CYCLING IN THE PYRENEES

The high mountains of the Pyrenees are a playground for cyclists and promise to excite, enthral and challenge. Sign up to our classic Trans-Pyrenees: Girona – San Sebastian ride, take on our Pyrenees Challenge, cheer on pro-riders at the Tour de France or relax on our Pyrenees retreat.

The Pyrenees stage Tour de France summit finishes every year: top climbs include the Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde, Aubisque, Hautcam, Spandelles & Lac du Cap de Long.

The best months to cycle are July, August & September. Mountain weather is notoriously changeable but makes the riding all the more spectacular.

Cycling History & Highlights

Col d'Aubisque

Col d'Abisque over the Soulor

The Col d’Aubisque is a high mountain pass in the French Pyrenees.

For cyclists, the Col d’Aubisque is a formidable ascent. It is a regular feature of the Tour de France and first appeared in the race in 1910.

top 1,710m

80%

30.1 km

95%

1,247m elevation gain

65%

4.1% average gradient

50%

11% max gradient

90%

Col du Tourmalet

Col du Tourmalet through Barèges

The roughly east-west road over the Col du Tourmalet is the Tour de France’s favorite high pass, having been included more than 80 times. It is situated in the central Pyrenees (between France and Spain) in the French department of Hautes-Pyrénées.

top 2,115m

95%

18.2 km

85%

1,404m elevation gain

75%

7.7% average gradient

77%

10.2% max gradient

85%

Col du Peyresourde

The Peyresourde & The Peyragudes

The Col du Peyresourde connects Bagneres-du-Luchon to Arreau and forms part of the notorious ‘Circle of Death’ route used in the Tour de France. First crested in the 1910 Tour rider 1910 Octave Lapize, the climb is now best associated with Chris Froome, who used the Col as a launch pad to a stage victory in 2016.

The final test is on the slopes of the Peyragudes, a short, steep ramp from the summit of the Peyresourde.

top 1,569 m

70%

15 km

70%

954 m elevation gain

65%

6.3 % average gradient

60%

11.3 % max gradient

85%

Lac de Cap de Long

Lac de Cap de Long from Saint-Lary-Soulan

The Route des Lacs is lesser known but no less spectacular ride in the Pyrenees. The climb starts alongside a river and gently climbs to Fabian. Here the challenge kicks in and as the climb develops so does the spectacular scenery. Thick forest gives way to rocky hairpins and a birds-eye view acorss the Lac d’Oredon. The road ends at a colossal dam, Lac-de-Cap-de Long. This climb is a treat for the soul.

top 2,161 m

90%

23 km

95%

1,361 m elevation gain

65%

6 % average gradient

50%

13 % max gradient

90%

Browse our Pyrenees Cycling Tours

Pyrenees Cycling Tour de France

Pyrenees For Women

September 2018 | Advanced | Road
La Purito Andorra Cycling

La Purito

August 2018 | Epic | Road
Tour de France Experience

Tour de France

July 2018 | Intermediate - Advanced | Road
Pyrenees Challenge Lac du Cap

Pyrenees Challenge

July 2018 | Advanced - Epic | Road
Pyrenees Cycling Retreat

Pyrenees Retreat

June - August 2018 | Leisure - Intermediate | Road
Pyrenees Cycling

Trans Pyrenees

June & September 2018 | Advanced - Epic | Road

Blogs from the Pyrenees

CyclingESC ExploreLifestylePyrenees
July 1, 2017

The rock and roll lifestyle of a bike tour guide in the Pyrenees

I won’t thank my new editor Lee Comerford for tasking me with the most general of all assignments; ‘a blog on the last week’, or something like that, would be…
ESC ExplorePyrenees
May 8, 2017

Andorra: A theme park for cyclists

Driving into Andorra late Friday evening reminded me of the first time I drove to Las Vegas. Granted, the long dark single road into Andorra is far more windy, but…
Vallter 2000 Pyrenees Girona Cycling CyclingGironaPyrenees
April 16, 2017

Vallter 2000: Life in the support vehicle

Yesterday 20 apprehensive cyclists left Girona early in the morning bound for Vallter 2000, the highest point in the whole of Catalunya. It was our 2nd Challenge Day of the…
Read More

Bespoke Cycling Tours

Perfectly crafted tours tailored just for you

Our trip was beyond fantastic and we give ESC many kudos. Thank you ESC for going above and beyond.

Remme, ChigacoBeyond Fantastic

ESC's local knowledge created a cycling trip that we won't soon forget. You just can't get this kind of attention and personalised catering from larger tour companies. I highly recommend booking your next cycling adventure with ESC. We're already looking forward to being with ESC in 2018. Chapeau, ESC!

SteveUnforgettable!