Road Cycling and Mountain Biking holidays in the Pyrenees

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PyrActif recommends:

Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees

Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde, Aubisque, Superbagneres, Hautacam, Port de Bales, Luz Ardiden.

With so many great roads, climbs and rides to choose from, the challenge is two-fold. How do we fit the right amount of information onto these pages and how do you decide what to ride?

If the great cols and climbs of the Tour de France are on your hit list, then you’ll be spoiled for choice if you join any of our Pyrenean trips. Just like any decent estate agent will tell you, it's all about "Location, location, location". With some cycling hotels or tour companies you can find yourself in what sounds like a great location 'on paper', but when you get there you find you're perched more than half-way up an HC col, with no option but to take on the same killer climb every single day. Or you're stuck in a valley with one famous climb in either direction, but impractical distances to anything more interesting.

But it's not like that in & around  our fixed-base holiday location in the Barousse valley - nor, of course do you have those limitations on our Pyrenean point-to-point trips like the Coast-to-Coast. From Bertren, in the Barousse valley, you have access to everything from steady ‘tempo’ Category 3-4 hills through to the mythical HC (‘hors category’ = ‘beyond classification’) monsters which so often feature in the major shake-ups of the Tour. The closest of those start within 3 kilometres of the front door; dozens are within easy riding distance; and there are probably 60 to choose from if you opt for a day or two of vehicle transfers / support from us to help get you to your target climb. Take a look at the Col Planner at the foot of this page to work out where you might want to ride.

We also benefit from hundreds of kilometres of flat or rolling back country roads on which to ride your recovery sessions or head out for a 'cafe ride'. Usually very well surfaced and largely free of traffic, they make for a very enjoyable way to spin your legs if you want an easier day.


It keeps going up!

200m from the summit of the Tourmalet

Nearly there...


But it’s easy knowing the names and the gradients of the major cols, the key to turning climbs into great rides is to link them together in ways that challenge, but inspire. With our in-depth local knowledge and personal experience of riding these famous (and not-so-famous) mountains, we can help you create memorable routes that combine the best of climbing, descending, appreciating the sensational views and re-charging the batteries with a restorative meal or drink. We’ll signpost the best cafes, mark out the best photo opportunities and help you avoid the 10% descents where most of the road surface is graveled!

If you haven’t already got hold of a copy of Graeme Fife’s superb volume ‘The Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees’ (published by Rapha), then we heartily recommend it. In just 4 years or so since it was published, it really has become ‘the bible’ for any road cyclist planning on visiting these mountains.

The Col Planner, below is our much humbler attempt to summarise the huge variety of road riding available to you when you ride in the Pyrenees. There are facts & figures on most of the main French cols, but for the inside information that goes beyond bald statistics, drop us a line and pick our brains.

The Col Planner - click here for climb-by-climb facts & figures


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