Cycling Tours and Holidays | Tour de France

Tour 1 - Pyrenees, Provence, French Alps and Burgundy, 14 Days / 13 Nights

15-28 July 2019 | BOOK NOW

Tour de France Cycle Tour

Tour de France Itinerary 2019

Day 1, Monday 15 July

Welcome to Toulouse, Welcome to France

You'll feel the Tour de France excitement as soon as you hop off the plane. Cyclists will be arriving from all over the world and all for the same reason - watching the world's greatest bike race. Not to mention - cycling the best roads on the planet.

For non-riders (Team Macchiato) France is the number one tourist country on the planet. There's plenty to do other than ride. Our promise is that your holiday is as enjoyable as those cycling.

Feel free to arrive at any time throughout the day, our hotel is located right at the airport. If you arrive early then you may want to pop in to the city for the day.

Tonight the chef has promised a regional meal. That's French speak for using local produce to create a stunning welcoming dinner for us. Oh, there will also be champagne and red wine. Welcome to France.

/ Accommodation: Marriott Toulouse Airport
/ Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2, Tuesday 16 July

The mighty Pyrenees

Now it feels real - as we head towards the 2019 Tour de France action. After breakfast our famous Belgian bus driver Koen will pack all our bikes and bags in to his flash harry bus. Even those of us who have seen this great event many times will be excited. More importantly, this afternoon you will understand why this is the best country in the world to be on a bike.

Our base camp hotel for the next five nights is a small family run hotel. We book it every year because of its location. Look up and you can see the likes of Hautacam, Tourmalet and Col du Solour. We aim to arrive early afternoon, we'll put the bikes together and make sure all the hire bikes fit perfectly. Our first ride leaves early this afternoon.

Today is all about turning the legs over and making sure your bike is running smoothly. For some, it will be the first time you've cycled on the opposite side of the road. There will be rides of 40 - 70km in length. No mountains today. We'll leave that for the next four days.

Team Macchiato join Sakari (your guide) to walk around Argeles. You then hop in the van and head up a rather large hill which offers terrific views. There's a café at the top. It's worth the ride just to see the smart cows and the very friendly Clydesdale horses who wander the road looking for people to pat them.

Tonight, we all dine together as it's time to introduce you to our French team and talk about the plan for tomorrow.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Les Cimes
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3, Wednesday 17 July

The mighty Aubisque

As guides we are often asked about our favourite rides. There are many to choose from however for me, two stand out. Col d'Aubisque in the Pyrenees and Col d'Izoard in The French Alps. You will get the chance to ride both.

It's our first lumpy ride. We like to start with a highlight. And then continue that trend for the next two weeks. After breakfast we ride the 20km up to Col du Solour. It's not a challenging climb as it's broken up with typically beautiful French villages. It's then another 10km over to Col d'Aubisque. That 10km makes my eyes water every time I ride it.

The great thing about today is that there are plenty of options for every ability. Cappuccinos may decide to get a lift up Solour and then roll over to Aubisque. Expresso riders may decide to roll down the other side of Aubisque and then climb back up.

Team Mac - The road between Solour and Aubisque is the most scenic 10km in the whole of France. (in our humble opinion) We strongly encourage that you walk it. We'll get you up there nice and early. Waiting for us at the top of Aubisque is Alex, a good friend of RH and he owns the café. Let's have lunch. I did warn you that this isn't a weight loss trip.

And now for the great news. It's 30km downhill to our hotel. We'll have you firmly planted in our hotel bar, beer in hand by the time todays stage draws to a close.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Les Cimes
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4, Thursday 18 July

Le Tour de France - Mountain stage

It's hard to describe the feeling one has when you see the Tour de France live for the first time. Especially on such a stage. Today the pros cover over 202km of pure climbing. We won't make you do this - we promise.

You'll quickly understand why this bike race is so important to the French - they live for it. Viva le Tour! Seeing the race is amazing however it's often the pre-race caravan that has everyone buzzing. You'll see grown men diving on the road trying to acquire one of the sponsor's products. Sometimes you win and come away with a cycling top, sometimes you lose and find yourself with five bags of washing powder. Mind you - they may come in handy in weeks to come.

Get set for the ride of your life. We'll depart the hotel early and head deep in to the mountains. As per every day we will have a number of options in place. The climb up Peyresourde is simply stunning. My 2nd favourite climb in the Pyrenees behind Aubisque.

Our official support van with Sakari at the wheel will be able to take Team Mac right to the finish line. Quite a treat as the road will have been closed to normal traffic for the past 48 hours.

After the race you simply roll back down the hill to where Koen will be waiting. Home please, driver.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Les Cimes
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5, Friday 19 July

Time Trial or Hautacam

The secret to a good cycling holiday is not to see the race too many times. You will have seen yesterday that there's a lot of patience required when watching the tour from the side of the road. You will also be seeing the TdF tomorrow on the mighty Tourmalet.

So, today, there is a choice. You can either ride to Pau where the Individual Time Trial is being staged (we will pick you up and bring you home) or you can ride one of the most famous climbs in France. Yes, the 2nd option involves the Hors category - Hautacam. All 1560m of it.

The start of the climb is literally only 3km from our hotel. The ride itself isn't particularly long, only 38km return. However for some of you a 14km hill will be the most technical climb that we achieve. It's quite hard to find a rhythm as the gradient changes often and there are many towns that we ride through. Pace yourself on the way up, and take extra care on the descent as there will be riders of all abilities, walkers, hikers, dogs, cows and horses sharing our road.

There's a great café at the top and there is no time pressure. For anyone feeling frisky we will offer a 2nd col. Others may simply like to extend the mileage by riding on the bike path in to Lourdes and back.

Team Mac or those wanting a day off - you simply will never forget the cable car to the top of Pic du Midi de Bigorre from La Mongie (altitude 2,877m). There's a café at the summit, as well as an interesting observatory, visitor centre and museum. It's then only a short drive to the top of Tourmalet where you'll see the race tomorrow. The other option is that you head in to Pau for some retail therapy. Lots of options.

Tonight after dinner we head in to Lourdes to witness the evening candle lit procession. Even for those who aren't religiously minded the procession is a must as thousands and thousands of pilgrims flock to Lourdes daily, making Lourdes 2nd only to Paris for hotel rooms in France.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Les Cimes
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6, Saturday 20 July

Last day in the Pyrenees - Tourmalet

For anyone that follows cycling - if you say the words - Col de Tourmalet then you know

it's going to be a special day.

Col du Tourmalet - is one of the most famous climbs in France. And today the Tour de France finishes its highest point - 2128m. We will do everything in our power to make sure that you are there. Again, we will have plenty of options. In fact, if you prefer a lazy day - the race goes within 500m of our hotel. There will be a few factors outside of our control today - the main one been road closures. We will leave the hotel early to avoid the possibility of not getting to the top. In past years we've had everything from snow to well over 30 degrees. Be prepared.

Cappuccino riders - the shortest ride to the top of Tourmalet from our hotel is only 30km, (30km uphill). We will show you our home base café on the way up. There's no pressure. You can simply turn around when you've had enough.

Latte and espresso riders - We will be encouraging you to do the 102km loop. Departing Argelès Gazost we ride towards Lourdes and on to St Marie de Campan where we'll regroup for coffee. From the café, the road heads into the sky for 17.5km. Some riders will take just over an hour, some will take up to three.

Team Mac - there's a small market in Argeles we suggest you visit before we also head for the TdF action on Tourmalet. We're pretty confident that we can get you almost to the finish line via our special V.I.P van pass.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Les Cimes
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7, Sunday 21 July

Carcassonne for lunch!!

Today is purely a transfer day. We leave our Pyrenees paradise and head for the beautiful Provence. It's roughly 6 hours on the bus with stops. Rest your legs, pull up a seat and let's watch the Russian Fly Fishing movie. (Long story)

Lunch is at the UNESCO world heritage fortified town of Carcassonne. The earliest known occupation of the site where Carcassonne now stands dates from the 6th century BC. When a prehistoric hill-fort (oppidum) was built on this rocky spur

overlooking the valley of the Aude and the ancient routes linking the Atlantic with the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic

Cathedral. Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation.

Our accommodation for the next two nights is set in the heart of the charming Luberon area, the Hostellerie Notre-Dame de Lumières, Relax and enjoy unforgettable experience in this ancient convent from the 17th century. Converted into hotel and entirely renovated (with an amazing swimming pool) and only about 30km away from the mythical - Mont Ventoux.

The convent is excellent however it's the outside courtyard restaurant that draws us back year after year. We'll eat dinner at the hotel. Sleep well. The Giant of Provence awaits.

/ Accommodation: Provence
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

**PS, we say a non-riding day however if there's enough people wanting to stretch the legs then we'll do a short 20km loop prior to breakfast.


Day 8, Monday 22 July

Mont Ventoux - enough said

We've got one day - let's make it happen.

The Full Loop - The Ventoux Epic. Starting at your hotel you ride through country lanes to the large town of Bédoin at the foot of Mont Ventoux. A certain rider who once claimed to have won seven yellow jerseys - before admitting to the world that he was indeed as high as a kite used to vouch that Mont Ventoux is the most difficult of all the Tour de France climbs. Drugs or no drugs - Lance is right.

The terrain in the Cote du Rhone region is brilliant, we'll cycle in some of the famous vineyard regions and see the premier varieties of Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Viognier being grown. The landscape around Ventoux is interesting yet varied, you'll cycle up through mixed agricultural farmland, past fields of beautiful Lavender and

through the forests of Ventoux.

There are over 1200 species of plants on Ventoux however chances are that you won't see any of them as you sweat you way up the 1,912m. Pause at Chalet Reynard (which is where the cappuccino riders will start from) for a refreshment stop, collect you thoughts prior to the final 6km assault to the summit. Enjoy a fast descent to Malaucène and return back to Bédoin where you can either board the bus or ride back to your hotel for a well-deserved swim.

Today is your best chance for some retail therapy. You've just biked Mont Ventoux - now you need to buy the kit.

Team Mac - a few options. Earlier this year we hired e-bikes for the ride on Ventoux. It was an awesome day. We will certainly have our safety hat on if you choose this. Sakari will ride with you. The other option involves one of the best markets in France. It's market day in Bedoin which is where the latte cyclists start todays ride. You could then carry on up Mont Ventoux where your support will be needed.

/ Accommodation: Provence
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9, Tuesday 23 July

The majestic French Alps

Au Revoir Provence. Bonjour the majestic French Alps. The pinnacle of the 2019 Tour de France. In my opinion they are the Pyrenees on steroids. Our hotel has again been picked for location. Turn right out of the hotel you have Col du Galibier, Col du Télégraphe and Col du Lautaret. Turn left and the top of Col d'Izoard is only 15km away.

We will catch two Tour de France stages here in the Alps. More importantly, you'll get the chance to ride some of the world's best climbs - including the most famous of them all - L'Alpe d'Huez.

Speaking of this magnificent hill… our coach literally passes right through the town at the bottom of worlds most talked about bike ride. Yes - you guessed it. While we're passing, we may as well ride it. Whatever your cycling ability - today it will be tested on one of the world's most iconic mountains - L'Alpe d'Huez. The name sends shudders down the spine. Each switchback features a past champion.

The Alpe d'Huez was first climbed in the 1952 TdF, it climbs over 1,100m vertically over 14km and has 21 legendary hairpin turns. The climb can be broken up into three stages. The first part is the steepest with gradients above 10% for the first 6 hairpins until the hamlet of La Garde. The gradient then eases a little to 8% after hairpin 6, and the turns become more spread out for the following 6kms. With only 5 hairpins left, the gradient ramps up again for 1km to 11% before easing off to 9% till you reach the L'Alpe d'Huez village. It's only 2km to go to the top at around 5% gradient, you can now relax a little and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work. Well done, it's a great accomplishment and another milestone achieved!

Team Mac - Non-riders - the reason we are riding L'Alpe d'Huez today is for logistical reasons. To cut a long story down short - there is a lot of driving today in order to ride a mountain, something which may or may not interest you. My advice would be to skip

L'Alpe d'Huez and visit the stunning city of Avignon. In fact, it's actually festival time in the city. We'll catch up with you later this afternoon at our Alps hotel.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Plein Sud, Serre Chevalier
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10, Wednesday 24 July

Hot chocolate and Col d'Izoard

There are a lot of options today. Please keep in mind that we are flexible. If there's something you want to do that isn't in the final itinerary then all you need to do is ask. That is the case for both cyclists and Team Mac.

Our suggestion is the spectacular Col d'Izoard. It's very achievable as the start is only 15km from our hotel. It is however quote a long climb at 19km, however not as scary as some of the steeper hills with an average of just over 5%. There are a few reasons for loving Col d'Izoard. Other than the ride, there's a café at the start of the climb that simply offers the best hot chocolate in the whole entire world. And that's a fact. No Milo powder at this joint. It is pure Swiss melted chocolate and man it tastes good.

500m from the top of d'Izoard is a fascinating building called Napoleon's Refuge. It transpires that the man himself left a large amount of money in his will to this particular French Provence - mainly to thank the local people for their support. It was decided that the best way of using this money was to build shelters on isolated high mountain passes. The shelter has now been turned in to a café. I wonder what he would say now if he knew that a few skinny cyclists wandered in every day and asked "latte please"?

Sakari will point Team Mac towards the gondola that rides high above our hotel. It's certainly worth the ride. You then head in to Briancon for lunch. The city itself is not the most scenic. However, the old town with its cobbled streets and colourful buildings are absolutely stunning and well-worth a visit. The other option is to hire e-bikes and ride up d'Izoard with the cyclists. We did this earlier this year and it was certainly a Team Mac highlight.

This evening we plan on visiting the excellent local thermal pools. Time to give some love back to your weary legs.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Plein Sud, Serre Chevalier
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11, Thursday 25 July

When the TdF comes to us…

2019 will be our 14th consecutive Tour de France trip. And today's stage will be one of the best. To get to the finish line the pros will need to account for three 2000m plus cols. Including D'Izoard and Col du Galibier. Hmmm. There will be a lot of road closures today so we'll need to be as smart as a fox.

Here are your choices….

  • An early start. Ride up Galibier and descend down the other side to the finish line. There is the small matter of having to climb back up Galibier at the end of the day to get home.
  • If you are feeling particularly leggy then carry on to Telegraph. That would make it a 140km day and about 3,500m of climbing. We will publicly drug test you if you choose this option.
  • It's very gentle ride up to Col du Lautaret. 20km at 3-4%. That's flat. There's coffee and more importantly - donuts at the top. You can chill out here or ride back down to our hotel when you feel like it.
  • From Lautaret - ride up Galibier (very achievable as it's only 8km) and then head back down the hill to our hotel. Park your bike and let the action come to you. The atmosphere will be electric.

Team Mac - last year Sakari found a beautiful walk for the non-riders. It's in the valley so not overly hilly. Our suggestion is that you get a bit of exercise in prior to joining us on Galibier. It's your last chance to see the TdF Caravan. The other option is that we extend your e-bike rental from yesterday.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Plein Sud, Serre Chevalier
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12, Friday 26 July

Last day - let's make it a goodie.

This morning we bid au revoir to the Serre Chevalier and start making our way towards Paris and the conclusion of our tour. For some - tonight will be a highlight as we are staying in a gorgeous old country chateau near Dijon. Think Mustard. And wine.

OK, the plan is complicated and full on - you can rest next week. It's an early start from our hotel as we drive towards Les Lacets de Montvernier. You probably watched this on the TV in the 2015 and 2018 TdF. It was the amazing switchback climb that was closed to the public on stage 18. Jaw dropping stuff and worthy of our last ride (only short - 20km) together. Team Mac get a lift to the top.

For the very first time (ever) we've arranged V.I.P passes at today's stage start in Saint Jean de Maurienne which is only a few kilometres away from Les Lacets. Yes, you will be inside the barriers watching (and talking) to all the professionals as they warm up. It's without doubt your best opportunity for a signed jersey.

After the stage start we say goodbye to our French team who head south while we travel north. In an ideal world we'll have the satellite TV working in the bus so we can watch todays TdF proceedings.

We plan to make it to our chateau by late afternoon. There will be a bit of housekeeping though - dismantling the bikes for one. Game over.

We've arranged for a wine tasting prior to a fine dining experience. You're worth it.

/ Accommodation: Château
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13, Saturday 27 July

Paris - here we come

It's been a great 13 days. Those mountain climbs have been officially tamed. Let's look back at what we've achieved. Hautacam, Tourmalet, Aubisque, Solour, Ventoux, Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, Lautaret, Izoard and Les Lacets. What a trip.

Hmmm, all good things have to come to an end. We hop on the bus after breakfast and drive the 4 hours up the motorway to Paris. Time goes quickly though as we pull out the Russian Fly fishing movie again.

We will certainly have you in Paris in plenty of time to watch todays stage from our hotel bar. Unlike previous years the penultimate stage involves mountains so will decide the 2019 TdF GC winner.

For those note interested in the race there's a huge shopping centre not far away. It really does have everything. There are free shuttles from our hotel. You could easily take care of all those promised presents for back home.

Tonight is our last night together. Bring out the champagne. A few stories will be told no doubt.

/ Accommodation: Paris Marriott Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner


Day 14, Sunday 28 July

Safe travels home

Our tour finishes after breakfast. For some it's time to head home, while others will take some time in Paris or head off to explore other parts of Europe. Thank you for joining us on the adventure of a life time and the greatest sporting event in the world.

Or, you can see it live. Some may decide to join us on the Champs Élysées. Our V.I.P grandstand tickets are only 200m from the finishing line. It's really your only option to experience the race today as millions of people queue for the free seats. The riders will complete eight laps of the 6km circuit to decide who wins the final stage on the famous cobbles. (There extra cost is approx. $600.00 including grandstand tickets and transport)



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Tour Inclusions

  • 1 night Toulouse, 5 nights Pyrenees, 2 nights Provence, 3 nights Alps, 1 night Burgundy and Paris.
  • Ride all the classics - Hautacam, Tourmalet, Aubisque, Solour, Mont Ventoux, Alpe d'Huez, Col du Galibier and many more classic climbs
  • Up to 5 stages of the Tour de France
  • Choice of 2-3 rides per day at your pace
  • 7 staff including mechanic
  • Luxury 48 seat coach plus 9 seat support vehicle
  • V.I.P stage start in Saint Jean valued at NZD500.00
  • Quality hotels in excellent central locations
  • All breakfasts, all evening meals
  • Includes all tips (guides and pre-arranged meals)
  • Tour de France souvenir booklet and RIDE Holidays cycle jersey
  • Maps provided as well as GPS assistance
  • Non-riders are very welcome and well catered for

The Price Excludes

  • International Airfares - Karl can arrange
  • Bike Rental - NZD 650.00 (Carbon, Compact & fast)
  • Paris - final stage. Grand Stand tickets, accommodation and travel. (approx. 600.00NZD)
  • Lunches, drinks & snack bars, your cycling food.
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory! Karl can arrange
  • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours

The Tour Cost

$8950.00 NZD per person twin share

$8800.00 NZD for past, repeat clients.

$1300.00 NZD for single room (Subject to availability)

 Tour de France Bike Tour



 Tour de France Bike Tour



Tour de France Bike Tour

Tour de France Bike Tour

Tour de France Bike Tour

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