Cycling Tours and Holidays | Tour de France

Tour de France Cycle Tour

Trip 1 | 15-28 July 2019 | BOOK NOW

In 2019 we will be running two separate trips. Both will have the same dates. 15-28 July.

Trip 1 is very much our traditional itinerary and will be starting in Toulouse and finishing in Paris. Including the Pyrenees, Provence and the Alps. A magnificent itinerary which gives you a complete taste of France.

Trip 2 involves less bus travel and is more of an exploratory trip. Starting and finishing in Lyon. This trip spends a lot more time in the French Alps. We will be riding hotel to hotel where possible and really trying to limit the time on a bus. (please note – trip 2 doesn’t include the Pyrenees) ** See the itinerary here

Both trips cater for cyclists and non-riding partners. (Team Macchiato)

The official 2019 itinerary won’t be released until late October 2018. That’s purely because the race route isn’t finalised until then. Our TdF trips are very popular and we are happy to take advance bookings. The deposit is $500.00 however this is 100% refundable. If you don’t like the final itinerary when released then you can have your money back. (please note, not many people cancel) The dates (15-28 July) won’t change.

RIDE Holidays cycle tours are achievable for anyone who rides a road bike, not just the serious cyclist, and offers an unparalleled experience of both the race and the country. There are three rides to choose from daily – the less demanding ‘cappuccino’ level, then ‘latte’ and, for those keen on pedalling 100km or more per day, ‘espresso’.

Typically a two-week RIDE Holidays tour will encounter the Tour de France race about five times, prioritising the must-see sections as the race nears the finish. Group members will enjoy an insightful sampling of the different types of course sections, from mountain top triumphs to decorated villages. Our daily ride through France’s incomparable countryside is only broken up for the compulsory morning coffee and croissants and then continental fare offered in the villages and towns. .

Trip 1 - 14 Day Tour, Pyrenees, Provence, French Alps and Burgundy

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.

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 of our bikes and bags in to his brand new 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 four 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 at about 3pm.

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. Non-riders are free to relax or hop in the van with Sakari and join the cyclists at the top of a rather large hill which offers stunning views of Argeles and the surrounding area. 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

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 200km 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 the non-riders 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 can choose – either hop on a bike and cruise back to the hotel with us (over a mountain) or simply roll back down the hill where our coach waits. Home please, driver.

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

Day 4, Thursday 18 July

BBQ on Aubisque

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. So, today, rather than see the tour we will ride two of the most famous climbs in France. Col du Solour and then on to Col d'Aubisque.

The 10km ride between Solour and Aubisque will make your eyes water. Bar none, it is the most scenic 10km in the whole of France. We will strongly encourage the non-riders to walk it. Waiting for us at the top of Aubisque - a good old fashioned Kiwi BBQ. Lunch anyone? 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, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5, Friday 19 July

Last day in the Pyrenees

We will be encouraging as many as possible to do the 102km Col de Tourmalet 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. It’s Highest point is 2,128m.

Cappuccino riders – the shortest ride to the top of Tourmalet from our hotel is only 30km. And there’s no pressure to ride all the way. You can simply turn around when you’ve had enough.

We will try and time it so that all the espresso, latte and cappuccino riders make it to the top at the same time.

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 your loved one will be waiting.

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

Pyrenees to Provence. Mountains to wine.

We’ll be on our bikes early this morning. The idea is to stretch the legs before we hop on the bus as our hotel in Provence is about 6 hours away. Just as well we have a bus packed full of fishing DVD’s. Anyone been fishing in Russia?

We’ll be seeing a lot of the Tour de France next week. This week is all about quality riding and we head to Provence for one major reason. It’s so major that it’s actually scary. Mont Ventoux. Boom!

Anyway, that’s enough about tomorrow, let’s talk about today. On the way to our hotel we stop in Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a fantastic wine tasting in an old Roman cave, followed be a spectacular dinner. The restaurant is in the shadow of a stunning old castle. Oh, what a perfect day.

It will be a late arrival in to our hotel. I can guarantee that no one will be complaining. Sleep well. The Giant of Provence awaits.

/ Accommodation: Provence
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7, Sunday 21 July

Mont Ventoux – enough said.

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.

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.

Non-riders – it just happens to be market day in Bedoin. Our suggestion is to check out the market and then head up Mont Ventoux. This afternoon Morgan will give you a private tour of the stunning villages that make this area famous - Gordes and Venasque being must-do’s, as well as a visit to Abbey de Sananque, built in 1148. We’ll see you back at home.

/ Accommodation: Provence
/ Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8, Monday 22 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 four 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.

Generally speaking by day 8 when we suggest a non-riding day we don’t get a lot of complaints. Especially when you look at the agenda over the next four days. So, today is potentially a no-ride day. We’ll see.

We won’t be late in to Serre Chevalier. Certainly in time to be in the bar watching the conclusion of today’s stage.

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

Day 9, Tuesday 23 July

When the TdF comes to us…

2019 will be our 14th consecutive Tour de France trip. And todays stage will be one of the best. To get to the finish line the pros will need to account for Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Télégraphe 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….

  1. An early start. Ride up Galibier and descend down the other side as far as you like. This is my pick as you’ll then be on the right side of the hill to watch the riders climb. There is the small matter of having to climb back up Galibier at the end of the day to get home.
  2. 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.
  3. Ride up Galibier (very achievable as it’s only 8km) and head back down the hill to our hotel. Park your bike and let the action come to you. The atmosphere will be electric.
  4. If you have no interest in today’s proceedings then Sakari will take you in to Briancon. There are also many walks to do in this area.

Basically – whatever your poison, we’ll have a plan.

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 (Dinner own arrangements)

Day 10, Wednesday 24 July

Hot chocolate and Col d’Izoard

As guides we are asked many times what our favourite rides are. Two stand out for me. The mighty Aubisque in the Pyrenees (tick) and then Col d’Izoard in the Alps. It is simply spectacular and also very achievable as the start is only 15km from our hotel. It’s reasonably long 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.

The massive bonus for 2017 is that today’s Tour de France stage finishes on the top of d’Izoard. It really is an opportunity not to be missed. In fact, you can easily see the race start in Briancon (8km from our hotel) and then easily catch the finish at the top of the mountain. It should be a cracking mountain stage and all of the GC boys will be starting to get a bit nervous. Today is really their last chance to make up some mountain time.

Team Mac may be starting to get a little disinterested with the Tour de France by this stage. How about an espresso? The Italian border is only 20km from our hotel. Our target destination is Pinerolo. A sizable town centrally located in the Piedmont region of north-west Italy. The principal square in the town centre is stunning. The situation of Pinerolo on the edge of the Alps means it is also a popular sports destination – for example it was one of the bases for the Winter Olympics in 2006, the end of a mountain stage in the Tour de France 2011, and is a frequent stage in the Giro d’Italia.

/ Accommodation: Hotel Plein Sud, Serre Chevalier
/ Meals Included: Breakfast (Dinner own arrangements)

Day 11, Thursday 25 July

The elephant in the room.

The one and only L’Alpe d’Huez. First climbed in the 1952 Tour de France, 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! How will we get to Alpe de Huez? Road open? I think the road around the other side of the lake should be finished for riders and local traffic (not the bus). D’Huez will be a whole day travel ride event. We can also have an option to ride back to the hotel after we double check the side road.

/ 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.

The plan is to stop half way and ride 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 together.

For latte and espresso riders we will be riding to Les Lacets straight from our Serre Chevalier hotel. It’s only 47km away. Although you have a few bumps to encounter first. That bump would be Col du Galibier. Todays numbers read - climbing 886m, downhill 2344m. So, not a bad day in the office.

Cappuccino riders get a lift to the bottom of the first Lacets switchback. The race is on.

We plan to make it to our castle in time to watch the TDF time trial on TV. Those who have no interest in the cycling can pop out for a few holes of golf on the accompanying championship golf course. Or simply sit back in the pool and sip a champagne.

There will be a bit of housekeeping though – dismantling the bikes for one. Game over.

/ Accommodation: Château de Chailly
/ 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.

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

Accommodation: The Mercure Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

/ Accommodation: Marriott Toulouse Airport
/ 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, 4 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
  • Quality hotels in excellent central locations
  • All breakfasts, all evening meals (except two)
  • 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
  • Lunches, drinks & snack bars, your cycling food.
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory! Karl can arrange
  • Pre-& post tour accommodation or tours

The Tour Cost

$8700.00 NZD per person twin share

$8500.00 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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