The Raid Pyrenean is a must-do ride for any road cycling enthusiast. In the 1950s the Cyclo Club Barnais were looking for a challenge, so they created a route across the Pyrenees, keeping as close to the Spanish border as possible (on surfaced roads!). The sting in the tail was the 100 hours given to participants to complete the traverse.
It is a chance to ride most of the famous cols in the Pyrenees, including beasts such as the Tourmalet and Aubisque and to cycle along the quiet and beautiful back roads and passes of Frances southernmost mountain range. The scenery is stunning, the road surfaces good and the car drivers are generally extremely courteous and respectful towards cyclists.
For 15 years now we have been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals. We are passionate about our product being the best it can be and we help about 200 cyclists a year to achieve the official Raid Pyrenean route. The expertise and experience of our team really shows; we provide two highly customised support vans per group, our guides are attentive and energetic and we know that this is not just a cycling challenge it is also a holiday, so we keep it fun! It is also about your goals and aspirations and we pride ourselves on our individual customer focus from your first enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.
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Day 0: Travel Out
We offer included airport transfers at scheduled times from Biarritz airport (30min) or from Toulouse airport (3hr 45min) at an extra cost of 60, taking you to the start hotel in Hendaye. Full travel advice group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.
Day 1: Hendaye to Oloron-St-Marie (163km with 2300m of ascent)
Dip your toes in the Atlantic before you go your 100 hours start at 9am! Pass through the picturesque Basque country with a couple of small cols as a warm up before lunch, probably in the historic town of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The Col dOsquich (495m) is the main climb of the day before you descend, then undulate on quiet roads through small villages to the hotel (with pool) in Oloron-St-Marie. With two carnet stamps today you are already well on your way.
Day 2: Oloron-St-Marie to La Mongie (133km with 3620m ascent)
The route today is infamous over the beautiful Col dAubisque (1709m) and sister col Soulor in the morning, then, after a refreshing stop in Argels Gazost, youll be taking on the mighty and much-feared Tourmalet (2115m)! Our hotel is just a few km over the top, in the ski town of La Mongie.
Day 3: La Mongie to St-Girons (153km with 2900m ascent)
Starting the day with the long descent to Campan we are then into the gorgeous and peaceful climb over the Col dAspin (1489m). You then take on another infamous col, the Peyresourde (1569m) dont forget to try the pancakes at the great col-top caf before possibly the best descent in the Pyrenees, all the way down to Luchon. The afternoon will see you undulating over some quiet and very pretty cols before the slightly terrifying 14% inclines of the Col de Portet dAspet (1069m)! Gentle gradients take you the remaining 35 km down to the hotel in St Girons.
Day 4: St-Girons to Prades (192km with 3400m ascent)
By tonight you will have passed over the Atlantic Mediterranean watershed and will be able to almost smell the sea air. But first you have to tackle the lovely Col de Port (1249m), the scenic Route des Corniches and the rural Col de Marmare! Today includes some stunning riding and the final descent to Prades from the Col de Jau (1506m) is magical.
Day 5: Prades to Cerbere (95km with 620m ascent)
The end is in sight well, almost! There are some coastal undulations (ie quite steep!) to take on today once you hit the coast road in Argels-sur-Mer. Pass through the great historic holiday seaside town of Collioure before reaching your destination in Cerbere. The only thing left to do today is to celebrate your incredible achievement and enjoy some fabulous paella in our charming seafront hotel.
Day 6: Travel Back
Our included transfers drop you at Perpignan airport for flights to Stansted, or at Toulouse or Carcassonne if you have booked one of our extra transfer packages (see Trip Notes for full details). Full travel advice and group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.
- Epic traverse from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean across the Pyrenees in 100 hours
- 735km Raid Pyrenean route encompassing 12,840m ascent
- Conquer infamous Tour de France cols: Tourmalet, Aubisque, Jau
- Official route including registration plus certificate & medal for successful finishers
- Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
- Half-board: breakfast and dinners included, as well as wine with dinner
- 2 customised support vans with attentive, proactive and fun guides
- Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours who support about 200 cyclists a year to achieve the Raid Pyrenean