2023 Grand Depart – Tour de France
Follow the exciting first week of the 2023 Tour de France. Your cycling holiday starts in one of our favourite European destinations — the Basque
See six stages live to the 2023 Tour de France
Ride Col du Tourmalet before witnessing the first mountain stage
Bilbao Airport, Spain
PopularAT A GLANCE
- 9 Days
- Social to Experienced
- All Breakfasts, Multiple Dinners
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
- Support Vehicle
- Mechanical Assistance
- Visit Spain
Bilbao Airport, Spain, June 29, 2023
Toulouse Blagnac Airport, France, July 7, 2023
Group Size: 24 guests – 4 staff
Rides: Always a social ride option and for those that want a challenge, we have some epic rides also.
Challenge Rating: We get you to the iconic climbs so that you have all the time to ride them at your pace. Our challenge rides are for experienced riders.
Accommodation: 3 to 4-star hotels, twin-share basis, all breakfasts included, and many dinners.
Social Riding and Leisure: We understand that your cycling holiday is a HOLIDAY! You may not normally ride every day at home. Our ride routes allow you to cherry-pick the sort of riding that you’d like to do. Choose the days you want to climb, the days to ride flat, and days to rest.
Experienced Riders: Your cycling holiday is actually about the bike! Our epic and challenging ride options seek more vertical meters and longer miles. Choose your rest days or recovery rides, or just ride, and ride, and ride.
Cycling Partners and Spectators: You are not interested in riding yourself, but you are a cycling enthusiast who would like to experience the Tour de France live. Whether your partner is a rider, you want to experience the culture along with seeing the race. We have off-the-bike itineraries for you to see the most spectacular areas, such as the plus-beaux (most-beautiful) villages.
Buffet breakfast every day, multiple dinners
Accommodation and Transport
- Transport throughout custom van or luxury coach
- Transport for your bike with professional bike carriers
- 8 nights accommodation 3 & 4 Star hotels
- Scheduled arrival transfer as per itinerary
- 2 x Bikestyle Tours Cycling Kits
- Buffet breakfast daily
- 3-course evening meals on 6 nights
- Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
Professional Ride Support
- Hosted by our experienced tour guides and professional drivers
- Mechanical assistance with your bike
- Ride support vehicle when you need it most
- Navigation assistance on all guided rides
- Sports powders, water, and bars during your ride
Why we Love this Tour
- See 5 stages live of the 2023 Tour de France, including the team’s presentation
- Stay in San Sebastian and the Pyrenees
- Visit the Basque coastline interwoven by the trekkers following one of the famous Camino de Santiago routes
- Climb Col du Tourmalet, and Col du Solour
Price: AUD $6,250 (twin share)
Single Supplement: AUD $990
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively, you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.
Note: It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip. Please take out Travel Insurance at your earliest convenience. We recommend at the same time as paying your deposit.
Many guests find it convenient to hire one of our professionally prepared quality hire bikes.
- Hire a bike so that you’re not lugging a bike around on your extended European holiday
- Hire a bike and mitigate damage or delays during international transit
Bike Hire ChargesBike Hire: AUD $560 Note: Renters of our hire bikes are liable for damages to their hire bike during the period of hire, treat it like you own for the rental period. Bikes are set up to your measurements before your arrival and are fully serviced by our professional mechanic.
This Trip will be Escorted by Former Pro-Cyclist, Pat Jonker
Although born in The Netherlands, Patrick is an Aussie. He often raced with a Dutch licence during his career and has won 12 major European races.
Patrick turned professional at the end of 1993 and he raced with:
- 1993 WordPerfect
- 1994 Novemail
- 1995 and 1996 Once
- 1997 to 1999 Rabobank,
- 2000 with US Postal,(when injury ruled him out of the Tour)
- 2001 and 2002 with Big Mat
He finished 12th overall at the 1996 Tour de France, Miguel Indurain was 13th and that was the year Bjarne Riis toppled the Big Mig. A young up and coming Ullrich was second. Pat is also a former Dutch and Australian time trial champion.
Most South Australian’s know of Patrick’s greatest win in his final race as a professional, the Tour Down Under. It was a fairy tale win for him in front of his hometown crowd and one that we will remember for years to come.
Ride stages of the 2023 Tour de France
Follow the exciting first week of the 2023 Tour de France. Your cycling holiday starts in one of our favourite European destinations — the Basque. We will chaperone you to the opening stages and the team presentations of the biggest cycling race in the world. You will see multiple aspects of the first 3 stages before the race enters France. Feel the excitement of the frenzied Basque crowds, who are arguably the most energetic, yet certainly most considered supporters that annually celebrate the Tour de France in the Pyrenees. Moreso in 2023 than any other preceding year.
The 2023 Tour de France enters the Pyrenees in the first week, which is a less than traditional route. This is because riders will climb the legendary Col du Tourmalet, normally such a climb is reserved for the final week of the Grand Tour. But our trips offer much more than just watching the 2023 Tour de France, you can be the tourist in the infamous pintxos bars of San Sebastian, immersing in their wonderful cuisine and vibrant culture. You will also have the opportunity to achieve your own cycling goals too, with supported rides along the Tour de France routes, along the Basque coastline interwoven by the trekkers following one of the famous Camino de Santiago routes. We incorporate days on our itinerary away from the race so that we have ample time to complete the most famous climbs ourselves – climb Col du Tourmalet, challenge yourself to Col du Solour before taking in the spectacular sights around Cirque du Litor which summits at Col d’Aubisque.
Our trip finishes in the Pyrenees and on our final day we will see the stage depart as the 2023 Tour de France continues toward Bordeaux. In total, you will see 5 stages at various points of the race, including stage starts, finishes, climbs, and possibly picking up a unique souvenir at a feed-zone, such as a rider’s official water bottle or a musette. You will also see the official team presentation, where you see all the riders.
Extend your stay – Grand Tour Option?
Extend your cycling holiday and follow the entire 3-weeks of racing through France. Join our 2023 TDF Grand Tour cycling trip and see many stages before arriving in Paris for the finale on Champs Elysees and the crowning of the 2023 Tour de France winners.
Grand Depart – Daily Itinerary
Welcome – 2023 Tour de France
Our staff will greet you at Bilbao Airport this morning at 11 am. Bilbao is recognised as the largest city in the Basque region. Basque has its unique culture, cuisine, and their own language. Situated in Northern Spain, beyond their own language, the region is very industrious, and very active locals continue to make efforts towards it’s annexure from the rest of Spain. You’ll find the people very friendly, and the culture very addictive.
We have a short transfer this morning to San Sebastian, which is a well-regarded tourist destination. Our hotel is close to the old town where you will be able to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the Basque country and develop a taste for Pintxos. There are many great restaurants within walking distance. Tonight, we will welcome our guests at a local restaurant, including drinks. It is the perfect opportunity for you to have your questions answered about how our famous cycling trips run, and meet your fellow guests.
During the afternoon, your staff will be on hand to assist with assembling your bike before we head out on our shakedown ride.
- Welcome Dinner
- Warm Up ride around San Sebastian
There are sophisticated cycling networks that navigate through San Sebastian, and the surrounding terrain is conducive to wonderful riding experiences. Importantly, our ride this afternoon is to check that you and your bike are in working order, and for you to meet your fellow travelers.
Team Presentations in Bilbao
Today we make our way to Bilbao for the team presentations. After a full buffet breakfast, we will make the short transfer to Bilbao before riding. You’ll be supported on the road today with our support van and professional ride guides. We’ll have several groups of different paces and shorter options for those wishing to save their legs for the mountains. Right at a comfortable pace and enjoy this spectacular area with multiple scenic points along the route.
When you return to our luxury coach, you can freshen up, even with a hot shower, and store your bike before exploring Bilbao. You’ll have time to check out the Guggenheim Museum, an architectural masterpiece that always hosts a great exhibition of art. Later in the day, we will watch the team presentations as they are announced to the crowds. See every rider participating in the 2023 Tour de France. We suggest that you have a restaurant lunch in Bilbao after your ride, and if top up with a Basque classic of Pintxos for dinner in San Sebastian.
- Team Presentations in Bilbao
- Guggenheim Museum
Our ride today follows the race route of Stage 1 on the Tour de France in Basque. A day for the pro’s you will ride along the course and get a taste of what confronts the tour peloton. You’ll discover that it is not a pedestrian stage, as the Basque country is famous for its undulating terrain. Punctuated by breathtaking views of the Bay of Biscay, world-famous surf beaches, and popular holiday destinations, it is a stunning ride. You have the choice of a shorter or longer option before returning to Bilbao for this afternoon’s team presentations ahead of the 3-week Tour de France.
Opening Stage 2023 Tour de France
It has finally arrived, the 2023 Tour de France. See the opening stage multiple times, for a great vantage point. Expect to see lots of action during today’s stage, the opening stage, in fact, the entire opening week is full of nervous energy. We will catch the race mid-way along where we can see it multiple times. One of the popular locations for tourists is surfers, and it goes hand-in-hand that land conservation is at the heart of this region.
We will watch the race from an area that is also on the famous pilgrimage path — Santiago de Compostela. Guernica lays on a major river estuary that releases in the Bay of Biscay. It has been a strategically important location for conflicts in the past, and with its natural beauty, locals are passionate about peace and conservation. In a nearby forest, local artist Augustin Ibarrola resisted a plan for deforestation by painting trunks and forming an outdoor gallery. The simple act created a tourist attraction and importantly saved the forest from destruction. Worldwide, murals and wrappings on tree trunks deliver an important message to people, be they mental health, climate change, or amnesty.
After watching the race in this beautiful area, we will return to San Sebastian where you can enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
- Stage One of the 2023 Tour de France
Our ride today explores the roads of Stage 2 of the Tour de France on our way to Guernica. You have the option of starting and finishing your ride in Guernica, which will make it much shorter. Our long ride is about 100km with several small climbs along the route.
Stage Finish in San Sebastian
Today is Stage 2 of the Tour de France, and the race arrives not far from our hotel. The terrain will offer the chance for a small breakaway to hold off a fast-finishing peloton. It should be a spectacle, with an impressive backdrop.
After breakfast we will head out on a short ride, again we’ll offer guests multiple supported ride options. You have the choice of something longer or shorter, and faster or slower. We’ll arrive back at our hotel in time for the final preparations for the race’s arrival.
- Stage Two of the Tour de France - Sprint Finish
Our ride today follows the final moments of today’s stage. Much of today’s stage for the Tour de France has been included in multiple editions of Vuelta a Espana and the Tour of Basque. Some riders will be very familiar with the road, and the local riders will be willed to victory by the fanatical Basque fans. Today will be a memorable day.
Entering the Pyrenees
We transfer to France today. As we farewell our hospitable hosts in the Basque country, we enter the Basque country of France — yes, there is a Spanish-Basque and a French-Basque area. We will follow the final moment of the stage in Bayonne before transferring to our hotel in the Pyrenees.
The French Pyrenees are usually reserved for the second or last week of the French Grand Tour, the Pyrenees will host 2 pivotal stages in the 2023 Tour de France. We will stay in the heart of the Pyrenees with some of the most spectacular rides at our doorstep. Making the most of this situation, we will arrive a day ahead of the race and maximize our rides.
Our accommodation in the Pyrenees is at a wonderful family-run hotel, and each night our hosts will present fabulous local produce so that we are fuelled for the next day.
- Enter the Pyrenees
Our ride today follows to coastline into France and onto the finish in Bayonne. It is a flat ride, a perfect day to rinse the legs and prepare for the mountains tomorrow.
Col du Tourmalet, Legendary
In a break from traditional stages of the 2023 Tour de France utilise the famous roads of the Pyrenees in the first week, although race organisers defy tradition often these days. Riders will climb the legendary Col du Tourmalet — the climb needs little introduction, other than it was included in the race before Mont Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez, or even Col du Galibier. We will ride the legendary climb today, in the same direction that the race does later in the week.
- Climb the legendary Col du Tourmalet
We call this ride the perfect-100. Because it is exactly 100km and about 2000m of climbing and importantly the last 40km is entirely downhill. There are no time pressures today, so climb at your own pace and if you get tired, stop take some photos before going again. For those that are concerned about making the complete loop, we will transport you to the base of the main climb, so that your legs are fresh for the difficult part of the climb. There is always the option for some uplift closer to the summit.
Ride the Pyrenees – 2023 Tour de France
We’ll re-focus on the race today after riding a legendary climb yesterday. Today, we will see the stage start in Pau, a popular stage town in recent editions of the Tour de France. We will ride over a climb that was included in 2022 where the eventual winner, Jonas Vingegaard demonstrated possibly the greatest moment of sportsmanship in 2022 — his combatant Tadej Pogacar lost control on gravel through a corner, and Jonas eased up so that Tadej could rejoin the battle for the queen stage to the Hautacam.
There are too many historical moments to recall from previous editions of the Tour de France — the edition where Lance Armstrong was dislodged from his bike by a spectator’s plastic bag on Luz Ardiden comes to mind. So many legends of the sport, and so many legendary climbs. We love the Pyrenees.
- Stage Start in Pau
- Ride the Hautacam
Our main ride today involves arriving in Pau for the stage start. There is a small climb along the way, and our easier option goes through Lourdes and past the famous Grotto. If you’d like to watch the entire stage from a local bar, which is often an option taken by our guests then there are several alternatives ride that we can suggest, such as Luz Ardiden and the Hautacam — after all, they are popular to do together, and if the second gets too tough, turn around and your hotel is at the base of the Hautacam.
Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque
This is an early treat in the 2023 Tour de France, the opening week of the Grand Tour includes a stage on the legendary Tourmalet. We will ride early this morning and give you the opportunity to watch the race close to our hotel later today on the final climb.
- Ride Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque
- See the Tour de France near our hotel
Our ride today is another of our favourites. Behind our hotel are the slopes of Col du Soulor and Col d’Aubisque. There is also another category 1 climb that connects us to the base of Soulor. This is a treat. Once you reach the summit of Soulor, the 9km to Aubisque may be the most spectacular road that you will ever ride following Cirque du Litor. You will be rewarded with expansive views across the valley, impressive mountains, and a balcony road. Riding rarely gets better than this.
Stage Start for Departure
Sadly, our trip to the 2023 Tour de France comes to an end today. However, we have one more treat available to our guests. We will make a stopover to the start village of today’s stage before transferring you to Toulouse-Blagnac airport this afternoon.
You may like to continue your travel with us and join our Grand Tour, following the 2023 Tour de France through to Paris. We understand that chasing the race can be tiring for the three-weeks, so we have the next few days riding through our local area not far from Toulouse. Ride in the backyard of Laurent “Ja-Ja” Jalabert before we reconnect with the race near the Frech Alps.
If you are departing us today, we will have you at Toulouse-Blagnac airport by about 5 pm. So keep this in mind if booking your flight out of Toulouse today. For domestic flights, make sure that they depart after 7 pm and 8 pm for international flights.
Ride Challenging Climbs with the most experienced Tour Operator at Grand Tours
Grand Tours for 27 years
2023 will proudly be our 27th year of organising trips to the Grand tours, making us among the most experienced tour operators at Le Tour.
If you’ve ever stayed up late watching le Tour de France on TV and swooning over the imagery, we’ll help you make your dream come true by bringing you there live and letting you cycle the famous roads yourself!
- 20+ years of experience running Tour de France trips
- Different trips and itineraries to suit your holiday preferences
- Accommodations in 3 & 4 star hotels
- Luxury transportation throughout your holiday
See the race at various stages including the start, finish, epic climbs, and routes in small French villages. Go beyond the typical tourist areas of France and celebrate Le Tour in a friendly French town.
However you want to experience the Tour de France, we have a trip for you.
Book your 2023 Tour de France trip now and be a part of the largest annual sporting event.
Why Book with Bikestyle Tours?
A COVID-Safe plan
- All staff and guests must complete a pre-travel questionnaire prior to the start of the trip
- Bikestyle Tours complies with the COVID requirements of the local authorities (Tourism and Accommodation, Bike Tours); such as controls for social distancing, cleaning and hygiene, vehicle transport
- Check your departure and return requirements for your country of residence
Are Trips Guaranteed Departures?
We make every effort to guarantee departures to give you peace of mind that once you’ve booked your trip – you’re going! We do not cancel trips due to insufficient numbers leaving you stranded.