2018 TRIP DETAILS
Join us to see 5 key stages of the 2018 Tour de France for the adrenalin-filled last 8 days, in the stunning Pyrenees and Paris!
Official Premium Tour Operator - Thomson Bike Tours is one of only two Official Premium Tour Operators to the Tour de France. Our partnership with the race organizers allows us to provide the ultimate insider Tour de France experience, complete with exclusive VIP hospitality and unprecedented race viewing opportunities.
Exclusive VIP Race Access
- Access to the Izoard VIP Tribune - Situated opposite the Finish Line, the Izoard VIP Tribune offers VIP hospitality and unparalleled viewing of the stage finish.
- Departure Village VIP access - meet the riders and Tour celebrities before the race start
- Team Paddock access - mix and mingle in the team area - a Spectator favorite!
- Relais-Etape VIP access - mid-race hospitality. Includes lunch, drinks and road-side viewing
- Stage 16 - Bagneres de Luchon (VIP Finish Line)
- Stage 17 - Saint Lary Soulan
- Stage 18 - Stage to Pau (VIP Relais-Etape)
- Stage 19 - Lourdes (VIP Departure Village)
- Stage 21 - Paris (VIP Espace Triomphe Tribune)
Your Trip Leader: Jacinta
We can´t talk about our Spectator Trips without discussing the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of your guide, Jacinta. A true pro, Jacinta’s wild personality and boundless energy make for a truly exceptional experience. Her connections will get you the ultimate insider access and her antics will have you howling with laughter. Simply the most fun you can have at a bike race.
VIP Departure Village Experience
VIP Finish Line Experience
VIP Relais Etape Experience
Meet a Pro Team!
Bienvenue en France!
Our staff will meet you at Toulouse Airport. From the airport we’ll transfer to Carcassone, where we will have an exclusive behind the scenes visit to a pro team hotel on their rest day! A pro Team Executive will give you an amazing insight into how a pro team works. You can see the team bus, see the bikes and equipment and be let in on some team secrets. If you’re lucky we’ll even see the team head off on their training ride! It’s an absolute favorite on our Spectators’ Trip - a real VIP experience giving unparalleled access.
In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to our hotel for a mid afternoon arrival. We’ll have a short orientation meeting where we’ll run through the plans for the upcoming week, then give you time to settle in, make use of the Hotel facilities and explore the beautiful village of Saint Lary Soulan.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 8:00am - either at Toulouse Blagnac Airport or at the Pullman Toulouse Airport Hotel
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 16
VIP Access to the Finish in Bagneres de Luchon
Today we’ll witness the thrill of a finish. We will arrive in plenty of time to explore the arrival areas and join in the excitement of the day. Early afternoon we will enter our VIP area by the finish line, a 3 tiered viewing area with complimentary appetizers, drinks, official TDF photos and excellent viewing points. A tour of the technical village will allow us to get up close to the finish line, see the inside of the media and TV crew area (maybe Phil and Jens will say hi), view the podium and get a real insight into the arrival area. Back to our viewing area, we will await the riders to cross the finish line. This will be a true VIP experience!
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 17
Saint Lary Soulan!
Talk about location! Today the Tour de France passes by our hotel! Have an easy morning with the guide and take the gondola up to Pla d’Adet, where the Tour de France finished 4 years previously and 9kms before the summit this year. It will give you a great view of the climb the cyclists have to undertake. In the afternoon you can either stay at Pla d’Adet or watch the race from the comfort of the hotel bar and then step outside as the publicity caravan passes by 2 hours before the race, throwing many free gifts, if you can catch them! When you spot the cyclists heading towards Saint Lary Soulan you simply have to walk outside and watch as the race passes by, before it tackles the steep 17km climb up Col de Portet. Not over yet, the team buses park minutes from our hotel so you can head out and watch as the cyclists come back to the buses after descending the col on their bikes.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 18
VIP Viewing in the Relais-Etape
You will have sampled every aspect of being a VIP! In the morning we will drive towards Pau where we’ll head to our VIP area to be greeted by our hostess and ex pro riders. The Relais Etape is situated on the course, generally within a few kms from the end, and allows us to view the race in VIP style. A 3-course meal, free bar, live coverage on TV, until the cyclists pass right in front of us live, it’s an amazing way to watch a stage! You can feel the excitement build as you watch official vehicles zoom by, hear the helicopters above as they track the cyclists getting nearer and nearer and get a roadside view as they pass by! A Tour de France gift is presented as a reminder of a great day.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 19
VIP Access to the Departure Village at the Stage Start in Lourdes
As an Official Premium Tour Operator, we have secured a visit of the ‘Team Paddock’ and Departure Village stage start in Lourdes. The Departure Village allows you to see sponsors and gain VIP entry, perhaps even meeting past winners of the race. Then, it’s onto our favorite - the paddock is where all the cyclists and teams congregate pre-race. The area offers fantastic opportunities to get up-close to the riders and Tour celebrities, as well as getting a first-hand view of the inner workings of the Tour de France. This is the place to get those all-important autographs and pictures with the Tour celebrities and riders. It’s one of the most popular moments on our Spectator Trips!
Up to Paris!
Today, as the race stays South, we head North and travel to Paris! As opposed to rushing up in the very early hours of the final day, we like to arrive the day before as our luxury Hotel is far too stunning and exquisite not to spend an extra night there. We aim to arrive early afternoon so you can head to the bar and watch the Time Trial live on television. It’s the only way to get a great view! You can also choose to watch it in the luxury of your rooms. In the evening we will have a dinner cruise on the river Seine. What a magical way to spend the evening and see the Paris attractions twinkling in the night sky. The atmosphere will be amazing the day before the Tour de France arrives in town.
Tour de France LIVE Viewing: Stage 21
VIP Access to the Finish in Paris
Good morning Paris! This morning you can have free time to recuperate or have a leisurely walk around the Parisian streets taking a coffee in one of the many chic neighborhoods. Early afternoon we’ll head over to the Champs Elysees where our Tour de France hostess will escort us to the VIP Espace Triomphe Viewing area. Champagne aperitif, open bar, cocktail party, French culinary show and live entertainment are all included in this fantastic VIP package leading up to the race! The riders will enter Paris for the traditional circuit race around the Champs-Elysees.
After the race, there’s a great photo and meet opportunity as the teams take a celebratory ride down the Champs Elysees.
A truly memorable day after a truly memorable once in a lifetime trip, rounded off with dinner in our exquisite Hotel.
Unfortunately, our Tour de France experience must come to an end.