The Tour de France is the world’s largest cycling race. Every July, elite riders from around the world travel to France to compete against the world’s best. For years, the Tour has attracted spectators who want to witness and be a part of the action. But is there a better way to experience the Tour de France than merely being a spectator?

Meet Trek Travel, a company committed to immersing you in the Tour de France experience. Each year, Trek Travel creates unforgettable excursions where people from across the world can come to France and experience the Tour firsthand; participants can ride some of the Tour de France routes, attend VIP viewing parties, and meet a number of the riders competing in the grand event.

In 2017, Trek Travel offered six different trip itineraries during the Tour de France, four of which included riding tour routes. Most of the routes offered by the company were steep rides up famous French climbs such as Col du Télégraphe, Col de Galibier, and Col d’Izoard. But don’t worry. If cycling up some of the toughest climbs in the world is not for you, Trek Travel makes it possible to ride the routes in cars as other participants bike to the finish.

As you make your way up these beautiful climbs, you will be privileged to see rocky mountain passes above the clouds and experience quiet wooded areas secluded from the hustle and bustle of the tour. You will snake through small French towns and view the French countryside like you have never seen it before—on a bike (or in a car) as part of one of the biggest athletic competitions in the world.

Along with the quietness of the French countryside, you will also get a taste of the excitement of the Tour. Trek Travel makes it possible for participants to bike some of the Tour de France routes that racers will be riding that same day. And as you ride along the routes, spectators who are waiting for the racers to come flying by will cheer you on as you make your ascent to the top of the climbs. It is an experience like no other.

Each year the Tour de France route changes, and with it, the Trek Travel itineraries change, ensuring that participants are able to ride some of the Tour routes each year. Even though the rides are challenging, cyclists and travelers alike should consider making this their next vacation—the thrill of feeling like a part of the Tour is an opportunity too good to pass up.

Nicole Rawson