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Tour de France - Grand Depart and Pyrenees 2023

Thursday 29th June 2023

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Days

8/9 nights available

difficulity 

Very Difficult

From

£2599 GBP

Why Book This Trip?

On our 2023 Tour de France Grand Depart and Pyrenees Tour you will witness the spectacular start of the race for yellow in the Basque Country and Pyrenees. 

The Grand Départ of the 110th edition of the Tour de France will take place in Bilbao. The race will start with two days in the cycling mecca of the Basque Country in Northern Spain before a Basque start and moving into France on stage 3. Following on from the Grand Depart where we will stay in Bilbao and San Sebastian, we move to the French Pyrenees. Here you will get to experience the race in a different way. Seeing the riders take on the first high mountains of this year’s Tour de France. You get to be part of the crowds you would normally envy.

This is a small group tour with a high staff to client ratio. You will be looked after by a team of 4 bike guides, mechanics and drivers. We use small tour vehicles for the best stage access. Bikes can be carried fully assembled on our vehicles. We offer daily, guided group rides and spectators are also catered for each day.

Our tour starts on Thursday so we can enjoy the team presentation. Our hotels are located in great locations for all 3 Basque stages, and you will see all of them live. Experience the passion of cycling from the Basque people and the amazing culinary delights and landscape the region has to offer.

Spread your payments: Our payment plan is an interest-free payment method where you will have the opportunity to spread payment for your booking.

Special guest Phil Liggett: Meet “the voice of Cycling” Phil Liggett as he joins us for dinner in Bilbao.

Cultural and Culinary experiences: .Guided walking tour with local guide in Bilbao. Visit the Guggenheim museum. Enjoy the famous Basque Cuisine with ‘Pintxos’ tours with local guides in both Bilbao and San Sebastian.

Premium 4* accommodation: In Bilbao, San Sebastian and Lourdes with breakfast and dinner included daily

Live race viewing: Witness the excitement of the team presentation and 5 stages LIVE!

Spectator and rider friendly: Explore the incredible bike friendly Basque region and indulge in its amazing cuisine then move onto the Mountains and experience all the excitement while the riders tackle the famous Pyrenees.

Ride the Col du Tourmalet: On day 9, before watching the tour tackle this climb you will be able to ride it yourself. We also ride Cauterets, Soulour/ Aubisque as well as beautiful routes in the Basque Country.

What's Included?

Accommodation

4* Hotels in Bilbao, San Sebastian and Lourdes

Included Meals

Daily Breakfast and Dinner as listed

Transfer

Return airport transfers

Accommodation

1 x Group dinner with special guest speaker

Guided Rides

Daily ride options from experienced local guides

Mechanic

Mechanic and vehicle support

Walking Tour

Local cultural and culinary experiences

Additional Extras - Bike rental

From £255. Orbea or Argon 18 Carbon road bikes with Shimano 105 or Ultegra and 11/30 or 11/32 cassette

Highlights from the Past Event

Itinerary

Day To Day

Hotel: Mercure Bilbao (half board basis)

Meals: Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Transfer from Bilbao Airport to Hotel
  • Guided walking tour of Bilbao
  • Watch the Team Presentations in Bilbao LIVE

Today’s Ride: Bike fitting at hotel

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Arrive in Bilbao, transfer to the hotel, meet and greet in the afternoon at the hotel. From the hotel, we will depart on foot as a group for a walking tour of Bilbao’s Old Town followed by watching the Team Presentations live.

For the walking tour you will meet with a top local guide who will take you on a two hour tour of the Old Quarter. The narrow streets of Bilbao’s Old Town or Casco Viejo give off an age-old atmosphere. This historical corner, which keeps intact its buildings from the beginning of the century, rebuilt after the 1983 floods, is one of the most alive and dearly loved areas of a city which is full of contrasts.

Hotel: Mercure Bilbao (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • AM – Ride the final section of stage 1
  • Group dinner with special guest speaker Phil Liggett
  • PM – Half day tour (Bike tour & Guggenheim Museum)

Today’s Ride: Ride some of Stage 1 race route including the final section. Approximately 30- 40km

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Following breakfast, we will depart the hotel by bike to ride sections of Stage 1. This will be a great chance to get familiar with your bike and roll out the legs.
In the afternoon we will enjoy a guided city bike tour and Guggenheim Museum visit.
Today we are lucky enough to enjoy the company of Phil Liggett as our special guest for dinner.

Hotel: Mercure Bilbao (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Watch Stage 1 live including Start and Finish
  • Bilbao Pintxos tour – 2 hours (includes 6 Pintxos + 2 drinks in total, in 2 different bars + guide service)

Today’s Ride Option: There are some beautiful coastal roads to enjoy so why not join us on a morning ride covering 60/70Km and 1000m of climbing. You will be back in time to watch the stage finish in Bilbao.

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Today the 2023 Tour de France will commence with the stage starting and finishing in Bilbao. We’ll enjoy a leisurely morning before we regroup at the hotel and walk to the start area. Once the race has departed, we will walk to the finish line area.
After the race, we will join our local guide for a unique walking Bilbao Pintxos tour. Your expert guide will take you to some of Bilbao’s finest establishments and introduce you to the unique art of miniature haute cuisine.

Hotel: Mercure Igueldo San Sebastián (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Ride the final section of today’s Stage 2
  • Watch Stage 2 live, finish area in San Sebastian

Today’s Ride: 80km | 1300m Climbing

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We depart Bilbao early by tour vehicle and head to Tolosa. The riding group will quickly prepare and head off by bike to ride the final section of today’s stage 2. This will take us through Irun and the final climb of the day before we descend into San Sebastian.

Non-riders will have a chance to explore the town of Tolosa before being transferred by tour vehicle to San Sebastian.

Once we arrive in San Sebastian, we will watch the finish of the race live.

 

Hotel: Mercure Igueldo San Sebastián (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Ride a section of today’s Stage 3
  • Watch Stage 3 live
  • San Sebastian Pintxos tour – 2 hours (includes 6 Pintxos + 2 drinks in total, in 2 different bars + guide service)

Today’s Ride: 70km | 1100m Climbing

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We depart the hotel by bike to ride today’s stage in the reverse direction. Along the way we will see local towns set up for the race to come through later in the day. We will stop at the coastal town of Zarautz to watch the race pass through. Once the riders and support vehicles have passed, we hop back on the bikes and make our way back to San Sebastian via an inland route.

Once we arrive back at the hotel you’ll have time to refresh before our San Sebastian Pintxos tour. You will enjoy traditional products of Basque cuisine in the Old Quarter followed by a group dinner.

 

Distance: 70km

Elevation: 1100

Difficulty: 3/5


Main Bunch

Hotel: Gallia Grand Hotel Lourdes (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Transfer to Lourdes
  • First ride in the Pyrenees

Today’s Ride: Guided ride from Lourdes to finish of Stage 6

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Today we leave San Sebastian, and we will make our way to Lourdes where we will stay the next 3 nights at hotel Gallia on half board basis. The transfer takes about 3 hours so we will get to Lourdes before lunch. Once there we will check into the hotel and this afternoon, we will offer a guided bike ride in the local area. We will ride to Cauterets and Cambasque (which the tour finishes on in Stage 6 during 2023 in two day’s time). This climb starts at the other end of the bike path from Lourdes so it is perfect for an afternoon ride option.

Distance
70km
Elevation
1,100m
Difficulty
2/5                     Main Bunch


Hotel: Gallia Grand Hotel Lourdes  (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Watch Stage 5 live
  • Guided ride

Today’s Ride: We will depart from the hotel where our route will take us to the base of the Col du Soulor. From here you will tackle the classic Soulor / Aubisque double. We then ride the magical balcony road that joins both of these epic Tour de France climbs before descending down into Laruns to see Stage 5 finish live!

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The first mountain stage will begin in Pau before heading out to the Pyrenees. The stage covers 165km and the riders will take on two mountains before the finish in Laruns. Tadej Pogacar has previously dominated stages starting in Pau, but will this year see a new winner, or will he take glory once more?

 

Distance: 60km       Elevation: 1500m

Difficulty: 3/5

 

Hotel: Gallia Grand Hotel Lourdes  (half board basis)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner at Hotel

Daily Highlights:

  • Watch Stage 6 live

Today’s Ride: 102km | 1996m Climbing

You will ride up the world famous Tourmalet to a viewing spot near the summit. Here we will join the local passionate crowds to watch the excitement unfold as the riders come past.

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These are the stages that cycling fans around the world look forward to. Soak up the excitement as the peloton takes on the gruelling, relentless ascents of the Pyrenees. Up in the mountains the teams will be put to the test in a bid for glory. Rolling out of Tarbes the riders will cover 145km, starting with the Col d’Aspin followed by the Col du Tourmalet and finishing up the Cauterets-Cambasque. It’s going to be an exciting stage!

Distance: 102km

Elevation: 1996m

Difficulty: 4/5

Hotel: Gallia Grand Hotel Lourdes
Meals: Breakfast

Departure to Toulouse Airport

More About the Event

The Basque Country is Spain’s Cycling Mecca. The riders of the 2023 Tour de France will be surrounded by the fervour of Basque fans who always turn up to support the international peloton.

In 2022, the Vuelta a Espana also visited the Basque Country. Bilbao reasserted its prominent role in this edition by hosting both a stage departure and a finish-line. It was the third time that the Biscay capital fired the starting gun for a stage with a high-altitude finale, following the one in 1977 that ended in Urkiola and the one in 2019, with a finale at Los Machucos. Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country. The Tour will also visit Vitoria-Gasteiz which is the administrative capital of the Basque Country and Donostia-San Sebastián which is the best-known tourist destination.

Lourdes is well known as a Pilgrimage site where millions of Catholics travel every year. It’s believed in 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to a local woman. In July 2023, fans from a range of nationalities and the world’s greatest cyclists will make the pilgrimage to the Pyrenees. They will take on climbs such as the Col du Tourmalet which made its debut in the Tour de France in 1910. Since then, it has seen riders ascend through crowds of fans in an attempt to put their name in Tour de France history books.

You're in safe hands

We have a team of highly experienced professionals who have been organising cycling trips for over 25 years. We are members of ABTA and ATOL so book with confidence.

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Spread your payments

Our payment plan is an interest-free payment method where you will have the opportunity to spread payment for your booking. *Selected products. Terms and Conditions apply

Logistics covered

We know the routes, we know the roads. We know how the event works and the best hotels for the start and finish. We organise everything for you; transfers, bike transport, additional feed stops, rep support and more.

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