Col d'Aubisque (Argèles-Gazost)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Argèles-Gazost 1,709m 1,247m 30.1 km 4.1% 744 *****

Col d'Aubisque (Argèles-Gazost) Profile

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Climb Description

Col d'Aubisque is one of the legendary climbs of the Tour de France, having been climbed on over forty occasions. Only the Col du Tourmalet has been used more times in the race. The three stage finishes here have been won by Michael Rasmussen, Stephen Roche and Bernard Labourdette, but other great riders have led the race over the col - including Miguel Induraín, Federico Bahamontes and Fausto Coppi.

As well as being an important climb in the history of professional cycling, Col d'Aubisque is stunningly beautiful. Indeed, the climb from Argèles-Gazost is essentially two climbs, as it first crests the rather overshadowed, but nonetheless beautiful Col du Soulor.

Col d'Aubisque Top of Pass

The top of Aubisque is always lively

The climb from Argèles-Gazost is also arguably the most picturesque of all the routes, with the spectacular Cirque du Litor - a false flat between the Col du Soulor and the Col d'Aubisque offering truly breathtaking views into the valley.

Aubisque is simply one of the great cycling climbs; find out much more about the climb here in our detailed article; in summary though, it should be very near the top of any list of cycling climbs.

Aubisque is usually open from June to the end of October. It can be open by May depending on the weather, but the road often needs repairing after the winter so it is one of the last climbs to open in the Pyrenees.

Col d'Aubisque (Argèles-Gazost)

There are fantastic open views on the upper slopes

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in good condition throughout.

The first part of the climb, as far as Arrens-Marsous carries some traffic, but not enough to be bothersome. After that, as the hairpin bends start, it thins considerably and is barely noticeable.

Col d'Aubisque Cirque du Litor

The stunning Cirque du Litour

Alternative Routes

Col d'Aubisque can be climbed from Ferrieres in an ascent which also first goes over the Col du Soulor. It can also be climbed from Laruns in the west, which is the most challenging and most iconic ascent.

There are two additional longer routes which work their way to the Col d'Aubisque. One which also begins from Argèles Gazost, takes an early diversion to go over the Col de Spandelles, before rejoining the main climb in Ferrieres. The second option is to climb over the Col de Borderes. This is the same as the ascent from Argèles Gazost in the most part, just with a 'long-cut' on the early part of the climb.

Nearby Climbs

Col de Spandelles

Col des Borderes

Col de Couraduque

Col de Marie Blanque

Col du Pourtalet

Col de Pierre St Martin


Luz Ardiden

Cycling Holidays

Col d'Aubisque is climbed from Laruns on our Pyrenees Coast to Coast and Best of the Pyrenees cycling holidays.

Check out the information below for details of these and some of the other tours that we 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

Picos de Europa National Park
Spanish FlagSpain

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