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  • France 
  • Pyrénées 

The ‘Traversée du Soleil’ by mountain bike

Carcassonne - Banyuls by mountain bike

From
750€/person

Presentation of your trip

A brand new trip created by the LaRébenne team and put together during the longer months. The result is an exceptional mountain biking circuit where you will find everything you could want: single-track descents, magnificent and very different landscapes at each stage and the ‘Pyrénées du Soleil’ (Sunny Pyrenees).

Setting off from the famous city of Carcassonne, you cross through southern Minervois vineyards, visit villages full of rich and historically preserved architecture, and experience the gastronomy of the South. After a brief trip into Spain you arrive in the famous village of Banyuls and reach the sea - the highlight of this beautiful mountain-bike trip. 

  • DestinationFrance, Pyrénées
  • TypeFree
  • Length of trip7 days and 6 nights
  • ActivitiesMountain Biking
  • Physical level
  • Technical level

Possible periods for this trip

  • Jan.
  • Feb.
  • March
  • Apr.
  • May
  • June
  • Jul.
  • August
  • Sep.
  • Oct.
  • Nov.
  • Dec.
Description of the tripProgramTravel conditionsDates and price

Trip details

Highlights

  • An exceptional mountain bike route.
  • From Carcassonne to Banyuls, passing through vineyards and mountains.
  • Ideal for mountain-biking: single-track routes and fast paths; excellent XC mountain-biking!
  • The sunny Pyrénees, from North to South.

Complementary informations

  • 7 days - 6 nights including 7 days of mountain biking
  • Circuit compatible with electric mountain bikes

Program

  • Day 1

    From Carcassonne to Saint Andrieu

    • Distance : 45 km
    • Elevation gain : 1180 m
    • Negative gradient : 1047 m
    • Type of accommodation : Auberge

    (Possibility to cut the stage short between the 23rd and 30th kilometres)
     

    Departing from the city of Carcassonne and the foothills of Minervois, you head south towards the mountainous landscape of the Pyrenees.

    This first step passes between vineyards and the Mediterranean garrigue. We follow excellent, locally well-known, single-track, valley routes. At the 24th kilometre we pass next to an abbey. Then, a beautiful and rapid climb through the forest to reach the high point from where you will start a great descent along single-tracks to arrive in the little village in the Aude region.

    But it is not over- we suggest another climb to reach a perfect single-track descent back into the same village. Then along the bank of the Loquet, a gentle ride to your accommodation for the night. 
    A really beautiful mountain-biking stage!

    Night on a full-board basis in a domaine. 

  • Day 2

    From Saint Andrieu to Sougraine

    • Distance : 44 km
    • Elevation gain : 1200 m
    • Negative gradient : 1000 m
    • Type of accommodation : Auberge

    8km of quiet, country lanes to warm up the legs, then a pleasant track through a small and somewhat wild valley. A path across a grazing meadow, being careful to close gates behind you, allows you to climb Pech; a prominent peak with exceptional panoramic views over the Pic de Bugarach…

    Next, a fast descent towards the beautiful chateau and lake of Arques. Then, back up through the forest in search of the Serre Guilhem, and a magnificent single-track bridlepath along mountainside balconies towards Sougraigne.

    Night in a hotel or guesthouse on a full-board basis. 

  • Day 3

    From Sougraine to Gincla

    • Distance : 52 km
    • Elevation gain : 1690 m
    • Negative gradient : 1630 m
    • Type of accommodation : Auberge

    A pretty route takes us first by the Fontaine Salée (Salty Fountain!) before we reach a gate and the reward which awaits us; a playful single-track plunging us down towards a famous village. The small lane then climbs towards a mountain pass. Here you will ‘stroll’ for 1km under the Pic de Bugarach before reaching high plateaus that open up to deliver superb panoramic views, before a quick descent to Caudiès.

    From Caudiès de Fenouillèdes, you enter the spectacular Gorges de St Jaume (optional, as it is not well adapted to mountain bikes). The path is narrow, perched above the torrent, and handlebars only just pass through the footbridges. Enjoy the show as far as the waterfall…

    The climb then continues between the two chateaus of La Vilasse. The long trail crosses the forest before descending to a small village at the end of the earth.

    Night in a ***hotel on a full-board basis.

  • Day 4

    From Gincla to Prades

    • Distance : 43 km
    • Elevation gain : 1130 m
    • Negative gradient : 1410 m
    • Type of accommodation : Hotel

    In the morning, we take a beautiful and rolling climb through the forest to reach a succession of mountain passes, which lead us on to the principal high point at 1320m from which a panorama opens up over plateaus of summer pastures and, notably, the Catalan giant - Canigou. Having crossed over the plateau of Castellane via paths and playful single-tracks, we have a very beautiful descent towards one of the prettiest Catalan villages.

    Night in a hotel in Prades, on a full-board basis.

  • Day 5

    From Prades to Amelie Les Bains

    • Distance : 51 km
    • Elevation gain : 1500 m
    • Negative gradient : 1680 m
    • Type of accommodation : Hostal

    Today, it is the end of the Fenouillèdes as we are welcomed into the ‘Pyrénees du Soleil’ and French Catalonia. Having played in the foothills of the Massif du Canigou, you take a small road which gently leads you towards a celebrated mountain pass. From there, and passing through the beautiful forest of St Marsal, you join a superb balcony track following the old Formentera mine railway and from which several viewpoints offer views over the Mediterranean. After a little more playtime in the hills, you test out the pretty descent into Amélie les Bains.

    Night in a hotel on a full-board basis. 

  • Day 6

    From Amelie Les Bains to l’Ullat

    • Distance : 42 km
    • Elevation gain : 1420 m
    • Negative gradient : 700 m
    • Type of accommodation : Shelter

    A beautiful mountain biking stage with a succession of trails and playful paths, through the foothills of the Pyrenees and the border ridge. Having crossed through several Catalan villages, you start your climb towards the Col de L’Ullat, in the magnificent forest of Albères, to reach your refuge for the night at 1000m altitude.

    Night in a mountain refuge on a full-board basis. 

  • Day 7

    From l’Ullat to Banyuls

    • Distance : 43 km
    • Elevation gain : 710 m
    • Negative gradient : 1660 m

    This is the final mountain bike stage, but not the least! Setting off from the refuge, you arrive at the border ridge from where the panoramic view is just extraordinary: the Bay of Rosas, the Cadaques mountains, as well as the plain of Figueras which unravels below your feet.

    Cross the border and descend more than 700m towards a XIII century Spanish castle. After crossing through some eye-opening granite landscapes, you reach the border ridge to reenter France and, via a very pretty forest track, you arrive above Banyuls and savour a magnificent and particularly playful descent  into the village and its famous beach. 
    End of trip.                           

  • End of trip

Travel conditions

  • Options

    • Single room supplement (subject to availability),
    • Accommodation the day before departure and (or) at the end of the stay,
    • GPS rental with recorded tracks: +30€,
    • Return to Carcassonne by private mini-bus.
  • Formalities

    • A valid official ID.
    • We recommend travel insurance with repatriation included. 
       
  • Food

    Your trip might not be the best time to diet, as it's an occasion to taste the local cuisine. We assign great importance to the quality of the food we provide: well-balanced and nutritious and providing ample energy, the specialties of the region are incorporated into each meal.

    The picnics are included in the price, made by cookers of you hotel. To avoid the production of unnecessary waste, we ask you to bring a plastic box that we could fill everyday of delights. 
     

  • Luggage

    You only carry the business of the day and the picnic. Luggage is carried by vehicle (or assistance vehicle). 1 piece/person and limited to 15kg/piece.

  • Accompanying

    2 formulas to choose from:

    Mountain bike in freedom with carrying luggage by taxi: From 2 people.
    Equipped with guidance material that we give you: maps with highlighted route, GPS tracks and roadmap. You go alone to discover circuits designed by our team. The use of GPS is essential for a fluid and pleasant orientation. Possibility to rent it in LaRébenne depending on availability.


    Mountain bike with certified instructor with luggage carrying taxi: From 6 people.
    Accompanied by a professional mountain bike certificate, you ride without worrying about the route to follow. Our instructor, specialist of the region, guides you and gives you, if you wish, the right advice to make you outstanding mountain bikers. Thanks to his knowledge of the route, he adapts to your group to manage schedules and effort throughout the day. Freed from group management, your only concern is to please you on your mountain bike.

     

  • Difficulty level

    Circuit for regular mountain bikers.

    Orientation: the circuit follows a wide variety of trails: GR; PR, equestrian, trails and tracks without markings.  

    Physical level: 2.5/3
    You have a good physical condition and practice very regularly mountain biking at least part of the year. From 42 to 52 km per day with gradients from 710m to 1690m maximum.


    Technical level: 2/3
    You control the braking in descent and the trajectory of the bike. You will ride on paths or paths sometimes rolling, sometimes technical (steeper, with obstacles).
    Electric ATV compatible circuit

    Pay attention to the autonomy management, it will be better to leave with 2 batteries or recharge at noon (if possible).
     

  • DEPARTURE AND MEETING POINT

    Departure from Carcassonne (11).

    How to get there:

    By car: A61 Carcassonne.

    By train: Carcassonne train station.

    By plane: Carcassonne airport.

    Possible return from Banyuls to Carcassonne by train.

  • Accommodation

    6 nights in full board

    Formula double room and lodging: see the program for the different accommodations offered.

    In lodging and mountain refuge. Most often, you share dormitories of 4/6 places. Sheets and towels are not provided.

    In guest rooms, domain and hotel: you sleep in comfortable rooms for 2 people.

    Bed linen and towels are provided.

  • Attendees

    Mountain bike in freedom with carrying luggage by taxi: departure from 2 people.

    Mountain bike with certified instructor with luggage carrying taxi: departure from 6 people.

Dates and price

Information

For groups, we can offer an accompanying program and adapt the level, duration, price and program on demand.

DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US.

Free departure from

Price TTC per person

Freedom package with luggage transport by cab
Registration at 2 people1030
Registration at 3 people910
Registration at 4 people795
Registration at 6 people750
Formula with qualified instructor and luggage carrying by taxi
Registration at 6 people995
Registration at 8 people910

Options

- Single room supplement (subject to availability): 150€/pers

- Accommodation the day before departure and/or at the end of the stay, please contact us.

- GPS rental with recorded tracks: +30€,

- Return to Carcassonne by private mini-bus, contact us.

The price includes

  • The reservation of accommodation,
  • Half board + picnics from the D1 dinner to the J7 picnic,
  • The transport of luggage,
  • For the freedom formula: maps, map holder, roadmap, GPS tracks,
  • For the formula with guide: No more orientation, the qualified guide takes care of everything during the entire stay.

The price does not include

  • Accommodation the day before departure and at the end of the tour
  • Drink
  • Visiting monuments
  • Personal expenses
  • The J1 picnic
  • Personal mountain bike equipment (helmets, gloves)
  • Mountain bikes
  • Return to Carcassonne 
  • Insurance.

The destination

  • Pyrénées

    The Pyrenees! To summarize their beauty and diversity in a few lines would be vain ... From the green mountains of the Basque Country, to the wild lands of Ariège to the Catalan mountains with the scent of the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees are an invitation to travel.

    See more trips
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