Meet the SFIDA Cycling staff at Bilbao Airport (BIO) or at a designated hotel. Alternatively, you can try to fly into San Sebastian but this is a very small airport and not reliable, just use this alternative if you plan to arrive a couple of days before the trip starts.
After check-in at our hotel in Hondarribia, we will proceed with our orientation meeting, lunch, and build up bikes.
In the afternoon we will ride up to Alto de Jaizkibel, a classic climb at la Vuelta Pais Vasco. This is a beautiful way to start our Pyrenees trip, with a double climb on a climb so close to theAtlantic ocean!
Our ride today will take us through the north of the Basque country, a continuous undulating landscape with five different climbs. This is a typical Basque landscape, with forest and great views once at the top of the climbs.
We will cross the Spain-France border 3 times before our arrival in Saint Jean Pied de Port, a historical town at the start of El Camino de Santiago, a very popular pilgrimage route.
HOTEL: Hotel Andreinia
Leaving our hotel, we will ride through beautiful Basque landscapes until we start climbing. The first climb of the days is the Col d’Arthaburu, one of the hardest short climbs in the Pyrenees, with some sections over 20% gradient. The landscape here is lonely and magnificent, and the road narrow!
Once we summited and descended, we will soon join the Col de Bagargui. Here the road widens all the way to the top, where there is a lookout and a great place to stop!
The descent of the Col de Bagargui is very steep, so caution is required. After, we will continue our ride towards the Col de Soudet, another big climb. From the top of the Soudet, we will descent towards Cette-Eygun where is our accommodation today.
Today’s ride is a tough one, pacing will be very important.
HOTEL: Chateau d’Arance
Today we are entering Tour de France territory. Famous Pyrenees climbs, integral to the history of this race, will come one after the other for the next three days. We will feel like the Queen stage is never-ending for us.
After leaving Cette Eygun, we will head toward the Col de Marie Blanque, which is short but steep towards the top climb. Once we reach the top we will descent towards Laruns. Here starts the mighty Col d’Aubisque, a longer, and harder climb.
At the summit of the Aubisque is the right time for a food stop. Afterwards, we will continue our ride, the Cirque du Soulour will come soon, this is an amazing natural landscape and a cliff road! super scenic, stop and take pictures but be careful with the cliffs!
To end our climbing today, the Col des Borderes is a short climb but a very spectacular road too, especially on the descent.
We will sleep in Luz Saint Saveur at the base of another big climb – but that’s for tomorrow,
Col du Tourmalet is, without doubt, the most mythic climb of the Pyrenees and one of the most famous in cycling.
The Tour de France passed over the summit for the first time in 1910, and the legend began. We climb from Luz Saint Saveur, which for me is much nicer than the side we will descent.
Today is a day to enjoy being part of the history of this mountain.
Forget Strava and admire the landscape. To finish our epic ride, we will climb the Hourquette d’Ancizan, this climb is always a surprise by its beauty too, this is one of the hidden gems of the Pyrenees.
We end up our day in Saint Lary Soulan, for me the climbing capital this side of the Pyrenees!
Saint Lary Soulan is in the heart of the Pyrenees, surrounded by mountains and a good number of amazing climbs. No wonder the TDF visits this town nearly every year.
We will leave via the Col d’Azet, a beautiful climb to start today’s ride. We descent via Val Louron before taking on the second climb: Col de Peyresourde, another classic of the TDF, recently remembered when in 2016 Chris Froome attacked during the descent, the same side we are doing today, using the now-banned “super tuck” position.
After the descent of the Col de Peyresourde we arrive at the well now spa town of Bagneres de Luchon, here starts the last climb of the day, the Col du Portillon, at the summit we will enter Catalonia. Our final destination is Arties, a small town in the Val d’Aran.
We leave Arties and start climbing up the Coll de la Bonaigua, this is a long climb through green valleys at the start and later on, when it becomes a high mountain pass, we can also see the adjacent ski resort of the Val d’Aran. After we all reach the top, we start descending to Sort, another tourist town in the Pyrenees, this is the start of the Coll del Canto.
We are climbing the Coll del Canto from its shorter side, then after the descent, we will ride on the main road that goes to La Seu d’Urgell, our destination today.
La Seu d’Urgell, one of the most important towns in the Pyrenees. The old part of the town is very nice, and a great opportunity to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
From La Seu d’Urgell we ride through the Cadi Massif, lonely and scenic roads that will take us deep into this area of Catalonia.
A few little know climbs like Coll de la Trava, or Coll de la Josa, will make you understand how great it is to ride on this quiet corner of the Pyrenees. Little towns like Gosol or Saldes make for great stops. Gosol has even a small Picasso museum, the painter spend some time in this part of the Pyrenees in 1906.
We are starting to leave the high Pyrenees. Our arrival to the little town of Campdevanol will also mark a change in the landscape, we are getting closer to the Mediterranean sea.
From Campdevanol we ride through the provincial capital of Ripoll, then we start climbing the Coll de Canes which will take us to Olot.
Olot is a town in the middle of an old volcanic area called La Garrotxa.
From Olot we will follow the scenic road to Banyoles lake, and after a stop by the lake, we will begin the approach to one of the most iconic climbs in the Girona area, Rocacorba won’t disappoint you, it is a good climb, not too hard. After observing the great views from the top we will descend and make our way to Girona, this city that has become a cycling capital. A good number of professional cyclists are based here, we will have time to explore Girona as we are spending two nights here.
Our last day will be the easiest in this epic adventure. We decided that after such a big ride from the Atlantic, we don’t want to have the last day when we all need to rush, this achievement deserves a more tranquilo final stage.
Leaving Girona via another popular and beautiful climb, the Mare de Deu dels Angels, we will ride towards the Mediterranean sea.
During our ride, we will go through medieval towns like Monells and Peratallada, great places to enjoy a coffee on a relaxed day.
Our destination is the small beach of Sa Tuna, where we will enjoy a nice lunch by the sea and for sure is time to leave the bike and get in the water!
After a swim in the Mediterranean Sea, we will travel by van back to our hotel. Afternoon free to enjoy Girona!
DAY 11: After breakfast, transfer to Barcelona airport (BCN), or alternatively, stay in Girona and enjoy this
cosmopolitan city and its many offerings. Expect to arrive around 11:00.
TWIN room: 4,150 Euros pp
SINGLE Supplement: 850 Euros
Rental bike: 600 Euros
600 Euros when making the booking. Balance to be paid 90 days before the trip starts.
10 nights accommodation between 3 – 4 Stars
ALL MEALS INCLUDED.
10 lunches, picnic-style on longer days.
10 dinners, including wine.
Hotel extras: mini-bar, spa, massage.
Tips for the staff.
We will have ride leaders and at least one mechanic on our trip.
Our staff/client ratio is 1:4 staff.
Our passenger vans come fully equipped with all necessary to give the best support during the rides.
We carry gels, energy bars, powder mix, water, fruit, riding food, tools, pumps, spare tubes and tyres to make sure our first-class support helps you through the trip.
Professional first aid kit.
Adapting to our current COVID-19 pandemic, and incoordination, with most of the hotel’s terms and conditions, we are adjusting our cancellation policy accordingly as follows:
If there’s a travel ban from your country to travel to the country you are doing a trip with us, you will receive a full refund on any payments you have made to SFIDA Cycling.
For any other reasons not related to COVID-19, the following will apply:
61 days before the trip starts – the return of your deposit.
60 days before the trip starts – the return of the full amount of the trip less 300 Euros cancellation fee, plus any amount that we can’t recover from Hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
Less than 30 days before the trip starts – no amount will be refunded. We will, however, try to credit as much as possible towards a future trip. This depends on the amount that we can get back from the hotels and other costs that we have already incurred in the trip preparation.
We understand that it is difficult to commit too much in advance given the situation we are all living in.
For this reason, we won’t be holding any spots until the full deposit has been paid.
Hotels are now more strict with how many rooms they are willing to have on hold for groups, so until deposit payments are made we won’t be able to confirm your spot.