- 10+ Guests Price as advertised*
- 8-9 Guests +$500 per person to trip price*
- 6-7 Guests +$1,000 per person to trip price*
- 4-5 Guests +$1,500 per person to trip price*
- 2-3 Guests +$2,500 per person to trip price*
You can choose to either meet your guides between 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM on the day before your trip starts at the hotel or wait until the first meeting day for a custom bike fit before your first day's ride from the belle époque seaside resort town of St. Jean-de-Luz, France. Inhale a deep breath of salty Atlantic air and dip your toes (or maybe your front tire!) ceremoniously in the cool ocean waters to christen your trip before jumping into today’s Pays Basque ride. Your ride today is 60% in France, 40% in Spain & 100% in the Basque country! The climb begins from the coast and ascends through green pastures dotted with sheep, mountain goats, and signature white Basque farmhouses. You’ll feast on a mountaintop Trek Travel picnic lunch before continuing on to your hotel for the night. Tonight, your guides will host a rousing round of introductions over drinks with your fellow travelers followed by a hearty dinner in the ancient mountain town of St. Jean-Pied-de-Port.
St. Jean-de-Luz to Puerto de Otxondo to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port
Approximately 47 miles with 5,500 feet of climbing
Hôtel les Pyrénées
Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner
Today you’ll ride from the foothills into the mighty Pyrenees. Begin with a climb up the Col de Burdincurutcheta, a popular bird migration viewpoint in September and October. As you summit this first climb, keep your eyes peeled for wood pigeons, honey buzzards and cranes. You’ll ride through the largest broadleaf forest in Europe, en route to Col d’Iraty and your first "hors catégorie" climb, Col de Soudet. You'll be surrounded by vast gorges and quaint pastoral villages where sheep cheese production is the main source of work and income. Enjoy lunch at the café of your choice today, giving you flexibility to ride at your own pace along the Route du Fromage and explore this remote Basque country. You’ll reconvene with the rest of the group for dinner at your hotel deep in the Vallée d’Aspe.
St. Jean-Pied-de-Port to Cette-Eygun
Approximately 64 miles with 11,150 feet of climbing
Breakfast | Dinner
From your hotel you'll ride down the Vallée d’Aspe this morning to cross over to the Vallée d’Ossau, as you continue your journey into the Hautes-Pyrénées. If you're lucky, as you climb through the old beechwood forests to Col de Marie-Blanque you may see one of the six recently reintroduced brown bears. Later you'll also pass the Neoclassical spa town of Eaux-Bonnes which offers an ideal place to stop for lunch before the next two historic and challenging climbs. This afternoon, you’ll tackle two legendary ascents—Col d’Aubisque and Col du Soulor. You’ll climb Aubisque from the ‘hard’ side which starts out relatively easy until after the Cascade de Valentin where you’ll be confronted by thigh-burning 13% grades. If the riding doesn't take your breath away, the the stunning views on a clear day certainly will! Later on, enjoy a long descent to the hotel near Argelès-Gazost, to swap stories with your new cycling friends over a well-earned gourmet French feast.
Cette-Eygun to Saint-Savin
Approximately 61 miles with 9,100 feet of climbing
Breakfast | Dinner
Prepare for climbing today on the biggest day of elevation gain on the trip! You’ll climb Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin & Col de Peyresourde, three of the five climbs that have been regularly featured in the Tour de France, where many have tried but only the strongest survived. You’ll begin your day with a warm-up in the Gorge de Luz, en route to Col du Tourmalet, the highest pass traversable by a vehicle and home of the largest ski area in the Pyrenees. After an exhilarating descent, climb again to the cow-grazing peak of Col d’Aspin and swoop down to Arreau, the former capital of ancient Aragon. Arreau enjoys an almost rainless micro-climate in the shadow of these large mountains. You have the freedom to challenge these peaks at your own pace, stopping for lunch in any of these mountain villages when you choose. The final climb is more gradual up to Col de Peyresourde, before zipping down into Bagnères-de-Luchon for a hearty meal and a cozy bed.
Saint-Savin to Bagnères-de-Luchon
Approximately 68 miles with 11,150 feet of climbing
Hôtel Alti Luchon
Breakfast | Dinner
It's rest day today - and an opportunity to relax, recuperate and charge your batteries for the rest of the trip. Relax in Bagnères-de-Luchon as you soak your aches and pains away at a mountain spa and maybe take a visit to the "thermes" and warm-up your muscles in the Vaporarium—a one-of-a-kind natural underground steam bath. Work out any kinks with an indulgent massage and then enjoy the swimming pool at your leisure. Your Trek Travel guides have a menu of other activities for an afternoon of fun—rafting, kayaking, caving, climbing and hiking are just a few of the options. If you're interested there's also the opportunity to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the region as you "parapente" back down the mountain! Whatever you decide, this is your day to do as little - or as much - as you want.
Hôtel Alti Luchon
Today you'll say "au revoir" to France and "hola" as you head into Spain! You’ll enter the Val d’Aran from atop the wooded Col du Portillon. This valley is on the French side of the Pyrenean watershed but - under Spanish rule - was cut-off from the outside world for centuries. Your biggest challenge of the day is Puerto de la Bonaigua: a category one climb and the highest mountain you’ll climb in Spain. A barren and broad landscape stretches before you as you wind your way down the valley to one of the premier whitewater rafting spots in Europe, La Noguera Pallaresa. You’ll end the day in the luckiest town in Spain, Sort ("luck" in Catalan). Sort attracts Spaniards from all over the country, who buy their lottery tickets here in hopes of becoming the next "El Gordo" winner. Tonight you’ll regroup in town with your traveling companions to enjoy some typical Catalan cuisine and "tapas."
Bagnères-de-Luchon to Sort
Approximately 66 miles with 7,800 feet of climbing
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Enjoy your last big day of climbing on your trans-Pyrenees journey today. Starting with a category one pass, a regular climb of the Vuelta a España—Coll de Cantó. You'll then drop down to La Seu d’Urgell, where you may choose to have lunch along the river where the canoeing events of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics were held. Continue pedaling along quiet, beautiful roads in the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park, a 250-square mile park which is too steep for skiing or agriculture and makes a perfect playground for thrill-seeking hikers and climbers. Alongside the roads here you'll also often see goat-like chamois precariously perched or maybe locals out foraging for mushrooms. End your day in Gósol, a remote town where Pablo Picasso once famously traveled in search of fresh inspiration. Tonight you'll savor a hearty dinner at a small local bistro in the town center before turning in for a refreshing alpine rest.
Sort to Gósol
Approximately 65 miles with 9,600 feet of climbing
Breakfast | Dinner
Dive into the day and explore the many sights you pass on your ride through this intriguing and unique region of the Pyrenees. First up is the Pedraforca, a dramatic limestone outcropping reminiscent of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The seemingly endless limestone façade is slowly replaced by organic volcanic hills as you make your way to Olot, a town at the heart of a region rich with natural beauty. Enjoy lunch along the way in Sant Joan de las Abadesses and stroll among the many historic remains including a Benedictine monastery and reconstructed 12th century bridge. Tonight relax and rest up before your final ride of the journey tomorrow, and your first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea!
Gósol to Olot
Approximately 60 miles with 3,700 feet of climbing
Hotel Can Blanc
Today the last exhilarating ride of your epic trans-Pyrenees adventure lies before you - so savor every moment! You’ll start by crossing La Vall d’en Bas, which hosted a 2005 Vuelta a España stage start, and cruise through the training ground that many professional cyclists use to jump-start their season. One last relatively small climb stands between you and your long awaited view of the brilliantly blue Mediterranean Sea. Your ride ends with a spectacular finale, winding along the rugged, beautiful Costa Brava to your hotel nestled right on the beach. Here, you'll ceremoniously conclude your ride by again dipping your tire in the sea. While overlooking the clear blue waters with your fellow riding companions, you’ll toast to your conquest of the Pyrenees with a traditional glass of “cava” from your hotel’s terrace while enjoying a farewell dinner overlooking the water as the sun sets behind the mighty jagged peaks you’ve just traveled.
Olot to Platja d'Aro
Approximately 78 miles with 5,300 feet of climbing
Hotel San Jorge
Breakfast | Lunch | Social Hour | Dinner
This last morning is yours to do as you please. Sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast overlooking the tranquil Mediterranean Sea, or take a walk along the sandy beach and enjoy the spray of the surf. You will say farewell to your guides at 10:00 AM at the hotel before shuttling to the Girona Train Station to continue on your next adventure.
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See itinerary for specific daily ride distances and elevation options. On all of our vacations, Trek Travel strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads or bike paths to experience a region; busy roads are avoided as much as possible. Our itineraries are an approximation of our trips. Trek Travel strives to offer every guest a vacation of a lifetime on every trip. At times routes, hotels, activities, etc. listed here may change at the discretion of the trip designer or guides to improve the trip experience.
Averages and totals are calculated from our Avid Ride options.
We suggest that you arrive at least one day prior to the trip start, which will enable you to adjust to the time zone and minimize the risk of missing the trip start due to flight-related delays. We recommend that you fly into Biarritz, France (BIQ) and take a taxi 9 miles south to our meeting point in St.Jean-de-Luz. Alternatively, fly into to Paris, France (CDG) and travel by TGV train 6 hours southwest to the St. Jean-de-Luz station, less than one mile from our meeting point. For train schedules and further information please consult www.RailEurope.com.
As the trip ends in the Costa Brava region of Spain, we recommend booking your return flight from Barcelona Airport (BCN). There are hourly trains from Girona to the downtown Barcelona Sants Station, and the trip takes about an hour. From the station, you can connect to the airport by a 20-minute train ride. For further information, consult www.RENFE.com.
Your Trek Travel guides will meet you at the Hotel La Reserve (1 Avenue Gaetan Bernoville , 64500 St Jean de Luz, France) at 10:00 AM on the first day of the trip. After a brief round of introductions and a bike fitting, you'll begin your first ride through the Pays Basque. Alternatively, your guides will be at this trip start hotel between 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM on the previous day, where you can choose to meet them to be fit to your bike a day early. Please have your first day’s riding gear handy and separate from your other luggage to facilitate the bike fitting and ride.
If you will be late for the meeting time or are going to miss it altogether, please inform your guides. You will receive an email a week before the trip start with their names and contact details. If you cannot reach them, please call our first hotel, Hôtel les Pyrénées (+33 (0) 559 37 01 01), and leave a message with your expected arrival time and contact details. Trains leave 4 times daily from Bayonne (25 miles north of St. Jean-de-Luz) to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port. The journey will take 1 hour and 15 minutes and cost around 10 euros. Consult www.RailEurope.com for more information.View our pre hotel recommendations
You will say farewell to your guides at 10:00 AM at the Park Hotel San Jorge. You'll then shuttle 1 hour to the Girona Train Station, arriving at approximately 11:00 AM. Please allow adequate time for any connecting travel to accommodate possible traffic delays.View our post hotel recommendations
The weather varies considerably across the Pyrenees. The French side to the west is wetter, and the eastern Spanish slopes are much drier and warmer. The weather is generally stable in early September, but layering is recommended in any mountain climate, as things can change quickly. A wind/waterproof shell is a necessity. Tights, fleece pullovers, and synthetic layers are recommended. Packing List
Biarritz has been a holiday resort for many of the rich and famous, including Napoleon III, Hemingway, and Frank Sinatra. Follow in their footsteps by spending the afternoon at the Grande Plage–the largest beach–strolling through town, shopping, or pampering yourself at a local spa. Whatever you choose, make sure to stop at a Chocolaterie Henriet to enjoy a Rocher de Biarritz, a delicious bitter chocolate with orange rinds and almonds. Or join the surfers who come from all over the world to surf the ocean between Biarritz and St. Jean-de-Luz. Finish the day with an evening at the Casino de Biarritz. We recommend the following accommodations for your pre-trip hotel:
The Catalonian capital of Barcelona boasts a beautiful coastline, diversity of culture, leisure, and shopping, creative, innovative gastronomy and an avant-garde spirit. Be sure to check out some of the fantastic architecture and art of Antonio Gaudi, such as Sagrada Familia or Parc Guell. The Gothic quarter is the heart of Barcelona’s old town, with narrow cobbled streets on which Picasso and Miró lived long ago. Las Ramblas is a long, tree-lined shopper’s paradise that leads to the sea. Be sure to check out the fascinating Boqueria market as well. We recommend the following accommodations for your post-trip hotel:
Our unrivaled selection of Trek Bikes sets the bar for quality and comfort. From the all-new, ultra smooth Trek Domane SL 7, to the new Trek Electric-Assist XM700+ and the comfortable Trek 7.6 FX Hybrid, to our numerous upgrade options, you deserve the best ride on your vacation.
Our guides are trained to make your trip magical. They aren't just experts in riding; they're trained in delivering uncompromising service in ways you won't believe. We know that it's the unexpected surprises that make a trip magical. That's why our guides pride themselves on anticipating your needs before you ask.
Our vacations are built to deliver the ultimate in flexibility, from extreme relaxers to hard-core roadies. You pick your mileage, itinerary and experiences. We take care of the rest.