The Pyrenean Raid


  • 770km / 481miles
  • Ride Ocean to Sea – Atlantic to Med
  • 8 nights accommodation & all meals included
  • Qualified guide, mechanical support & baggage vehicle
  • 9 Days / 8 Nights
  • Famous Col after famous Col
  • Stunning Scenery
  • One of the greatest week long cycling trips in the World
Number of Days: 9
2020 Land Only Price From: Β£1,795
Grade: Spicy
Group Size: 6-14 (Smaller Groups by Arrangement)
View: Kit List


Sat 6 June – Sun 14 June 2020 
Sat 13 June – Sun 21 June 2020 
Sat 11 July – Sun 19 July 2020 

Private Group?  Dates above don’t suit? 
Other dates available by arrangement – contact us for details.

Trip Overview

Day 1 Arrive & Ride

Arriving at Biarritz Airport between 12:00 and 16:00 you’ll be met and welcomed by your Rather Be Cycling crew & vehicle.  We build the bikes at the airport, load the baggage onto the van and have a leisurely leg stretcher of a ride out to the official start point of our journey in the charming seaside town of Hendaye and our hotel for tonight.

Our evening meal tonight is usually the first time we all meet up as a group and we discuss the adventure ahead.

36km / 23 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: D

Day 2 Raid Riders

Today we bid farewell to the Atlantic and get straight into RBC’s Raid route.

Soon after the start we are straight into the climbs and we enjoy a quick excursion into Spain crossing back into France via the tough Col d’Ispeguy (672m).  After lunch we tackle the small Col d’Osquich (392m) before arriving at tonight’s hotel.

117km / 73 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 3 Into the Mountains

Today is consciously one of our Raid’s shorter days, giving us a chance to find our climbing legs before the major mountainous challenges that lie ahead.

The highlight today is the climb of the Col de Marie-Blanque (1,035m) which has had 14 Tour de France appearances.  Next up is the ride to Laruns before our final few uphill kilometers to the historic thermal spa town of Eaux Bonnes, our stop for tonight.

98km / 61 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 4 The Mighty Mountains

An epic day πŸ™‚ Out the hotel, down past the park for 200 metres and then we’re straight into the first of today’s climbs – the stunningly piucturesque Col d’Aubisque, which is quickly followed by the traverse and climb to the Soulor.  Plenty of descending follows before the monumental and historic Col du Tourmalet (2,115m).  The Tourmalet may mark the high point of the Raid but it’s not the end of the climbing.

After the descent off the Tourmalet next up is the pretty Col d’Aspin (1,489m), after which it’s a downhill finish to the day and our accommodation in Arreau.

120 km / 75 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 5 Classic Cols

Today is a stunning and perhaps even emotional day’s riding.

We’ve got classic cols galore – Peyresoude (1,569m), Mente (1,349m) & the Portet d’Aspet (1,069m) – to conquer and the opportunity to pay our respects to the late Fabio Casartelli on the Portet d’Aspet.

82km / 51 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 6 Rollercoaster Ride

A challenging but hugely rewarding day on the Raid today.

Perhaps the most beautiful scenery in the whole Pyrenees as we tackle the climbs of the Col de la Core (1,395m), Col de Port (1,250m) and the lumpy climb up to the Route des Corniches and enjoy the descents in between.  Tonight we stay near the historic thermal spa town of Ax-les-Thermes.

127km / 79 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 7 A Day of Three Halves

Today is a day of three distinct sections.

First up is the ascent of the Port de Pailheres, not a well known climb but at 2,001m it’s the 2nd highest point on our trip.  Ax-les-Thermes stands at 720m, so it’s almost 1,300m of ascent to the top of the Pailheres followed by a similarly huge descent.

Next up we tackle the climb of the Col de Moulis, after which we descend back to around the 850m contour.

Lastly we climb the Col de Jau (1,506m) before, finally, getting the reward for all that climbing …. the huge descent down to Prades

100km / 62 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 8 Med Bound

Today’s may be the final day of our Raid Pyrenees and the lure of the Med is strong but there’s still a sting or two left in the tail of this trip before journey’s end.

Sticking to quieter roads whenever possible we wind our way towards the coast and Collioure via the Col Fourtou (646m) through a rapidly changing landscape.  Completing our Raid Pyrenees in Collioure tradition dictates that we take a celebratory dip in the Med πŸ™‚

90km / 56 miles Overnight in a Hotel. Meal/s included: B, L & D

Day 9 Departure Day

After packing up the bikes today is a free day to enjoy a coffee in Collioure until it is time for your taxi transfer to the Airport at Perpignan.

Meal/s included: B  Taxi Transfer to Airport not included in package

What’s Included

  • 8 nights Hotel accommodation*.
  • All meals as detailed in the trip overview.
  • Meal Key: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner. Please note that all lunches are picnic style and are designed to suit cyclist’s appetites.
  • All baggage transfers in our baggage vehicle.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling Trip Leader.
  • The services of a Rather Be Cycling baggage vehicle driver / assistant.
  • A daily provision of Clif Bar nutritional products.
  • Access to commonly required tools, mechanical advice & assistance.

*All accommodation is allocated and priced on a twin occupancy basis. Please contact us for Single Occupancy Rates.

What’s Not Included

  • International and / or Domestic Flight/s to and from the start and end points of the trip.
  • All airport transfers – for riders, bikes & baggage.
  • Travel Insurance – Compulsory.
  • Visa/s if necessary.
  • All drinks e.g. bottled water, coffees, teas, alcohol, etc.
  • Entry fees e.g. to visitor attractions, etc.
  • Spare / replacement bicycle parts & accessories e.g. tyres, tubes, wheel/s, etc.
  • Other expenses e.g. souvenirs, additional food, laundry, etc.
  • Tips – at your discretion.

Bike Spec

  • This is a road cycling holiday and a road, sportive or touring bike is ideal for this trip. We recommend 700x23c tyres and have found Michelin Pro 3 tyres to perform very well. Compact or triple gearing giving a bottom gear of between 30β€³ and 40β€³ is suggested for this trip. Alloy rims or carbon rims with alloy braking surfaces are preferable to full carbon rims for this trip.
  • Your bike should be fully serviced, and thoroughly tested, before your holiday.