Spanish Pyrenees Cycling Climbs

Climb Town Altitude (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Coll de Pal Baga 2080 19 6.5 884 ****
Bonaigua Vielha 2072 23 4.8 577 ****
Coll de Pradell Guardiola de Bergueda 1728 15.3 6.7 898 ****
Port del Compte Solsona 1699 28.5 3.5 455 ***
Turo de l'Home Sant Celoni 1652 25.6 5.9 964 ****
Coll d'Ares Alsamora 1534 16.9 6.4 736 ***
Coll d'Ares Áger 1534 14.1 6.6 682 ***
Portilhon Bossost 1293 8.5 6.9 467 ***
Montserrat Monistrol 735 8.5 6.9 477 ***
Bonaigua Esterri d'Aneu 2072 20.5 5.4 698 ***
Collada de Toses Ribes de Freser 1800 20.4 4.4 742 ***
Collada de Toses Urtx 1800 21.7 3.3 281 ***
Coll de Canes Olot 1120 12.7 5.4 452 ***
Coll de Canes Ripoll 1120 15.4 2.8 192 ***
Coll de Pradell Sant Corneli (C-16) 1728 17.1 6.3 1726 ****
Coll de Pradell Coll de Trapa 1728 6.7 6.1 361 ***
Els Angels Girona (La Creueta) 485 11 3.8 221 ***
Els Angels Madremanya 485 6 5.2 244 ***
La Creueta Alp 1925 20.5 3.8 620 ****
La Creueta La Pobla de Lillet 1925 21.4 5.1 644 *****
La Vansa Sant Llorenc de Morunys 1930 22.4 5 694 ***
La Vansa Tuixent 1930 13.2 6.1 680 ****
Mare de Deu del Mont Besalú 1120 21 4.8 754 ****
Mare de Deu del Mont Cabanelles (N-260) 1120 18.8 5 624 ****
Pla de Beret Vielha 1904 21.7 4.1 444 ****
Port Aine Rialp (C-13) 1947 18.9 6.3 894 ***
Rasos de Peguera Berga 1892 16.5 7.4 1124 ****
Rocacorba Banyoles 980 14 5.6 787 ***
Santa Fe de Montseny Masvidal 1302 17.9 3.6 315 ***
Santa Fe de Montseny Sant Celoni 1300 23.8 4.8 605 ***
Sant Pere de Rodes El Port de la Selva 517 8.4 6.1 424 ****
Sant Pere de Rodes Vilajuiga 517 8.8 5.5 378 ****
Vallter 2000 Setcases 2144 12.2 7.2 844 ****
Coll Formic Montseny 1145 15.4 5.3 483 ***
Coll Formic Seva 1145 9.5 5.1 283 ***
Baños de Benasque Benasque 1750 13.3 6.3 397 ****
Baños de Panticosa Panticosa 1639 10.2 5 360 ****
Col du Portalet Biescas 1794 27.2 3.4 521 ****
Cotefablo Biescas 1423 13.8 4 327 ****
Cotefablo Broto 1423 12.8 4.1 287 ****
Serrablo Boltaña 1289 13.4 5.1 445 ***
Somport Jaca 1640 28.2 2.9 352 **
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 1980 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 ****
Collado de Ibardin Bera 317 5.5 4.9 130 ***
Puerto de Izpegui Erratzu 672 11.8 3.6 310 ***
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 **
Aritxulegi Endara Reservoir 452 3.5 6.3 102 ***
Artesiaga Eugi 999 6.6 4.9 342 ***
Artesiaga Irurita 999 15.6 5 495 ****
Agiña Endara Reservoir 560 5.0 5.8 132 ***
Agiña Lesaka 560 7.2 6.3 197 ***
Uitzi Leitza 810 4.8 6.7 135 ***
Uitzi Lekunberri 810 6.2 3.6 85 ***
Gorramakil (Puerto Otxondio) Dantxainea 1,090 21.0 4.8 640 ***
Castillo del Inglés Oiartzun 497 12 4 290 ***
Aritxulegi Oiartzun 452 5.3 6.4 144 ***
Jaizkibel Lezo 455 8.2 5.4 302 ****
Jaizkibel Hondarribia 455 9.6 4.7 290 ****
Castillo del Ingles Irun 497 9.2 5.2 377 ***





Mountains

The Spanish Pyrenees stretch all the way from the Basque Country on the Atlantic Coast, to Catalonia on the Mediterranean Sea. On the way it also passes through the autonomous communities of Navarra and Aragon The entire range is full of mountain roads that make for some excellent climbing.

The climbs here are generally not quite as spectacular or well known as those across the border in France, but there are still numerous passes above 2,000m altitude, and many other high climbs that feature regularly in the Vuelta and are lot of fun to ride.

We have also included the climbs in Andorra as part of the Spanish Pyrenees, since they can all but reached on a day ride from the Catalonia region.


Port de Cabus

Port de Cabús in Andorra is one of the highest road climbs in the entire Pyrenees






Scenery

As you would probably expect for such a large mountain chain, the scenery varies considerably between the different areas. On the western side, the Atlantic weather dominates, and the moutnains tend to be a bit lower, and lined with grass and other vibrant green colors.

The central part of the Pyrenees is dominated by the highest peaks in the Pyrenees, including Monte Perdido, Aneto and Maladeta. Furthest east, the region of Catalonia has a much more Mediterranean feel. Pine forests dominate and at times obscure the views. On the other hand, the historic villages that you pass through are a real delight, and make for great coffee stops.

Ultimately, unlike in the French Pyrenees, where cyclists get access to the finest views, on the Spanish side the roads are often pleasant and pretty rather than spectacular. To view the finest scenery on the Spanish side, you really need to get on a mountain bike or put on your hiking shoes!



Roads

The road surfaces generally of very good quality, particularly in the western part of the range. The asphalt in Aragon and Catalonia is a bit more hit and miss, but is still more likely to be smooth than rough.

One of the downsides of the Spanish Pyrenees is that some of the climbs are also quite busy roads, or are linked by busy roads. This is particularly true of some of the passes in Aragon (such as Col de Somport and Col du Pourtalet), but also some of the higher climbs in Catalonia can get quite busy at weekends and in summer.

Still, it's easy enough to avoid these climbs if you do a bit of research (or at least ride them in less busy periods). The vast majority of climbs are very quiet and typical mountain roads which are a real pleasure to ride.



Getting There

The mountains are easy to get to at each end. Catalonia is well served by large airports in Girona and Barcelona, while the Basque Country has major airports in Bayonne and Bilbao. Both of these regions can also be reached from the rest of Europe by fast motorways running down through France.

The Central Pyrenees, by contrast, are difficult to reach. There are now airports near to the highest climbs, and even to get there by train requires several changes (e.g. Madrid - Zaragoza - Huesca - Sabiñanigo).

They can reached by car reasonably easy (e.g. to Vielha or over the Col du Somport towards Jaca). But if you were doing that then you would literally be driving past ascents on the French side like Port de Bales, and Col d'Aubisque. It would be difficult not to be tempted to just stay on the French side!!



Weather

The weather is very pleasant for cycling in the summer. Rain is rare (although more common in the west), and temperatures can be hot, but are often more moderate than in much of Spain.

Spring and Autumn are also very good for riding throughout the range, and even the higher passes open early in the year and stay open late. In winter, it is best to visit either end of the range - where the climbs are a bit lower and are still fine to ride when snow hits the higher peaks.


Sant Pere Rodes

The climb to Sant Pere de Rodes is great for climbing even in winter






Cycling Holidays

Our main mountain holidays in the Pyrenees are on the French. We simply think that it is better for riding, with more climbs close together and with more spectacular scenery. Both our Pyrenees Coast to Coast and Best of the Pyrenees holidays do go right up to the borders with Spain though, and so you get to see the scenery on the Spanish side.

On the eastern edge of the Spanish Pyrenees, our Girona & the Costa Brava holiday offers the opportunity to ride some of the smaller climbs, but it is a leisurely tour focused more on the culture and history of the region.

In the west, it is similar with our holiday in the Basque Country, which ventures into the foothills of the Pyrenees, but without tackling any of the highest or most challenging climbs.

You can find out more details about our tours in the links below.

If you would be interested in arranging a cycling holiday elsewhere in the mountains of Catalonia or Andorra, please get in touch and we would be happy to work with you to customize a tour. In the past we have, for example, run a Coast to Coast tour across the Spanish Pyrenees which was very enjoyable, and is especially something to consider if you have already done the equivalent route on the French side.




Port de Pailheres Cycling
French FlagFrance

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

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,070 EUR
Medieval Villages of Catalonia
Catalan Flag Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: from €1,220 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Costa Brava Beach
Catalan Flag Spanish FlagSpain

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: €1,580 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Basque Coast Beach
Basque Flag Spanish FlagSpain


Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: €1,540 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Monte Igeldo - San Sebastian
Basque Flag Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: from €1,290 EUR
*Bike Hire Included