Maps, GPS And Local Pyrenees Cols

The Pyrenees is associated with many great cycling legends and historical events, yet nestling amidst the mountains are undiscovered gems whose beauty and mystic captivates those willing to stray into the wilder reaches.

It is our mission to help you discover the area, whether in the plains, foothills or high mountains.

Maps & GPS Files

During your stay we will discuss different areas and rides available. We understand that no two riders are the same and want to personalise your experience, offering tailored advice that suits you. We do not offer a one-ride-fits-all approach. On a daily basis we will talk to you to find out what you would like to do, give out fresh laminated maps and program your GPS device. We also have a portfolio of col profiles and sample route guides on our coffee table for guests to peruse.

From Hidden Gems To Famous Legends

The most famous climb in the Pyrenees is the legendary Col du Tourmalet. Undoubtedly a great climb and despite it's historical legacy and subsequent prophecy it's surprising for us that it is not actually the most highly rated climb amongst our guests.

Ride it by all means, but don't forget the hidden gems - there's so much more to the Pyrenees.

Other famous cycling cols (mountain passes) within cycling distance of us include Col d'Aspin, Col des Ares, Port de Bales, Col de Mente, Col de Peyresourde, Portet d'Aspet, Col de Portillon and Superbagneres. With a short transfer or drive from us you can also cycle the Col d'Aubisque and Col de Soulor, Spandalles, Col de Marie Blanque, Col de Port, Col de Marmare, Hautacam, Luz Ardiden, plus many more.

Interactive Map Of Cols

The interactive map below displays some (but not all) of the climbs that are within rideable distance from us. Click on the names to see further information. Please enjoy but note that it is not a definitive guide. You will find more information at the house of Velo Pyreenees or by talking to Julie and Lee.

Map of Cols - click for col details Col de Portet 2,215m Canejan 900m Col d'Artigascou 1,351m Col du Portillon 1,293m Hautacam 1,635m Artiga de Lin 1,468m Col de Coupe 730m Col d'Azet 1,580m Lac d'Aumer 2,195m Superbagneres 1,800m Col de Larrieu 704m Col de Peyresourde 1,569m Col du Tourmalet 2,115m Col de Mente 1,349m Lac de Cap-de-Long 2,162m Gaurdader d'Arres 1,320m Hourquette d'Ancizan 1,564m Artique 1,218m Port de Bales 1,755m Pic du Midi 2,872m Station de Nistos 1,590m Col des Ares 797m Portet d'Aspet 1,069m Col d'Aspin 1,489 Col de Mortis 841m Bassa d'Oles 1,599m Hospice de France 1,380m Saut deth Pish 1,555m

A good introductory climb, with gentle and very even gradients of 4% average. East side offers good scenery whilst the west side has several hairpin bends. A favourite col in the winter when others are un-rideable due to snow.

There is a bar/ cafe situated on the summit, otherwise the lively village of Aspet on East side is a good place to stop. This climb can be incorporated into a route including several other cols

Ares, Col des
8.4km starting from Fronsac
797m altitude
330m total climb
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Col des Ares with its gentle gradients

The narrow road climbs, following the fast flowing river Joeu through a deeply wooded valley to the scenic mountain cirque named Artiga de Lin. The average gradient is 7.3% but there is a very steep section of 18.5% near the summit. The road surface is good but there is a deeply set cattle grid to watch out for, it is a fast descent and technical in places with narrow sweeping bends.

A few kilometres from the top there is an information point with steps (a few minutes walk) leading to Uelhs Deth Joeu, a deafening waterfall of great power. It makes a good route combined with Bassa d'Oles following a sealed forestry road that connects the two.

Artiga de Lin
9.1km starting from Es Bordes
1,468m altitude
657m total climb
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Artiga de Lin valley near the summit

The northern approach for either St-Beat or Pont de l'Oule (near the Portet d'Aspet) is the longest and means first climb the Col de Mente before turning off to climb higher though the ski staion of Mortis. After the Ski station the road has fallen into disrepair and is gravel in places. It is acceptable in dry weather on 5mm tyres.

The Southern approach from Fos, almost on the Spanish border is mostly paved with open views looking into Spain. The gradients ease near the top when the road changes to compact gravel.

Artigascou, Col d'
13km starting from Pont de l' Oule
1,351m altitude
718m total climb
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Beautiful views from top of Col d'Artigascou

A tough climb with a higher than normal average gradient of about 9%. Yet this does not tell the complete story of those steeper sections near it's base. It's worth perservering through the lower switchbacks as the views are worth it from the mid point onwards. The road is smooth and with nothing but two small villages along its route, there are virtually no cars.

6.4km starting from Juzet-de-Luchon
1,218m altitude
595m total climb
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views south of Artique

Popular with club cyclists, and much used by the Tour de France. A real gentle giant and sometimes known as the "Queen of the Pyrenees."

Steady gradient with good views throughout the open east side and the summit, especially of Pic du Midi de Bigorre at 2,872m. Kilometre signs show average gradient, height and distance. Cattle and horses frequent summit. A quieter alternative back is the Hourquette d'Ancizan (1,564m) to the South.

Aspin, Col d'
12.5km starting from Arreau
1,489m altitude
789m total climb
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Beautiful views from top of Col d'Aspin

Scenic climb and excellent views from the summit, incorporating a section of the GR10. Hang-gliders frequent the skies. Both sides are rather steep in the lower kilometres and ease a little nearer the summit. Very steep section through village of Azet. No facilities at the summit but good lakeside cafe at bottom of the East side. 

Azet, Col d'
10.7km starting from Bourisp
1,580m altitude
780m total climb
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Col d'Azet, frequented by parascenders

A quiet climb through a relaxing scented, south facing pine forest. The road terminates at the top with the lake of Bassa d'Oles before you. There is a nice sign posted, easy walk around the lake that takes about 30 minutes, often frequented by fishermen. Once at the top you must descend the way you climbed. After a few kilometres, you can take another road that traverses the mountainside and meets the climb of Artiga de Lin, midway up.

Bassa d'Oles
10km starting from Aubert
1,599m altitude
710m total climb
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Summit lake on Bassa d'Oles

Unknown to most, this quiet road leads up to the village of Canejan, which sits precariously on the mountain's rocky shelf. The first half provides welcome shade following a wild untamed river displaying rock pools, cascades and small gorges. After the bridge crossing you turn to climb higher still, swapping the shade of the trees for views down and across the valley. The gradients vary greatly on its ascent but average at a dubious 4.5%. There are several cafes and bars at the summit for drinks and snacks.

5.6km in length
900m altitude
295m total climb
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Summit lake on Bassa d'Oles

Both the east and west sides climb gently on very quiet roads to the summit. There are some excellent views as you climb from Laborde, overlooking the pasture lands of the Baronnies region. It is a good climb to partner with one of the many rolling routes in the area.

Coupe, Col de
5.2km in length
730m altitude
280m total climb
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Barronies foothills

A superb hidden gem on the Spanish side of the border. Quite often, I do not see a single car on this ascent! The majority of the climb passes through a forest of pine and birch trees but the mountainside disappears steeply, offering superb views with the scent of pine. You will appreciate the intermittent shade provided from the trees as it can get hot in the summer. There is some moderately steep areas, but the gradient changes frequently so you can recover. The last kilometre is almost flat. At the summit there is a stone balcony and picnic spot that overlooks the valley below. The descent is fun and engaging with amusing banked switch backs and bends that exit in wild directions.

Guardader d'Arres
7.3km in length
1,320m altitude
612m total climb
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Guardader d'Arres is a real hidden gem

The climb starts a few kilometres from the centre of Argeles Gazost with the lower half offering some shade as you pass through several villages and wooded area. The average percentage for the climb is 6.8%, but it does get tougher in the second half. The last few kilometres gets more difficult with gradients of 9 and over 10%, but the final few hairpins offer great views over the valley below and the surrounding mountains.

15.5km in length
1,635m altitude
1,170m total climb
The Col Collective video link
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The Hospice de France, dating from the 14th century, was once a staging post for mule-trains trading across the border.

As you leave Luchon, the road gently climbs at first but steepens around half way. The last 3km is difficult as it is over 10% with some sections at 12 and 13%. There is a cafe at the top open during the summer months, otherwise Luchon has many cafes and restaurants.

Hospice de France
11.6km in length
1,380m altitude
750m total climb
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Inspiring views from summit cafe

An attractive alternative, or an excellent partner with the Col d'Aspin.

The North side from Payolle is a better ascent on gentle gradients with beautiful views passing through meadows and an old alpine forest. The southern descent is steep but offers views of mountain peaks in the second half. There are cafes at Ancizan and Payolle.

Hourquette d'Ancizan
10.3km starting from Ancizan
1,564m altitude
805m total climb
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Hourquette d'Ancizan views midway

Cul-de-sac climb entering the Pyrenees National Park finishing at a scenic lake.

Starts gentle until 1,875m altitude at junction for Lac de Cap-de-Long, after which the road dips before steeper finish. The last section passes through impressive forests of stunted pine trees, some of which are 1000 years old and forms Europe's highest mountain pine forest.

Lac d'Aumer
24.3km starting from St Lary Soulan
2,195m altitude
1,375m total climb
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Lake view within a stroll of the summit

A real gem and must ride in the high Pyrenees. The cul-de-sac road climbs to a very high beautiful lake - taking you higher than the Tourmalet. Pleasingly shallow start, but steepens as the scenery gets better and better. Fork in the road at 1,875m for the alternative climb to Lac d'Aumer which takes you even higher wth two more lakes en-route.

The summit can be busy in high season with a cafe and numerous great walks but oustide the height of summer, it is a really quiet, tranquil climb.
Lac de Cap de Long
22.7km in length
2,162m altitude
1,342m total climb
The Col Collective video link
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Mountain view from road

A great climb to include in a loop over the rolling foothills or combine with the Col des Ares. The East side is steeper than the west with an average gradient of 6.8%. A peaceful col that links to Aspet - a great place to stop for lunch.

Larrieu, Col de
4.6km in length
704m altitude
314m total climb
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A famous TDF climb, used since 1971. Marco Pantani holds the record on the steeper West side from St Beat. Descending both sides is fast with lots of switchbacks.

There is a good cafe at the summit or you can climb a little higher to the ski station le Mourtis for more options.

Mente, Col de
9.4km in length
1,349m altitude
845m total climb
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.... (long approach)

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Climbing the East side

A local climb starting 1km from us with good views from South side and the summit over the Barousse valley.

The North side over looks the medieval village of St Bertrand-de-Comminges. The descent on the North side takes you close to St-Bertrand-de-Comminges - a good place to have a coffee or pancakes.

Mortis, Col de
6.5km in length
841m altitude
376m total climb
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Pic du Midi is the location of the famous observatory and is a big tourist attraction - especially during late July and August. The climb is accessed from the summit of the Col du Tourmalet via an unsealed road.

It is possible to ride this climb on a road bike, but it is not for the inexperienced or unfit due to the combination of the altitude and technical road surface. Amazing scenery with cliff edges and two short tunnels.

Pic du Midi
5km in length
2,872m altitude
757m total climb
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Looking back down the Pic du Midi climb

Gentle and scenic road follows the river up the valley to the foot of the col. Col is a cul-de-sac road leading to cross-country ski station of Nistos. Scenic and quite steep in places.

Nistos - Cap Nestès
17.1km in length
1590m altitude
1,039m total climb
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A popular col with open scenery most of the way. East side has a steady gradient around 7-8% and a few short steep sections around 11% and 14%. There is a small variant mid-way to pass through villages adding extra kilometres, but easing the gradient. The west side from Avajan starts with low gradients to a dip and then a steep mid section up to 11.4%, but eases off for the last half.

There is a small road side cafe with a friendly and enthusiastic owner at summit which sells excellent crepes. Luchon on East side has many bars, cafes, restaurants and two bike shops.

Peyresourde, Col de
15km in length
1,569m altitude
939m total climb
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A fast descent

Broad open summit with excellent views of the snow capped Spanish frontier mountains. The North side is very variable between 6% and 12% gradients, following a peaceful wooded stream valley beyond Ferrére. The last 10km is more difficult than the first. In the last 4km, the scenery rapidly changes as you emerge from the trees to enter a wide bowl of green pasture with grazing cattle.

The South side from Luchon is occasionally steep with long shallow stretches through small villages. No facilities at the summit but lower down in Luchon or Mauleon, there are bakeries, cafes and bars.

Port de Bales
18.9km starting from Mauleon
1,755m altitude
1,185m total climb
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Port de Bales is a wild climb

A climb full of charater with rugged scenery and many changes in road surface from impecable hot rolled tarmac to very compacted gravel.

Higher and more challenging than the Tourmalet. This climb features in the 2018 Tour de France and is set to become one of the hardest mountain stages.

We covered this climb in more detail here on our blog.

Portet, Col de
17.8km in length
2,215m altitude
1,405m total climb
The Col Collective video link
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Rugged granite peaks on the upper half

From Aspet the road is fast and rolling until you pass the river. Once across the bridge the road steepens for the last 4km with 12% and 13% gradients.

The legendary Fabio Casartelli died whilst descending this steep section when leading the Peloton in 1995. There is a monument here in his memory.

The East side is more gradual in gradient throughout its 18km length. There is a cafe at the summit and good views towards the East especially.

Portet d'Aspet
14.3km starting from Aspet
1,069m altitude
594m total climb
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The monument of Fabio Casartelli

An obvious climb taking you into Spain with the town of Luchon on the the western French approach and Bossost on the other. The border lies at the summit, marked by two obelisks. The road is a good surface thanks to the Tour de France.

Bossost is 100m higher than Luchon so the climb is shorter and have easier gradients from Boossost. The Luchon approach is harder with long sections around 10% but you will appreciate an almost flat kilometre in the middle.. In 2016, numerous marble sculptures were added to the Spanish side to comemorate the past Spanish Tour de France winners.

Portillon, Col du
10.2km starting from Luchon
1,293m altitude
663mm total climb
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Port de Bales is a wild climb

A very scenic and open climb finishing at the small ski station of Superbagnères. Great views at the summit with an almost vertical drop of 1,170m over Luchon.

The snow capped mountains towards the Spanish border are especially impressive. There is a good cafe for food and drink at the summit but there is greater choice in Luchon.

19km in length
1,800m altitude
1,170m total climb
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One of the most popular mountain climbs in Europe and most famous in the Tour de France having featured more than 70 times. The summit is marked by a cyclist monument and cafe opposite. The cafe is a mini museum of old TDF bikes, photos, news articles and other memorabilia which is worth the visit alone.

The climb is a challenge, especially towards the summit where it steepens. The landscape changes near the top with impressive, although barren, large exposed jagged rock. From the summit a gravel road leads to the higher summit at Pic du Midi de Bigorre - 2,872m.

Tourmalet, Col du
18.2km starting from Luz St Sauveur
2,115m altitude
1,405m total climb
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The Tourmalet summit cafe