The most beautiful road bike passes of the Pyrenees

Road Cycling Collection by
komoot

As you pedal over rough passes and deserted landscapes, you may ask yourself whether you missed the border crossing somewhere and have ended up in Spain. You are, in fact, still in France, however: And you're riding the most beautiful passes of the Pyrenees.

As you pedal over mountain passes, the myths of early Tour de France heroes will seemingly spin around your head with every pedal stroke. On old-fashioned road bikes — the type of bike every cyclist would turn their nose up at today — they fought their way up these under-developed mountain passes at speeds you could only dream of. Today, carbon frames, GPS navigation and asphalted roads make the whole experience a fraction as tough as it would have been back then, although it's still one hell of a feat. The only thing that hasn't change is the view from the top — something that makes the suffering more than worthwhile; something that makes you forget you ever sweat a drop.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Col d'Aspin

    Road Cycling Highlight

    If you want to choose the simpler option, you can drive to Col d'Aspin from Ste. Marie-de-Campan. If you prefer the more beautiful landscape, start in Arreau. Both climbs are feasible, scenic and definitely worth to be climbed. If you leave for Arreau, stay focused until the end. The last corners are difficult to see and "shut up", as the saying goes.

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    Port de Larrau

    Road Cycling Highlight

    As harmless as the numbers may seem, from the north the Port de Larrau is undoubtedly one of the toughest French climbs, thanks to the tough pass Col d'Erroimendy - 9.6% average climb over 10 km.
    Once you have reached this pre-pass, the onward journey to Port de Larrau is just a breeze.

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    Col du Soulor

    Road Cycling Highlight

    At the top of the pass there is a nice view of the coming kilometers to the Aubisque and the surrounding mountains. The driveway from the east can be an intermediate step to the Col d'Aubisque or the end of the tour. From the pass, a beautiful descent branches off to Lourdes or Pau. For this road, it is even worth returning from the Aubisque to the Soulor.

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    Col d'Aubisque

    Road Cycling Highlight

    According to the mountain price classification, the east side of the Col d'Aubisque (1st category) is slightly lighter than the west side (Hors category). This is mainly due to the fact that the Col du Soulor, which you must first climb from the east, has a small intermediate run. A good opportunity for the legs to regenerate something! On the west side of the pass, you realize that you are getting closer and closer to the Atlantic and you are steadily away from the Mediterranean Sea. The Vallée d'Ossau, in which one leaves, already belongs to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques - cool and humid Atlantic weather sends greetings.

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    Col de Pailhères

    Road Cycling Highlight

    The Col de Pailhères with its 2001 m is one of the four two-thousanders of the French Pyrenees. The entire journey to the East, but especially the last narrow kilometers with the narrow serpentines glued to the slope, are among the most beautiful things you can do in the high mountains with the racing bike and are thus at eye level with the Alpine passes Col du Galibier and Gaviapass.

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    Col de Peyresourde

    Road Cycling Highlight

    The Col de Peyresourde serves as a transit pass to reach the king of the Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet, or Lourdes. Really nice are only the last kilometers of both sides. Nevertheless, the Col de Peyresourde has become famous because it is considered one of the Pyrenees classics of the Tour de France.

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    Tour de Madeloc

    Road Cycling Highlight

    The Tour de Madeloc is located about 10 km west of the Mediterranean and 10 km north of the Spanish border in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees. From the 652 m high mountain, the view is simply overwhelming. It extends from Narbonne in the north via Perpignan all the way along the coast to far into Spain.

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    Col de Menté

    Road Cycling Highlight

    The Col de Menté is not one of the truly famous French Pyrenees passes, although it has a permanent place in Tour de France history. His journeys are not too long, but just the West approach has a slope average of almost 10%.

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    Col de Portet d'Aspet

    Road Cycling Highlight

    Crossing the Pyrenees on the north side from west to east, the Col de Portet d'Aspet is something of the gateway to the Ariège region. The last 4.5 km of the western approach are neat and steep, reminiscent of the passes of the French Basque Country. The Ostanfahrt is quite entertaining and leads through many small villages.

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    Col du Tourmalet

    Road Cycling Highlight

    The Col du Tourmalet is the highest French Pyrenees Pass at 2,115 m. Since it is a blessing that every 1,000 meters a sign identifies the already reached altitude. The curse is sometimes the fact that on the same sign the remaining distance to the pass and the average slope on the next kilometer are displayed. But it is precisely the last few kilometers that give rise to a real passport feeling and give a foretaste of the feeling of happiness on the pass. The monument above commemorates Jacques Goddet, the former director of the Tour de France and founder of the sports newspaper L'Equipe.

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