The Pyrenees has long been a popular cycling destination since the Tour de France held the first mountain stage here in 1910. There are no shortage of cycling routes for those wondering where to cycle in the Pyrenees. You can choose from Tour de France icons including Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque, and Col d’Aspin, or gentler flatter rides in the foothills. The Pyrenees are also home to an ever-expanding network of car-free bike paths suitable for the whole family. Regardless of where you decide to ride, you will be wowed by the scenery surrounding you.
We first visited the Pyrenees in 2013 and fell in love with the area, so much so that we moved here in 2021. These routes include options for everyone and incorporate all the iconic climbs the region is famous for. As we explore the area now that we live here, we will continue to add more and more routes for you to choose for your own trip to the Pyrenees.
To help you plan your cycling holiday in the Pyrenees we have created a range of cycling routes covering the entire length of the mountain range. Our cycling routes in the Pyrenees have been grouped into 5 different regions based around the best towns and villages for you to stay in. Each of the routes typically starts from a town or village that we recommend as a place to stay but can easily be modified to suit your requirements. The cycling routes also give you a guide as to where the big climbs are in relation to everything. You can also view all our cycling routes in the Pyrenees in a map format.
If you are currently planning your cycling holiday in France we have lots more information on our site to help you. Our destination guides showcase popular bases for cycling in France and contain lots of practical information about visiting a particular location. We also have other pages dedicated to cycling routes in France which currently contain nearly 100 different cycling routes for your consideration.
The area around Lourdes in the Pyrenees is a great place to base yourself to ride several Tour de France climbs. From this area you have access to no less than 10 famous mountain passes, and several other hidden gems. The Col du Tourmalet, Col d’Aubisque, Luz Ardiden and Hautacam are all easily accessible. The majority of the routes mapped out below all start and finish from the village of Argeles Gazost, but could as easily be started from any one of the villages along the valley. Click on each individual ride below to explore the route in more detail.
The routes in these rides all start and finish from the village of Saint Lary Soulan. This area of the Pyrenees includes some of the iconic climbs of the Tour de France such as the Col de Peyresourde and Col d’Aspin. The highest paved mountain pass of the Col de Portet will pose a great challenge and the scenery on the Route des Lacs will take your breath away.
The routes in these rides all start and finish from the village of Bagnères de Luchon. Whether it is the Col de Peyresourde or the challenging climbs of the Col de Mente and Col de Portet d’Aspet, there is plenty of variety for you to choose from.
Image courtesy of Patrice Bon / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
Pyrenees cycling routes near Pau
All the rides listed below all start and finish from the town of Laruns. Infamous climbs such as the Col d’Aubisque need no introduction, but make sure to take the time to discover some other hidden gems in this region such as the Col du Portalet and the Col de la Pierre St Martin which sees you ride all the way to the Spanish border.
The charm of cycling in the Ariège region of the Pyrenees will see you riding on very quiet roads free of traffic. The routes below are mapped out from either Ax Les Thermes, Foix, or Tarascon-sur-Ariege. Here you can discover some Tour de France greats such as Plateau de Béille and the Col de Pailhéres. For a real challenge take on the steep gradients of the Col de Peguere!