The Greenway of the Gaves
The Greenway of the Gaves – Voie Vertes in French – provides you with a car-free cycling route to travel from Lourdes along the Vallée des Gaves. Formed from a disused railway line originally constructed at the end of the 19th Century, it was designed to take travelers to the spas located in Luz Saint-Saveur and Cauterets. The now transformed rail-trail is 18.6kms long and takes in the 12 villages dotted between Lourdes and Piereffite-Nestalas.
It is a great option for families and being a disused railway line is a relatively flat riding option. Along the route are information signs which we recommend stopping to read so you can discover the history of the towns in the valley. We have often used the rail trail when returning back to Argeles Gazost from longer rides in the higher mountains and found it a good way to spin the legs out after a harder ride. Be mindful the rail trail is also a shared path for pedestrians and roller-bladers alike so be courteous to other users.
Suggested cycling route
Distance: 18.6km / 11.5mi
Start elevation: 408m / 1,335ft
Max elevation: 488m / 1,601ft
Metres climbed: 167m / 549ft
Metres descended: 87m / 284ft
Categorised climbs: 0
The bridge crossing just a few kilometers from Argeles Gazost provides a great place to stop and take in the Gave de Pau river.
Food and water
There are many options for food and water along this route. Lourdes will offer up the greatest variety of dining options with numerous cafés, bakeries as well as places to stop for lunch.
- The route is dotted with signs informing you about the history of the surrounding villages.
- A pleasant ‘flat’ ride this is a great option for those with young families and is completely car free.
All smiles on the rail trail.
Even though the rail trail is almost completely flat, reminders of the Tour de France are never too far away.
If you are cycle touring in the region, the rail trail is a perfect way to get from the larger travel hub of Lourdes to the smaller surrounding villages.