Scheduled Departure Dates
This tour runs in July 2020.
Perhaps it was your first glimpse of the complex if mesmerizing choreography that defines the peloton surging through the French countryside that hooked you.
Perhaps it was taking in the power and glory of the Alpe d’Huez, but one stage in the great arc of mountains stretched from Southeast France into Northern Italy and Switzerland.
Perhaps it was a rush of pride seeing LeMond, Lance or Floyd–whatever their circumstances–pulling on the Maillot Jaune, the Yellow Jersey: an American ascending to podium, reigning over the greatest Grand Tour in the World: the Tour de France.
Our trip represents something of a shadow Tour, albeit decidedly more accommodating if not far softer in the saddle. While we don’t cycle the actual Tour de France course, our routing parallels various tour stages; though on backroads, la route panoramique set to far less challenging landscapes.
At the close of each day’s ride, our support van shuttles the group to an optimum viewing spot. With bikes racked, we transition seamlessly to experience up-close the energy, rich culture and panache that is the Tour de France, (which turns 130 this year). Now, only a few feet separates you and Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome, Sagan and Dumoulin, Nibali to Quintana and Bardet.
Besides having your very own Soigneur, (healer / massagist) our Tour/France trip affords the flexibility to fade or figuratively switch gears whenever your legs start to give. Or, the attractions prove too compelling: be it the Grottes at Lourdes to The Louvre; the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs-Elysees, or an impromptu forest hunt for truffles.
Built to accommodate all ages, cadences, conditions or personal whims, the itinerary is eminently flexible, shaped in a cooperative spirit. By all means, this is your Tour de France.
Travel Day: July 12, Fly to Paris from USA
Day 1-2: Vienne
Twenty-two miles south of Lyon, Vienne (pop. 29,000) is located in the Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Set alongside the river Rhone, in the department of Isère, Vienne was a pivotal Roman colony and major urban settlement under Julius Caesar. Reflecting that rich history, Vienne claims numerous monuments, such as the temple of Augustus and Livia, as well as the Abbey of St. Peter. Conversely, modern Vienne is home to the Yoplait brand, an international basketball tournament, in addition to a critically-received annual Jazz festival.
Day 3-4: Millau
Millau, a town of 22,000 in the Aveyron Department in the French Occitanie comes across wonderfully contradictory. There’s the medieval side: given the convents that date back to the 1100s, its stone churches surrounded by timeless green space. An ancient Gallo-Roman city known for its ceramics, Millau knew the successive dominations of Provence, Barcelona, even England. Then there’s Millau’s fantastically futurist side, glimpsed in the Millau Viaduct: the world’s tallest bridge (completed in 2004), its aura and glowing visage verging on sci-fi. Set against the Grands Causses Regional Nature Park, Millau stands at the confluence of the Tarn and Dourbie rivers. Between the gorges of the Dourbie and the Larzac plateau, the broad dolomite bluffs come to resemble the lighter mesas and tablelands of Northern Arizona and New Mexico. The former commercial base of the old Rouergue, Millau has held fast to its histories; from the archaeological site of Graufesenque to the halls through the Belfry, the hotel of Pégayrolles, the church of the Sacred Heart to a fossilized underwater beast known as an elasmosaurus.
Day 5-6: Toulouse
Four hundred-twenty miles from Paris, Toulouse (pop. 1.3-million) is the capital of the Midi-Pyrenees region. Nicknamed “la Ville Rose” (pink city), for the great swath of pink brick facades–gothic to Impressionist to romanesque architectural designs–Toulouse was built on woad: a blue dye of great currency in medieval and Renaissance era textiles. Now France’s fourth largest metropolitan area, Modern Toulouse has evolved into one of Europe’s leading high-tech hubs; bringing together various aeronautic, computer science and aerospace companies. Besides being France’s third largest university/education center, counting nearly 100,000 students, Toulouse also offers great cultural institutions: from museums of modern and contemporary art, the Zenith to the National Theater of Toulouse.
Day 7-8: Lourdes
If you’re looking to dab in the miraculous–off the bike–Lourdes is privy to the most famous shrine in the world. Set gracefully amidst the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, in France’s southwest, Lourdes (pop. 14,361) is known for the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, or the Domain: a preeminent Catholic pilgrimage site. Each year, upwards of five million visitors flow through the Grotto of Massabielle (Grotto of the Apparitions). Here, in 1858, the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to a local woman, no less than 18-times. In the grotto, pilgrims can drink, or bathe in gently flowing springwater. From beliefs to geophysics, Lourdes sits near the Prime Meridian, where Earth’s longitude is Zero, on the cusp of Western and Eastern hemispheres.
Day 9-10: Paris
Since the 17th century, Paris (pop. 12.5-million), the capital of France has stood at the forefront of European finance, commerce, fashion, science, and art. Its principal attractions range from the Louvre Museum to the historic Latin Quarter along the river Seine, the Arc de Triomphe to that 1063-ft., 129-year old global icon known as the Eiffel Tower. Speaking to the latter, since 1889 the Tour de France has finished here, in a scene of palpable drama; watched by tens of millions of viewers and cycling enthusiasts, if not entire countries from South America to North, across Europe into Russia. Visited by 25-30 million tourists a year, Paris can now boast of 270-miles of dedicated and protected bike paths and lanes. Whether you’re on or off the bike though, be present for l’ heure bleu. In the moment just after sunset, in that suspended hour before night falls, the skies above Paris resolve into an incomparable cobalt. This magical shade of blue has forever inspired and drawn painters and artists.
Travel Day: Return Home
Day 1: Travel to CDG (Paris)
Day 2: Relax. Paris, welcome group around breakfast before transfer to Vienne ( 4h30 ) possibility PRE-RIDE to detox 1hr easy 30km (20miles) close from hotel.
Day 3: Day 1 of Riding. Hotel to St Etienne, 100km (42-65miles) round trip, you will cross beautiful landscape throughs Pilat Natural Regional Park before reaching starting line.
Day 4: Transfer to Millau (3h30), ride a moderate road to Rodez 75-130km (43-80miles)
Day 5: Challenging ride to Mont Aigoual 50-100km (30-65miles)
Day 6: Transfer to Toulouse (2h30) easy ride (optional) relax around city and catch finish stage.
Day 7: starting stage 12 + tough beautiful Ride from Saint Michel and back,through natural Park Ariegeoise 100km (62miles).
Day 8: Transfer to Lourdes (2hrs)easy ride from Hotel to Pau where you will assist ITT(Individual time trial). Back to hotel 42km (26miles)
Day 9: Challenging Ride to Tourmalet from hotel 45km (26miles)
Day 10: Relax. Transfer to Paris (8h30)
Day 11: Last Day of Riding. Triangle du Bois de Vincennes a loop of 2-6 miles in Paris, no traffic
Day 12: Relax. Anneau de Longchamp with optional ride 3.4 miles is the other cycling park in Paris
Day 13: Transfer from hotel to airport, have a nice trip.
While every Escape Adventure trip is designed to appeal to active adventure seekers, and in many cases, particular skill levels, there is always a different idea of what that exactly means. That is why we have designed the chart below to help make sure you join the proper tour. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companions’ may differ as well. We present a range of mileage options on each tour as well as provide support vehicles as much as possible. That way you can take a break and do as little or as much as you would like each day.
|Miles||Feet Gain||Miles||Feet Gain||Miles||Feet Gain|
|Day 1||Road Biking||Sag Support All Day Everyday. Rides Are One Way|
|Road Biking||Seasoned: 43 Miles||7082 Ft. Gain|
|Day 2||Road Biking||Seasoned: 44 Miles||5032 Ft. Gain|
|Day 3||Road Biking||Seasoned: 30 Miles||5740 Ft. Gain|
|Day 4||Road Biking||Seasoned: 40 Miles||425 Ft. Gain|
|Day 5||Road Biking||Seasoned: 63 Miles||8800 Ft. Gain|
|Day 6||Road Biking||Seasoned: 27 Miles||504 Ft. Gain|
|Day 7||Road Biking||Seasoned: 26 Miles||5549 Ft. Gain|
|Day 8||Road Biking||Seasoned: 7 Miles||283 Ft. Gain|
Find out more about Choosing a Tour.
All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of your tour. This means from the time we pick you up at our meeting point, until we drop you back off to head home, all transportation, food preparation, meals (except where noted on itineraries), snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations (lodging) are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear (if on a camping tour) unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.
When you join an Escape Adventures tour in 2019, you will receive a FREE custom sublimated Limited Edition Jersey!
For over 25 years, the hallmark of an Escape Adventures tour is personalized, hands-on service. Before, during, and after each trip. We are a company of honesty and integrity and we stand behind our product 100%. From the moment you learn of our trips, to the time you return home and start planning your next trip, we are here to bring you the best possible experience. From our Guaranteed Trip Departure Confirmation Policy, making sure your trip is never cancelled*, to our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Policy, backing the unrivaled consistent quality of all our tours, our commitment to you is never compromised. * Scheduled Domestic trips only.
Our environmental commitment is second to none. We run our tours the same way we run our company, with an eye on the triple bottom line: People, Profit & Planet. At Escape Adventures, we elected to pursue a more comprehensive approach to actually reduce our carbon footprint, rather than just offset it. We overhauled our entire operation — from our vehicles, to our buildings, to our procedures — to become an outdoor industry leader in the charge to help our people and our planet.
Leading tours naturally followed from our passion of exploring our favorite places with our friends. Our support staff includes our reservation team who is there to answer your questions about the tours, our service team who prepares your bike and gear for the tour, and our guide team – the ones who take you into the great outdoors. The highest level of responsibility, good nature, integrity, and dedication are standard traits of all those who work at Escape Adventures. We our proud of it and we think you should know it.
Having custom-made vehicles allows us to take you to places few other outfitters can, or will go. Every Escape Adventures tour is accompanied by at least one support vehicle, trailer, and in some cases a second and third transfer van. After purchase, we custom engineer our trucks, vans, and trailers by our on-staff mechanic to meet the unique needs of different tours. For example, certain vehicles are specifically designed for the Canyonlands region of Utah, while others are designed for The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Each of our Trip Leaders is required to be trained in safe vehicle operation, 4X4 driving, and basic maintenance. Our experienced Trip Leaders make it look easy, transporting you and up to 12 guests, along with their bikes, fresh food, gear and plenty of drinking water to any location.
Make your trip as comfortable as possible on the body, as simple as possible for traveling, and hassle-free on tour. By choosing to rent a bike from us, we will fit you with the newest, highest quality gear in the industry. Escape Adventures provides only high-end bicycles from Specialized. We replace our rental fleet each season to ensure all our rentals meet our high standards. All of our bikes are equipped carbon fiber frames and disc brakes designed for a smooth, comfortable ride. For those who are touring with a companion who may not be as fit or need a little help up the hills, we now have ebikes (electric pedal assist) available on select tours.
Our food isn’t just good, it’s good for you.
Food represents a big part of the Escape Adventures experience. On our inn tours most dinners and breakfasts unfold at local favorite restaurants. We also have energy snacks aboard our support vehicles. Don’t be surprised if your guides purchase fresh fruits and healthy snacks throughout the day while you’re enjoying a ride. They may just show up on the trail with a local treat! An increasing number of our guests are vegans or vegetarians, whom we not only accommodate but also pleasantly surprise. Should you possess special diet requirements and/or limitations, just let us know at sign-up. We’ll work with you to meet those critical needs.
This tour runs in July 2020.
The idea of taking your friends or family somewhere cool and amazing is actually pretty easy. Tell us what you’re thinking. We’ll make it happen.
Any trip in this catalog, any specific time frame, any group size, we can custom-fit if not comfortably accommodate. A Custom and Private Escape Adventures trip affords the ultimate bonding, or team-building experience for:
To shape a Custom or Private Trip, we begin a dialogue: first, to develop a group specific itinerary, tailored to respective abilities and preferred tempo. Next we schedule, bookmarking and working in your optimum or ideal getaway dates. Size-wise, we can build a multi-day trip for as few as two people, scaled up to as many as 30 plus. Contact us today to start the custom trip building process.
All Private Escape Adventures Trips are priced in the structured method below. Some Custom tours are priced differently if they vary from the Classic Escape Adventures itinerary and price. In this situation we will provide your group with a custom itinerary and price.
* Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details.
Since 1992, we at Escape Adventures have been blessed to shape and lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Each successive season, our passion for adventure grows through memorable moments with our guests. Fresh air, faith, fitness and friends are the building blocks for our ventures, the treasured experiences that keep us moving forward. For those of you who have trekked and traveled with us over the past quarter century, Heather and I express our sincerest gratitude. The memories are priceless.
For those who have yet to tour with us, we appreciate the opportunity to introduce you to our family-run company and guiding principles of sustainability and adventure. Our portfolio specializes in Western North America and is rapidly growing internationally. Building on over 100 destinations, we cater to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type. From road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first-timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels, on behalf of our Escape Adventures family, we look forward to many new and exciting adventures with you.
With much gratitude, and happy trails,
Jared and Heather Fisher
Founders and Owner-Operators