Day 1 – Monday, August 6, 2018
We pick you up from either Biarritz or San Sebastián airport and shuttle you to our starting point at Hendaye Plage. There, we help you assemble your bike and give you time to settle into your hotel room. Then a quick test spin, probably up Jaizkibel for some gorgeous ocean views and a nice dinner — the perfect prep for the adventure ahead. 25 miles / 2300’ climbing.
Day 2 - Tuesday, August 7
After following the coast for several miles, we head inland into Basque country through well-preserved and active villages. After entering the Pyrenean foothills, we climb the Col de St Ignace before a brief two-pass visit to Spain to climb Col de St Ignace and Col d’Ispéguy Puerto d’Oxtondo on the Franco-Iberic border. 53 miles / 6000’ climbing.
Day 3 – Wednesday, August 8
Our route takes us deeper into rural Basque country, where sheep farming is the main activity. Wide open vistas and seemingly groomed mountains are on today’s menu. Three passes are between us and our quiet mountain village stop in Accous — Ahusguy, Col de Lie, and Col de Bouezou. 53 miles / 8500’ climbing.
Day 4 – Thursday, August 9
Having now ‘warmed-up’ on smaller climbs, today we’ll tackle three Tour de France classics — Col de Marie-Blanque, Col d’Aubisque and Col de Soulor. The scenery is wonderful, and we are finally in the High Pyrenees. 55 miles / 9800’ climbing.
Day 5 – Friday, August 10
A week of cycling in the Pyrenees must include the Tourmalet, and today, this is objective #1. Approaching from the west, the climb is long and tough, but the scenery gets better and better to compensate — a little. After celebrating seemingly atop the Pyrenees, we cruise down toward objective #2, Houquette d’Anzican. 50 miles / 11,000’ climbing.
Day 6 – Saturday, August 11
Today is an out and back into the Pyrenees National Park. No need to pack up in the morning: we’re staying at the same spot for two nights in a row. Just one gorgeous and memorable climb to the Cap de Long dam. 43 miles / 7,300’ climbing.
Day 7 – Sunday August 12
More classic Tour de France climbs await as we head over the mountain passes of the Col d’Azet and the Col de Peyresourde, where Chris Froome showed the world his descending skills, plus the climb up to the ski area Super Bagnères. 54 miles / 10,150’ climbing.
Day 8 – Monday, August 13
Our last day of climbing and ‘just’ one climb up the Port de Balès before some easier riding to the town of Montrejeau where we can take a dip in the pool followed by a one-hour drive to Toulouse and a celebratory dinner. 39 miles / 5,200’ climbing.
Day 9 – Tuesday, August 14
After breakfast, we’ll shuttle you to the Toulouse airport where we’ll say, ‘au revoir’ (but not goodbye)!