Cycling climbs of the Pyrenees – 3 of the best!

Discover the best cycling climbs of the Pyrenees, from our Raid Pyrenean cycling holiday, a unique and challenging guided ride that takes you from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast with full vehicle support. A real cyclist’s paradise, the Pyrenees stretch over 430km along the border between France and Spain. The many beautiful Pyrenean cycling climbs take the rider up and down twisting roads with fabulous views of 2000m+ peaks all around, on roads that are smaller, quieter – and steeper! – than the Alps. Less open to mass tourism, in the Pyrenees you can follow in the footsteps of the greats on the mythic cycling climbs of the Tour de France. The Pyrenees have a long history in cycling, being first visited by the Tour in 1910, and to date the Col du Tourmalet has featured almost 90 times! Traditionally, the mountain stages alternate between the Pyrenees and the Alps each year. Here are three of our favourite climbs whose names are instantly recognisable

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The Col d’Aubisque

The Col du Tourmalet

The Col d’Aspin

The Col d’Aubisque

Altitude:1709m
Start point :Laruns
Length :16.60 km
Elevation :1190 m
% Average :7.17%
% Max :13.0%

Starting from the beautiful village of Laruns in the Ossau valley, the 1709 metre Col d’Aubisque is one of the epic climbs if the Tour de France and the gateway to the high Pyrenees. The Aubisque is instantly recognisible by its sculptures of giant bikes on its summit, decked out in the livery of the tour de France. It was first climbed in 1910 – on unpaved roads at the time! It has features 9 times already in the Tour since the year 2000.
A challenging climb, the Aubisque starts gradually with around 5% in the first kilometres, but it soon gets msteeper to finish at 8.5% in the last 4-5km.

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The Col du Tourmalet

Altitude:2115m
Start point :Luz Saint Sauveur
Length :19 km
Elevation :1404 m
% Average :7.37%
% Max :10.0%

A Hors Catégorie Col with 1404m of climbing in 19km, the 2115m Col du Tourmalet is climbed on the western side from Luz Saint Sauveur and is the second highest pass in the Pyrenees. It is often climbed after the Col d’Aspin for an additional challenge. With the Mont Ventoux and the Col du Galibier it is one of the icons of the Tour de France, and like the Aubisque was first climbed in 1910. Starting in the pretty mountain village of Luz Saint Sauveur, the 19km climb is a challenge has spectacular views that will almost take your mind from the effort!

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The Col d’Aspin

Altitude:2115m
Start point :Sainte Marie de Campan
Length :12.9 km
Elevation :649 m
% Average :5%
% Max :10.0%

Impossible to speak of the Col du Tourmalet without including the Col d’Aspin. At “only” 5% slope over 12.9km, this Catégorie 1 Col may seem less of a challenge – until it’s done after the Tourmalet. From the west, after a descent from the Tourmalet to Sainte Marie de Campan, the Aspin begins for a new challenge on already tired legs.

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2023 Cycling Holidays in the Alps and Pyrenees

 1 150

Activity level: Challenging
Sat 17 – Sat 24 Jun 2023: Open
Sat 2 – Sat 9 Sep 2023: Open

 695

Activity level: Challenging
Thu 27 – Sun 30 Apr 2023 : Open
Thu 01 – Sun 04 Jun 2023 : Open
Thu 31 Aug – Sun 03 Sept 2023 : Open

 895

Activity level group 1: Challenging
Activity level group 2: Moderate
Sat 03 – Fri 09 Jun 2023: Open
Sat 23- Fri 29 Jul 2023: Open
Sat 09 – Fri 15 Sep 2023: Open

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Activity level: Challenging
Sat 01 – Sat 08 July 2023: Open

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