El Portalet (Formigal)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Biescas 1,794m 929m 27.2 km 3.4% 521 ****

El Portalet (Formigal cycling climb) Profile

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Climb Description

El Portalet (Formigal) is one of the best known and most enjoyable climbs in the region of Aragón. It is a long climb with gentle gradients, which winds its way up to one of the highest passes in this part of the Pyrenees. The scenery here is beautiful, from the lakes on the lower part of the climb, to the beautiful open mountains in the last few kilometres.

The climb has been used numerous times in the Vuelta a España and also once in the Tour de France. It is also used each year in the famous Quebrantahuesos Gran Fondo. 5km before the top of the climb you will reach the ski resort of Formigal - this has also held stage finishes in the Vuelta - notably in 2013 when Warren Barguil claimed victory.

On the climb there is the option to include the short ascent to Hoz de Jaca after 7km. This is a highly recommended extension, which takes you around the very quiet eastern side of the Biubal Reservoir. Likewise, at the second reservoir, there is also the option to take a detour through Sallent de G´llego - avoiding one of the busier sections of the main road. On all routes, take care through the tunnel which comes immediately after the village of Escarrilla.

The Portalet is open as far as Formigal throughout the year. From Formigal to the pass is open from May to October and possibly longer depending on local weather.

El Portalet (Formigal) - Aragon Cycling Climb

The top of the Portalet is very open and scenic

Roads & Traffic

There is some traffic on the climb, particularly on the lower parts. But, for the most of the year it is not especially heavy, and the road is wide enough that it does not affect the enjoyment of the climb. The traffic is slightly more of a problem on the narrower French side of the Portalet, while the parallel Somport Pass is significantly busier.

Alternative Routes

The Portalet can also be climbed from the French side, starting in Laruns

Nearby Climbs

Baños de Panticosa


El Somport


Col d'Aubisque

Col de Marie Blanque

Cycling Holidays

We currently don't have any cycling holidays in this part of the Spanish Pyrenees. 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.

You may also be interested in some of the tours below, which we currently run 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