Cycling route – Col d’Aspin and Hourquette d’Ancizan from Lourdes

This is a challenging route that takes in both the Col d’Aspin and the Hourquette d’Ancizan starting in the town of Lourdes. The first part of this ride gives you a good chance to get the legs spinning and warmed up. After leaving Lourdes along the flatter valley road you head upwards to the village of Loucrup. Not a difficult climb but a taste of what is to come. After the descent, you turn right towards Bagneres de Bigorre, and from here you start climbing gently to the base of the Col d’Aspin.

From this side of the Col d’Aspin you ease into the gradients with the first 7km not too steep. After you pass through the holiday village at Payolle the road takes a sharp right-hand turn. From here the gradient ramps up for the last 5km to the summit through the forest. Once you reach the summit you could choose to head back the way you came for a shorter ride or head over the top and drop down to Arreau on the other side in preparation for the Hourquette d’Ancizan.

The climb on this side of the Hourquette d’Ancizan starts with a bang and gradients in double figures. It really does not ease up too much until you hit the top over its 10km length. It is a beautiful climb through forested landscapes and really typifies the Pyrenees. On the descent, you turn back onto the lower slopes of the Col d’Aspin and head back down towards Bagneres de Bigorre. From here the route turns left and into the foothills back across to Lourdes. There is a sting in the tail with Col de la Croix Blanche before heading back into the valley and back to Lourdes.

For all the details on the Col d’Aspin, be sure to check out our page which includes all the information you need about this iconic climb.

Route summary

  • Distance: 131km / 81 miles
  • Elevation: 2 750m / 9 023 feet
  • Towns for food and water: Bagneres de Bigorre, Payolle, Arreau, Ancizan
  • Facilities at top of climbs: none
  • Best time of year: May to October

More cycling routes and information about the Pyrenees

We have over 40 different route options in the Pyrenees so if you are looking for other routes in this area be sure to check them out. There is also a host of information about visiting the Pyrenees for a cycling holiday. We recommend our article The Best Base for Cycling in the Pyrenees as a great starting point.