It is an understatement to say that riding a bike through the Pyrenees is a cyclist’s dream. These mountains, which traverse the 400 kilometer distance between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in the south of France and north of Spain invite, or rather demand, exploration by bike. The Pyrenees present a diversity of landscape unequaled in Europe – lush meadows, peaks crowned with permanent ice or draped in velvety green, thick forests, and hidden valleys at the foot of sheer sun-baked cliffs. The Pyrenees’ history of human habitation goes back thousands of years before it was ever recorded, and in our travels we will encounter prehistoric caves with their well-preserved cave drawings, not to mention countless castles and their rich history of warfare. We will also interact with a fascinating variety of cultures, dialects and traditions, and FOOD. Our routes will be for the most part on the smallest and least traveled roads, taking us to incredible sights (and heights!) off the beaten path.
This year our route takes us to the very east end of the Pyrenees Mountains, almost to the Mediterranean. The big snow covered mountains are far to the west, here there are high hills punctuated by deep gorges and hills topped with limestone cliffs. Many of the cliffs are topped with towering castles, guarding the ever changing boarder between France and Spain. This was also the center of the Cathar Religion and the castles were their last bastion as Catholicism spread across France.
These mountains, generally rounded and crumbling, are more of a seductive challenge than an intimidating one, and their peaks and passes are attainable to cyclists of decent experience and fitness. However, in keeping with our tradition of spirited cycle tours, and to maximize our coverage of this spectacular region, we promise the option of just about every climb and awesome descent ever challenged by the Tour de France. Each day will have at least 2 route options ranging from moderately challenging to intense. Riders can choose their routes as form and desire demand!
June 19th, 2022
Pick up from the NH Hotel at the Toulouse airport
July 3rd, 2022
Drop off at Toulouse airport.