Pyrenees cycling routes: Experience the thrill of the mountains
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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 traffic-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.
We have created these routes based on our own experience of visiting and cycling here in the Pyrenees. Many of the routes we have ridden ourselves while others are based on what we know about particular areas. To date we have spent the most time in the Hautes Pyrenees but also spent 6 months living in the Ariege which gave us a great insight to the cycling available in that area also.
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 4 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.
- Cycling routes in the French Alps – 29 cycling routes in the French Alps
- Cycling routes in and around Nice – 6 cycling routes taking in the beautiful Mediterranean coast around Nice
- Cycling routes in Provence – 9 cycling routes take in the sights of Provence and surrounds
- Cycling routes in the Jura – 5 cycling routes in the lesser-known Jura mountain range
- Long-distance cycling routes in France – 10 long-distance cycling routes across France
Pyrenees cycling routes near Lourdes
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.
Pyrenees cycling routes from Saint Lary Soulon
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.
Pyrenees cycling routes from Bagneres de Luchon
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.
Stage 17 of the 2018 Pyrenees was a short but sharp epic with so many vertical meters of elevation in a short distance.
One of the infamous climbs of the Pyrenees and a Tour de France great this climb has featured in the race over 65 times.
A feature in the Tour de France 6 times, this Hors Categorie climb to the top of the Superbagnéres ski resort will be a real leg tester
A relative newcomer to the Tour de France, the climb to the summit of Port de Balés has been a regular since its first introduction in 2007.
This route tackles the Col de Menté as well as both sides of the Col de Portet d’Aspet.
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.
This route includes climbs of the Col des Borderes and Col du Soulor before reaching Col d’Aubisque. Enjoy the spectacular scenery all around
This approach of the Col de Marie Blanque is relentlessly steep. Make sure to pack your climbing legs for this ride!
Departing from Laruns this cycle route takes you up the valley to the Spanish border. A very scenic ride along the valley road with the river alongside you.
This approach of the Marie Blanque whilst longer in length is much nicer in terms of the gradient.
A ride that follows two rivers, this riding route to Lac de Bious Artiques has some absolutely spectacular scenery for you to admire – including the lofty peak of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau.
A climb that takes you past the ski resort of Pierre Saint-Martin and to the Spanish border.
The climb of the Port de Castet may not be a long one, but what it lacks in length it makes up with in terms of steep gradients.
Enjoy a ride that takes in two infamous cols of the Tour de France – the Col du Soulor and the Col d’Aubisque.
Pyrenees cycling routes in the Ariège region
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!
Short but steep – the climb to Ax 3 Domaines has gradients well above 10%
With a summit of just over 2000m/6561 ft the climb to the top of Col de Pailhéres is a giant of the Pyrenees. Whilst not as famous as the Tourmalet this climb is simply stunning.
With a reputation for predicting the eventual winner of the Tour de France, the climb to Plateau de Béille is also often compared to the infamous Alpe d’Huez.
Whilst only short, what this climb lacks in length it makes up with its steep gradients.
A challenging circuit from Tarascon-sur-Ariege taking in two climbs.
Be on the lookout for Paragliders soaring above, as you tackle the climb of the Port de Lers.
This cycling route from Foix first tackle the long climb of the Col de Portel before testing your legs on the steep Mur de Pegure
A very scenic Voie Verte provides for a mainly traffic-free route between the towns of Saint-Girons and Foix.