Col d'Aubisque, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France

Everything is slowly preparing for the biggest cycling entourage in 2016!

Do you know everything about the ‘Andorran’ part of the Tour de France?

It is all prepared for the 103rd edition of the 2016 Tour de France. The ‘grande boucle’ will start at Mont-Saint-Michel at 2nd of July and will end their journey at 24th in Paris, traditionally in Champs-Elysees. Besides in France, the entourage will have the opportunity to cycle through small country of Andorra in the Pyrenees, as well as Spanish Catalonia and through wavy Swiss Alps. The total distance from start to finish line is 3519 km (2186 mi).

Tour_de_France

The start is set in French Normandy and will go counterclockwise through central France they will go through Pyrenees and have a rest day in Principality of Andorra. After that they continue towards Switzerland and to finish line in Paris.

Le Tour de France is an event dating in early beginning of 20th century, in 1903 when the first Tour took place. It started in front of Café au Reveil Matin in Montgeron, a suburb of Paris when about 60 French, Belgians, Swiss, Germans and Italians started their journey in this test of endurance and a race to win 20,000 francs. Since then Le Tour de France is the best synonym of endurance, health, sport and unity.

2016 Tour de France will consist of:

  • 9 flat stages
  • 1 hilly stage
  • 9 mountain stages including 4 summit finishes (Andorre Arcalis, Mont Ventoux, Finhaut-Emosson et Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc)
  • 2 individual time trial stages
  • 2 rest days

What is interesting is that the first rest day will be in the small yet country that has a lot to offer – Principality of Andorra. The ‘grande boucle’ will enter Andorra from Vielha Val d’Aran in Spain to Andorre Arcalis, one of the most remote ski centers in Andorra. This will be the first out of four summit finishes, so the cyclers will have a lot to conquer in this land of valleys and high mountains.

Andorra

For the fans following the whole entourage on their way there is a lot to discover in this land of plenty:

  • Tax-free haven: you can enjoy buying tax-free goods, there are outlets literally on every corner, and you can shop for all of that haute couture for a fair price. This banking enclave of the Pyrenees has a lot to offer to those willing to spend and make some good deals out of it since there are more than 1000 shops.
  • Unique cuisine: even though Andorra is ‘trapped’ between France and Spain which influenced a lot on identity building of Andorrans, still they remained unique in preserving the Catalan signature of everything, especially the food. Try one of the most traditional and exquisite dishes of the Pyrenees in cozy restaurants that are preserving their traditional looks and still are up to date.
  • Breathtaking scenery: with more than 300 sunny days you can just pack your camera and start taking pictures as soon as you get there. From Romanesque architecture on every corner to sunny valleys and snowy hills, it’s up to you to decide which way you will go.

If you have some second thoughts about booking a hotel in Andorra you shouldn’t worry – there are so many offers that you won’t be able to choose. We can make it a bit easier!

Arinsal is only 6 km, from the capital Andorra la Vella, where you will find Ribasol resort so you can bike from there to the city of Andorra la Vella and watch the Tour de France cyclers. What is there more at the Ribasol resort for you:

  • If you are coming by car you will not have to worry since every room has its own parking space.
  • If you are following the spirit of Tour de France and bringing your own bikes you can leave them in your own private secured storage room.
  • Since the whole country is ‘a bit’ mountainous you don’t have to worry about dragging your bike from the resort because there is an elevator for bikes.
  • Tired of waiting in line for the ski lifts? Ribasol resort has a direct access from your room!

Now that we showed you some of the benefits of coming to Andorra and enjoying in every single moment it’s up to you to visit this gem of the Pyrenees and follow are recommendations. Andorra is waiting for you!

Tour de France

2016 Tour de France Calendar

July 2, Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, 188km (117 mi) – Flat stage
July 3, Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-Octeville, 182km (113 mi) – Hilly stage
July 4, Granville to Angers, 222km (138 mi) – Flat stage
July 5, Saumur to Limoges, 232km (144 mi) – Flat stage
July 6, Limoges to Le Lioran, 216km (134 mi) – Medium-mountain stage
July 7, Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban, 187km (116 mi) – Flat stage
July 8, L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle, 162km (101 mi) – Medium-mountain stage
July 9, Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, 183km (114 mi) – Mountain stage
July 10, Vielha Val d’Aran (Spain) to Andorre Arcalis (Andorra), 184km (114 mi) Mountain stage
July 11: Rest day Andorra 
July 12, Escaldes-Engordany (Andorra) to Revel, 198km (123 mi) – Medium-mountain stage
July 13, Carcassonne to Montpellier, 164km  (102 mi) – Flat stage
July 14, Montpellier to Mont Ventoux, 185km (115 mi) – Mountain stage
July 15, Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-d’Arc, 37km (23 mi) – Individual time trial
July 16, Montelimar to Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux, 208km (129 mi) – Flat stage
July 17, Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz, 159km (99 mi) – Medium-mountain stage
July 18, Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne (Switzerland), 206km (128 mi) – Medium-mountain stage
July 19, Rest day Bern
July 20, Berne (Switzerland) to Finhaut-Emosson (Switzerland), 184km (114 mi) – Mountain stage
July 21, Sallanches to Megeve, 17km (11 mi) – Individual time trial
July 22, Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc, 146km (91 mi) – Mountain stage
July 23, Megeve to Morzine, 146km (91 mi) – Mountain stage
July 24, Chantilly to Paris Champs-Élysées, 113km (70 mi) – Flat stage

Tour_de_France_2013_-_Étape_12_-_Fougères_10

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