The organisation, support and encouragement, hotels, food and friendliness all made the PAIN worthwhile.
The Raid Pyrenean is a ‘must-do’ ride for any road cycling enthusiast. In the 1950’s the Cyclo Club Béarnais were looking for a challenge, so they created a route across the Pyrenees, keeping as close to the Spanish border as possible (on surfaced roads!). The sting in the tail was the 100 hours given to participants to complete the traverse.
It is a chance to ride most of the famous cols in the Pyrenees, including beasts such as the Tourmalet and Aubisque and to cycle along the quiet and beautiful back roads and passes of France’s southernmost mountain range. The scenery is stunning, the road surfaces good and the car drivers are generally extremely courteous and respectful towards cyclists.
For 15 years now we have been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals. We are passionate about our product being the best it can be and we help about 200 cyclists a year to achieve the official Raid Pyrenean route. The expertise and experience of our team really shows; we provide two highly customised support vans per group, our guides are attentive and energetic and we know that this is not just a cycling challenge – it is also a holiday, so we keep it fun! It is also about your goals and aspirations and we pride ourselves on our individual customer focus from your first enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.
To find out more about the history and format of a Raid, please check out our blog (21/03/19) here.
It is important to us that you book a holiday that’s right for you, so do read the Trip Notes for all you need to know about 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.
For more inspiration, watch our Raid Pyrenean video on our You Tube channel here!
Departure Dates & Prices
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.
Day 0: Travel Out
We offer included airport transfers at scheduled times from Biarritz airport (30min) or from Toulouse airport (3hr 45min) at an extra cost of £60, taking you to the start hotel in Hendaye.
Full travel advice group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.
Day 1: Hendaye to Oloron-St-Marie (163km with 2300m of ascent)
Dip your toes in the Atlantic before you go – your 100 hours start at 9am! Pass through the picturesque Basque country with a couple of small cols as a warm up before lunch, probably in the historic town of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The Col d’Osquich (495m) is the main climb of the day before you descend, then undulate on quiet roads through small villages to the hotel (with pool) in Oloron-St-Marie. With two carnet stamps today you are already well on your way.
Day 2: Oloron-St-Marie to La Mongie (133km with 3620m ascent)
The route today is infamous – over the beautiful Col d’Aubisque (1709m) and sister col Soulor in the morning, then, after a refreshing stop in Argelès Gazost, you’ll be taking on the mighty and much-feared Tourmalet (2115m)! Our hotel is just a few km over the top, in the ski town of La Mongie.
Day 3: La Mongie to St-Girons (153km with 2900m ascent)
Starting the day with the long descent to Campan we are then into the gorgeous and peaceful climb over the Col d’Aspin (1489m). You then take on another infamous col, the Peyresourde (1569m) – don’t forget to try the pancakes at the great col-top café before possibly the best descent in the Pyrenees, all the way down to Luchon. The afternoon will see you undulating over some quiet and very pretty cols before the slightly terrifying 14% inclines of the Col de Portet d’Aspet (1069m)! Gentle gradients take you the remaining 35 km down to the hotel in St Girons.
Day 4: St-Girons to Prades (192km with 3400m ascent)
By tonight you will have passed over the Atlantic – Mediterranean watershed and will be able to almost smell the sea air. But first you have to tackle the lovely Col de Port (1249m), the scenic Route des Corniches and the rural Col de Marmare! Today includes some stunning riding and the final descent to Prades from the Col de Jau (1506m) is magical.
Day 5: Prades to Cerbere (95km with 620m ascent)
The end is in sight – well, almost! There are some coastal undulations (ie quite steep!) to take on today once you hit the coast road in Argelès-sur-Mer. Pass through the great historic holiday seaside town of Collioure before reaching your destination in Cerbere. The only thing left to do today is to celebrate your incredible achievement and enjoy some fabulous paella in our charming seafront hotel.
Day 6: Travel Back
Our included transfers drop you at Perpignan airport for flights to Stansted, or at Toulouse or Carcassonne if you have booked one of our extra transfer packages (see Trip Notes for full details).
Full travel advice and group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.