Best New Trips in the World: Bike France’s Pyrenees


For our annual Adventure Travel issue, we scoured the globe to find the 25 Best New Trips in the World for 2010, complete with a Best Trips photo gallery. Today, we present France. The world's far corners are now well within reach.

France: Tour des Pyrenees

If the gods were cyclists, you can rest assured that there would be more mountains like the Pyrenees. The 11,000-foot peaks separating France from Spain are laced with hundreds of miles of paved roads winding past medieval villages and stretches of high-alpine wilderness. For the past half century, cycling fanatics have been completing the Raid Pyrénéen, a hundred-hour cyclathon across the range on a fixed course. But other than Raid crews (and, of course, the annual swarm of Tour de France riders) the Pyrenees are mostly crowd free. “One of the big advantages to this area is that there are very few cars,” says Loren Siekman, owner of Discover France. Now, DF has developed an outfitted version of the Pyrenees crossing, using a different route and a saner, weeklong pace. The traverse begins near chilly Atlantic waters in Biarritz.

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