Col de la Pierre St Martin

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Arette 1,760m 1,444m 25.9 km 6.1% 1,210 ****






Col de la Pierre St Martin   Profile

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Climb Description

La Pierre St Martin (literally meaning - the 'Rock of St Martin') is the highest road climb in the Basque Pyrenees and it is without doubt one of the toughest. The gradients are inconsistent, and are often steeper than the profile suggests - particularly in the middle part of the climb.

In recent years, the challenge offered by the climbs has attracted the attention of the Tour de France, which was used for just the second time in the 2015 edition. Chris Froome won the stage finish here, taking more than a minute out of his main rivals - an advantage that he never lost on his way to claiming his second overall title.

Much of the first 20km is in forest and so there are only occasional views; however, the scenery opens up towards the top, particularly as you turn right just before the ski resort - and from here there are some fine views. The climb finishes on the border with Spain.

Col de la Pierre St Martin is usually open from May to October; although it is sometimes open for more of the year, depending on snow in the area.


Col de la Pierre St Martin (Pyrenees)

This is the highest climb in the Basque Pyrenees







Roads & Traffic

The road is in good condition throughout and there is little traffic on this climb.





Alternative Routes

Pierre San Martín can also be climbed from the Spanish side, beginning a few kilometres to the north of Isaba.

There is also a second way to climb to the summit on the French side, also beginning from Arette and joining the main route at the Col de Labays - 400m from the top of the climb. This follows a minor road which has a poor road surface in places, so is best not to descend, but it is still an enjoyable and very quiet climb.




Nearby Climbs


Port Larrau

Col de Marie Blanque

Col de Bagargi

Ahuski

Col d'Osquich

Col de Somport






Cycling Holidays

Col de la Pierre St Martin can be climbed as an optional extension on our Pyrenees Coast to Coast cycling holiday. But given the length and gradients, this is only realistic for very strong riders.

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: 10 Days
Level: Difficulty Hard
Price: €1,790 EUR
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,530 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,230 EUR