“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.,
July 9-15, 2012
Custom trips also available. Call or email for details.
7 days/ 6 nights
Moderate: 40-60 km
Intermediate: 60-80 km
Advanced: 80-100+ km
For registrations prior to Dec 31, 2012
For registrations after Jan 1, 2013
7B/ 2L/ 5D
Tour with the Pros in France,
We know that 2013 will be an exciting year with the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France. The route will be formally announced in October and we will have our new itinerary up at that time. Until then we are accepting registrations with a $500 deposit which will guarantee a spot. For those that reserve in advance of the itinerary being finalized, you will be given one week to reconfirm and can receive a full refund if choose not to. For now, we are leaving our 2012 itinerary up, but keep in mind that in 2013, the Alps itinerary will continue to Paris.
2012 Itinerary: Our Alps trip will begin in Burgundy, continue to the dramatic lakeside setting of Lake Annecy, and then head for the Alps with ascents of the classic cols including Madeleine, Croix de Fer, Alpe D'Huez and others. In 2012, we have again designed our trips to minimize transfers and to maximize both the time and the quality of riding. We’ll watch the race on days that it makes sense to do so, in locations that will have you mixing with locals, watching large screen televisions of riders approaching (beer in hand if you choose); there will be live music, festivities and then of course, the peleton with your front row vantage point.
In planning our trips we have several goals. Our primary objective is to provide an itinerary that allows guests to experience the race up close and to participate in the excitement of the greatest bike race in the world. Planning cycling routes that coincide with the best opportunities for viewing is paramount. We choose hotels and villages that offer the best in location and amenities and our choices are made with guests comfort and experience in mind.
Only Great Explorations:
Small groups*, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
In Beaune, wine tasting in centuries old caves
A ride you will never forget: Alpe D’Huez, without the crowds
Order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks
Mix luxurious (Le Cèdre, Beaune; Grand Hôtel, Uriage) with charming and comfortable auberge style lodgings in mountain settings
We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises
* in 2013, if we are running multiple trips, we will limit each group to 16 but may on occasion have more than one group at some hotels. There will be a minimum of 2 guides per 16 guests with at least one dedicated support van per group.
Arriving to Beaune
Arrive to Beaune; you can fly into Paris-Charles de Gaulle and take the fast train down to Beaune or fly into Lyon, St. Exupery.
July 9: Beaune
Arrival in Beaune. Our Alps trip starts in Beaune, Burgundy. It’s a quick and easy TGV (fast train) to get there. One step out into the streets of Beaune and you will know why this is an amazing place to start a cycling trip. Wine makers, quaint bistros, hillsides of vines, and a historical center that is the perfect size make this one of our favorite villages in France. A cyclists’ paradise, some would say. Your hotel is included on arrival, at the 4-star Hôtel Le Cèdre. Bike fit will be between 4-6, after and there will be time for a short warm-up ride if you choose. We will have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in town, Cave Madeleine. Bon appétit!
July 10: Beaune
This is a rest day for the pros and we will take the opportunity to ride a loop through some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world; choose between 60, 80 and 100 km options, with stops at a fascinating museum, an ancient abbey, tonnelieres (wine barrel makers) and of course, wine tasting. If you elect a short ride, spend the afternoon in Beaune, visiting the exquisite Hotel Dieu- the immaculately preserved medieval hospice, famed for its Flemish tiles. Dinner will be another culinary experience at an exceptional restaurant where we are welcomed as friends. Ride Distances: 60, 80, 100 km
July 11: Annecy
Stage 10: Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine (194 km)- live viewing
Departing Beaune, we will cycle south to Macon, much of it along a dedicated cycling path along a voie verte. In Macon, we will watch the start of stage 10 and then follow the peleton east. We’re headed to picturesque Annecy, with its aqua-marine lake. If you have some energy left, the ride around the lake makes for a great late afternoon loop. Ride Distances: 40, 80 km, 120 km
July 12: La Chambre
Stage 11: Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles (140km) – live viewing
We will get an early start and ride to Albertville (flat and fast) where the start of Stage 11 will be. Leaving ahead of the peleton, we will ride the official route today over col Madeleine one of the most beautiful cols in the Alps. We’re staying in an authentic auberge in the quaint ski village of St. Francois Longchamp. Ride Distances are 60, 80, and 100 km.
July 13: La Grave
Stage 12: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davezieux (220 km)- live viewing
We will begin the day with a long descent out of Longchamp followed by a climb up and over Galibier, one of the most famous cols of the Alps and one that was featured twice in 2011. We are staying a comfortable hotel with wonderful hosts in La Grave. Ride Distances: 60, 100 km
July 14: Grenoble
Riding from la Grave, we will descend to the valley and make our approach to Bourg D’Oisans. Here you can challenge Alpe D’Huez or ride straight towards Grenoble. We are staying at Le Grand Hôtel in Uriage Les Bains and will enjoy a final dinner to toast our week with the Tour. Ride Distances: 60 km, 100 km.
July 15: Grenoble
Depart after breakfast.
Note: This is a preliminary itinerary which will be updated as further route information becomes public. Hotels used on the trip are representative, but not necessarily those we will use. Any changes made will be done with the goal of making the trip the best that we can given available services etc.
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.
Map of the Area
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
Lodging as per final itinerary
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
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)
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 email@example.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247