Luz Ardiden

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Luz-Saint-Sauveur 1,715m 1,030m 13.9 km 7.4% 954 *****

Luz Ardiden   Profile

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Climb Description

Luz Ardiden is one of the most famous climbs in the Tour de France and also one of the most beautiful. Some of the greatest names in recent cycling history have raced away to victory on its distinctive final kilometres - home to the finest switchbacks in professional cycling (don't you dare mention Alpe d'Huez here!). Stage winners on Luz Ardiden include the rather inglorious duo of Lance Armstrong and Richard Virenque, as well as the legendary Spanish champions Miguel Induraín and Pedro Delgado.

Luz Ardiden is a challenging climb, but the gradient is quite steady with few sections that are really steep. The lower part of the climb leaves the scenic River Pau, starting from Napoleon's Bridge - a popular bunjee jumping spot. There are great views on the lower slopes looking back towards Luz-Saint-Sauveur and beyond - where you can see the majestic Col du Tourmalet rising up from the valley.

Luz Ardiden Green Mountain Scenery

The last five kilometres are in beautiful open countryside

The real highlight, however, comes in the final 4km as you gradually get out of the trees and a series of exquisite switchbacks begin. They are revealed in all their glory from the car park at the top of the climb, where you can cheer fellow riders struggling their way to the top.

Luz Ardiden is open throughout the year in theory, to allow access to the ski resort. It is cold in winter though and short term closures are fairly common, so we recommend only doing the climb from June to October.

Luz Ardiden - Pyrenees

The distnictive hairpin bends of Luz Ardiden

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in very good condition throughout and there is little traffic on the climb.

Luz Ardiden Profile Sign

Kilometre markers advise you of what is coming next

Alternative Routes

Luz Ardiden can also be climbed via the village of Viscos.

Nearby Climbs

Cirque de Gavarnie

Cirque Troumouse

Col du Tourmalet


Col d'Aubisque


Pont d'Espagne

Cycling Holidays

Luz Ardiden is a highlight of our Best of the Pyrenees cycling holiday, and it is a route extension option on our Pyrenees Coast to Coast tour.

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

Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

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