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Tour

Atlantic to the Mediterranean - France

Atlantic to the Mediterranean - France

Degree of difficulty -

The challenge on this tour is to ride from one coast to the other, essentially from Biarritz on the Bay of Biscay to Narbonne Plage on the Mediterranean.

Although not flat, the basic route sticks to the foothills of the Pyrenees and does not seek out any great climbs. There are options for the more experienced cyclists and those looking for a greater challenge, to tackle hillier terrain in the Pyrenees including the fantastic Tourmalet being the highlight,  not to mention the equally great Col de Portet d' Aspet!

We have been running Sportive trips in France since 2009 and have fine tuned all details to create what we believe is the perfect challenge.  We have mapped out a trip on beautiful quiet roads with the back drop of stunning Pyrenean Scenery.  The tour is fully supported with experienced guides who cycle with you in small groups of 10.   We organise everything from the luggage Transport to all meals & snack stops,  and have an experience bike mechanic on hand in case of any problems.

We do not have a scheduled tour running here in 2016,  however as with all our routes we can always organise a tour for private groups so please do contact us directly ( info@cyclingsafaris.com )  if this tour sparks an interest amoung a group of friends or bike club and we can organise a tour for you ( assuming that we have availablity at the time! )

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

DAY 1 ARRIVE AT THE ATLANTIC

Biarritz is only 11 miles from the border with Spain, nestling along the Bay of Biscay. The town is well known for surfing and has several great beaches, thus the perfect point to embark on our
journey from sea to sea.

DAY 2 Biarritz to Oloron-Saint-Marie 115kms / 125kms

After leaving the Atlantic Ocean we will follow a pleasant road beside the river to leave the city. Quickly we will find ourselves in the countryside and Basque style towns and villages, with  Perhaps Cambo-Les-Bains one of the best examples. An extra option for the more experienced
rider is the Col d’Osquich, which makes a pleasant leg stretcher for the greater climb ahead. The climb is almost 12km long and has an elevation gain of 392metres.with an ave. gradient of 3%, so relatively gentle. Oloron is a pleasant town with a very interesting ancient quarter including a Romanesque church. Its most important feature (aside from one of Europes largest chocolate factories) is its location at the base of the Pyrenees and forming part of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route.

DAY 3 Oloron-Saint-Marie to Bagneres-de-Bigorre 100km/145km

Leaving Oloron the Pyrenees come into view creating a great backdrop to the surrounding countryside. Our lunch stop is the well known pilgrimage town of Lourdes. From here the route follows a dedicated cycle path before splitting in two. The regular route heads along quite roads in the foothills to reach our next destination of Bagnieres de Bigorre. The alternative route  ackles the mighty Tourmalet, one of the Tour de Frances earliest and greatest climbs (and one of the select few 5 star climbs). Not for the faint hearted as the gradient constantly changes and gets harder at the finish. The summit requires an obligatory photo with the giant metal cyclist statue and perhaps a treat from the café and gift shop, before the wonderful descent.

DAY 4 Bagneres to St Girons 110km/125km

Again the afternoon provides another challenge for those looking for some Tour de France glory as we again dip into the Pyrenees. This time it is the Col de Portet d’Aspet that attracts us, a tour favourite and well known for the haunting memorial to the Italian rider Fabio Casartelli, one of the few riders to have ever died on the tour. This climb is not the longest on the tour (18.1km) and includes some relatively easy sections given the height gain is only 586 metres. However it has a nasty sting with a twisted irregular section that  ncludes a 17% section – so low gears required! Our destination is the pleasant town of St Girons nestling on the Salat river.

DAY 5 St Girons to Carcassone 125kms

Today will see us skirting the edge of Eastern Pyrenees following roads with great mountain views. Generally we lose height over the day as we leave the mountains behind. The imposing Chateau de Foix can be seen from miles around and numerous small medieval towns such as Mirepoix with its 14th Century wooden arcades being one of the more notable. Carcassone is a wonderful fortified city. The  edieval core is a fairytale like UNESCO world heritage place of drawbridges, towers and cobbled streets. 

DAY 6 Carcassone to Narbonne Plage/Narbonne 110km

The last day is the easiest of the ride as we ultimately end up back at sea level. The route passes through a number of attractive villages and follows the tree lined Canal du Midi for a while. Finally we get our first sighting of the sea and ride along the coast at Narbonne Plage and have a celebratory lunch here. It is then a short ride along cycle paths to the attractive city of Narbonne and our last night together.

DAY 7 Departure
After breakfast you are free to make your own way home, while we pack up all the bikes to bring back to Dublin.

 

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

€ on application

Tour Includes

TOUR INCLUDES

- 6 nights hotel accommodation
- Breakfasts & dinners
- Lunch & Snacks on all cycling days
- Cycling guide (1 guide per 10 cyclists)
- Bike mechanic in back up van
- Luggage transfer
- Full training schedule on booking
- Transfer of bikes to and from Dublin

Self Guided Tour Information

The information is currently being updated. New content coming soon.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

The information is currently being updated. New content coming soon.

For more details please have a look at the tour dossier.

As always please contact us in the office for more information (info@cyclingsafaris.com).

Getting in Touch...

Cycling Safaris
Belfield Bike Shop,
UCD, Dublin 4,
Ireland.

Telephone: +353 1 2600749
Fax: +353 1 7161168

info@cyclingsafaris.com

Office hours:
Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm

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