Col du Soulor via Col de Spandelles
This route will take you over the little-known Col de Spandelles to then climb the northern ascent of the Col du Soulor. Whilst short on distance it is a challenging ride nonetheless with just under 2000m of climbing all up.
Suggested cycling route
Distance: 56.6km / 35.2mi
Start elevation: 470m / 1,541ft
Max elevation: 1,474m / 4,836ft
Metres climbed: 1,979m / 6,494ft
Metres descended: 1,979m / 6,494ft
Categorised climbs: 2
Col de Spandelles
From Argeles Gazost the climb to Spandelles is 16kms long with an average gradient of just under 6%. This climb is a great option during the summer heat as the majority of the climb winds up through an alpine forest. Indeed the views don’t really appear until you begin to reach the top and head over the other side. The road is very quiet, narrow and you will find it also not as well maintained as other more famous climbs in the area. Be mindful of potholes and a rough surface – especially on the descents.
Our detailed page about the Col de Spandelles has lots of handy information about the climb. It includes the gradient profiles from both sides of the climb as well as practical information about cycling this climb.
Col du Soulor
This side of the Soulor may not be as popular as the side from Arrens Marsous, but it is simply spectacular. Right from the get-go you will find yourself climbing with the most stunning of mountain vistas for company. As you near the top of the climb the road to Aubisque and the Cirque du Litour comes into view. A magic reward for all the effort you have put in to get this far. As with a lot of the Pyrenean climbs, you can also expect to see herds of sheep or cows along the route as well as donkeys and horses as you reach the summit. This is all part of the experience of riding in this part of the Pyrenees.
Once at the top of Soulor you will find a small cafe that offers a good opportunity to replenish your supplies. A smooth fast flowing descent off the other side of Soulor and back to your starting point at Argeles Gazost is your reward after a short challenging route.
A herd of sheep at the summit of the Col du Soulor
Food and water
Food and water are available in several villages on this route, including Ferrières, at the summit of the Col du Soulor as well as Arrens Marsous.
- Stunning views of the giants of the Pyrenees.
- Quiet, rural roads which are generally free from traffic
- The view across to the Cirque du Litor from the Northern side of Soulor is breathtaking.
- Spotting donkeys, horses, and sheep on the slopes of the Col du Soulor. Often there are some of each to be seen at the summit.
A very friendly donkey at top of the Col du Soulor.
Climb statistics and gradient profile
Col du Spandelles
Length: 16.2km / 10.07
Average gradient: 5.9%
Start point: Argeles Gazost
Elevation at top: 1,378m / 4,521ft
Col du Soulor
Length: 12.1km / 7.52mi
Average gradient: 7.56%
Start point: Ferriéres
Elevation at top: 1,474m / 4,836ft
Length: 7.5km / 4.6mi
Average gradient: 4.6%
Start point: Cirque du Litor
Elevation at top: 1709m / 5607ft