There are many possible routes to climb Col du Soulor and Col d'Aubisque, this one is a favorite of local cyclists.
This route is a a great alternative to the classic eastern ascent if you'd prefer an extended ride from Argelès that starts with a long approach instead of a steep climb. You'll still get to climb Col d'Aubisque from its most picturesque side, but without any additional challenge. On the way back, you'll cross Col du Soulor, but it is relatively easy from this direction. This route is a classic and can be enjoyed in either direction.
Your ride starts with a slight downhill and then a nice flat road into Lourdes, a city world famous to both pilgrims and tourists. There is a cycling path available between Argelès and Lourdes, but the old road is also nice and gets little traffic. This route takes you through the center of Lourdes, giving you the opportunity for a short visit: check the website for a list of things to see and do there.
Lourdes can be very crowded on celebration days and is completely closed to traffic during visits by the Pope or other religious figures. You can avoid actually going through the city by taking D13 north through the villages of Aspin-en-Lavedan, Ossen and Ségus. This only adds a total of 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) and 200 meters (656 ft) of elevation to this route.
From Lourdes, you'll ride west through a lower mountain valley following the Gave de Pau River to the small town of St-Pé-de-Bigorre. You'll then pass the famous Grottes de Bétharram on your left to cycle through the town of the same name. Shortly after, a flat country road will take you on to the town of Asson.
The higher section offers spectacular views of the towering summits of Pic de Ger, Pène Médaa and Pic de la Latte de Bazen, making this climb one of the Pyrénées' most scenic Tour de France favorites.
Major Climbs: Soulor & Aubisque
Distance: 102 km | 63 mi
Elevation Gain: 2666 m | 8,747 ft
Starting Location: Argelès-Gazost
Period of the Year: June to September
Riding Time: 5h14'
Bicycle tours featuring Soulor & Aubisque...
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