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Carcassonne to Barcelona Cycle

France, Spain Cycle TOUGH
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About the Challenge

Our route takes us through the tiny mountainous country of Andorra, where our main challenge lies in the long twisting climb of the Port d’Envalira (2408m), which has featured several times in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain. From Andorra we cross into Spain, riding south through the beautiful Catalan Pyrenees to wonderful Barcelona.

This is a challenging ride over beautiful terrain and you’ll be glad to reach Barcelona, an iconic city to celebrate your huge achievements.


Carcassonne to Barcelona Cycle

6 DAYS
  • Own arrangements to Toulouse, where we meet and transfer (approx one hour) to the ancient fortified city of Carcassonne. It’s a fabulous sight and a wonderful place to start our challenging ride. We check into our hotel and spend some time ensuring all the bikes are properly assembled and comfortable. Dependent on flight-times, any free time can be spent exploring the castle and narrow streets of Carcassonne. We meet up in the evening for dinner and a detailed trip briefing before getting a good night’s rest in preparation for tomorrow’s efforts.

    (Lunch not included)

  • An early start takes us south out of Carcassonne, and through the foothills of the Aude. This is countryside synonymous with the Cathars, and there are crumbling hill-top ruins scattered around this region, as well as ancient abbeys and churches. Our rolling roads give us a gentle warm-up, and it’s beautiful countryside. This is wine country, and we pass photogenic vineyards as we head closer to the Pyrenees. Our terrain becomes hillier as we pass the halfway mark, culminating in the Col de Marmare, a gradual climb bringing us to 1361m. It’s a gentle climb and shouldn’t be too much for anyone, but it’s long and a good benchmark for our first day. From here it’s a wonderful descent on hair-pin bends down to the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 115km (70 miles)

    Route Profile

    Carcassonne to Barcelona Day 1.jpg
  • Today is a day of two halves – up and down! – and three countries! We set off south from Ax, heading through a gently rising valley; this is a nice warm-up, as the gradient ramps up a little as we near the border with Andorra. It’s not until the second half of the climb that the gradient becomes more challenging, so it’s all about pacing yourself. The views of the mountain scenery around us are spectacular, with high peaks visible ahead; you may still be able to see snow on their summits. The Port d’Envalira has featured in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain, and is the highest paved road in Europe. As we near the border with Andorra most of the traffic heads through the tunnel, leaving us to appreciate a largely traffic-free finale to our climb. It’s a huge achievement as we reach the top, at 2408m. The rest of the day is downhill! We set off down sweeping hair-pin bends which soon settle into a steady descent, passing through small towns and villages as we cross Andorra. We cross into Catalan Spain; our hotel lies in the small town of La Seu d’Urgell, a short distance after the border. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 90km (55 miles)

    Route Profile

    Carcassonne to Barcelona Day 3.jpg
  • Another mountainous day ahead of us, as we ride through the beautiful Catalan Pyrenees. On quiet roads, our surroundings are stunning, passing through shady pine forests and steep rocky mountain slopes – much of the area borders a Natural Reserve. We start heading uphill almost from the start, taking us up to our first col. It’s a steep climb in places, but much shorter than yesterday’s big effort. A gentle descent gives us some respite before the gradient ramps up again for our next climb – again, quite steep in places. We pass picturesque mountain villages, and there is plenty to take our minds off our legs! Reaching the day’s highest point at 1671m, we enjoy an exhilarating descent to Sant Llorenç de Morunys, a lovely mountain town with its 11th-century church and monastery. Our route now rolls along over undulating roads, passing through wooden valleys; the most rugged part of the mountains is now behind us. A short climb throws a last challenge before we have a wonderful downhill ride into historic Berga. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 100km (63 miles)

    Route Profile

    Carcassonne to Barcelona Day 4.jpg
  • Our last day brings us out of the mountains, on a diverse, undulating day through lovely rural scenery. We pass traditional Catalan villages and small towns with ancient churches as we ride through wooded valleys and farmland. It’s a beautiful day and our spirits will be high with the mountains conquered and Barcelona ahead of us. As we approach the busy outskirts we regroup and ride together into this wonderful, vibrant city. Scattered with impressive and iconic buildings and monuments, it’s one of Europe’s most popular cities, with a cultural heritage including artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Miró and Gaudí. We see the iconic spires of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia basilica on the skyline as we ride through the city, and finish on the beach at Barceloneta, one of the best urban beaches in the world. After time to freshen up at our hotel, we head out for an evening of celebrations to mark our monumental challenge. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 130 km (80 miles)

    Route Profile

    Carcassonne to Barcelona Day 4.jpg
  • After a leisurely breakfast, we have time to relax or sightsee until it’s time to transfer to the airport.

    (Lunch not included)

Cycle Carcassonne to Barcelona for Macmillan Cancer Support

6 DAYS
Cycle the stunning route from Carcassonne to Barcelona and raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
  • Own arrangements to Toulouse, where we meet and transfer (approx one hour) to the ancient fortified city of Carcassonne. It’s a fabulous sight and a wonderful place to start our challenging ride. We check into our hotel and spend some time ensuring all the bikes are properly assembled and comfortable. Dependent on flight-times, any free time can be spent exploring the castle and narrow streets of Carcassonne. We meet up in the evening for dinner and a detailed trip briefing before getting a good night’s rest in preparation for tomorrow’s efforts.

    (Lunch not included)
  • An early start takes us south out of Carcassonne, and through the foothills of the Aude. This is countryside synonymous with the Cathars, and there are crumbling hill-top ruins scattered around this region, as well as ancient abbeys and churches. Our rolling roads give us a gentle warm-up, and it’s beautiful countryside. This is wine country, and we pass photogenic vineyards as we head closer to the Pyrenees. Our terrain becomes hillier as we pass the halfway mark, culminating in the Col de Marmare, a gradual climb bringing us to 1361m. It’s a gentle climb and shouldn’t be too much for anyone, but it’s long and a good benchmark for our first day. From here it’s a wonderful descent on hair-pin bends down to the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 115km (70 miles)
  • Today is a day of two halves – up and down! – and three countries! We set off south from Ax, heading through a gently rising valley; this is a nice warm-up, as the gradient ramps up a little as we near the border with Andorra. It’s not until the second half of the climb that the gradient becomes more challenging, so it’s all about pacing yourself. The views of the mountain scenery around us are spectacular, with high peaks visible ahead; you may still be able to see snow on their summits. The Port d’Envalira has featured in the Tour de France and Tour of Spain, and is the highest paved road in Europe. As we near the border with Andorra most of the traffic heads through the tunnel, leaving us to appreciate a largely traffic-free finale to our climb. It’s a huge achievement as we reach the top, at 2408m. The rest of the day is downhill! We set off down sweeping hair-pin bends which soon settle into a steady descent, passing through small towns and villages as we cross Andorra. We cross into Catalan Spain; our hotel lies in the small town of La Seu d’Urgell, a short distance after the border. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 90km (55 miles)
  • Another mountainous day ahead of us, as we ride through the beautiful Catalan Pyrenees. On quiet roads, our surroundings are stunning, passing through shady pine forests and steep rocky mountain slopes – much of the area borders a Natural Reserve. We start heading uphill almost from the start, taking us up to our first col. It’s a steep climb in places, but much shorter than yesterday’s big effort. A gentle descent gives us some respite before the gradient ramps up again for our next climb – again, quite steep in places. We pass picturesque mountain villages, and there is plenty to take our minds off our legs! Reaching the day’s highest point at 1671m, we enjoy an exhilarating descent to Sant Llorenç de Morunys, a lovely mountain town with its 11th-century church and monastery. Our route now rolls along over undulating roads, passing through wooden valleys; the most rugged part of the mountains is now behind us. A short climb throws a last challenge before we have a wonderful downhill ride into historic Berga. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 100km (63 miles)
  • Our last day brings us out of the mountains, on a diverse, undulating day through lovely rural scenery. We pass traditional Catalan villages and small towns with ancient churches as we ride through wooded valleys and farmland. It’s a beautiful day and our spirits will be high with the mountains conquered and Barcelona ahead of us. As we approach the busy outskirts we regroup and ride together into this wonderful, vibrant city. Scattered with impressive and iconic buildings and monuments, it’s one of Europe’s most popular cities, with a cultural heritage including artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Miró and Gaudí. We see the iconic spires of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia basilica on the skyline as we ride through the city, and finish on the beach at Barceloneta, one of the best urban beaches in the world. After time to freshen up at our hotel, we head out for an evening of celebrations to mark our monumental challenge. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 130 km (80 miles)
  • After a leisurely breakfast, we have time to relax or sightsee until it’s time to transfer to the airport.

    (Lunch not included)

Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,850 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,350 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £925 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All meals except where specified and accommodation on a twin share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Group transfer between Toulouse/ Barcelona airports and hotels
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meal in Barcelona

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Toulouse and from Barcelona
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £200 Fundraising target £2,500 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Contact Charity

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,850 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,350 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £925 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All meals except where specified and accommodation on a twin share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Group transfer between Toulouse/ Barcelona airports and hotels
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meal in Barcelona

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Toulouse and from Barcelona
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,450 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £975 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All meals except where specified and accommodation on a twin share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Group transfer between Toulouse/ Barcelona airports and hotels
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meal in Barcelona

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Toulouse and from Barcelona
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details
  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,950 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now
    Part - Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target £1,450 Tour Cost £250.00 Airline Taxes - Book now
    Full Payment Option
    Registration Fee £149 Fundraising target - Tour Cost £975 Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 weeks prior to trip departure

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • All meals except where specified and accommodation on a twin share basis
    • Discover Adventure leaders / mechanics / drivers
    • Full vehicle support throughout the trip
    • Group transfer between Toulouse/ Barcelona airports and hotels
    • Maps and route information
    • Celebration meal in Barcelona

    WHAT'S EXCLUDED

    • Two meals as specified in the itinerary
    • Travel insurance
    • Flights to Toulouse and from Barcelona
    • Bicycle
    • Cycle helmet (compulsory) and water bottles
    • Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
    • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
    • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions

     

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • All food is included except for a few meals as specified in the itinerary. The food is plentiful, generally local in style, freshly-cooked and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we have packed lunches, sometimes meals are buffet-style, other times we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at our hotel, depending on accommodation.

  • Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the terrain. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices, medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration is all done with your safety in mind.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • Clothing

    We could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up-to-date and any visas are obtained in good time. For further information please see our Factsheet and Visa information page.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.


Testimonials

Nigel - November 2016


Quite simply a brilliantly organised & thoroughly enjoyable trip. The DA team could not have done more to help,support and encourage you.

Cycle Training Weekends

Cycle training weekend

£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Cycle Training Weekends take place in and around the valleys and ridges of the chalk downs around Salisbury. They are designed to gauge your fitness so that you can be confident you are well prepared for the challenge ahead!

MORE INFORMATION

GRADE | tough (3)

This trip involves more rigorous days; weather, altitude or basic living conditions will add to the challenge. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the challenge less enjoyable - and we want you to have the time of your life!
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