Port d'Envalira

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Ax-les-Thermes 2,407m 1,687m 35.0 km 4.8% 945 *

Port d'Envalira Profile

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Climb Description

Port d'Envalira is the highest road pass in the entire Pyrneees mountain range and it is the only significant border crossing between France and Andorra. It has also been used in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, with rider such as Alejandro Valverde, Richard Virenque and Federico Bahamontes among those who have crested the climb in the lead.

The scenery is pleasant on the lower slopes as the road follows the Ariège river, and it opens up more as you climb towards the higher peaks. The problem here, however, is the traffic. On the lower part of the climb it is not just a nuissance, but also dangerous. Cars and lorries overtake at high speed on a narrow road with numerous 'semi-blind' corners. It is simply not safe to be climbing slowly on a bike here at any time of the year.

Once you have turned off from the Col de Puymorens and have started the final few hairpin bends into Andorra, the traffic does reduce slightly. However, it is still a problem, particularly from July to September, and the fumes of the many cars slowly grinding their way through the switchbacks while stuck behind a lorry is unpleasant.

Port d'Envalira is usually open from May to October and often longer depending on the weather. In the winter, a tunnel takes traffic under the highest part of the climb - bicycles are not allowed through here.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in good condition throughout.

There is a lot of traffic throughout the climb, including heavy goods vehicles. On the lower part of the climb the road has a lot of blind corners which cars drive around at high speed, making it potentially dangerous to be climbing on a bike. The upper slopes are better in clear weather, as the road is wide and there is more visibility.

Where the road departs from the Col de Puymorens and heads into Andorra, the traffic does reduce slightly, but it is still not very enjoyable for riding.

If you have to cross this pass as part of a longer tour, it is probably safer to climb up from Latour-de-Carol or Andorra and to descend into Ax-les-Thermes, but we don't recommend it in any case!

Alternative Routes

Port d'Envalira can also be climbed starting from inside Andorra. It is also possible to start the climb from the south in Latour-de-Carol. This essentially involves climbing the Col de Puymorens, before turning left after a few kilometres of the descent towards Ax-les-Thermes.

Nearby Climbs

Port de Pailhères


Col du Chioula

Col de Marmare

Plateau de Beille

Coll d'Ordino

Collada de Beixalís

La Rabassa

Els Cortals d'Encamp

Cycling Holidays

We currently don't have any cycling holidays in Andorra. However, if you would like to customize an itinerary in the region, please contact us and we would happy to organize a trip for you.

Our Pyrenees Coast to Coast holiday stays in Ax-les-Thermes, but we ride some of the other (better) climbs in the area.

You may also be interested in this and some of the others tours below, which we are currently running in high mountains.

Port de Pailheres Cycling
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 9 Days
Level: Difficulty Hard
Price: €1,980 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,630 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,490 EUR