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Pyrenean Classic Cols

Road Cycling Holidays in the Pyrenees

  • Cycle legendary Tour de France cols and stage endings including Tourmalet, Portet d’Aspet, Peyresourde
  • Optional Challenge Route each day, up to 3670m of ascent!
  • Comfortable and friendly 2-3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • Excellent support from two customised support vans and two experienced, proactive and fun guides who are focused on making your holiday the best it can be

Days on the bike

6 days

I really liked the options - being able to choose throughout the day.  The week was very well paced and the routes were generally on quiet roads.

B Taylor

Introduction

This road cycling holiday has been carefully crafted to allow you to cycle the best climbs the Pyrenees have to offer, as well as experience its quiet roads and charming ambience. This is a point to point journey traversing the region from east to west, taking in the famous climbs that the Tour de France professional cyclists tackle each year.

The joy of this holiday, as with all of our Classic Cols style itineraries, is its flexibility. Using our in-depth knowledge of the Pyrenees, our Classic Route has been designed to warms you up gently, getting progressively tougher in preparation for your ascent of the infamous Col du Tourmalet at the end of the week. Taken at a steady pace, this route is manageable and enjoyable for healthy cyclists regardless of experience in the mountains, with the toughest day (on the easiest route) involving 1750m of ascent. It is a great route to open up the Pyrenees to you. However, this holiday also offers a fantastic challenge to those wanting to push themselves further and for longer: each day there are optional extras, increasing the possible daily ascent to over 3600m, making this holiday also suitable for those very fit cyclists who are regular cyclosportive entrants and who would consider a Raid.

It is important to us that you book the correct holiday so please check out the Trip Notes for all you need on how this holiday works, food, accommodation & travel…  

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

 

 

Departure Dates & Prices

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Jun
9th Jun - 16th Jun
£1520.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
28th Jun - 5th Jul
£1590.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00
Sep
21st Sep - 28th Sep
£1590.00
Single Room Sup. £340.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% early bookers discount
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 7.5% group discount and, as the group organiser, receive a £150 voucher for your next holiday
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival day

We offer included transfers from Toulouse airport to Ax-les-Thermes.

Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Meet your guides and have a welcome briefing and a great dinner.

Day 1: Day Ride from Ax

This morning there is time to assemble your bike after breakfast before heading out on the day’s ride. The Col du Chioula (1431m) has pleasant gradients and great views over the eastern Pyrenees.

After lunch you can retreat to the local thermal spa, or take a leisurely ride up the stunning Orlu valley. For those wanting more, there is the option to take on the stage ending of Bonascre (1380m) or the HC climb of the Col de Pailhères (2001m).

Easier route: 38km with 830m ascent
Classic route: 55km with 1030m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 56km with 1500m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 76km with 2111m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Ax-les-Thermes to Saint-Lizier

Today we climb up to the Route des Corniches which undulates along the south facing side of the valley of Ax. Enjoy beautiful views and rural villages all the way to the market town of Tarascon where we pause for lunch. Alternatively, those wanting a big challenge this morning can take on the tough Plateau de Beille (1800m) stage ending.

After lunch we all head over the Col de Port (1250m), a lovely climb with a couple of cheeky sections, before descending (almost) all the way to your hotel in Saint-Lizier. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring St Lizier’s art galleries, or take on the mighty Col d’Agnes (1570m)!

Easier route: (Lift to Lordat) 85km with 920m ascent
Classic route: 103km with 1470m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 136km with 2430m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 152km with 3100m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: Saint-Lizier to Luchon

Climbing gently through ancient farmsteads, you barely notice the incline to the Col de Portet d’Aspet (1075m). A short descent through mixed forest (past the memorial to Fabio Casartelli) prepares you for the never-ending Col de Menté (1345m), or there is the option of missing it out and instead taking on the beautiful and gentle climbs of the Col de Buret (599m) and the Col des Ares (797m).

After a pleasant, winding descent you can stretch your legs with a very gentle (almost flat) finale into the bustling spa town of Luchon. There are two optional extras today, the Col de la Core (1395m) in the morning, or at the end of the day an excursion to Spain via the climb of the Col du Portillon (1293m).

Easier route: 84km with 1300m ascent [ride profile]
Classic route: 79km with 1600m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 97km with 2270m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 134km with 3200m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: Day rides from Luchon or rest day!

Today you have the option of a day off the bike to enjoy what else Luchon has to offer – from its spa facilities to paragliding or mountain biking!

Luchon is sourrounded by legendary Tour de France climbs, so those of you wanting to ride today have a number of options. You can take on the stage finish of  Superbagnères (1804m) or the ever changing gradients of the Port de Balès (1755m), where Schleck and Contador had the famous chain incident! Another option is to nip up to the Spanish border on the Port du Portillon (1293m), a short but punchy ride.

Easier route: 22 km with 670m ascent
Superbagnères: 39km with 1200m ascent
Classic route: 70km with 1300m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 109km with 2500m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Luchon to Bagnères-de-Bigorre

You start today with the rather steep but very beautiful Col de Peyresourde (1565m). You will be rewarded at the top by fabulous crêpes from the café! Those who really want to push themselves can take on one or two optional extras – the Col d’Azet (1580m) and the mountain hugging Pla d’Adet (1680m).

Next on the Classic route is the beautiful Col d’Aspin (1490m), used more often by the Tour de France than any other Pyrenean climb. A spectacular downhill takes us through the small and quaintly bizarre town of Campan and on to our hotel in Bagnères-de-Bigorre (another thermal spa town!).

Classic route: 70km with 1750m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 90km with 2315m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 114km with 3215m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Bagnères-de-Bigorre to Argelès-Gazost

Today is all about the mighty Col du Tourmalet (2115m) – the highest road col in the Pyrenees! Make sure you get your photo taken at the top – this climb is a real achievement. From here you can enjoy a 35km descent, all the way to the picturesque thermal spa town of Argelès-Gazost.

An afternoon of relaxation is well deserved. The tempting optional extra climbs on offer include the Tour de France stage finishes of Luz Ardiden (1720m) and Hautacam (1534m) or a nice detour up the valley to the village of Gavarnie for a glimpse of the world famous Cirque.

Classic route: 65km with 1515m ascent [ride profile]
Easy optional extra: adds 39km and 665m ascent [ride profile]
Harder route: 93km with 2700m ascent [ride profile]
Challenge route: 123km with 3670m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

We offer included transfers from Argelès-Gazost to Toulouse airport.

Full travel advice (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.