French Pyrenees Cycling Climbs

Climb Town Altitude (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Portilhon Bossost 1293 8.5 6.9 467 ***
Bonaigua Vielha 2072 23 4.8 577 ****
Col du Portalet Biescas 1794 27.2 3.4 521 ****
Somport Jaca 1640 28.2 2.9 352 **
Collado de Piedra de San Martín Isaba (NA-137) 1760 14.4 5.4 521 ****
Port de Larrau Ochagavía (NA-140 Junction) 1585 10.8 6.4 501 ****
Ibañeta Arnegui 1057 17.9 4.5 314 **
Ibañeta Burguete 1057 4.5 3.6 85 **
Collado de Ibardin Bera 317 5.5 4.9 130 ***
Puerto de Izpegui Erratzu 672 11.8 3.6 310 ***
Castillo del Ingles Irun 497 9.2 5.2 377 ***
Jaizkibel Hondarribia 455 9.6 4.7 290 ****
Aixas Aixovall 1532 7.5 8 595 ***
Arcalis Ordino 2225 18 5.2 879 *****
Arinsal La Massana 1906 9.8 6.6 575 ****
Coll Ordino Ordino 1980 17.6 5.4 589 ***
Coll Ordino Canillo 423 8.9 4.1 228 ****
Cortals d'Encamp Encamp 2087 13.2 7.3 1054 *****
Llac d'Engolasters Les Escaldes 1639 6.1 8.4 533 ***
Coll de La Gallina St Julià de Lòria 1910 11.8 8.3 1370 ****
Coll de La Gallina St Julià de Lòria 1910 12 8.5 1497 ****
Coll de la Rabassa Saint Julià de Loria 2020 17.8 6.2 1098 ***
Coll de la Rabassa Saint Julià de Loria 2020 17.3 6.4 1156 ***
Port de Cabus La Massana 2305 18 6 810 *****
Port d'Envalira Andorra la Vella 2407 27.5 5 812 *
Port d'Envalira Ax-les-Thermes 2407 35 4.8 945 *
Collada de Beixalis Ordino 1795 8 5.5 440 ***
Collada de Beixalis Encamp 1795 7 6.8 685 ****
Col d'Aubisque Argeles Gazost 1709 30.1 4.1 589 *****
Hautacam Argeles Gazost 1653 16.3 7.5 1090 *****
Cirque de Gavarnie Luz Saint Sauveur 2270 30.9 5.1 894 ****
Luz Ardiden Luz Saint Sauveur 1715 13.9 7.4 848 *****
Col du Tourmalet Luz Saint Sauveur 2115 18.8 7.5 1205 *****
Col d'Aspin Campan 1489 18.5 4.3 583 ****
Hourquette d'Ancizan Payolle 1564 10.1 4.7 290 *****
Col de Peyresourde Avajan 1569 10 6.6 523 ****
Superbagneres Luchon 1800 17.4 6.7 890 *****
Port de Bales Luchon 1755 19.7 5.7 820 *****
Col de Mente St Beat 1349 9.3 9.1 930 ****
Plateau de Beille Les Cabannes 1790 15.8 8.0 1220 ****
Ahuski Alcay 1080 13.9 6 794 ****
Ahuski Bastida 1080 10.4 7.7 1007 ****
Ax-3 Domaines Ax-les-Thermes 1350 8.1 8.6 724 ***
Cirque de Troumouse Luz-Saint-Sauveur 2092 27.2 5.2 1170 *****
Col d'Agnes Aulus-les-Bains 1570 10.2 8.1 978 ****
Col d'Agnes Massat 1570 17 5.3 624 ****
Col d'Aspin Arreau 1489 12.1 6.4 610 ****
Col d'Aubisque Ferrieres 1709 21.9 5.3 787 *****
Col d'Aubisque Laruns 1709 17.3 6.9 945 *****
Col d'Azet Bourisp 1580 10.7 7.3 827 *****
Col d'Azet Genos 1580 7.5 8.3 855 ****
Col de Bagargi Basaburua 1327 17.4 5.8 1141 ****
Col de Bagargi Larrau River 1327 14.5 6.5 1279 ****
Col de la Core Audressein 1395 17.5 5.1 548 ***
Col de la Core Seix 1395 13.8 6.4 657 ***
Col de Marie Blanque Bielle 1035 11.4 5.1 381 ****
Col de Marie Blanque Escot 1035 10 7.2 764 ***
Col de Marmare Luzenac 1361 16.7 4.5 421 ***
Col de Menté Pont de l'Oule 1349 10.9 6.6 751 *****
Col de Port Massat 1250 12.8 4.7 325 ***
Col de Port Tarascon-sur-Ariège 1250 17 4.6 475 ***
Col de Puymorens Ax-les-Thermes 1920 27.2 4.4 674 *
Col de Puymorens Latour-de-Carol 1920 18.8 3.4 297 *
Col des Ares Fronsac 797 8.4 4 225 ***
Col des Ares Le Job River 797 6.7 4.6 194 ***
Col du Chioula Ax-les-Thermes 1431 9.7 7.3 687 ***
Col du Chioula Prades 1431 6.3 3.7 105 ****
Col du Pourtalet Laruns 1794 28.7 4.5 571 ***
Col du Tourmalet Campan 2115 23 6.3 1424 *****
Hourquette d'Ancizan Ancizan 1564 10.3 7.8 824 ****
Col de Peyresourde Bagnères de Luchon 1569 15.3 6.1 664 ****
Col de la Pierre St Martin Arette 1760 25.9 6.1 1210 ****
Pla d'Adet Vignec 1680 10.7 8.1 1240 ****
Port de Bales Mauléon-Barousse 1755 19.5 6 1119 ****
Port de Lers Massat 1570 16.6 5.2 620 ****
Port de Lers Vicdessos 1570 11.5 7 815 ***
Port de Pailhères Ax-les-Thermes 2001 19 6.7 1272 ****
Port de Pailhères Usson-les-Bains 2001 14.9 8.1 1255 *****
Col de Portet d'Aspet Aspet 1069 14.3 4.2 645 ***
Col de Portet d'Aspet Audressein 1069 18.1 3.1 297 ***
Col du Portillon Bagneres de Luchon 1293 10.1 6.6 721 ***
Port de Larrau Larrau 1585 14.8 8.1 1342 ****
Route des Lacs Saint Lary Soulan 2196 24.4 5.6 1320 *****
Somport Bedous 1640 24.5 4.8 428 **
Cauterets-Cambasque Soulom 1356 16.0 5.4 495 ****
Pont d'Espagne Soulom 1470 18 5.4 488 ***
Col de Portet St-Lary-Soulan 2215 17.8 7.9 1218 ****
Col d'Ibardin Urrugne 317 7 4.3 124 ***
Col d'Ispeguy Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry 672 8.0 6.3 362 ****
Col de Spandelles Ferrieres 1378 10.3 8.3 894 ***
Col de Spandelles Argeles-Gazost 1378 15.0 5.9 696 ***
Col de Couraduque Aucun 1367 6.6 8.6 485 ****
Col des Borderes Arrens Marsous 1156 4.0 6.9 148 ***
Col d'Osquich St-Just-Ibarre 495 6.0 5.3 124 ***
Col d'Osquich Musculdy 495 5.0 5.5 155 ***
Piau Engaly St-Lary-Soulan 1870 20.0 5.3 675 ****
Luz Ardiden Camping Hautes (D921) 1720 14.5 7.5 978 ****
Artigue Juzet de Luchon 1224 6.3 9.4 672 ****
Hospice de France Bagnères de Luchon 1390 10.9 6.9 784 ***
Guzet Neige Aulus-les-Bains 1520 12.8 6.1 525 ***
Coll de Jau Axat 1506 22 5.0 825 ***
Coll de Jau Prades 1506 23.1 5.0 641 ****
Coll de Creu Olette 1708 22.7 4.7 621 ****
Coll de Mantet Vilefranche de Conflent 1760 21.3 6.1 1045 ***





Mountains

The French Pyrenees are home to some of the most famous cycling climbs in the world. Hosting three or four stages of the Tour de France each year, these slopes have hosted battles between the greatest riders to have ever turned a pedal.

The mountains here are spectacular, challenging and steeped in history, making them a pleasure to ride for all cyclists - while sometimes causing pain in equal measure!


Col d'Aubisque

Col d'Aubisque is one of cycling's great climbs






Scenery

The Pyrenees is a spectacular mountain range. In France, most of the high climbs are in the Central Pyrenees, an area which boasts numerous peaks over 3,000m. The scenery is more green and rugged than the Alps (and in our opinion more spectacular).

Roads

The road surfaces are of a consistently high quality in the French Pyrenees and are a pleasure to ride on a road bike. The one slight exception are the climbs in Catalonia, at the far eastern edge of the range. Here the surfaces can be a bit bumpy at times, but are still perfectly fine to ride on a road bike.

In peak season (august) there can be some traffic in the valleys, but most of the climbs are very quiet. The busier climbs are ones that are still active passes (e.g. Tourmalet / Peyresourde), but even here the traffic is not at all bothersome for cyclists.



Roads

The road surfaces are of a consistently excellent quality throughout Catalonia and are a pleasure to ride on a road bike.

The traffic varies depending on the climb. Some are completely empty, while others can carry a lot of heavy goods traffic. Local knowledge of the area is essential.



Getting There

It can be quite tricky to get into the heart of the Pyrenees. Lourdes is the closest town with an airport and major train station, and is within cycling distance of several well known climbs.

Toulouse is the closest large airport to the Central Pyrenees, while Girona and Barcelona provide options if you are prepared to transfer further.



Weather

These are high mountains and the weather is predictably unpredictable! Summers are usually hot with a chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Many of the climbs are open and cleared throughout the year, but most of the higher and more famous ones are closes from around late October to the end of May.


Port de Bales

Port de Balès is one of our favourite climbs in the Pyrenees






Cycling Holidays

We run two cycling holidays in the French Pyrenees. Our Best of the Pyrenees tour is centered on the High Pyrenees and tackles the most famous and spectacular climbs in the region.

Whilst our Pyrenees Coast to Coast tour crosses the entire range from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. You can find out more details about our tours in the links below.




French FlagFrance

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,070 EUR
Port de Pailheres Cycling
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 10 Days
Level: Difficulty Hard
Price: €1,610 EUR
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,350 EUR
*Bike Hire Included