Great Explorations

(800) 242-1825
(604) 730-1247

National Geographic


“Great Explorations provided a truly amazing once in a lifetime experience of the Tour de France. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did. Again and again!”


- Brenda and Bruce T.,

Vancouver, BC


More testimonials


Trip Dates:

Etape du Tour:
July 11-15, 2012

Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.

Total Days:

5 days/ 4 nights





Land Cost per person (current year):
US$ 2450 pp
Sing. Supp.: US$400

Bike Rental: US$140

Our racing bikes are Cannondale CAAD 5 with triples and Van Nicholas titanium Mistral bikes with compact double. Photos and specs are on our web site.

Includes 4 nights hotels, breakfast and dinner each day, routes and maps and guide support etc.


Etape du Tour 2012,

Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon

Etape du Tour is an annual event held in conjunction with the Tour de France and is an actual stage of the Tour, held in advance of the pros stage and with all of the support and prestige of the Tour (motorcade, closed roads etc.) In 2012, the Etape will feature a stage between Pau and Bagneres-de-Luchon with cols Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde.


Great Explorations' experience at the Tour is unrivalled. Combined with our 28 years designing and leading tours throughout France give us an edge when managing logistics around an event such as this. In 2012, we will have a limited allotment of registrations and these spaces will sell out quickly.


Arriving to Pyrenees

Arrive to Tarbes; you can fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle and take the train down to Tarbes (2h55 travel time) or fly into Tarbes/Lourdes airport (flights are approximately 50 euros).


July 11: Tarbes
We’ll meet at the 4-star Rex Hotel, Tarbes at 4:00 pm for bike fit. We’ll have time for a short warm-up ride and then enjoy dinner in the historical center.

July 12: Tarbes
There is lots of variety in the riding here, with lush hills and mountains, and quiet roads that weave through this spectacular region. We’ve scouted out routes of 40 km, 60 km, and 80 km. There is no better way to get over jet-lag than spinning your legs.

July 13: Tarbes
Relax today. Ride from Tarbes to Pau (40 km) if you wish. We will pick-up bibs and race packages and then back in Tarbes, relax with an early dinner to rest up for the big day.

July 14: Etape du Tour– Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon
The race start will be between 7-8 and we will have you at the start line in time to position yourself in the start corrals. It will be a fabulous day with epic climbs, race support and lots of crowds along the route cheering you on. Whatever your time, you'll never forget the elation of crossing the finish line. We'll gather and transfer back to Tarbes to our 4-star hotel for final night dinner and celebrations.

July 15: Depart
Depart at your leisure (or stay on and do our Tour de France trip Pyrennees trip starting on this day!)

Please note: We have currently booked Hotel Rex, the top hotel in Tarbes. We think you'll appreciate the comfort of this hotel both before (and after) your Etape!

If you have any questions about this trip, please consult our Travel Advisors.

  • What's Included
  • Weather
  • Map

Map of the Area

Dijon Weather

What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

  • Confirmed entry into the Etape
  • Services of one or more Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
  • Lodging as per final itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Detailed map and cue sheets
  • Transfers between Tarbes, Pau, Luchon.
  • Travelogue
  • Pre-departure Trip Planner with tips on what to bring and general information about traveling in France
  • All tips in hotels, restaurants etc. (excludes discretionary tips for guides)

    Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at or by telephone at 604.730.1247