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.
Suggested cycling route
Ride distance: 75km / 46.7mi
Elevation gain: 2,036m / 6,678ft
The cycling route we have mapped out below travels in a clockwise direction, starting and finishing from Tarascon-sur-Ariege. Traveling 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 over 2000m / 6670ft 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 Tarascon-sur-Ariege. This out and back route is 55kms / 34mi in length and 1040m / 3,412ft in elevation.
Facilities at top: Yes (Etang de Lers)
Nearest town: Vicdessos
When to ride: Year-round
Road condition: Asphalt – Good
Number of approaches: 2
Through road at top: Yes
Nearest climb: Col d’Agnes
Climb Statistics and gradient profile
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
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 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.