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Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Tour de France (TdF) in person and cycling up the famous mountain passes of the Alps just hours before the official race passes by? Travel with Gourmet Cycling Travel as they take you up-close to the best stages. Enjoy expert cycling tips and insider race news from your guides and former professional cyclists: Simon Kessler and Neil Martin, father of top pro racer Dan Martin. Gourmet Cycling Travel prides itself in catering to our non-cycling guests. Separate guides and activities (cooking classes, chocolate tastings, mountain hikes, etc.) are also part of this adventure.
Three uber luxury mountain chalets in the heart of Morzine with private chef preparing breakfast, dinner and afternoon tea and cake. Some of its features include:
3 delicious four course evening meals
Beer or wine with dinner plus coffee and chocolates
Daily welcome drinks on arrival
Egyptian cotton bed linen, robes & towels & hot tub towels
Free WiFi and use of in chalet iPad
Freshly baked cake for afternoon tea luxury
Hearty breakfasts with a bacon and eggs
Yorkshire tea, cordials, biscuits and Nespresso coffee
The 5-star Hotel du Louvre is just a block from the TdF final stage route and an incredible venue to celebrate our final night. This stylish and elegant boutique hotel stands at the heart of Paris culture and arts. Each one of the Hotel du Louvre's four facades looks out at a famous Parisian landmark. The Louvre Museum, the Opera Garnier, the Comdie Franaise and the Place du Palais Royal.
The luxury winery village of La Coquillade is an incredible venue to begin our journey. This old hamlet turned wine producing hotel is owned by the BMC team owner Andy Rihs and offers beautiful surroundings, delicious food and wines. From here your activities include cycling the Mont Ventoux, exclusive wine tastings, chocolate tastings, and delicious meals.
You begin the tour with a group pick-up around noon at the Avignon TGV train station followed by a 1-hour van transfer to the beautiful luxury winery hotel La Coquillade.
This first day includes a beautiful ride to the village of Gordes passing by the ancient Abbaye de Senanque.
This first ride is about getting accustomed to your rental bike and the roads of France.
Non cyclists enjoy their own afternoon activity with some sampling of local specialties.
Tonight's fun starts with an exclusive wine tasting by a master sommelier followed by a delicious dinner on the terrace of La Coquillade restaurant.
Cycling: 20-25 miles with some longer hills.
Today, cyclists transfer early to the ride start about an hour away before tackling the famous Mont Ventoux then cycling all the way back to La Coquillade by bike.
While cyclists are climbing one of the most famous mountains in the world, just a week after the TdF finish there, non-cyclists will head to the world famous market in Les Halles of Avignon and enjoy a cooking class by chef Jon and later a chocolate demonstration.
Tonight's dinner is "open" in the town of Gordes. It's a great opportunity to explore this medieval village.
Cycling options: 33-55 miles (53-88 kilometers) including Mont Ventoux starting from Bedoin: 14 miles at 7.4% average gradient. Alternatively, you can attempt Mont Ventoux from Sault, a much easier gradient.
In the morning you transfer by luxury passenger bus to the Alps and Sallanches for the mountain time trial. It has been many years since the TdF has included a mountain time trial. You'll enjoy many hours watching the best riders in the world warm-up and take their start for the race of truth.
Once the yellow jersey takes his start its time to climb in the vans and take a short transfer to your home at your luxury chalets in Morzine.
Your private chef will be waiting for you with a welcome drink and freshly baked cake and tea followed by a delicious 4 course dinner.
Cycling: rest day or optional short ride, time allowing.
Cyclists head out this morning for an epic ride including Alpine mountain passes and winding descents.
You'll stop for lunch in a small village before heading back to the chalets to catch the final 2 hours of this big mountain stage finish on television with English commentary.
Non cyclists head out for a mountain hike in the beautiful forest and surrounding meadows followed by lunch and shopping in town before joining the cyclists for the afternoon TdF viewing.
Cycling: 45-75miles (70-120 kilometers) including 1-3 mountain passes.
Cyclists get to cycling on race day on the official stage route including up the final climb of the race, the Col de Joux Plane, which was made famous by Pantani and Armstrong, before descending into Morzine for the stage finish.
The stage today finishes in the center of Morzine, very close to your luxury chalets.
Today's stage is the last decider stage before the finish in Paris and is sure to be a real battle!
Cycling: 35-50 miles (55-79 kilometers) including Col de Joux Plane.
Today you head to Geneva then take the fast train to Paris in time for the final stage celebrations at your private apartment boasting some of the best views of Paris including the Louvre museum, the giant ferris wheel and the Eiffel Tower.
Witness over two hours of race action from your historic apartment and balcony on the Rue de Rivoli followed by a group dinner on a gorgeous terrace above the Musee du Quai Branly looking onto the Eiffel Tower.
Your tour comes to an end Monday morning with a final breakfast at your 5-star Hotel du Louvre before saying "au revoirs".
Exclusive wine tasting on day 1
Market visit, cooking class and a chocolate demonstration for non-cyclists on day 2
Mountain time trial on day 3
Shopping in town for non-cyclists on day 4
This retreat will take place in trough several locations in France. Some of them include the remarkable Provence region in southeastern France and the le-de-France region in the north-central side of the country. It surrounds the nations famed capital, Paris.
This eccentric package includes:
All breakfasts, 5 gourmet dinners and 4 lunches
Snacks and drinks between meals
Support following vans with food and drinks for cyclist
Wine at dinner (a set amount of local, artisanal bottles included with dinner)
The nearest airport to the starting point in Aix-en-Provence is Marseille Provence International Airport (MRS).
With Paris only 3 hours away and Lyon just over 1 hour, Aix-en-Provence is connected to the whole of France thanks to the TGV (high-speed train. The city also has a railway station in the city center (Aix-en-Provence TGV station) which serves Marseille, Gardanne, Manosque, Sisteron, among others.