Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

“Follow the challenging coast to coast cycling raid as part of a small group tackling 11 Pyrenean Cols over the course of eight days en-route to the Med.”


Hendaye | Col du St Ignace | Col d'Osquich | descent into Licharre | Hors category Col d'Aubisque | Col de Soulor | Arrens Marsours | Hors Category Col du Tourmalet | Col d'Aspin | Col de Peyresourde | Col des Ares | Col de Portet d'Aspet | St Girons | Col du Port | Ariege Valley | Col de Chioula | Ax les Thermes | Gorges de l'Aude | St Cyprien |

Description of Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

France is undoubtedly the European home of cycling however, step away from the rural lanes and byways for a moment and check out the Pyrenees along the northern border of Spain as this week-long coast to coast cycle raid in France, is one for the purists.

Following the classic route furrowed by cyclists attempting to conquer the Pyrenean Cols within 100hrs, you’ll get the chance to cycle the Pyrenees on an organised small group tour that incorporates all of the unforgettable Cols, climbs and descents en-route to the Med.

From Col du Tourmalet to Col d'Aubisque, this coast to coast Pyrenean cycle tour is just about as good as it gets and a great way to put your pedals through their paces as you follow in the tyre tracks of some of world cycling’s most legendary figures.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


Check dates, prices & availability

31 Aug 2019
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 31 Aug 2019 departure
20 Jun 2020
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Jun 2020 departure
08 Aug 2020
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Aug 2020 departure
29 Aug 2020
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 Aug 2020 departure
12 Sep 2020
including UK flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Sep 2020 departure
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Cycling trips in general have a minimal impact on the environment; clients are briefed on managing food waste on cycling days- litter can be collected by guide in support vehicle and disposed of appropriately, in respect of local recycling policies. As this is a cycling trip, clients will interact with locals on scheduled stops, but also on the roads while cycling. Local drivers are generally very respectful and tolerant towards cyclists, and it is pointed out to clients that this goes both ways – while clients are on holiday, it is important to respect the fact that local drivers may be working or just going about their everyday lives, and to impact this as little as possible. For example letting cars pass on the sometimes narrow roads, giving way to pedestrians and even, at times, livestock ; rather than being simple observers and consumers, we are all responsible for promoting a climate of tolerance and mutual respect.

Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Water is provided for clients on all cycling trips, and is carried in the support vehicle. Water receptacles are recycled or reused where applicable. As tap water in the region is drinkable, clients will be encouraged to use tap water and to reuse plastic bottles, rather than buying bottled water.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.


Accommodation and Meals:
Hotels used on this trip are family-owned with local staff, providing valuable employment in the tourism industry on which the region depends. Fresh produce is sourced locally as much as possible. Clients are encouraged to stop at local cafés on cycling breaks, notably on or near the mountain passes on the itinerary - local cafés are often seasonal and dependant on tourism for their livelihood, while providing valuable employment in areas where tourism is the principal, or only, employment option, particularly for younger people. Picnic lunches are sourced at local stores, and evening meals are taken in the family-run restaurants or at the hotels, also family-run. Keep an eye out for regional specialties like hearty cassoulets and fresh fish, Mediterranean dishes towards the end of the trip.

The trip takes the group through small villages and towns in the Pyrenees, with many small local businesses and artisans that are dependent on tourism for their livelihood; clients are encouraged to sample local wares when possible. The bikes used on the trip are hired from a locally-owned and run business in Luchon ; for all our trips we privilege local operators over large retail chain stores for the rental of bikes. These small businesses have been founded by people with a love of cycling, who have often cycled the very roads we will take on the trip: this ensures a more personalised service for both the operator and the end client, while benefitting the local economy.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

2 Reviews of Raid Pyrennean Coast to Coast ride in France

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Great cycling

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't pack too much need very little

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so contributed a little to the local economy as a cyclist.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was a really good holiday where yet again I had the opportunity to see another country, meet like minded people. Guide Demo was excellent. Breakfast could have been better in one hotel where we were gievn stale bread and left overs from the night before. This was the night before the optional 10k climb which we all did, so not good.

Reviewed on 25 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Reaching the top of the Col du Tourmalet.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You need to be really fit for this holiday. Train beforehand as much as possible. Some climbs are very long and arduous. I did not cope with the unseasonably
hot temperatures (over 40C, according to my Garmin).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

No more than other cycling holidays, I guess.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good.

Popular similar holidays

Dordogne self guided cycling tour, France

Dordogne self guided cycling tour, France

The cycling on this tour is varied and packed with interest

From £1799 - £2005 9 days including UK flights

Nouvelle Aquitaine self guided cycling holiday, France

Nouvelle Aquitaine self guided cycling holiday, France

Idyllic cycling in France with great food, wine and bonhomie

From £950 - £1040 7 days excluding flights

Provence self guided cycling tour, Avignon to Cassis

Provence self guided cycling tour, Avignon to Cassis

Discover Provence from Avignon to the Mediterranean by bike

From €995 - €1380 8 days excluding flights

Geneva to Lyon self guided cycling holiday, France

Geneva to Lyon self guided cycling holiday, France

Cycle along the Rhône River from Geneva to Lyon

From €845 6 days excluding flights

Convert currencies