorter option, but tackles the Col de Marie-Blanque before the Aubisque. This is another Tour regular, and is a short but tough climb, with gradients consistently above 10% in the final 4km.
Both routes finish in the charming historic town of Argeles Gazost after a long and very fun descent. For cyclists with a lot of energy, there is the chance to extend the route from here to include the hors categorie climb to Hautacam.
Shorter Route: 102km (2,100m)
Medium Route: 103km (2,600m)
Longer Route: 139km (3,750m)
Col d'Aubisque Balcony Road
Day 4 - Tourmalet, Aspin & Peyresourde
Next up, after the long descent of Tourmalet, comes the fairly gentle Col d'Aspin. We take a break on the top to stop for lunch, before tackling one final climb - the Col de Peyresourde.
Another of the most featured climbs in the Tour de France, the Peyresourde is a reasonable test at the end of the ride, averaging just under 8% for 10km. From the top of the climb it's a really enjoyable downhill all the way in to the charming town of Luchon, where we stay for the evening.
This is already a tough day, but if you're a real glutton for punishment, there is also the option to extend the route and climb the spectacular hairpin bends of Luz Ardiden .
The Route: 107km (2,900m)
With Extension: 134km (4,000m)
Col du Tourmalet
Day 5 - Luchon - Superbagneres
And Luchon is a great place to do so. It is a spa town where you can visit the thermal baths, or simply relax in one of the charming cafes or cake shops on the main boulevard.
However, if you are not seduced by the exquisite pastries of Luchon, you can tackle one of the nearby climbs. The most scenic is the hors categorie Superbagneres - used numerous times in the Tour de France, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Other options include the Col du Portillon or the little known, but stunning Artigue.
Supebagneres Route: 38km (1,200m)
Top of the Col de Peyresourde
Day 6 - Port de Bales & Portet d'Aspet
After a technical descent the route becomes easier, with the Col des Ares and Col de Portet d'Aspet the final two climbs. Neither is particularly long or challenging, although the brief 17% gradients on the latter climb will leave your legs burning for a while!
The day finishes with a long descent to the town of St Girons, in the heart of the Ariege Pyrenees. The scenery really begin to change here as the sharp peaks of the High Pyrenees are replaced by more rounded hills of the Ariege region.
The longer route tackles the more challenging Col de Mente in place of the Col des Ares. With long sections above 10% gradient, this is one for the real grimpeurs.
The Route: 108km (2,300m)
With Extension: 112km (2,750m)
Col de Menté - The rolling hills of the Ariege
Day 7 - Col de Port & Plateau de Beille
We descend down to the historic town of Tarascon. Then, after lunch, we join a stunning balcony road with rolling climbs, that offers incredible views for much of its length. At the end of the day we ride part of the Col de Marmare and then descend down towards the town of Ax-les-Thermes.
Another spa town, Ax-les-Thermes is great for relaxing underneath the towering peaks that form the nearby borders with Spain and Andorra.
The extension option today climbs to Plateau de Beille. Averaging 8% for nearly 16km, this is a tough climb and has been used regularly in the Tour de France over the last couple of decades. The rather infamous list of stage winners here include Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani and Alberto Contador.
The route: 100km (1,900m)
With Extension: 143km (3,700m)
Pas de Soulombrie Balcony Road
Day 8 - Port de Pailheres & Col de Jau
From here we enter the Catalan Pyrenees, and the scenery starts to take on more of a Mediterranean look and feel. We follow rolling roads before tackling the picturesque Col de Jau, a pleasant climb through pine forests. The day ends with a long winding descent down to the charming Catalan town of Prades.
The longer route today climbs to the ski resort of Ax-3 Domaines at the start of the day. This climb hosted a memorable stage finish in the 2013 Tour de France, when Chris Froome emerged victorious.
The route: 93km (2,450m)
With Extension: 108km (3,200m)
Port de Pailheres
Day 9 - The Mediterranean Coast
As you get nearer to the coast, the mountains gradually give way to rolling foothills, but the scenery remains really impressive. We ride through the vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, before enjoying a long descent down towards the coast.
The cycling comes to an end in Argeles-sur-Mer, a lively town close to the Spanish border. Argeles-sur-Mer has the longest and largest beach in the region, where you can enjoy a celebratory swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
The route: 90km (900m)
The final climb of the holiday
Day 10 - Departure
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.
To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
The Costa Brava - One possibility to extend the tour
On the way you will see the landscape change from rolling hills, to high mountains, to Mediterranean vineyards. The rides are demanding, but also rewarding. And you will be burning a lot of calories, so its also a great excuse to enjoy the excellent French cuisine of the region!
Check out just a few of the many tour highlights in our photo album below:
- ✔ Nine Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Transfer to and from the arrival/departure point (see below)
- ✔ Continental breakfast every day
- ✔ Lunch and refreshments every day. Lunch is sometimes taken in a restaurant, and sometimes a picnic.
- ✔ Evening meal on the first night in Biarritz (taken in a local restaurant)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ Experienced guide cycling the route with the group
- ✔ Support vehicle along the route
- ✔ 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 below for details)
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions
- ❌ Travel Insurance
More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page.
All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Difficulty Level & Roads
It's advisable to have done a considerable amount of preparation in the months before the trip, if you want to get the most out of the holiday.
If you are concerned about the distances and the amount of climbing on this tour, you may prefer our Best of the Pyrenees tour, which has more flexibility and the option to do shorter rides on some days.
The roads in the Pyrenees are generally in excellent condition and the routes we use have little traffic throughout the year.
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels here.
Arrival and Departure
We are also able to transfer from San Sebastian if required. San Sebastian has an airport, although it currently 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 an 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.
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.
What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?
*Covid Policy 2021*
In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.
Reservations made in 2021 (for holidays taking place in either 2021 or 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following two years, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.
Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions or uncertainty.
For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.
When can I do this tour?
We run this tour in summer each year when all of the passes are open.
The weather is generally warm, sunny and dry. But this is high mountains, so it is also unpredictable. We strongly 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 starting on any date from late May to the end of September.
How big are the groups on your tour?
We usually limit the groups to a maximum of 10 people. We find that if there are many more than that, it can become a bit unwieldly. We think that smaller groups also provide for a more
personal experience, as well as enabling to book more easily in some of our favourite restaurants.
Who is leading the tour?
All of our guided tours are led personally by the founders of Cycle Fiesta - Ian & Lucia.
See our about us page for more information.
What is a single supplement?
Our prices are based on two people sharing a hotel room (in a double or twin room). For cyclists that wish to stay in their own room, the single supplement is payable.
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. We can also add extra nights at the start or end of the trip if you wish to spend longer in Biarritz or Argeles-sur-Mer.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in out terms and conditions.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
Where can I find more information about the region?
You can check out our guides to cycling in the Pyrenees:
Pyrenees Cycling Guide Pyrenees Top 20 Climbs
And we also have information about most of the climbs that you will tackle on this route in our Pyrenees Climbs section.
The following are among the most well known, as well as a couple of our lesser known favourites:
Hotel Le Biarritz
Auberge de l'Etable
Hotel du Soleil Levant
Hotel La Grande Cordee
Hotel Le Vauban
Hotel Le Maritime
|Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|22nd - 31st August 2022||€1,660 EUR||€460 EUR||€120 EUR|
¹Price is 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.
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.