Tourmalet is the climb of all climbs from the Tour de France: more Tours have been won on Tourmalet alone than on any other climb. Although its name alone is legendary, the challenge of the actual climb is as real as the scenery is spectacular. The western climb from Luz runs first through a deep shaded valley and then up at a constant grade of more than 7%. Half-way up it opens onto wide meadows and verdant pastures that give you a glimpse of the top—and the much steeper final kilometers that will take you there. There are two ways to climb Tourmalet: get into the mood, suffer and compare your time to the best or take your time, stop to take photos at every turn and save your legs for those last killer kilometers. Either way, you'll love riding the legend. If you'd like to include Tourmalet in a more comprehensive ride, check out my recommended cycling routes for a selection ranging from loops visiting pristine valleys and medieval villages with fine cuisine to extreme mountain challenges.