Classic Cols of the Tour De France Itinerary

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Cycling, France

Days 1-2 Ax-les-Thermes

The lively hot springs town of Ax-les-Thermes is the perfect place to launch this epic French cycling adventure. Set off on a warm-up ride along the Col du Chioula. Admire the stunning panorama from the summit and indulge in some local cuisine at the mountain-top restaurant. Enjoy an afternoon cycle through the lush Orlu Valley, tackle the Ax Bonascre climb of the Tour de France or simply enjoy the spoils of Ax-les-Thermes.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 3 Route de Corniches/Massat

Cycle the scenic Route de la Corniche to Col de Port before descending along contours of the Rhone River. Perhaps tackle the Plateau de Beille or pop your tourist hat on to explore the ancient St Lizier Monastery with its breathtaking Pyrenees vistas.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 4-5 Col de Portet d'Aspet/Luchon

Climb steadily up the Portet d'Aspet and across to the challenging hairpins of Col de Mente, zigzagging dramatically across a deep, green valley. Enjoy some respite on a pleasant, winding descent into the spa town of Luchon, or choose to hop across the border into Spain to conquer the Col du Portillon before riding on to Luchon. Reinvigorate tired bodies with a soak in the thermal baths. As well as boasting a selection of fine restaurants, Luchon is also the gateway for many outdoor pursuits so why not try a river jaunt on 'le hot dog'.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 6 Col de Peyresourde and Col d'Aspin/Aste

Tackle the mighty Col de Peyresourde and be rewarded with mouth-watering fresh pastries upon reaching the summit. Next up is the steep Col d'Aspin. This is a challenging climb - and be on the lookout for the cranky, horned goats who've been known to take aversion to passing cyclists!
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 7-8 Col du Tourmalet/Argeles-Gazost

Join the many Tour de France competitors who have shed blood, sweat and tears while trying to conquer the undisputed giant of the Pyrenees. Climbing the Col de Tourmalet is a feat that will surpass all others; however, the exhilarating 35km downhill cycle to the finish line is a satisfying reward. Riders still with energy to spare may choose to take a slight detour up to Luz-Ardiden. The next day, visit the marmot sanctuary or medieval abbey in Argeles Gazost, soothe aching muscles in the warm waters of a local spa or take a final spin to Hautacam. Perhaps celebrate the end of this incredible cycling adventure with a group lunch.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1