“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.,
Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.
16 participants maximum
7 days/ 6 nights
Les Eyzies/ Toulouse
Intermediate/ Challenging (your choice)
60-100+ km (35-60+ miles) daily
Variety from rolling to mountainous
Land Cost (current year):
US $2950 ($3450 after March 31)
Cannondale Supersix 5, or Synapse option.
TDF, Pyrenees 2017
Tour with the Pros
The 2017 Tour de France route was announced to reveal an exciting course that will open up the race to challengers, of which there are many looking to dethrone Chris Froome, by far the most dominant Grand Tour rider of today’s era. The ‘contenders’ list will no doubt include Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Richie Porte (BMC), Vinenzo Nibili (Astana), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and two exciting new younger riders Adam Yates (Orica–BikeExchange) and Luis Meintjes (Lampre–Merida).
For us, going to the Tour has been as much about our ride as in watching the race and we have an exciting itinerary that has you experiencing the best in this region. .
Our Pyrenees trip will start in the Dordogne Valley, rich in historical sites and one of the most beautiful regions of France. From there, we’ll ride towards the Pyrenees mountains, taking in 5 stages with plenty of opportunity to see the race and to ride as much as you wish. In addition to great riding, enjoy the splendor of the southwest of France, dining in the best restaurants and drinking fine wines after your day on your bike. Ride, eat, sip, sleep, repeat.
Only Great Explorations:
- Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
- A ride you will never forget: Tourmalet ahead of the pros
- An experience you will never forget: on the race course, ahead of the pros
- Order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks.
- We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
- We will see 5 stages on this trip!
DAY 1; July 9:
Arriving to France: We suggest flying into Paris and making your way to Les Eyzies on July 9th. We meet at 12:40 pm at the train station on arrival of the train from Paris. We will do bike fit and start riding, having lunch in a charming village nearby and then cycling to Le Bugue, and Limeuil. Back in Les Eyzies, enjoy a swim at the hotel’s large outdoor pool before our welcome wine reception and then dinner at our hotel restaurant, formerly a Relais and Chateaux property. Ride Distances - 35 km; 470 m or 60 km; 650 m Hotel Centenaire, Les Eyzies
DAY 2; July 10:
On this day, we have planned a ride from Les Eyzies to the famous prehistoric caves of Lascaux II in St. Leon-s-Vezere exploring tiny villages along the way. There will be time for a wine tasting late afternoon and perhaps a game of petanc before dinner at a favourite restaurant in town. Ride Distances: 34 km; 360 m; 50.5 km; 850 m; 80 km; 1000 m gain. Hotel Centenaire, Les Eyzies
DAY 3; July 11:
Stage 10 - Perigueux to Bergerac
On this day we have the opportunity to cycle an incredible route to the riverside town of La Roque-Gageac and then to Sarlat, often described as one of the most beautiful villages in France. We will be able to watch the stage as they race towards Bergerac. Each of the first three rides will prepare you for the Pyrenees mountains to come! Ride Distances: Est. 60 km; 400 m or 80 km; 600 m or 100 km ; 1000 m Hotel Centenaire, Les Eyzies
DAY 4; July 12:
Stage 11 - Eymet to Pau
As the pros make their way south towards the Pyrenees, we will too, intersecting the race at a strategic point in one of the villages celebrating the Tour. We continue past Pau to the charming village of Bagnere de Bigore, ideally situated close to Col Tourmalet and Col Aspin. We will treat you to the luxurious spa in town to reward you for your climbs today. Dinner will be at a local auberge in the nearby hills for an experience you will remember.Ride Distances: Est. 60 km; 400 m or 80 km; 600 m or 100 km ; 1000 m Residence des Thermes, Bagneres di Bigorre
DAY 5; July 13:
Stage 12 - Pau to Peyragudes
This much anticipated 214 stage will feature climbs over Col des Ares, Col de Mente, Port de Bailes and Col de Peyresourde with a summit finish. We will be ahead of the race again today, on the route (closed to cars, but open for bikes), with the opportunity to climb as many as you wish. We will have a picnic lunch set-up on an idyllic location where you can relax and watch the action on screen as the peleton approaches and then cheer them on as they pass. Overnight in a 3-star hotel close to the route. Ride Distances: Est. 60 km; 400 m or 80 km; 600 m or 100 km ; 1000 m
DAY 6; July 14:
Stage 13 St. Girons to Foix
Cycling News has proclaimed that this will be one of the key stages in 2017 as the organizers have recognized that a short mountain stage (100 km this one) can be more exciting than a long slog - we couldn’t agree more and love this trend. With climbs up Col de Latrape, col d’Agnes, and the Mur de Peguere with its final climb having grades up to 20%. After the finish, we will transfer to Toulouse to the exquisite hotel La Cour Des Consuls Hotel, ranked #1 hotel in the city and a luxurious hotel to finish. We will have dinner le Genty Magre, a New York Times recommended restaurant in Toulouse to celebrate in style. Ride Distances: Est. 60 km; 400 m or 80 km; 600 m or 100 km ; 1000 m Hotel la Cour Des Consuls, Toulouse
DAY 7; July 15:
Depart at your leisure
Note: This is a preliminary itinerary which will be updated as further route information becomes public. Hotels used on the trip are representative of those we will use. Any changes made will be done with the goal of making the trip the best that we can given available hotels, services etc.
If you wish to see a short video of a previous trip at the Tour click here: Tour video
On our Tour with the Pros trips, we generally try to provide options to cycle 60 km, 80 km or 100+ km on each cycling day. Although anyone of moderate cycling level may enjoy this tour, it is ideally suited to those with intermediate to advanced fitness levels. By this we mean you should be able to cycle 60 km at a minimum with some hills. If you have any questions about this trip, please consult our Travel Advisors.
What's Included in the Cost of Your Alps to Paris Trip?
- Services of a minimum of two Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- Lodging as per final itinerary
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
- Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
- Detailed map and cue sheets
- All baggage transportation during the tour
- 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)
We can imagine that it might be overwhelming to try to determine who to travel with for your Tour de France experience. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a quick decision- take the time to do some research. Here are some questions you might ask any tour operator you are considering traveling with:
Do you operate the trip yourself?
Sounds like an odd question, but you might be surprised at the answer. Be sure to book with a company that actually operates the trip. If the person you are talking to hasn’t been on a trip to the Tour themsleves, ask to speak to someone who has so you can find out first-hand, the answers to your questions.
Ask how much experience the company has running trips in Europe and in particular at the Tour de France.
We have been operating trips at the Tour for 16 years. Robbin McKinney, founder and owner of Great Explorations has been planning and guiding trips in Europe and around the world for 35 years.
Ask how many people will be on the trip you are booking.
We feel an ideal maximum number of guests is 16 and we ensure there are 3 guides for this number of clients. Most of the other companies take 24-26 participants and run multiple trips at the same time.
Ask whether the support vehicles used are vans or buses.
If the company is using a bus, you have to factor in that you will be waiting for the 47th person. We use 9 psgr vans that can navigate the roads and crowds of France.
Ask how much time you will be shuttling in vans.
This may have the single greatest impact on how enjoyable your trip is. We plan our itineraries to minimize transfers- ask how long you will be in the van each day.
Ask how much experience the guides on your trip will have.
Ask for their bios; if the tour operator doesn’t know or won’t provide, this may be a red flag. We provide bios of our guides on our web site and know now who will be guiding our TDF trips in 2015.
Why do some companies charge $5,000 and up for a 7 day trip and how do we compare 'apples to apples'?
When comparing prices, consider the number of days and nights, standard of hotels, guide to guest ratio, meals included and other events that may be included including how many stages you will see. At Great Explorations, we strive to create an experience that is unique and special and we charge a price that allows us to include things that we know will make the trip a once in a lifetime experience but at the same time provide value.
Finally, we know we can’t be all things to all people. It isn’t our objective to be the largest tour operator on the planet or take the most people to the Tour. Our goal is to attract interesting, easy-going, appreciative individuals who like to enjoy themselves. We know from experience that these kinds of people will love our trips and make it fun and enjoyable for travelers and guides. If you would like to ask other questions, please don’t hesitate to call.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1.800.242.1825