Pyrenees Cycling Holiday - Route des Lacs
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Guided Cycling Holiday

French FlagFrance

Best of the Pyrenees
Guided Cycling Tour
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging to Hard
Price: €1,630
This is our most popular Pyrenees cycling holiday, tackling the best known and most spectacular cycling climbs in the region. On this holiday you will enjoy the incredible scenery and real sense of accomplishment from conquering Tour de France climbs such as Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aubisque and Route des Lacs.

The routes on this tour are very flexible. The shorter options generally include just one climb each day, while there are multiple route extensions, allowing more ambitious riders to tackle two or three climbs on any given day. You can pick and choose each day whether to do the easier or harder options, depending on how your legs feel!

This holiday is multi-centered, staying in several different towns and villages, allowing you to see more of the region and climb all of the most famous cycling mountains in the Pyrenees. And you can choose to do it either as a self-guided trip, or as a guided tour with full van support.
Best of the Pyrenees Tour Map
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Tour Availability


Available Guided Dates

All 2024 dates for this tour are currently fully booked for this tour. Check back soon as we will add dates for summer 2025.

Day 1 - Arrival in The Pyrenees

We will pick you up from one of the arrival points and transfer you to the historic town of Argèles-Gazost. Surrounded by some of the most iconic climbs in cycling, this is the ideal place to begin the holiday.

Depending on your arrival time there is the opportunity to do a ride through the valley, or to tackle one of the shorter climbs in the region, such as Cauterets-Cambasque or the Col de Spandelles.
Cirque du Litor
The Cirque du Litor

Day 2 - Col de Marie-Blanque & Col d'Aubisque

There are three different route options today, so you can choose whether or not to ease into the holiday. The main climb of the day, which is included on all of the routes is the Col d'Aubisque.

At just over 1,700m in altitude, the Aubisque is a stunning climb, particularly the section known as the Cirque du Litor - a balcony road nestled into the mountainside which constitutes the final 8km of the climb. Aubisque is the second most featured climb in the history of the Tour de France, and is undoubtedly one of the most iconic ascents in the Pyrenees.

The medium route includes an additional rolling section and a beautiful climb via the northern side of the spectacular Col du Soulor. While the longer and most challenging route also tackles another Tour de France regular, the scenic Col de Marie-Blanque before returning to Argèles-Gazost.

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 62km (1,500m Elevation)

Medium Route: 101km (1,950m)

Long Route: 140km (2,900m)
Col d'Aubisque
Col d'Aubisque

Day 3 - Hautacam & Luz Ardiden

The day begins by tackling one of the marquee stage finishes of the Tour de France in recent years - Hautacam. Made famous by a stunning attack by Bjarne Riis in the 1996 edition of the race, the inconsistent grades of Hautacam have continued to provide great racing and incredible scenery ever since.

From Hautacam there is a short ride along a delightful gorge to the lively town of Luz St Sauveur. Here the short route comes to an end, while the longer route tackles another of the great climbs in the region - Luz Ardiden. Best known for the dramatic hairpins which make up the top section of the climb, Luz Ardiden is really fun to ride. The road is virtually empty and the views are incredible, while the gradient is often challenging but without ever getting too steep.

From Luz Ardiden you can descend back to Luz St Sauveur for a well deserved rest.

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 51km (1,550m)

Long Route: 80km (2,600m)
Luz Ardiden Final Hairpins
The Final Hairpins of Luz Ardiden

Day 4 - Cirque de Gavarnie & Cirque de Troumouse

The ride today features a couple of climbs which have never appeared in the Tour de France, but were simply too good to leave out of this tour- Cirque de Gavarnie and Cirque de Troumouse. Their National Park status has made them off limits to the Tour (and all the circus that comes along with it), but its lack of professional cycling heritage barely seems relevant when you catch a glimpse of the 3,000m high rocky peaks forming the border between France and Spain.

The shorter route just tackles Gavarnie - the more spectacular of the two, while the longer route also conquers the Cirque de Troumouse. This area has stunning views throughout the climbs and Gavarnie is also home to one of the highest waterfalls in Europe. The longer route counts on nearly 3,000m of climbing over 90km.

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 60km (1,650m)

Long Route: 91km (2,700m)
Looking into Spain from Cirque de Gavarnie
Looking into Spain from Cirque de Gavarnie

Day 5 - Col du Tourmalet, Hourquette d'Anzican & Col de Portet

No Pyrenees cycling holiday would be complete without tackling the most famous climb of all - Col du Tourmalet. Tourmalet has been included more than any other mountain in the Tour de France and is one of the most iconic routes in the sport.

From Luz-Saint-Sauveur the climb is 19km at an average gradient of 7.4%, with the last kilometre a gruelling 10%. The scenery on the climb is predictably spectacular, especially once you get above the tree-line 8km from the summit.

After descending Tourmalet, the tour continues heading east and the famous climbs keep coming. Next up is Hourquette d'Ancizan, a relative newcomer to the Tour de France, but already recognised as one of the more iconic climbs of the region. Although it is not a particularly difficult ascent.

The longer route is for those of you with very strong legs, as it extends the route to tackle the Col de Portet.

First used in the 2018 edition of the race, where it became an instant hit, with Nairo Quintana winning on the day, the Col de Portet is one of the toughest and highest climbs in the Pyrenees. It is also one of the most beautiful, with perfect hairpin bends offering exceptional views into both the valley below and of the surrounding mountain peaks.

The day finishes in the charming town of St Lary Soulan.

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 69km (2,200m)

Long Route: 102km (3,600m)
Col du Tourmalet
Col du Tourmalet

Day 6 - Route des Lacs, Col d'Azet & Col de Peyresourde

The shorter route today tackles the Col d'Azet and the Col de Peyresourde. Col d'Azet is a beautifully quiet and scenic climb, offering views from the top in all directions. While, along with Aubisque and Tourmalet, the Peyresourde is one of the key passes in the Pyrenees and is a regular on the Tour de France.

Both are really enjoyable climbs, with steady gradients and passing through forests which gradually give way to superb open scenery near the top.

The ride finishes with one of the best descents in the Pyrenees, down into the charming town of Luchon. It was this descent where Chris Froome attacked in the 2016 Tour de France to claim a stage win in unusual fashion.

The longer route starts the day by tackling one of the most scenic climbs in the region Route des Lacs. Similarly to Gavarnie, it has never featured in the Tour de France thanks to its protected National Park Status, but it is well worth the (considerable) effort to climb, for the incredible views of the lakes at the summit.

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 46km (1,500m)

Long Route: 97km (2,900m)
Route des Lacs
Route des Lacs

Day 7 – Port de Bales, Col des Ares & Superbagneres

The final day in the saddle gives you the option to tackle two or three of the finest climbs in this part of the Pyrenees. The shorter route climbs Port de Bales - probably our favourite climb in the whole of France. Very quiet and really fun to ride, Port de Bales also offers views of Aneto and Maladeta - the two highest peaks in the entire Pyrenees mountain range.

From Port de Bales you continues over the gentle slopes of the Col des Ares, before following pleasant country lanes into the town of Saint Gaudens.

There are two optional extensions today. The first option comes at the very start of the route, with an ascent to Superbagneres. While the second option tackles the steep slopes of the Col de Menté.

Superbagneres is the more interesting climb in our opinion. Not only does it provide excellent views, but it is also rich in history - stage winners here include all-time greats such as Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault. But, the most ambitious among you could even attempt to do both extensions to finish the tour with a bang!

Cycle Routes:

Short Route: 84km (1,850m)

Medium Route: 103km (2,400m)

Long Route: 121km (3,000m)

Pyrenees Open Scenery
Open Scenery

Day 8 – Depart

The tour comes to an end today. We can transfer you to the departure point (see info section for the options). Or, we can also arrange for you to spend extra time in the Pyrenees if you would like to continue cycling, hiking or simply resting in the stunning surroundings.

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.
A satisfying tour!
A fulfilling tour!

As the name of the tour suggests, we explore the best of the Pyrenees on this holiday! You tackle many of the legendary climbs of the Tour de France and quite a few lesser known gems - including Routes des Lacs and Cirque de Gavarnie.

Check out our photo album below to see some of the highlights:

  • 7 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
  • 7 breakfasts in the hotels
  • Transfers to and from the arrival / departure point
  • Luggage transferred between hotels
  • Full GPS routes with extensions if you wish to cycle further on any day (as well as a few short cuts!)
  • Detailed information pack
  • Bicycle Hire
  • 6 lunches - a combination of picnics and local restaurants
  • Vehicle Support on the routes
Not Included:

Bicycle hire is not included in the cost of the holiday, as we recognise some of you may prefer to bring your own bike. If you wish to rent a bike from us, we can provide 11 speed lightweight carbon road bikes, with compact chainsets and a large cassette (11-32 tooth), to make the climbs as comfortable as possible! Our Cube models come equipped with disc brakes, while Rose and Canyon are with rim brakes.

More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. The exact model depends on availability, so please get in touch if you would like more information.

All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Road Bicycles One of our carbon road bikes

Difficulty Level & Roads
We rate this tour as challenging to hard difficulty. The shorter routes each day generally tackle one significant climb; they are tough rides but accessible to riders of a wide range of abilities.

The longer routes are hard! They tackle two or even three climbs and on some days have around 3000m of elevation. If you plan to ride these routes then its important to have done some training in the weeks leading up to the tour.

On the guided tours we strongly encourage everyone to go at their own pace and to make sure you enjoy the routes. When we have riders of different levels we split up and regroup throughout the day so that nobody feels pressured to push themselves too hard.

Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.

Arrival and Departure
The arrival point is Tarbes or Lourdes. We will pick you from the airport, train station or other accommodation in either of these towns and transfer you to Arg´les-Gazost. The departure point is Saint-Gaudens train station (we can also arrange transfers directly to Toulouse airport upon request).

Tarbes and Lourdes are served by a small airport (Lourdes-Tarbes) with regular flights to London, Paris, Rome and various other destinations. They are also very well connected by train. There are several daily trains to Toulouse, which is home to the largest airport in the Pyrenees. And there is also a fast train directly to Paris which departs several times throughout the day.

The departure is from St Gaudens which has regular trains to Toulouse, Lourdes, Pau, Biarritz and various other airports. Toulouse is the largest of the airports, with flights to the UK and USA and several other European destinations. It also has great train connections with the rest of France.

Please contact us if you would like any advice or more information regarding getting to and from the Pyrenees.

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 the difference between the guided and self-guided tour?

We run this tour as either guided or self-guided. Both options follow very similar routes. They both involve transfers at the start and end of the trip, luggage transfers each day, full route information and maps and accommodation.

The guided option runs on set dates and is with a group of usually between 6 and 10 riders. In addition to the above, it also includes support vehicle, which provides assistance and refreshments. On the guided tour lunches (taken in local restaurants) and bike hire are also included.

On the self-guided tour, bike hire is an optional extra (you may wish to bring your own) and there is no vehicle support or cycling guide.

When can I do this tour?

We run this tour from late May to the end of September. All the cols are usually open throughout this period, and there is usually little rain during the summer.

What is the weather like?

These are high mountains and the weather is somewhat unpredictable. In summer it is usually warm and sunny, and is common to get a full week of fine weather for riding.

But rain is always a possibility, usually in the form of showers. It's a good idea to bring a rain jacket with you and, if you wish to do the trip in early June or late September, you should bring some warm clothing as occasionally it can be a bit chilly at the higher altitudes.

Can I extend the tour?

Yes, we would be happy to arrange any tour extensions for you. The most popular option is to spend extra nights in the Pyrenees. Either in the higher mountains or on the coast (for example San Sebastian or Biarritz).

But we can also help you to extend the trip if you wish to visit another destination in France or Spain.

What are the famous climbs on this cycling tour?

This cycling holiday climbs most of the HC and 1st category climbs in the region, which are regularly used in the Tour de France.

Some of the most famous include the following:

Col de Marie Blanque (L)
Col d'Aubisque
Cirque de Gavarnie
Cirque de Troumouse (L)
Luz Ardiden (L)
Col du Tourmalet
Hourquette d'Ancizan
Route des Lacs (L)
Col d'Azet
Col de Peyresourde
Col de Portet (L)
Port de Bales
Col de Mente (L)
Superbagneres (L)

(L) = On longer route only

Other climbs that can be incluced as optional extras in case you are feeling very strong on any particular day, or wish to add extra days to the trip, are the following:

Col des Spandelles
Col d'Aspin
Pla d'Adet
Piau d'Engaly
Col du Portillon

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.

Can I do this as a private guided tour?

Yes, we can run this as a private tour for groups of eight or more people. Please get in contact with us to discuss dates and any changes you would like to make

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.

What is your cancellation policy?

The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.

Where can I find more information about the region?

We have plenty more detailed information on the website.

Check out the mountains section of our website. There you can find details of all of the best climbs in the Pyrenees, as well as some videos.

We also have some more in depth articles looking at some of our absolute favourites:

Hotel Soleil Levant
Hotel Soleil Levant
You spend the first night at this charming family run hotel. It is situated at the foot of both the Col d'Aubisque and Hautacam and is just 200m from the historic center of Argeles-Gazost, where you can find several excellent restauants.

Hotel Montaigu
Hotel Montaigu
This Pyrenean chalet style 3-star hotel is situated on the edge of the lively center of Luz Saint Sauveur. It is also at the foot of Luz's 10th century castle, which is well worth a short hike to, both for the impressive building and for the views over the surrounding valley.
Hotel Les Arches
Hotel Les Arches
We spend two nights at this excellent 3-star hotel is right in the heart of Saint-Lary-Soulan. It has large rooms and a nice swimming pool area, which is great for relaxing at the end of the ride.
Hotel Panoramic
Hotel Panoramic
An exceptional *** hotel in the center of Luchon. Surrounded by good restaurants, this is well located and an enjoyable place to stay. One of the best patisserie in the Pyrenees is situated just across the square in case you want to treat yourself!
Hotel Commerce
Hotel Commerce
In St Gaudens we stay in a well equipped *** hotel in the town center. Here you can relax in the hot tub or rest your aching muscles in the sauna at the end of the trip.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.

Guided Tour

Date Price (per person)¹ Single Supplement Bike Hire
24th June - 1st July 2024 - - - Fully Booked
1st - 8th July - - - Fully Booked
28th September - 5th October 2024 - - - Fully Booked
2nd - 9th July 2023 €1,630 EUR €380 EUR Included
Other Guided Dates² - - -

¹Prices are 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.

²Other Dates
Groups of eight people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.

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