best trip ever
I have been traveling to Europe once or twice a year since 2010 to cycle with friends and have always contracted with touring companies to do so. This week we returned from a 9-day trip in France, Spain and Andorra that was designed and supported by Jean-Philippe of VéloTopo. This particular trip was private and the route was designed by collaboration of my friends and me with VéloTopo.
I can unequivocally say that it was our best trip ever. Because of his intimidate knowledge of the region and extensive cycling experience Jean-Philippe was able to lead and support us on a route of small remarkably traffic free roads that wound through the hills and up and down passes. The tarmac was among the best we have encountered in Europe, the hotels nice, often in remarkable locations, and the food excellent.
In Andorra we rode to Arcalis and a couple of the ascents featured in this year's Vuelta d'Espana. In France we did 2 or 3 Tour Ascents including the Plateau de Beille and the Pradell. Unlike the climbs to the Tourmalet or Galibier we had the roads more or less to ourselves.
So, Jean Phillippe listened to us and designed the exact trip we wanted. He is good company and has a remarkable story to tell. Given the level of support the price was reasonable and I can recommend VéloTopo without reservation.
Thanks again and Chris and I hope to see you soon.
I have taken 6 VéloTopo tours, and this year’s Pyrenees crossing was the toughest yet. We experienced bad weather conditions for the first time, and it is only then that the true depth of the VéloTopo team’s preparation can be fully appreciated – 4 excellent staff helping us and encouraging us relentlessly – we all hope for blue skies at all times, but if you’re ever in the mountains in bad weather, believe me when I say you definitely want VéloTopo at your side.
J-Phi & Yumi, I wanted to convey that this was the best support experience, because we had so much need to depend on it. All your tours have been amazing. And this time again, you were so cheerful and positive at all times, not easily delivered in such trying circumstances.
Mark participated in 6 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 3 Pyrenees, 1 Corsica, 1 Alps, 1 Provence.
I have now returned to something approaching the normality of my life after the fabulous training week which you both in Provence.
I was a latecomer to an established group who have enjoyed many trips with you both, but both they and you made me welcome.
I had never cycled outside the UK before, and appreciated the beauty of the rides in particularly scenic parts of Provence.
Your hosting appeared effortless, and yet it was obvious that your research of the area we were to cycle was meticulous, and that attention to detail paid off, a small example being when you were asked if we could go for a swim. You knew exactly where we could all stop the bikes and climb down to enjoy a particularly refreshing swim. That knowledge only comes from thorough reconnaissance of the area and knowing the route options, which was then matched with your flexible approach to allow time out of the schedule, for a swim en route.
Jean-Philippe, your encouragement and guidance whilst cycling was invaluable and informative, and may even make me a better cycler one day, whilst Yumi was always in the right place at the right time, whether it be to guide us to the next turn, or to provide an oasis of refreshment and sustenance during a ride, or at the top of a mountain.
The hotel was perfect, and the eating arrangements ideal, so much so that despite burning all those calories, I put on weight - how on earth does that happen?
Thank you for making last week, one of the most enjoyable weeks that I can remember, and I really look forward to the next time that I cycle with you both again.
Martin participated in 2 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 1 Pyrenees, 1 Provence.
Jean-Philippe, in about an hour from now I will be boarding my return flight to Seattle and I will be bringing with me memories and images of a most amazing and absolutely super visit to France and the Pyrenees.
Every day was special. Every day was unforgettable. Every day presented challenges, some familiar from my visit two years ago, others new and all most rewarding.
I marveled at your brilliance in crafting routes that rewarded me with exhilaration and high-speed descents to the finish most days. I admired the beauty of the tiny roads and villages each day’s route presented, places and scenes only known to locals.
One day, I met a local cyclist. He wondered how I knew of this route, so I was pleased to share your business card with him. How cool was that, a local wondering how I knew of this route?
Of course, these memories and experiences were enhanced by the hotels and restaurants you arranged. It’s so important to get adequate rest and nutrition for cyclists and each night was spot on in all categories. I loved my visit to the Basque region for the people and the food and wine. I never knew eel was so tasty! My stays at all hotels in the Basque and Hautes-Pyrenees regions were most agreeable and I absolutely savored and enjoyed each night’s work of their chefs. They do love their work and it showed up with each course.
To your skill and expertise at designing unforgettable custom tours for an old cyclist like me, chapeau!
VeloTopo is without peer and is the best of the best. I wish you continued success and look forward to my next visit to France.
Thank you so very much,
Tony participated in 2 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 2 Pyrenees self-guided tours.
first class support
Dear Jean-Philippe, Overall, I am very impressed with the friendliness, high level of support to the cyclists, and knowledge of the area that you provided. We always felt comfortable approaching you with requests and questions. The vans were always right there when we needed them.
You managed a lot of the unique requirements of the team for support during rides very well. You both fit in with our unique personalities very quickly and were always very accommodating.
The key to having a non-cyclist/cyclist tour is keeping the non-cyclists happy, too. You were very helpful in ensuring the gals had ample things to do. This was very critical to the success of the tour.
Your bike mechanics knowledge was greatly appreciated, too. I think some may have taken that for granted.
Yumi's support behind the scenes was greatly appreciated, and her cheerful smiles were fun to see every day. She added a nice spark to the experience.
Thanks again for dealing with the flood and washed-out roads so well that we were virtually unaffected by it (as far as we knew). Another example of your level of commitment to your clients ensuring they have a good time
Thanks again for everything. If you need a good referral down the road, don't hesitate to provide Jeff's email address to future clients. Here is my testimonial:
VéloTopo provided exactly what our unique group needed to allow our cyclists to find challenges at all levels in the Pyrenees, Bordeaux, Medoc and Dordogne, while offering ideal launch points for our non-cyclists to find adventure discovering chateaux, caves, wine tastings, and of course, shopping.
The planning stages of our trip were simplified by Jean-Philippe's ability to ask the right questions to understand our unique expectations of a cycling, but also a leisure/sight-seeing tour. During cycling expeditions, Jean-Philippe and Yumi were able to provide first class support to all our cyclists regardless of where they were on our daily route.
The hotels and restaurants were well-matched to our needs for unique experiences in food and wine, and of course, service. VéloTopo also made sure we visited some sites that we would not have known about (and even reserved tickets well in advance of our visit).
Our group really appreciated the level of detail provided in designing great routes with the right amount of challenge and ensuring our safety by using less traveled roads. For those who want to climb and climb, there's ample opportunity on their routes.
I'd highly recommend VéloTopo to any cyclist, but also to those who want to bring a group of cyclists and non-cyclists to the Pyrenees and Dordogne regions.
First thing I wanted to say thank you both for a great new experience. I think you have some way of making these trips "click". It is a combination of your friendliness plus enough "authority" to make me really pay attention when you were telling us about the route and its pleasures and potential hazards. You are a gifted communicator! Your love and enthusiasm for the country and biking come across; it is evident you both bring lots of experience.
So... My first time on a road bike doing real climbs and descents. I have nothing to compare cycling in Corsica to, therefore, but I do not believe there can be many places that are more spectacular on a bike. Some of the views we had were once-in-a-lifetime. Your routes are spot on.
The whole experience of being guided was also new, but I can see now how it has major advantages, and allows the group to focus on enjoying the rides and not worrying about the logistics. For lunch and drink breaks — your organization was superb and the quality on offer way higher than I anticipated. So, I am sold on the idea for as long as my legs can keep going.
Take a well deserved break! And see you next year.
Mark participated in 4 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 1 Corsica, 1 Pyrenees, 1 Alps, 1 Dordogne.
My recent cycling tour of the Pyrenees and Bordeaux regions over 10 days was a very memorable cycling experience.
Your experience, professionalism and extensive knowledge of the locations and history we were exposed to were exceptional. Both you and Yumi are tour guides who have walked the walk. The back-up and support we received motivated me to take on these mountains with confidence.
Thank you for an incredible experience, your tour was great value for money and I would highly recommend VéloTopo to any cyclist wanting such an experience. Thank you for the friendship and camaraderie and no doubt we will be booking another tour not too far in the future.
Mario participated in 2 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 1 Pyrenees-Dordogne, 1 Corsica.
We are a group of avid cyclists who organize a yearly trip abroad to experience new scenery to enjoy and more climbs to conquer. In April, 2016 we went to Provence as a group of nine riders.
We elected to use the services provided by Jean-Philippe and his wife, Yumi of VéloTopo. We were very happy with our decision.
As the organizer of our recent trips, I can best describe my yearly organizing experiences to that of "herding cats"... But no matter what we threw at Jean Philippe with questions, changes or concerns, he and Yumi never missed a beat and always had an answer or solution for us.
Following our arrival, the trip to was spectacular. The rides were some of the most scenic yet challenging we have done to date. The food and accommodations were excellent. The attention to our daily needs, ride support and providing a cycling guide (Jean-Philippe) was superb.
The rides selected for us were fantastic but the rides through the Gorges du Verdon and the ascent of Mt Ventoux were truly memorable for their beauty as well as the cycling challenges they provided.
The combination of Yumi, Jean-Philippe and Giles made for excellent traveling companions, sharing many a story and laughter with our group. In the end it was hard to say goodbye to our new friends, but we are certain to return for another challenging and fun filled trip with them in the near future.
Michael participated in 2 VéloTopo Bike Tours: 1 Provence, 1 Corsica.