Cycling in the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is a mountain range that stretches from Cap de Creus (Cabo de Creus) to Hendaye, covering Catalonia, Aragon, Navarra and the Basque Country.

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With a total length of about 440 kilometres and a width of about 160 kilometres, it forms the natural border between France, Spain and Andorra, also known as the Pyrenean country.

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The Pyrenean chain is the natural habitat of species like the brown bear, the golden eagle, the otter, the griffon vulture, the grouse, the chamois, the common trout and also the bearded vulture, the most emblematic animal in the area.

In the Pyrenees you will find legendary mountain passes of the Tour de France and the Cycling Tour of Spain such as the Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin, La Gallina, Coll d’Ordino, Vallter 2000 or La Creueta.

The Pyrenees is ideal for cycling during the holidays

The Pyrenees, with an average density of 235 inhabitants per km2, offers quiet and spectacular roads where you can enjoy the most epic cycling experience and beautiful landscapes as well as tourist and sports facilities. The recommended months for cycling are May, June, July, August and September, in which you can enjoy pleasant daytime temperatures perfect for sports and cooler temperatures at night.

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In the Pyrenees you will find the legendary mountain passes that is part of the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain such as the Tourmalet, Col d’Aspin, La Gallina, Coll d’Ordino, Vallter 2000 or La Creueta.

Emblematic points of the Catalan Pyrenees for the cyclist

Vallter 2000. A classic ascent in the Girona region that surprises cyclists for both its difficulty and its beauty. It’s not surprising that it has been the end stage of “La Vuelta a España” and the “Volta Ciclista a Catalunya” on several occasions. With a 12 kilometre ascent starting at an altitude of 1,260 meters in the beautiful town of Setcases and reaches 2,155 meters at the top of the ski resort.

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Coll de la Creueta. Gateway to Cerdanya from the Barcelona region, Coll de la Creueta is one of the longest and hardest stages in Catalonia. Due to its 21 kilometres and total unevenness of more than 1,100 meters, it has been decisive in crowning the champion of the “Volta Ciclista a Catalunya” on multiple occasions.

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Coll de Boixeda. With 12 its kilometres and 600 meters  positive unevenness, it is the last and hardest of the 3 ports that link the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa with the Pyrenees in the province of Gerona. Its location and difficult access make it an extremely quiet port. This tranquillity and the spectacular landscape make it magical for cycling lovers who also often take advantage of the route to visit Beget, a must-see medieval town located at the beginning of the ascent.

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Coll de Pal. One of the most unknown ports in Catalonia. Parallel to the Coll de la Creueta, it ascends to the Tossa d’Alp mountain range, the natural border between the Pyrenees and the Pre-Pyrenees. The road, which was built to allow access to a ski resort that was eventually abandoned, is cut off at its top, which makes it a favourite destination for many cyclists who can train and enjoy the landscape in peace. The route, which starts from Bagà, is 19.3 kilometres long and has an average slope of 6.3% and reaches an unevenness of 1,285 meters.

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Rasos de Peguera. Another mythical ascent in one of the only ski resorts in the province of Barcelona that has been the final stage of the Tour of Spain on three occasions. Leaving Berga it is 16.5 kilometres with an average slope of 7% and a total positive slope of 1,300 meters.

Some examples of cyclist routes in the Pyrenees

Some of the best examples of cycling in the Pyrenees are those we have designed surrounding Andorra, where you can feel the epic of competitive cycling in the heart of its spectacular mountain passes. Not only will you find cycling on our Pyrenees tours, but you will also have the opportunity to enjoy its spectacular hotels, shopping and leisure areas as well as its rich gastronomy based on top quality local products.

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Olot -Soriguerola, covering 106 kilometres and with a 2,862 meters climb. During this stage we will ascend the feared Coll de la Creueta, one of the hardest and longest stages in Catalunya, where on many occasions the winner of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya was forged. During your ascent you will find giant croissants to eat and in the heart of Cerdanya you will be able to rest in a magnificent resort that includes a golf course and thermal area.

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Soriguerola – Andorra La Vella, covering 74 kilometres and ascending 1,576 meters, it is a stage in which we will cycle through 3 Pyrenean countries. Leaving Cerdanya, we will enter France ascending to the Porté-Puymorens ski resort, which will leave us at the foot of the hard climb to the Port of Envalira, the highest-altitude road port in Europe and the entrance to Andorra. In the capital we will be able to enjoy a well-deserved rest in the thermal centre of Caldea or do some shopping in its famous commercial avenue.

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Comella-Engolasters-Cortals-Ordino, covering 64 kilometres and ascending 2,060 meters. You will combine the ascents to Alt de Comella, Engolasters and Cortals d’Encamp, all located to the east of the capital of the Principality of Andorra. At Engolasters Lake you can relax observing its calm waters before attacking the hardest of the day’s ports, Cortals d’Encamp, which in 2015 and 2019 was the end of the stage of the Cycling Tour of Spain. To finish off, one of our favourite stages is the ascent to Coll d’Ordino in Andorra due to its special atmosphere and because of its fabulous landscapes.

Port de cabús - Los Pirineos

La Gallina-La Rabassa, covering 73 kilometres and ascending 2,324 meters. South of the capital, heading towards Catalonia, there are two ports famous for their toughness and for being the preferred training area for a multitude of professionals based in Andorra. Among them, Purito Rodríguez, who popularized the ascent to Coll de La Gallina by such an extent that the Andorran Government decided to pave its top and join the two formerly unpaved and difficult to access slopes. It is common to find professionals preparing for the mountain stages of the Tour or the Giro d’Italia on its hard slopes.

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Beixallís-Cabús-Pal, covering 64 kilometres and ascending 2,084 meters. Perhaps one of the least known of the Andorran ports, Beixallís has recently become popular due to its presence in the Vuelta in 2015 and in 2016 in the Tour de France. Very hard during the first kilometres, it is a port for explosive riders who like to suffer. As for Coll de Cabús, in our opinion, it’s the Principality’s port with the most beautiful landscapes. We can assure you that the final kilometres will remain in your cycling memory forever. Once descended, we continue onto the final ascend to the Pal ski resort, the end of the stage of the ’93 Tour and a fantastic setting to say adieu to the most epic mountain passes in the Eastern Pyrenees.

You can find this cycling tour of the Pyrenees on our website, as well as other mountain tours such as La Vuelta Epic Climbs Bike Tour and Le Tour Legendary Climbs Bike Tour.

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If your dream is to ride where the professionals train, face a personal challenge and want to do it together with local cyclists, contact us and we will help you prepare your trip according to your needs.