Product Archived
This product is no longer available to book via Much Better Adventures. Existing enquiries and bookings are NOT affected.

REF: #07536

Pyrenees Classic Cols

Test yourself on one of our most challenging tours, tackling the classic cols of the Pyrenees. On this holiday you will conquer ascents such as Tourmalet, Luz Ardiden, and Aubisque.

  • Half board hotel
  • Pyrenees —Lourdes > Tarascon-sur-Ariège
  • Activity Type
    • Route advice only
    • Point to point
  • Groups up to 20
  • Features
    • Ensuite rooms


The following is included in the tour:

  • Seven nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite.
  • Transfer to and from the arrival/departure points
  • Continental breakfast every day
  • Luggage transferred between hotels
  • Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
  • Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle

The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:

  • Hire of bicycles (see here for details)
  • Tour Extensions

The following is not included in the tour

  • Lunches and Dinners
  • Any transfers not stated above
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
  • Flights

Groups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.

This tour is available from late May to early October. All the cols are usually open throughout this period, and there is usually little rain during the summer.

Day 1 - Arrival

Hautacam The cycling holiday starts in the historic town of Lourdes, where you will stay for the first night of the tour.

Lourdes is most well known as the destination for many pilgrims each year. However, it is also a very convenient located town for cyclists; perfectly situated at the foot hills of some of the most iconic mountains in the Pyrenees.

Depending on your arrival time, there is the option to do a pleasant circular route.

Day 2 – Col d’Aubisque and Hautacam

Col d’Aubisque There are a couple of options today, depending on whether or not you wish to ease your way into the holiday, or dive in at the deep end!

The more challenging option is to climb the second most famous pass in the Pyrenees - and quite possibly the most beautiful - the Col d’Aubisque. At 1,709m, the views from Aubisque, particularly across the Cirque du Litour are really stunning.

After Aubisque, there is the option to extend the route to include Hautacam - a steep climb made famous by Bjarne Riis’ controverisal Tour de France win in 1996. The route finishes in the town of Luz-Saint-Sauveur - one of the most picturesque towns in the Pyrenees - surrounded by imposing mountains on three sides.

Day 3 – Cirque de Gavarnie and Luz Ardiden

Gavarnie The route today is not as well known as many of the climbs regularly used in the Tour de France, but it certainly merits its place on a cycling holiday.

The Cirque de Gavarnie is a beautiful ridge situated on the border of France and Spain. The climb is not the toughest in the Pyrenees, with a fairly modest gradient, but the views throughout are breath-taking - with peaks well over 3,000m towering over the road as it snakes up the mountain.

Depending on how you feel, the route can be extended to Luz Ardiden, a regular stage finish on the tour de France, and one of the most beautiful climbs in the Pyrenees.

Day 4 – Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aspin

Col du Tourmalet No Pyrenees cycling holiday would be complete without tackling the most famous climb of all - Col du Tourmalet. Tourmalet has been included more than any other mountain in the Tour de France and is one of the most iconic routes in the sport.

From Luz-Saint-Sauveur the climb is 19km at an average gradient of 7.4%, with the last kilometre a gruelling 10%. The scenery on the climb is predictably spectacular, especially once you get above the tree-line 8km from the summit.

After descending Tourmalet, the route can be extended by climbing the well known, but relatively gentle Col d’Aspin, before returning to Campan - the destination for the evening.

Day 5 – Hourquette d’Anzican and Col de Peyresourde

Pyrenees National Park The tour continues heading east and the famous climbs keep coming. The route begins with Hourqette d’Anzican, a relative newcomer to the Tour de France, but already recognised of one of the more picturesque climbs in the region.

It is quite a gentle climb and provides a pleasant warm up before the main climb of the day - the Col de Peyresourde. Along with Aubisque and Tourmalet, the Peyresourde is one of the key passes in the Pyrenees and is a regular on the Tour de France. It is a really enjoyable climb, with the forests gradually giving way to superb open scenery near the top.

The route finishes with a descent into Luchon - another of the most characteristic towns in the Pyrenees. There is also the option to extend the route to Superbagneres - a challenging climb that has hosted stage wins by the likes of Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault in the Tour de France.

Day 6 – Port de Bales and Col de Mente

Port de Bales The route today features two tough climbs which have become prominent in the Tour de France in recent years. Port de Bales was only fully paved in 2006, yet has already become a key part of the race, including in the 2014 route.

It is a tough climb at 19km long and an average gradient of over 6%, and was made famous in 2010 when Alberto Contador attacked Andy Schleck, after the latter had derailed his chain.

The second climb of the day is the Col de Mente, a relatively short but steep climb, which has been featured in the Tour de France 18 times.

The day finishes in St Girons, a small town typical of the region.

Day 7 – Col de Port and Plateau de Beille

Col d’Agnes The final day in the saddle continues east through the Pyrenees, cycling over the undulating landscape of the Massif de L’Arize. The highlights include the Col de Port, a second category climb regularly used in the Tour de France, and the Plateau de Beille.

Plateau de Beille, the toughest climb in this part of the Pyrenees, is a fitting way to end the holiday; at nearly 16km long and with an average gradient of 7.9% it is challenging for cyclists of all levels.

The climb has only been used five times in the Tour - always as a stage finish - and winners include three of modern cyclings genuine anti-heroes: Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantini.

The tour finishes with a decent into the town of Tarascon sur Ariege - a historic village surrounded by Palaeolithic Caves.

Day 8 – Depart

Restaurant If you would prefer to extend the holiday in the Pyrenees or, for example, Barcelona we can happily arrange this for you.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to spend more time cycling, it is possible to continue this tour into the Catalan Pyrenees. Possible route options include extending the tour to Girona or to the Mediterranean coast. Please contact us for more information.


On this holiday you stay in hotels that reflect the charm and character of the region. These are a combination of small, mountain style chalets and charming boutique cottages with just a handful of rooms.


This is a challenging cycling holiday in one of the most famous cycling regions in the world. However, all of the days have the option to do a longer or shorter route, so you can tailor the tour somewhat to suit your level.

Unlike many cycling tours to the Pyrenees, this is multi-centered, staying in several different towns and villages, allowing you to see more of the region and climb all of the most famous cycling mountains in the Pyrenees.