Col de Puymorens (Ax-les-Thermes)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Ax-les-Thermes 1,920m 1,200m 27.2 km 4.4% 674 *

Col de Puymorens Profile

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Climb Description

Col de Puymorens is a frustrating climb for cyclists for several reasons. Firstly, the climb itself is picturesque, with some great views from the hairpin bends near the top; it is also a long and challenging climb, great for testing your strength. And it links up with the Port d'Envalira which is the gateway to Andorra.

However, we strongly recommend that you avoid cycling here - particularly from July to September when it is at its most busy. The volume of traffic is not just a nuissance, but also potentially dangerous - particularly on the lower slopes where both cars and lorries often fly past at high speeds on a not particularly wide road.

There are much better climbs to choose in the area and if you want to go into or out of Andorra, it is better to go in by car or bus. If you are absolutely set on riding it, then we advise going downhill from Andorra towards Ax-les-Themes - as at least then cars will not come up on you so quickly around the various blind bends.

Col de Puymorens is usually open from around April to November. In the winter the tunnel takes motor vehicles under the highest part of the climb - but bicycles are not allowed through here.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in good condition throughout.

There is a lot of traffic on this climb, including heavy goods vehicles. On the lower part of the climb the road is straight and vehicles travel at high speed. The upper slopes are slightly better, with hairpin bends reducing their speed, but it is still unpleasant for cycling because of the fumes and constantly being overtaken by trucks and other vehicles.

Alternative Routes

Col de Puymorens can also be climbed from Latour-de-Carol. This is just as busy as from the north and should be avoided.

Nearby Climbs

Port d'Envalira

Ax-3 Domaines

Col du Chioula

Port de Pailhères

Col de Marmare

Plateau de Beille

Col de Port

Port de Lers

Cycling Holidays

We don't currently run any tours that include this climb and do not recommend it for riding.

However, on our Pyrenees Coast to Coast cycling holiday we do tackle several of the quieter climbs nearby, including Port de Pailheres and Plateau de Beille.

Check out the information below for details of this 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