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Raid Pyrenean

Road Cycling Holidays in the Pyrenees

  • Epic traverse of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in 100 hours
  • 720km Raid Pyrenean route with 11,000m of ascent
  • Conquer many famous Tour de France climbs: Tourmalet, Aubisque, Jau, and more!
  • Official route including registration plus certificate & medal for successful finishers
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • Half-board: breakfast and dinners included, as well as wine with dinner
  • Two customised support vans with attentive, proactive, and fun guides
  • Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours who support about 200 cyclists a year to achieve the Raid Pyrenean

Days on the bike

4.5 days

Marmot tours really do get it spot on sticking the right balance of support and letting us get on with it

B Wilkes

Introduction

The Raid Pyrenean is a bucket list challenge for any fit, road cycling enthusiast. In the 1950’s the Cyclo Club Béarnais created a cycling route across the Pyrenees from coast to coast, keeping as close to the Spanish border as possible (on surfaced roads). The ‘catch’ was the 100 hours given to participants to complete the traverse! This is a chance to cycle most of the famous cols in the Pyrenees, including beasts such as the Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque. You’ll also ride through the many other quiet and beautiful roads and cols 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.

Since 2004 we’ve been supporting cyclists to conquer the Raid Pyrenean and to achieve their goals. We are passionate about what we do, and over the years we’ve helped hundreds of cyclists to complete this epic coast-to-coast cycling challenge. The expertise and experience of our team is evident on every one of our tours: 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! While this is a group holiday, the tour is very much 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.

For more inspiration, watch our Raid Pyrenean video on our You Tube channel here. To find out more about the history and format of a raid, you can read our blog (21/03/19) here. If you’re interested in cycling in the French Pyrenees, but without the time pressure of the Raid Pyrenean, why not take a look at our flexible pace tour Classic Cols of the Pyrenees, which gives you several routes to choose from daily.

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 and so on.

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
8th Jun - 14th Jun
£1450.00
Single Room Sup. £325.00
15th Jun - 21st Jun
£1450.00
Single Room Sup. £325.00
22nd Jun - 28th Jun
£1490.00
Single Room Sup. £325.00
Aug
31st Aug - 6th Sep
£1490.00
Single Room Sup. £325.00
Sep
7th Sep - 13th Sep
£1490.00
Single Room Sup. £325.00

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

Our guides will meet you at the airport and we offer included airport transfers at scheduled times from Biarritz Airport (BIQ) to the start hotel in Hendaye, a journey of around 30 minutes.

We also offer transfers from Toulouse Airport (TLS), a journey of approx.3hr 45min, at an extra cost of £60.

You’ll have time to assemble your bikes before we gather in the early evening. Our two guides will brief you on the week ahead and how the holiday will work. This will also give you a chance to meet your fellow riders, before enjoying a hearty dinner, and getting psyched up for the challenge ahead!

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

Here we go! Dip your toes in the Atlantic before you take to the saddle – your 100 hours start at 9 am!

You’ll first cycle through the picturesque Basque country with a couple of small cols as a warm up. It’s then time for 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 and undulate on pretty quiet roads through small quaint villages to your hotel (with pool) in Oloron-St-Marie.

With two carnet stamps today, you are already well on your way – day one in the bag!

163km with 2300m of ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Oloron-St-Marie to La Mongie

Be prepared: today’s ride is one you’ll never forget! We climb the beautiful Col d’Aubisque (1709m) and stop for an early lunch in the summit refuge restaurant. After fuelling, you’ll enjoy  the spectacular balcony road that leads to the Col du Soulor with glorious views.

Strap in for what’s next! An epic descent brings you to the lively market town of Argelès-Gazost, from where you press on up the valley to Luze-Saint-Saveur, which is at the base of the mighty and much-feared Col du Tourmalet (2115m) – a Tour de France classic …

This is a giant climb and after 18km and 1400m of climbing, you’ll be at the top of the highest col (with a road surface) in the Pyrenees. Although weather is beyond even our control, on a clear day the views are spectacular but regardless, enjoy the customary photo opportunity at the iconic Tourmalet sculpture.

You’ll be pleased to know that you’re just a few km from our  hotel, in the ski town of La Mongie. Another day ticked-off!

133km with 3620m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: La Mongie to St-Lizier

Today is a truly wonderful day! The morning kicks off with the long descent to Campan, which takes you to the gorgeous and peaceful climb over the Col d’Aspin (1489m).

You then take on another infamous col and Tour de France regular, the Peyresourde (1569m) . We’d advise you to try the crepes at the great col-top cafe (one of our favourites!) before possibly the best descent in the Pyrenees, all the way down to Luchon. You will LOVE this ride!

The afternoon sees you undulating over the quiet and very pretty Col des Ares (797m) and the Col de Buret (599m). Brace yourself though – next up is the slightly terrifying 14% incline of the Col de Portet d’Aspet (1069m)! Oof!

You’ll be pleased to know that gentle gradients with a downhill bias then take you the remaining 35km to the hotel in St-Lizier. Chapeau – day three done!

155km with 3000m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: St-Lizier to Prades

In the cool of the morning, the Col de Port (1249m) is a stunning climb before you enjoy a fabulous descent to Tarascon. From here we climb up the Pas de Soulombrie (922m) and on to the scenic ‘Route des Corniches’ on what must be one of the most stunning roads in the Pyrenees.

From the Col de Marmare (1377m) we enjoy another spectacular descent across high plateaux and into wonderful deep gorges. Strap in for our final obstacle: the 19km climb of the Col de Jau (1506m)! This is an epic climb and reaching the col sign at the top will bring a feeling of relief you’re not likely to forget!

Finally, your reward is a magnificent descent towards the Mediterranean plain and the town of Prades. You’re nearing the coast so that has got to feel good! Just one last push ahead of you tomorrow …

195km with 3400m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Prades to Cerbère

Let’s go – the end is in sight – well, almost! With the clock ticking down to your finish deadline at 1pm, you’ll need to dig deep as there are still nearly 100km and some steep coastal undulations to take on today!

Your route takes you to join the coast road in Argelès-sur-Mer. You’ll then pass through the historic port town of Collioure before reaching your final destination in Cerbère. Time for big whoop-whoops and fist bumps all round!

You fully deserve to spend the afternoon celebrating your incredible achievement! Take the customary dip in the Mediterranean Sea, enjoy a fabulous dinner in our charming seafront hotel, and revel in stories of the five days of epic cycling that are behind you. Chapeau!

95km with 620m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Departure day

After a truly epic (and brutal?!) five days, it’s time to give your legs a well-earned rest and head home! Our included transfer drops you at Perpignan Airport (PGF) for flights to Stansted, or at Toulouse Airport (TLS), for an extra cost of £45.

We’re certain that your memories of this fabulous challenge will last a lifetime. The question is, what’s next?!

Full travel advice and group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.