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Tour de France - Best of Tour de France 10 N

FROM 10TH TO 20TH OF JULY

This trip is for the Tour de France fanatic.  For 11 straight days the Tour de France will become your life!  From deep in the Pyrenees, to the lavender fields and Mount Ventoux in Provence, and finally to the heart of the Alps and the climax of the 2013 Tour de France, you will pedal your bike and revel in the world’s greatest race!  In one trip you’ll realize the triple King of the Mountains (Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez).  Your watch the race from perfect spots at every important mountain stage and you’ll enjoy incredible bike rides into beautiful environments each day.  Stay in quality hotels while your guides look after every detail. You travel with our comfortable bus and van support.

Price : 4450
Level : Moderate
Access : From Paris, take a train from the Montparnasse train station to the Toulouse/Matabiau train station.  Travel time is 5.5 hours.  Or, take a direct flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Toulouse Blagnac airport.  Travel time for flight is 1 hour, 10 minutes. 
 

KEY REASONS

The Gave Valley

Stiuated in the heart of the Pyrenees nearPau is the beautiful Gave valley.  In the middle of a natural preserve, this area is a cyclists paradise and is known for its climbs and its striking beauty.  Ride your bike in any direction and you’ll come across an epic Tour de France climb: Souloir, Aubisque, Hautcam, Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden…

La Provence

This incredible region of France has a distinct Mediterranean influence, with dry, hot summers.  In July, colors abound, with the purple of the Lavender and green of the vines and the olive trees.  It’s a rather flat region, except for the imposingMountVentoux which lurks nearby.  You’ll be front and center for the summit finish, where the atmosphere will be surreal.

Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is 20 kilometres from Nimes, in the Gard department of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon. The Pont du Gard was built by the Romans during the first century, as part of a grand undertaking to transport water by aqueduct for 50 kilometers across hills and valleys to Nimes. The aqueduct drops only 17 meters along its entire length, an amazing feat of engineering. The Pont du Gard is the highlight of the aqueduct, as it crosses theGardonRiver. The site around the Pont du Gard is now listed by UNESCO as aFranceworld heritage site, and also classified as one of a few selected 'Grand Sites of France.'

Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux is a 1910-m high conical peak that's visible from far across the surrounding countryside. Mont Ventoux is the highest part of a mountain range running from the village of Montbrun-les-Bains in the east to Malaucène in the west. Further to the west, the range rises up again as the Dentelles de Montmirail. The view from the top is truly magnificent, especially if a Mistral has cleared the air. From the northeastern lookout alone you can see most of the Alps, including the Vercors, Chaine de Belledonne, Mont Blanc, the Ecrins, the Queyras and the Mercantour. If you are going to the top of Mont Ventoux during a Mistral, or any time other than the middle of summer.

Valley of Oisans 

Cyclist paradise is situated east of Grenoble. In this area, one finds numerous famous mountains visited by the Tour de France and tour trips like La Marmotte. And of course, the well known peaks like Col du Glandon (1908 m), Col de la Croix de Fer (2067 m),

Col du Télégraphe (1566 m), Col du Galibier (2646 m), Col du Lauteret (2058 m), Les Deux-Alpes (1860 m) and last but not least l'Alpe-d'Huez (1860 m).Beautiful valleys cross L'Oisans, a scenery to make endless mountain walks. Cable-railways are available and lead to the glacier of Pic Blanc (3330 m) or La Meije (3200 m), starting from Alpe-d'Huez or La Grave respectively. Obviously,

magnificent tours by bike are also a possibility, passing the mountain peaks mentioned above.

L’Alpe d’Huez 

Alpe d'Huez is the most famous mountain climb in the Tour de France. While the tour route varies from year to year, l'Alpe d'Huez has hosted a stage finish almost every year since 1976. The Tour de France first finished a stage on l'Alpe d'Huez in 1952. That stage was won by the Italian road racing cyclist Fausto Coppi. The climb up Alpe d'Huez is 13.8 km at an average gradient of 8.1% with 21 hairpin bends marked with panels honouring the winners of each stage that has finished there. Having finished there for the 22nd time in 2001, the authorities had to start again at the bottom with a double panel honouring Fausto Coppi and Lance Armstrong. 

1
Day

arrival in Toulouse. Meet your guide at the Toulouse train station at 13h00 or the airport Toulouse Blagnac at 14h00. Transfer by van for the 1 hour drive to Lourdes, at the doorstep to the Pyrenees. Arrive hotel. Once you have had a chance to check in well do a bike fitting and orientation meeting. Dinner is together tonight at the hotel. Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Lourdes. Dinner included.

2
Day

this is the first of two days in the Pyrenees so well get right to the business of bike riding! Riding directly from the hotel your own peloton will attack two monuments of the Tour de France: The Col du Soulor (19km at 5.2%). The scenery is breathtaking and this first day marks the beginning of your photographic, cycling journey. Distance: 68km, climbing 1650 meters.
Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Lourdes. Breakfast, lunch, included.

3
Day

today we will tackle the giant of the Pyrenees, Le Tourmalet. The group will have a short shuttle in the morning to get a head start on the day. The riding is relatively flat until you reach the foot of Tourmalet. From the West side, its 19km at 7.4%! Once on the summit youll understand what it means to ride a legendary climb of the Tour de France! Return to the hotel by van. Timing may allow us to watch todays tour finish on TV. Distance 62km, climbing 2300m.
Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Lourdes. Breakfast, lunch, included.

4
Day

recuperation and new discoveries are on the menu for this transfer day between the Pyrenees and Provence. We propose a rest stop along the way for a wine tasting along the Mediterranean at VIA VINO. A wine tasting followed by lunch featuring Mediterranean specialties will expose you to life in France! After lunch well be on our way to the charming Provencal village of Uzes which will be our base for the next 4 nights. Lodging/food: a charming castle in Arpaillargues. Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

5
Day

tour de France Stage 15. Bastille Day and Mount Ventoux! Bastille day at the Tour de France is always a day rich in emotions. Youll be at the heart of this magnificent stage atop the mythical Mt. Ventoux. Well do a morning transfer by bus to find our viewing site which will have already been staked out by your guides. Well be strategically placed so as not to miss a moment of the action. Get your favorite gear on and prepare to scream your lungs out! ALLEZ, ALLEZ, ALLEZ!!! Return to hotel by van. Lodging/food: a charming castle in Arpaillargues. Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

6
Day

yesterday the Tour riders conquered Mount Ventoux; today is your turn! A morning transfer will bring us to Bedoin. From here the climb begins without let up! Mount Ventoux is one of the most magical and most difficult climbs that exists. The average gradient for the 22km climb is 7.1%. From the very beginning, there is no let up before you reach Chalet Reynard, 6km from the summit. From there, it a tough final 6km through the moon-like landscape void of any vegetation. Be warned, the final 6km has sections close to 12% steep! Once atop the summit though, youll be rewarded with photo ops like not other. The group with descend directly down to Bdoin. Distance: 48km, climbing is 1730 meters . Lodging/food: a charming castle in Arpaillargues. Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

7
Day

as the Tour de France leaves Provence this morning for the Alps, youll get the opportunity to ride the rural roads of Provence through classic small villages and vineyards. Your main stop will be the 2000 year old Pont du Gard, listed by UNESCO as a France world heritage site. Take advantage of the water dont forget to bring your swimming suit today as the swimming here is great. After our visit it is back to the hotel on the bikes or in the bus. Distance: 47km, climbing 540 meters. Lodging/food: a charming castle in Arpaillargues/ Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

8
Day

this morning well transfer towards our final region of this trip, where its all going to go down: The Alps. In the afternoon a short bike ride will be possible. You can also watch the Individual Time Trial stage in your room or in the hotels lounge. Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Les 2 Alpes. Breakfast, lunch, included.

9
Day

tour de France Stage 18 - Let the games begin! - Today will be a day that you will never forget. History will be made today as the Tour de France will take the riders twice up the Alpe dHuez! Leaving by bike or by van youll leave les 2 Alpes today for a day in the madness. The Alpe dHuez will come alive today and show off the magic of the Tour de France. Youll be at the heart of an amazing event and youll cherish these memories forever. Put on your favorite riders jersey and get your vocal cords ready, its go time! ALLEZ, ALLEZ, ALLEZ!!! Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Les 2 Alpes. Breakfast, lunch, included.

10
Day

youll have two riding options today, depending on how the legs feel! Firstly, you can ride the mythical Alpe dHuez, whose 21 switchbacks cover 13km at 8.1%. For this option, the group will stop riding at the summit. Distance: 32km, climbing 1600 meters. Option number two is the mighty Col du Galibier. Leaving the hotel by bike again, descend into the valley below before making your way up a relatively gentle Col du Lauteret. After Lauteret the real work begins and youll need your climbing legs as youll conquer the slopes of the Galibier, a true giant among giants. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Distance is 44km, with 2260 meters of climbing.
Lodging/food: a beautiful 4 star hotel in Les 2 Alpes/ Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

11
Day

au revoir to the Alps. After breakfast well provide a transfer to the train station in Grenoble for an approximate 11:00AM arrival.

BIKE AVAILABLE ON THIS TOUR

Road bike Look 566 Carbon or equivalent

Rental rate: 325 euros/bike for the duration of the tour. This includes all the gear shown as well as bike delivery, set up and bike return. Every bike is given an inspection in our workshop. Clients should bring their own clipless pedals to be changed over and pedal wrench

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 10 of accommodations in 4 star hotels of charm and a csastle with rooms that include private shower and/or bathroom
  • 6 dinners, daily breakfast
  • Guides, welcome orientation 
  • Road book with maps
  • Luggage transfers, vehicle support, 
  • Energy drinks, water, snacks, picnic lunches, and a souvenir jersey.

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare to and from the trip 
  • Lodging before and after the trip
  • Personal items purchased during the trip
  • Drinks when dinner is not included

Some meals are not included in each destination, which gives you the opportunity to explore regional cuisine on your own. You will find all information needed with our team support 

1, 2, 3

Day
La solitude
Lourdes, France,

Comfortably sitting in your spacious room, you’ll be enchanted by the vast area and amount of equipment and services available to you.  This international hotel boasts a restaurant on the Gave river, brasserie with terrace, heated pool, large meeting rooms, free WiFi and a boutique.

4, 5, 6, 7

Day
Chateau d'Arpaillargues
Arpaillargues, France,

At the edge of town, about 4km to the west of Uzes, is the 18th century Château d’Arpaillargues, that has now became the Hotel d’Agoult.  Protected by its thick walls, the interior of Chateau d’Arpaillargues exposes the charm and ambiance of a stately Provencal home.  (17 and 18 century)  This historic chateau is not only a memorable site, but an elegant and discreet getaway in the heart of the Uzes countryside.

8, 9, 10

Day
Mercure les 2 Alpes 1800
Les 2 Alpes, France,

Situated at the foot of the ski hills, the Mercure Les 2 Alpes 1800 offers a 4 star service with an exceptional panorama on the ski resort of Les Deux Alps.  The bar and La Muzelle restaurant face directly South.  Enjoy spacious rooms and even enjoy the Balneo spa nearby.

In the Pyrenees and Alps during the month of July the temperature is usually quite warm in the valleys.  The average temperature in July is between 15 and 25° Celcius.  (Between 60 and 78° Farenheit)   However, the weather can change very quickly and become very cold.  We can sometimes even see snow on certain Cols such as the Galibier.  We recommend that you bring warm layers for riding bikes.  Provence benefits from a very warm climate ranging between 19 and 29° Celsius.  (between 67 and 85° Fahrenheit).  Nevertheless, the “Mistral” (a wind from the North) can blow very hard.

Moderate level tour clients should be cycling 7-8 hours per week by the time they come to France.   Doing more never hurts!   Doing less is not recommended. All participants should be out on the bike at least 4 times per week.  Weekdays may be shorter rides with longer rides on the weekends.

NUTRITION:  we include some nutritional supplements in our tours, but if you need recovery drinks or a special brand, you should plan to bring your own supplements.

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