Pyrenean Classic Cols

Pyrenees

  • Climb the legendary Tour de France Pyrenean cols & stage endings: Tourmalet, Portet d’Aspet, Peyresourde
  • Optional Classic Cols Challenge: up to 4000m ascent per day!
  • Comfortable and friendly 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • Excellent support from 2 customised support vans and 2 experienced, proactive and fun guides focused on making your holiday the best it can be.

Days on the bike

6 days

The organisation and pre-holiday support from Marmot was great; the information sent to us was very useful. Alan could not have been a better guide. His encouraging, supportive and friendly attitude really made the trip. He was very organised, knowledgeable and happy to go ‘above and beyond the call of duty’. I hope to book another trip with Marmot in the near future.

D Snook

Introduction

This road cycling holiday has been carefully crafted to allow you to cycle the best cols and stage endings that the Pyrenees has to offer as well experience its quiet roads and unassuming ambiance.  It is a point to point journey traversing the region from east to west, taking in the infamous climbs that the professional Tour de France cyclists head up every year.

The joy of this holiday, and our other Classic Cols itineraries is in its flexibility. Using our in-depth knowledge of the Pyrenees, we have devised a Classic Route which warms us up gently getting progressively tougher in preparation for your final ascent of the infamous Col du Tourmalet. Taken at a steady pace this route is manageable and enjoyable for healthy cyclists regardless of experience in the mountains, with the toughest day involving 1700m of ascent. It is 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 3000m, 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 do download and read the Trip Notes for all you need on how this holiday works, food, accommodation & travel…  

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth 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
May
30th May - 6th Jun
£1180.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
Jun
13th Jun - 20th Jun
£1180.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
Jul
18th Jul - 25th Jul
£1180.00
Single Room Sup. £315.00
Aug
23rd Aug - 30th Aug
£1180.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00
Sep
19th Sep - 26th Sep
£1180.00
Single Room Sup. £280.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts on 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
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 10% Group discount

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

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Travel Out

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: Round trip from Ax

Assemble bikes after breakfast before heading off to explore. The Col du Chioula (1431m) has great views over the eastern Pyrenees and pleasant gradients. After lunch you can choose a leisurely ride up the stunning Orlu valley, to beast yourself up the stage ending of Bonascre (1380m) or the HC climb of the Col de Pailhères (2001m).

Easier route: Col du Chioula (38km, 830m ascent)
Classic route: Col du Chioula + Orlu valley (52km, 1030m ascent)
Harder route: Col du Chioula + Plateau du Bonascre (54km, 1500m ascent)
Challenge route: Col du Chioula + Col de Pailhères (77km, 2111m ascent)

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

From Ax you set off on the Route des Corniches, undulating to the market town of Tarascon along the South facing side of the valley of Ax and enjoying beautiful villages and views. Pause for lunch in Tarascon or those wanting a real challenge can take on the tough Plateau de Beille (1800m) stage ending.

After lunch everyone heads 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-Girons. Time to relax or you could always take on the mighty Col d’Agnes (1570m) with its col top lakeside café!

Easier route: lift to Lordat, Route des Corniches + Col de Port (82km, 950m ascent)
Classic route: Route des Corniches + Col de Port (100km, 1500m ascent)
Challenge route: Plateau de Beille + Col de Port + Col d’Agnes (149km, 3000m ascent)

Day 3: Saint-Girons to Luchon

On offer today are two of the most popular cols in the Pyrenees. 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 Casertelli) prepares you for the never-ending Col de Menté (1345m), or there is the option of missing it out, taking on instead 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, one at the start of the day, taking you over the Col de la Core (1395m) and the other towards the end of the day, where you have the option of making an excursion to Spain taking on the Col du Portillon (1293m).

Easier route: Col de Portet d’Aspet + Col de Buret + Col des Ares (83km, 1300m ascent)
Classic route: Col de Portet d’Aspet + Col de Menté (78km, 1600m ascent)
Harder route: Col de Portet d’Aspet + Col de Menté + Col du Portillon (95km, 2270m ascent)
Challenge route: Col de la Core + Portet d’Aspet + Col de Menté + Col du Portillon – East (131km, 3050m ascent)

Day 4: Day rides from Luchon or rest day!

If you need a rest from riding, today you have an opportunity to enjoy what else Luchon has to offer – from its spa facilities to paragliding or mountain biking!

Naturally, Luchon is sourrounded by legendary TdF climbs, so those of you wanting to ride have a number of options: You can take on the stage finish of  Superbagnères (1804m) or the ever changing gradients of the Port de Bales (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 (1292m), a short but punchy ride.

Col du Portillon – West (1293m) – (22 km, 670m ascent)
Superbagneres – (39km, 1200m ascent)
Port de Bales – (70km, 1300m ascent)
Challenge route: Port de Bales + Superbagneres (109km, 2500m ascent)

Day 5: Luchon to Bagnères-de-Bigorre

You start your day with the rather steep but very beautiful Col de Peyresourde (1565m). You will be rewarded at the top by a café serving fabulous crêpes! Those who really want to abuse their bodies could take in 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 Bagneres-de-Bigorre.

Classic route: Col de Peyresourde + Col d’Aspin (70km, 1750m ascent)
Harder route: Col de Peyresourde + Col d’Azet + Col d’Aspin (90km, 2315m ascent)
Challenge route: Col de Peyresourde + Col d’Azet + Pla d’Adet  + Col d’Aspin (114km, 3215m ascent)

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

Today is all about the punishing Col du Tourmalet (2115m) – make sure you get your photo taken at the top – this is a real achievement! From here you can enjoy a 35km downhill, all the way to the picturesque thermal spa town of Argelés-Gazost for an afternoon of justifiable relaxation. A few (tempting) optional extras including the TdF stage finishes of Luz Ardiden (1720m) and Hautacam (1616m) or a nice detour ‘up’ the valley to the village of Gavarnie for a glimpse of the world famous cirque.

Classic route: Col du Tourmalet (64km, 1515m ascent)
Easy optional extra: trip to Gavarnie from Luz-St-Sauveur (adds 38km, 665m ascent)
Harder route: Col du Tourmalet + Hautacam (93km, 2700m ascent)
Challenge route: Col du Tourmalet + Luz Ardiden + Hautacam (123km, 3670m ascent)

Day 7: Travel Back

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.