For non-active days or just something different there is plenty to see and do:
The Catalan region can be explored by means of the famous “Petit Train Jaune”. This mountain railway (the highest electrified train in Europe) runs the length of the Cerdagne, from Villfranche de Conflent to Latour de Carol, with stops at many places of interest. As a spectacular journey in its own right it is hard to beat.
At nearby Mont Louis see the suns power harnessed and used in ways you wouldn’t believe possible. The Grand Four Solaire of Odeillo is worth a visit.
Park Animalier des Angles
On the edge of the village of Les Angles is an animal park specialising in the local species, including Bears, Wolves, Bison, Deer and various types of mountain antelope.
Gorges de la Caranca
These nearby incredibly narrow gorges offer a great walk using narrow bridges, ladders and aerial walkways to negotiate the chasm.
The area is famous for its thermals where the water comes out of the ground at 40 degrees. For a relaxing day or session why not try out one of the local spas or search out your own mountainside pool (we know of 3 "wild hot springs").
Locally, Font Romeu has some good outdoor shops and clothing boutiques, or you could venture further afield to Puigcerda just across the border in Spain. A day trip to Andorra to take advantage of its tax free shopping is great for those looking for a bargain.
Historical Sites of Interest
At the foot of the valley is the fortified town of Villefranche-de-Conflent. It is well worth an afternoon especially if you combine it with a meal in one of the local restaurants. It also has some show caves worthy of a visit. If we are not in a hurry we sometimes stop here for a café on the way to or from the airport.
There are many local ancient churches to explore and for those with their own transport the amazing city of Barcelona is a good trip.
If you need treatment or just fancy treating yourself, then we can arrange appointments during your stay. This could help with current injuries or weakness but can also prevent injury and improve recovery time to get the most out of your mountain activity holiday.
As well as this area offering classic biking from our base in Saint Pierre Dels Forcats, there is also the opportunity to take part in many other Alpine activities using local guides and payable locally, these include; -
This week could include a 2 day mountain walk staying overnight in a mountain hut, via ferrata, canyoning and more...contact us for more details!
Walking and Hiking
The Mouli del Riu is situated on the GR10 and surrounded by fantastic walking. It is possible to take a day hike over the Cambra D’Aze massif, walk one of the many beautiful mountain valleys to a high “Etang” or take a more gentle stroll in the woods.
There are a couple of local spots where you can try this exciting mountain activity.
We can arrange days out with local companies doing this fun sport, a great day out for a day off the bike. To watch a video of one of our canyoning days click "Here".
Tandem flights can be arranged with one of the local centres.
Sailing and Windsurfing
The nearby Lake Matemale has 2 sailing centres where lessons can be arranged or equipment hired.
This area is well known for its excellent trout fishing. We can arrange days out with a local guide.
We can arrange ½ day or day sessions with a local centre where you can try your hand at being a “musher” under the guidance of experts.
For non-bike riding partners or just a change of scene we can arrange riding at the equestrian centre situated next to our chalet. (Subject to seasonal opening dates)
There is a great open air complex at Err open during the summer months, with a wave pool and slides, or you could take a dip in one of the mountain lakes where in summer the water temperature can reach 25 degrees.
With perfect Pyrenean cols on our doorstep we are in an ideal position to help you maximise your training for this years Etape, or any other mountain sportives that you may be considering. We can offer fully catered long weekend or week training camps with training and route advice.
With a base altitude of 1450m and roads heading out in all directions, this is the ideal base for road riders who want to ride in the mountains. Classic day loops can be arranged riding over high mountain cols in France, Spain and Andorra with passes reaching altitudes of 2400m. Road only weeks can be arranged for groups of 6 or more riders where full backup and guiding will be offered. At other times route plans will be supplied using MemoryMap mapping giving clear details of the days ride including elevation charts, recommended lunch stops and emergency details. Where possible a guide will also accompany you or vehicle backup will be arranged for point-to-point rides.
To get the most out of your holiday we recommend that you should be capable of riding in arduous terrain for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Many of our rides can take all day and can pass over some remote alpine roads. Be aware that as we are based at an altitude of about 1500m and that a lot of your riding will be above this altitude you will feel the effects of the thinner air but benefit from the altitude training.
A year round activity in this part of the French Pyrenees. On the sun blessed south facing crags and boulders during the winter and higher in the mountains during the heat of the summer.
The main climbing attraction here are the world class granite boulders of Targasonne about 20 minutes’ drive from our location. Here we can use our local knowledge to negotiate the maze of boulders and show you some of the best circuits and problems. In total there are over 900 recorded problems which range from introductory romps right through to tendon snapping nasties. The international status of the area has been confirmed through the visits of climbing stars such as Chris Sharma and Lisa Rands.
The region is also blessed with a number of well bolted granite crags offering excellent climbs in the lower grades (4+ through to 6c). One of the best of these stands just outside the Mouli itself offering about 20 quality routes on excellent granite, ideal for an afternoon’s entertainment.
For the mountaineering inclined there are also epic summer and winter adventures to be had in the mountains of the region. The mountains of the Cambre d'Aze host a number of excellent, long and demanding ridge walks, and the Cambre d'Aze itself offers several winter gulley lines including the classic Vermicelle Couloir.
Please note - Altitude Adventure is not able to offer guided rock climbing activities, but we have contacts with local guides and can make arrangements if requested.
We offer week-long holidays on an all-inclusive basis for meals and drinks, with the transfer day being Saturday (unless otherwise stated). We aim to provide guiding and daily transfers to the area chosen for biking on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is usually a day to try one of the other local activities (such as canyoning or via ferrata), or a more relaxed outing. Or you could simply relax in our hot tub! Wednesday will also be the day you will have the opportunity to eat out in the evening and try the local cuisine.
Our aim is to provide you with a truly memorable holiday and with over nine years’ experience here we have been perfecting this to ensure that you have an amazing trip - Ian and Angela
What we do on our guided rides is up to you. We don’t set out with a specific plan at the beginning of the week. We tailor each weeks’ riding to the group’s desires and abilities and make use of the massive selection of trails available to us to ensure each group is well satisfied. We can also make use of chairlift uplift facilities to access some areas you wouldn’t normally get access to or to play on the downhill courses in the local ski stations.
We will make the best use of the massive variety of trails available to us in the Cerdagne and Capcir valleys to ensure that each day gives great riding and a different perspective on the area. Our aim is simply to take you somewhere you may not have found without us. We know the area inside out, where to stop for lunch, where the good views are, where the next drinks stop is.
Our mission is to use our local knowledge to guide you where you would never have guessed trails existed and to give you some idea of the massive variety on offer in this undiscovered area - Ian and Angela
All routes are mapped using MemoryMapTM electronic mapping and guiding is offered as a free service by Offroad Training Consultancy trained Guides.
We ride and recommend Scott Genius LT and Genius full suspension bikes. For the majority of trails that we ride these types of bike are ideal for your comfort and enjoyment. This does not mean that we see this as a minimum requirement however a good quality front suspension mountain bike should be.
Before coming on holiday we recommend that you have your bike serviced at your local specialist store to ensure that everything is in good working order. Although we have our own workshop your fellow riders will not thank you for delaying their riding whilst you service your bike. For minor repairs you will be welcome to use our workshop and for more major repairs we will arrange assistance through one of the nearby bike shops if possible.
We can assist with mechanics and bike setup. We have some spares available for purchase.
Travelling with your bike
So you want your pride and joy with you on holiday but you are nervous about travelling with it . Here are some tips.
A clean bike is always easier to dismantle and rebuild!
Get yourself some bubble wrap or use old clothes to put in between the frame and other parts.
Try to keep within the airline weight limit by not stuffing your bag/box with everything including the kitchen sink!
Put small parts ie bolts back on your bike as you dismantle it ensuring you don't loose them.
Below is a great video from our friends at BikeRadar clearly explaining the process. The only difference if you are using a cardboard box is that you don't normally have to remove the rear wheel as the bike should fit with it in place.
Altitude Adventure has joined forces with SCOTT Sports to promote the amazing summer and winter Scott product range. As passionate mountain professionals we are proud to be ambassadors for SCOTT Sports. Ian has a long history with the company, having been a founding member of the Scott distribution team in the UK, racer, race team manager, UK sales manager and part of the product development team at SCOTT headquarters in Switzerland.
In teaming up with SCOTT Sports we can provide you with the opportunity to test some of the best equipment in the mountains. We will be riding SCOTT Genius LT's on the summer trails which are the ultimate trail riding and bike park weapon. Our rental fleet are Scott Genius 740 bikes.
These bikes feature the totally re-designed frame optimized for 27.5" (650b) wheels. Its larger wheel size blends the benefits of the big wheel with 150mm travel. Our fleet are all equipped with Rockshox reverb dropper seatposts. The ultimate trail bike suitable for all mountain trail riding.
Bike rental price is 45€ per day, payable locally during for stay. For week long rentals we can offer 6 days for the price of 5. Mountain bike rental is only available for guests on guided rides.
PLEASE NOTE! We ask customers to bring their own pedals when renting our bikes.
To get the most out of your holiday we recommend that you should be capable of riding in arduous terrain for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Many of our rides are full day outings and can pass through some spectacular alpine terrain. This does not mean that we are trying to wear you out, we will ride to the ability of the group and ensure that you get the best from your holiday. Whilst riding we use our years of experience to help you improve your trail riding and we are always happy to run short skills sessions looking at specific aspects of our type of terrain. For example how to attack real world hairpins!
The type of mountain biking that we do make our routes of a reasonably high technical standard, therefore we are unable to recommend our holidays to beginners. To get the most out of our holidays we recommend that you should be happy riding mountainous natural singletrack and not just man made trail centre trails. For each type of trip that we offer there are more details in the introduction section.
The minimum age for participation in accompanied rides is 16. All riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We welcome family groups and will be happy to recommend family friendly cycling routes in this area for outings with younger children, or other activities and places to visit for non-cyclists.
If you are booking as a group we will tailor the rides to your groups ability or where possible split groups into differing ability levels. When booking please be honest about your ability level as this helps us to plan your weeks’ holiday better allowing you to get the most from our local trail knowledge.
You will be riding daily in a hot environment and we highly recommend that you use energy or hydrating drinks and carry energy bars. Unless your bike has a lot of bottle cages we would recommend that you carry a hydration pack with about a 2 litre capacity.
Carrying a pack also allows you to carry your other essential trail spares that we would expect you to have (tubes, pump, multi-tool, brake pads, food, waterproof jacket, spare clothes etc).
Please remember to bring a few different sets of riding clothing and a fully waterproof jacket as you will be riding in a high mountain environment. We do not recommend sleeveless riding tops, as they don’t offer much protection from the sun or rocks. We also recommend protective eyewear and full finger gloves for extra grip with sweaty hands. Knee pads, elbow pads and other protective clothing is a riders choice (except at bike parks where it is compulsory) however we (the guides) wear knee pads as a matter of choice as the rocks can be unforgiving. You have been informed!
Remember “No Helmet No Ride”; your helmet must be ANSI or Snell approved.
It is compulsory that all guests have their own travel insurance whilst on a holiday with Altitude Adventure. Mountain biking is an adventurous activity with inherent risks and in a mountain environment emergency evacuation and treatment is very expensive. We recommend that you take out adequate insurance cover and carry a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You will be asked to show your insurance documentation on arrival.
Jonny Richards reports on Font Romeu and the Neiges Catalanes area... "If you're bored of queues, bend-over prices and hellish transfer demands of the French Alps, this historic area might just be the answer". "The friendly helpful locals are the antithesis of their alpine compatriots". "This resort encapsulates all that is good about the Pyrenees, with deserted pistes, more sunshine than any other French ski Destination (over 3000 hrs last season) and a town centre packed with more old school charm than Nigel Havers. In tweed."
"Little Spots that Rock" by Document Snowboard
Mouli del Riu, 66210, St Pierre dels Forcats, France.