Col de Peyresourde via Col d’Azet

This ride route takes in three climbs including both sides of the famous Col de Peyresourde. An inclusion in the Tour de France since 1910, the Peyresourde is a regular feature when the race hits the Pyrenees. You could of course modify the route and just climb one side of the Peyresourde and head back the way you came – but why not make this ride an epic instead and plan a bigger day out on the pedals.

Bianchi bike at the Col d'Azet summit view to Peyresourde in the French Pyrenees

Suggested cycling route

Distance: 89.2km / 55.4mi

Start elevation: 816m / 2,677ft

Max elevation: 1,580m / 5,184ft

Metres climbed: 2,745m / 9,007ft

Metres descended: 2,745m / 9,007ft

Categorised climbs: 3

Climb No. 1 – Col d’Azet

From the starting point of Saint Lary, it isn’t long until the climbing for the day begins. First up is the Col d’Azet. This side of the climb is just over 10kms / 6mi long and has an average gradient of 7.3%. The steeper sections of the climb come as you pass through the village of Azet itself. The road is quite picturesque and if you look out across the valley from where you came you will see another giant of the Pyrenees across from you – the Col de Portet. Indeed the summit of Azet will afford you spectacular views of all around including across to Peyresourde itself.

Climb No. 2 – Col de Peyresourde

The descent down the other side of the Azet is steep and short with a series of switchbacks to negotiate as well. It is quite common to see people paragliding from here in the skies above. At the bottom of the descent, you will reach the town of Genois and see Lac Loudervielle. From here you will enjoy a few flatter kilometers before reaching the start of the climb to the Peyresourde. This side has a relatively gentle average gradient of 6.8%. Don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security – the road to the Peyresourde can be scorching hot in Summer so be sure to stay on top of your hydration. Once at the top you can enjoy one of the fastest descents in the Pyrenees with just over 13km/ 8.5 mi to the town of Bagnéres de Luchon.

Climb No. 3 – Col de Peyresourde – again!

Bagnéres de Luchon provides you with a great spot to refuel for lunch and top up the bottles. Having ridden the descent you now know what is in store with the climb ahead. The steepest gradients on this side of the Peyresourde are at the start. Use the kilometer markers on the side of the road to measure your effort. The gradient stays fairly regular all the way to the top and the summit awaits you for the second time. Once there enjoy a fast descent down the other side and a beautiful ride back to your starting point at Saint Lary.

Two cyclists in the French Pyrenees cycling to the Col du Peyresourde

This ride takes you over 3 summits but the valley also provides for some great scenery.

Food and water

There are multiple points along this route to refuel. These include Genois, and also the larger town of Bagnéres de Luchon.

There is also a creperie at the top of the Peyresourde which could provide for a just reward for reaching the summit twice!


  • Riding no less than three Pyrenean cols in one day.
  • Summiting the Peyresourde from both sides.
  • The summit views from the Col d’Azet looking out towards the Col de Portet as well as the Peyresourde.
Views of Pla d'adet a famous cycling climb of the French Pyrenees

The summit views from Col d’Azet looking back towards the starting point of Saint Lary, with the climb to Col de Portet in the distance.

Climb statistics and gradient profile

Gradient profile of Col d'Azet from Saint Lary Soulan

Col d’Azet

Length: 10.1km / 6.28mi

Average gradient: 7.3%

Start point: Saint Lary Soulan

Elevation at top: 1,580m / 5,184

Col de Peyresourde

Length: 9.7km / 6.03mi

Average gradient: 6.8%

Start point: Avajan

Elevation at top: 1,569m / 5,148ft

Gradient profile of Col du Peyresourde from Avajan
Gradient profile of Col de Peyresourde from Bagneres de Luchon

Col de Peyresourde

Length: 13.8km / 8.57mi

Average gradient: 6.9%%

Start point: Bagnéres de Luchon

Elevation at top: 1,569m / 5,148ft