A Guide to Cycling the Port de Lers

The Port de Lers is a category one climb located in the Ariege department of the French Pyrenees. From Vicdessos the climb is 11.5km / 7.2mi in length with an average gradient of 7%. Over this distance you will climb 807m / 2,648 ft of elevation. The climb has featured in the Tour de France on five occasions, most recently in stage 12 of the 2015 edition.

Port de Lers- route Massat.JPG

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Port de Lers Climb Statistics

Eastern Approach (Vicdessos)

Length: 11.5km / 10.2mi

Average gradient: 7%

Start point: m / ft

Elevation at top: 1,517m / 4,977ft

Category: Category 1

gradient profile of Port de Lers

Nearest town: Vicdessos

Facilities at top: Yes (Etang de Lers)

When to ride: Year round

Road condition: Asphalt – Good

Nearest climb: Col d’Agnes

Number of approaches: 2

Through road at top: Yes

Port de Lers Cycling route from Terascon-sur-Ariege

Ride distance: 75km / 46.7mi

Elevation gain: 1,989m / 6,526ft

The cycling route we have mapped out below travels in a clockwise direction, starting and finishing from Terascon-sur-Ariege. Travelling in this direction means tackling the climb of the Port de Lers from its eastern approach and then returning back via the Col de Port. You could of course choose to travel in the opposite direction if you prefer and ride the western approach of the climb from Massat. All up you will climb just under 2000m / 6560ft in elevation on this route. Of course another route variation would be to simply climb the Port de Lers and then turn around the way you came, straight back to Terascon-sur-Ariege. This out and back route is 55kms / 34mi in length and 1040m / 3,412ft in elevation.

Top Right: The mountain peak of Mont Beas towers over the Port de Lers

Bottom Right: The town of Vicdessous marks the beginning of the Port de Lers climb.

Mont Béas- étang Lers.JPG

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Vicdessos ariège.JPG

Fpasian, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


Other cycling climbs to explore in the Ariege

The Ariege has a number of cycling climbs well worth riding while you are holidaying in the region. We have listed some of these below. Click the links to each climb to discover them and the cycling routes in more detail.

Col de la Crouzette

From the small village of Biert the climb of the Col de la Crouzette is 8km in length with an average gradient of 7.8%. Over this distance you will gain 658m / 2,159ft in elevation to reach the summit. Discover more about the climb here.

Col de la Crouzette 09- pendiente sur- P inicio de la subida.jpg

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons


Col de Portel 09- panel negro y altitud cuestionable.jpg

Anthospace, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Col de Portel

From Foix the climb of the Col de Portel is a category one climb however this is more due to its length (almost 30kms) rather than steep gradients. The average gradient over the climb is actually only 3.5% and overall is quite gentle with just a few steep pitches close to 9%. Discover more about the Col de Portel climb here.


Discover more about cycling in the Pyrenees

If you are not familiar with the Pyrenees, our comprehensive guide will help you plan everything you need for your cycling holiday. The guide includes information such as:

  • a map of the Pyrenees with climbs and towns marked
  • where to base yourself depending on which mountains you would like to ride
  • cycling hotels and lodges
  • bike hire outlets
  • getting to and from the Pyrenees
  • non-cycling attractions and activities in the region

Click below to discover more about cycling in the Pyrenees.

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Looking down a layer of cloud in the valley from the summit of Col du Tourmalet

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