- Itinerary Overview
- Full Itinerary
|Arrival day Meet us at the first night accomodation|
|Day 1 San Sebastian Loop||221 KM||4,400 M|
|Day 2 San Sebastian - Esterencuby||215 KM||5,300 M|
|Day 3 Esterencuby - Oloron||200 KM||5,500 M|
|Day 4 Oloron - Argeles Gazost||175 KM||4,700 M|
|Day 5 Argeles Loop||207 KM||5,760 M|
|Day 6 Argeles - St Lary Soulan||202 KM||6,750 M|
|Day 7 St Lary - Portalet (Spain)||212 KM||5,500 M|
|Day 8 Portalet - Jaca (Spain)||218 KM||3,400 M|
|Day 9 Jaca - Borguete (Spain)||202 KM||5,350 M|
|Day 10 Borguete - San Sebastian||208 KM||3,700 M|
|Departure day Transfer day|
Meet us at the first night accomodation
San Sebastian Loop
A vicious start to the journey with almost every climb hitting double-digit gradient regularly. Wooded lanes lead up to sea-view ridges.
Major Climbs: Alto de Ezkurra, Collado de Arritxulegi
San Sebastian - Esterencuby
More steep, narrow backroads lead us into France where the landscape opens up as we climb into the rugged, impressive hills of the Iraty region of the Pays Basque. Single track roads take us above the tree line and along open ridges with 360 degree views. Climbs are steep, descents technical. Our hotel is equally as unique, tucked away in a remote Iraty valley.
Major Climbs: Col des Abeilles, Col d'Ispeguy
Esterencuby - Oloron
Another ultra-steep Basque climb opens the stage, bringing us back onto the Iraty plateau for more exceptional views. Crossing from one valley to another via double-figure gradient, we eventually come to the North-West side climb of the Col de Soudet: this Col, just below the impsing Pierre St Martin, can be climbed on four sides – in seperate stages we will do three. There is no ‘easy’ side to this legendary pearl of the Pyrenees. A fast, gentle run-in to Oloron closes another tough stage.
Major Climbs: Col d'Arnosteguy, Col de Soudet
Oloron - Argeles Gazost
Four classic climbs make this stage more ‘iconic’: our second visist to the Pierre St Martin mountain opens, followed quickly by the tough but short Marie Blanque. The Aubisque, via its tougher western side is next, with the glorious, lesser known Col de Spandelles closing the stage that brings us for three nights to Argeles-Gazost in the heart of the High Pyrenees.
Major Climbs: Col d'Aubisque, Col de Spandelles
This loop stage begins with some ‘foothills’ climbs that are an anything-but-gentle prelude to our first ascent of the mighty Tourmalet, from the La Mongie side. The up-and-back climb to the Col des Tentes is rarely ridden but so worth the effort for it’s exceptional views towards the top. A second up-and-back climb, to the Col de Couraduque is less spectacular but equally unmissable and will offer the faster riders a chance to cheer on the ‘slower’ ones as paths cross!
Major Climbs: Col du Tourmalet, Col des Tentes
Argeles - St Lary Soulan
No less than six of the seven climbs on this stage feature regularly on the Tour. Possible the Queen stage of our journey, this could be called the CCC version of the infamous 'Circle of Death'. The Col de Beyrede may not a Tour name, but it still places the steepest gradients of the whole stage!
Major Climbs: Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin, Hourquette d'Ancizan
St Lary - Portalet (Spain)
After another Tour classic climb (Azet-Louron), we tackle a trecherous regular feature of the original CCC Pyrenees routes – foothills they may be, but the seven ‘lower’ cols create an especially ‘busy’ section of the stage before heading to the Soulor via it’s harder side. Once the easier side of the Aubisque crested, the 25km climb to the Col de Portalet awaits.
Major Climbs: Col d'Aubisque, Puerto o Paso del Portalet
Portalet - Jaca (Spain)
A fully Spanish stage with some of the wildest sections of the whole event. Stunning roads and mountain vistas complement less harsh gradients to make this a remarkable contrast to the other stages. An especially comfortable, modern hotel awaits us in Jaca.
Major Climbs: Puerto de Cotefablo
Jaca - Borguete (Spain)
Via the Col de Somport, this stage takes us back into France to tackle the third, and perhaps hardest side of the Soudet. The Col de Bagargy hits us even harder, with its 'average %' signs of 11,12, 13 and 13.5: one of the hardest in the Pyrenees, for sure. After a final treat of beauty on the plateaux of Iraty, we finally head back into Spain via a steady, gentler climb to the Puerto de Ibenata.
Major Climbs: Puerto o Paso de Somport
Borguete - San Sebastian
To close this tough route across the Pyrenees, our return to the Basque hills is marked first by the extraordinary climb to the Santuria de Aralar, where the bravest can go right up to the weather station. Five more climbs stand between us and the sea and they will not let you forget them easily!
Major Climbs: Santuario de Aralar