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France: A Private Tour de France
(It's Scandal Free!)

National Geographic Adventure picks the 25 best new outfitted trips.
Text by Bonnie Tsui



France  |  Norway  |  Scotland  |  Switzerland

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Go Active
Who needs the foundering Tour de France anyway? Form your own peloton on REI Adventures' new fully supported bike trip to marquee stops on the Tour: the Alps, Provence, and the Pyrenees. No other company hits all three in one tour. "With big and famous mountains every day, three different amazing regions in France, and time in the evening to taste the local wine, we know we have a winner," says Jonathan Irish, who designed the trip for REI Adventures. The itinerary, adds Irish, is based on what he and his cycling friends deem their "dream ride on two wheels." A challenge for serious riders and prime for moderate cyclists who want something to train for, the nine-day ride tackles, among other things, the 21 switchbacks on the leg-burning ascent of Alp d'Huez and a marathon climb to the 8,677-foot (2,645-meter) summit of Col du Galibier, home to a monument to Tour de France founder Henri Desgranges. With former pro cyclists as guides, the trip is infused with rich Tour and regional history; in the Pyrenees you'll stay at a hotel dedicated to cycling great Laurent Fignon in the shadow of several famous Tour climbs. Carbon-fiber Eddy Merckx CHM road bikes are provided for your use. And if you want to skip a day in the saddle, you don't have to worry about losing the yellow jersey.

Vitals

Outfitter: REI Adventures (www.rei.com/adventures)

Price: $3,599

Length: Nine days

Departs: June, August, September

France  |  Norway  |  Scotland  |  Switzerland

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