Raid Pyrenean Coast to Coast Ride

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8 days
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$1,705 USD
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5 / 5 from 7 reviews >
Tough
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Trip code: 
MSP
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Drop Bars
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Cycle from coast to coast across the Pyrenees  

This unique cycling raid is a must-do route for any road cycling fan. It will take us on a journey over eleven of the most famous Cols in the Pyrenees. We traverse the mighty Pyrenees hugging the Spanish border as we follow a route that was made famous by riders trying to complete the distance in less than 100 hours, but on this trip you will have time to take in the stunning jagged landscape whilst still conquering great climbs like the Col du Tourmalet and the Col d'Aubisque. After taking on these rewarding climbs, the route brings us back down to the Mediterranean Sea for a celebratory swim.

Highlights

  • Cycle from the Atlantic Coast to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Ride the most famous cols in the Pyrenees
  • Conquer iconic climbs from the Tour de France

Key information

  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 100% tarmac roads
  • Hilly route with mountain passes
  • Group normally 4 to 16 plus leader in suport vehicle
  • 7 nights hotels 

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Local bike hire (available on request)
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

100% tarmac roads with high mountain passes 

Day by day breakdown
Day 2100.0km/62.0miles
Day 3145.0km/90.0miles
Day 495.0km/59.0miles
Day 5115.0km/71.0miles
Day 6110.0km/68.0miles
Day 7140.0km/87.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Hendaye.

    Start Hendaye. If there is time we can go for a short ride along the sea front towards Pointe de Ste Barbe. In the evening the guide will talk through the itinerary for the weeks cycling.

  • Day 2

    Ride over the Col du St Ignace and the Col d'Osquich.

    Our journey starts by climbing the Col de St Ignace at 169m, gaining altitude progressively to join the mountains before cycling through St Jean Pied de Port, the renowned medieval city on the Compostelle way. From here the route climbs the Col d'Osquich, officially at 392m of altitude but the road culminates at 500m. After this, we enjoy a nice ride down to the village of Musculdy where we spend the night.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Ride through the Basque hills before taking on the Hors category Col d'Aubisque and the Col de Soulor.

    In the morning, we cycle through the Basque hills as we make our way to the west starting point of the mythic Col d'Aubisque, here we take on the challenging Hors Category pass, a 17km climb at 8% average gradient with sections at 10%. The summit is at 1709m of altitude, then after a short descent we start the second climb up to the Col du Soulor 1474m, this is the last summit before a superb descent to our hotel in Agos-Vidalos.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Today we ride the mighty Hors category Col du Tourmalet followed by the first category Col d'Aspin.

    Today we take on the Col du Tourmalet, one of the most legendary climbs in the Pyrenees, at 2115m of altitude and climbed 52 times by the TDF since 1947 making it the most climbed col of the Tour de France. the Col du Tourmalet is a Hors Category pass, it is 18km long with an average gradient of 8% with some sections at 10%. From the summit there is a nice twisty descent to Saint Marie de Campan. Straight after the descent the second challenge of the day starts with the climb of Col d'Aspin, a first category climb with 12km of ascent from Saint Marie de Campan at 5,2% average gradient.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle over the Col de Peyresourde, Col des Ares and the Col de Portet d'Aspet.

    Three passes are waiting for us today. First up is the Col de Peyresourde, a first category climb with 20km of ascent at 4.5% average gradient with sections at 8%. Then we ride down to the Bagnères-de-Luchon valley where the Tour de France stops regularly. Here we ride over the Col des Ares to join the Col de Portet d'Aspet, a third category pass (4.3 km at 9.7%) that has been ridden 30 times since 1947 by the Tour de France.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ride the Col du Port with amazing views over the Ariege Valley before climbing the Col de Chioula.

    From St Girons, we will cycle towards the Col de Port another classic of the Tour de France, starting the climb from Massat the ascent is constant and doesn’t go over 6%. We then descend to Bompas where we join the “route des corniches”, a road that overlooks the Ariège valley with great views. We will then climb the Col de Chioula up to 1431m of altitude. From the summit we will descend towards Ax les Thermes where we spend the night.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Follow the river that flows through the Gorges de l'Aude all the way to the Mediterranean sea at St Cyprien.

    Today is the last day of cycling, which means at the end of the ride we can jump into the Mediterranean Sea! Leaving the mountains we follow the rivers that come from the high peaks to join the sea; carving among the rocks we follow the fabulous gorges de l'Aude. Passing beautiful views over the Corbières vineyards we make our way towards the end of the route in St Cyprian by the sea. Here we will have time to celebrate the week’s achievements with a swim in the med and some well-earned drinks.




    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning in St Cyprien before the trip ends here.

    Free morning to relax or explore St Cyprien at our own pace before the trip ends here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included.


For breakfast you can expect a continental style buffet with cold meat, cheeses, bread, eggs, jams and pastries as well as tea and coffee.
Throughout the trip you can expect really good food with strong influences from Spain and France. Lunches and dinners are not included in the trip price to allow you to take advantage of the local restaurants and cafes along the route and give you freedom over what you eat. Our guide will be able to recommend the best local restaurants and will have planned some stops at good coffee shops to break up the days rides.

Weather

The weather in the mountains can be very changeable, with hot sunshine at the start of a climb and sometimes heavy rain at the summit. The Central Pyrenees gets some rainfall throughout the summer, although mostly at night time and some afternoon thunderstorms. On average, over the course of a week you should expect 1 or 2 wet days. Maximum temperatures can be over 30ºC, but this will vary with altitude. If we are riding through low cloud it can get very chilly on the descents, but these should be short spells only, you will feel the temperature increase as you descend in altitude.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Drop-bar.

Activity Level 7 (Tough). 

Average daily distance: 104km (64 miles)

No. of days cycling: 6  with partial vehicel support (limited seats)

Terrain and route: a classic road tour with some challenging climbs. The gradients do not get much steeper than 10% but the climbs can be long.

Daily distances are realistic, and there are plenty of opportunities for stronger riders to add more kilometres if they wish. The support vehicle is always available for riders who have achieved their personal goal and require a lift up or down any of the hills (although with limited seats). This trip is on roads away from traffic however we do have to use some roads which can be busy; the scenery from the route we take is wonderful. All of the roads used are good quality tarmac, we recommend using drop bar road bike for this trip.

You should be aware that cycling of all kinds has its dangers and that accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake. Helmets must be worn by all cyclists.

Please note: Exodus drop bar cycling holidays are not run in a training camp style, all our daily rides are group rides and we aim to cycle as a group wherever possible. The days are broken up with food and coffee stops so it is likely that we will be outside for the majority of the day (sometimes between 9am – 5pm). It is common for the group to split on the longer climbs, please keep in mind that if you are looking to push yourself on the climbs you might have a wait at the top for other members of the group, however the support vehicle will be there to offer warm clothes and snacks. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

We stay in good quality 2-star hotels, all with private facilities. The hotels are comfortable and ideally located in towns along the route with a good choice of restaurants serving delicious food to ensure you get a good meal and a good night sleep ready for the next day’s ride.

Due to the point-to-point nature of our drop bar trips, it is inevitable that there is some variance in the style and quality of accommodation used each night. Our priority is to make the riding days as balanced as possible in terms of distance and elevation gain and once we are happy with the route we choose the most appropriate accommodation in our chosen location. In some of the more rural locations there may not be a wide choice of accommodation. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2017
    Claire Mills

    So glad I did this

    I'd been looking at this trip for a couple of years but never thought I was fit enough to do it. This year was now or never. I would highly recommend putting the training in beforehand as doing a 50-60 mile club ride once a week isn't going to cut it for 6 days doing between 100 - 140km and around 2500m of climbing each day. Climbs are epic (you will find yourself in the pain cave on occasion) and the downhills are sweet as anything and will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Do it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of the Col D'Aubisque, realising that even though I'd spent time in the pain cave I was alive and the descent off the top was one of the best ones ever! I was still smiling half an hour later. This was the most physical and mentally demanding things I've done and seeing the Med at the other end was wonderful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Claud was superb - up there with the best of the Exodus guides. I was a little surprised initially that he wasn't out riding with us, but it worked really well with him being our support for the trip. Always happy and couldn't do enough for us. If I did this trip again, I'd be asking for Claud

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Put the training in beforehand - it'll make the whole experience more enjoyable. Do not forget your sudocrem, chamois cream and various other lotions as it's a long time in the saddle each day. Take clothes for all weathers. Our first day it rained, then for the rest of the time it was pretty fresh first thing and then warmed up so layers were essential. Breakfasts in the main tended to be croissants, yoghurts, bread (repeat). I'm glad I took my own cereal. There's a plentiful supply of bananas, peanut M&M's (a week later I'm still weaning myself off them, thanks Claud), fruit, nuts and other snacks. Oh and Strava kept adding 600m onto all my rides so Garmins were a lot more accurate. We didn't have a lot of downtime of an evening so this is not a relaxing holiday :-) You don't need the routes in advance.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Scott Chalker

    Pyrenean coast to coast

    I was a little daunted as this was my first overseas cycling tour and I am not a natural climber. Travelling from Australia I took my own bike and backed up two days later on the alpine cols of the Tour de France trip. The days are long and the climbs are touch especially day two and the last day. Day three was easier than expected. The descents are amazing and it is worth taking your own bike for the confidence it gives when descending and no blisters or other uncomfortable bits. It was great having Claude with a well stocked fridge, bites to eat, tea and coke. Having an official photographer was great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The descent on the second riding day was amazing. Beware of the two tunnels they aren't lit and were very dark.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Claude was well organised. We never got lost. The van was always well stocked with food and drink. Claude was very friendly and accommodating.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's worth taking 6 days worth of cycling kit as the days are long and it is a hassle finding the time to wash it. The alpine cols of the Tour de France is a much easier trip with much shorter days if you are contemplating which to do and you're not cycling fit. If you can do the seven peaks challenge in Australia you can do this trip, Mt Hotham and Baw Baw are harder than any of the climbs on this trip.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Christopher Woollacott

    Raid Pyrenees Trip June 2016

    I took part in the Raid Pyrenees cycle ride in June 2016. It was an excellent week's cycling, with good company and an excellent guide. Fantastic scenery, challenging climbs up 20kms long, adrenaline fuelled descents and professional and efficient organisation sum this trip up. Not for the faint-hearted and you need to be fit but a great trip for the cycling enthusiast who wants a challenge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling up the Col de Tourmalet, a climb that the organisers of the 1910 Tour de France feared was unachievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Claude was an excellent guide. Professional, encouraging, helpful and friendly throughout the week.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit before you travel and make sure you can cycle 80 miles a day for 6 days running.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have no hesitation in recommending Exodus for this kind of trip. I have travelled with them on cycling holidays twice and both trips were outstanding.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Alasdair Soper

    Worth Every Penny

    Brilliant route, taking in iconic climbs which feature in the Tour de France, as well as less well known, but equally challenging hills. Good mix of climbing and flat. Daily distances just about right, making it challenging, but not torture. Good accommodation and food. Good group of people. Group leader, Johann, was helpful, pleasant and resourceful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the Med at the end of the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Executed some brilliant adhoc bicycle repairs to keep the group going. Kept a close eye on everyone on the road, providing food and water. Provided pleasant company at the dinner table. No complaints.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just the usual. Shorts and gloves. Make sure they're up to it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Neville Turner

    Raid Pyrenean Coast to Coast Ride

    Great schedule, great week of cycling in Pyrenees, great company, great guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the Med after a week of hard cycling and lots of fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Johann was brilliant, knew what he was doing, lots of fun, cared for us, nothing was too much trouble and absolutely made our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train hard

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Made some friends for life.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Chris Piccaver

    Raid Pyrenean coast to coast ride

    Excellent trip, good riding, fantastic scenery, iconic climbs, great food and great company. If you are used to cycling in the UK and are looking for some of the feel of continental cycling this is a great place to start. Any reasonably active cyclist will enjoy this, get your bike and head in gear, pace yourself for a long day (s) in the saddle and ride those classic Cols you see on the Tour...most importantly, enjoy the experience. Temperature on occasions was over 40 degrees and regularly in the mid 30's so lots of fluids are required, fortunately the support van is on hand and has stocks of water, nibbles, banana's etc plus available to take those essential 'summit' photos under the Col summit boards. Well organised trip with a range of accommodation (2 star hotels) some of which are in truly wonderful locations, good continental breakfasts and evening meals (not included) delivering local regional fare.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the first HC category summit in blazing sunshine, followed with a well earnt beer shared with cycling companions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Vincent, very professional, knowledgeable and good company, he is an enthusiastic cyclist so clearly he gets the trip 'vibe' and is a ready source of support and information on the route. Always on hand and contactable by mobile if things should go awry.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Usual stuff, bit of training beforehand will pay benefits on the long climbs, take some gels and bars, keep hydrated, take sun cream and ear plugs, a couple of the hotels are located on main roads, so if you get a room on that side it can be noisy. Check your bike before hand, treat it to a new set of tyres and service.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommended
  • Reviewed July 2015
    bruce irving

    Pyrennean RAid

    This is a tough ride and July was hot. Despite this all of our group managed it. It was a nice group that road together on the flats and stretched on the hills. Everyone was considerate of each other. I broke my collar bone on day one which meant I was in the van most of the time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There is a gradual change in architecture and climate. You start with cow bells and end with cicadas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. Great knowledge and calm expertise from Vincent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Accomodation is all 2* and is perfectly adequte. Some of the towns are more proaperous than others and all the menus were attractively priced.. We got picnic lunches from shops as it was cheaper and quicker to eat from the van

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip could be a very rewarding experience.

Dates & Prices

Call us on 1 844 227 9087