Three days in the Pyrenees

kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 7,384
Flying into Toulouse a few days before Mrs KG, so I can go for a few nice bike rides. I've had a week in the Pyrenees a few years ago, so done a few climbs already, so nothing is a "must do".

Middle of August, where should I stay? Currently thinking of either Luchon (Peyresourde, Superbagneres, Portillon, Port de Bales) or Luz (Gavarnie, Cirque du Troumouse, the side of Tourmalet I haven't done, and a drive to do Route des Lacs).
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  • A few years ago I stayed near Luz for a weekend and tackled Tourmalet , Luz Ardiden and Pont d'Espgne on day 1; Borderes, Soulor-Aubisque and Coraduque on day 2 and then Hautacam on the 3rd morning. It was a tiring weekend but excellent. Also nearby is the Col de Spandelles which may well feature in the TdF in the next couple of years, with as you say also Cirque du Troumouse and Cirque du Gavarnie/Col Du Tentes/Port de Bouchero right up on the Spanish border. The tour won't visit those Cirques in the forseeable future because of their protected status, but they are truly spectacular.
  • Cush123Cush123 Posts: 75
    Have a look at the Free Range Chalet in Luchon. Stayed there a couple of years ago and it's a top spot, food is great and couple that run it are really nice. Plenty of bike storage, track pump and a few tools.
  • Thanks - have decided to go the Tourmalet area as I really like the look of the Cirque de Troumouse. Staying in Pierrefitte Nestalas for a few days.

    Will take a look at Col de Spandelles - not heard of that one.
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  • Shirley BassoShirley Basso Posts: 3,132
    We stayed at the base of the Aspin in Arreau- meant that Apsin, Tourmalet and 'something' D'arquettes ( right next to Aspin) were on the doorstep.

    Also did a longer loop out to Portes du Bales and Perysourde

    Also Cadeac and Ancizan
  • We stayed at the base of the Aspin in Arreau- meant that Apsin, Tourmalet and 'something' D'arquettes ( right next to Aspin) were on the doorstep.

    Also did a longer loop out to Portes du Bales and Perysourde

    Also Cadeac and Ancizan

    Hourqette d'Anzican?

    I'm hoping to fit in the ride to Lac de Cap-de-Long as well. That looks stunning.
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  • roburobu Posts: 26
    Cannot recommend pyreneescyclinglodge.com highly enough. Really superb. It's run by two cyclists (Irish and Scottish couple) and they do a great job. Very clean, comfortable rooms and excellent food. Everyone eats together, so you meet other cyclists (a couple of 1990s era Olympians and a current British track champion when I was there, as well as a bunch of fellow MAMILs). Great atmosphere.

    It's on the bottom part of the Col de Borderes climb, near Argeles-Gazost, so ideally situated. I stayed there for four days last July and in that time did Borderes/Soulor/Aubisque, Croix Blanche/Aspin/Horquette d'Ancizan/Tourmalet, Hautacam/Trammasel/Cauterets/Cambasque/Porte d'Espagne and Luz Ardiden. Fantastic riding.

    By a long stretch the best cycling holiday I've ever had in terms of both accommodation and the riding. I defy you not to love it. :D
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,194
    Check out our site below, in the last two summers wee have done 3 days cycling out of Argeles Gazost (Tourmalet, Aubisque, Luz Ardiden, Hautacam) and Luchon (Peyresourde, Peragudes, Superbagneres and others).

    Argeles Gazost was probably the best for the climbs, but Luchon is a great town!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • graememacdgraememacd Posts: 386
    robu wrote:
    Cannot recommend pyreneescyclinglodge.com highly enough. Really superb. It's run by two cyclists (Irish and Scottish couple) and they do a great job. Very clean, comfortable rooms and excellent food. Everyone eats together, so you meet other cyclists (a couple of 1990s era Olympians and a current British track champion when I was there, as well as a bunch of fellow MAMILs). Great atmosphere.

    It's on the bottom part of the Col de Borderes climb, near Argeles-Gazost, so ideally situated. I stayed there for four days last July and in that time did Borderes/Soulor/Aubisque, Croix Blanche/Aspin/Horquette d'Ancizan/Tourmalet, Hautacam/Trammasel/Cauterets/Cambasque/Porte d'Espagne and Luz Ardiden. Fantastic riding.

    By a long stretch the best cycling holiday I've ever had in terms of both accommodation and the riding. I defy you not to love it. :D

    Another recommendation for the cycling lodge here. Spent 4 days there last September and the location was superb, the hosts were brilliant and the food amazing! I need to get back there soon
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 7,384
    Thanks all, I've got a (very) cheap room booked in Pierrefitte-Nestalas but will look at that cycling lodge if I'm feeling more flush.

    My ambition is to do Luz Ardiden, a big day with Tourmalet, Aspin, Hourquette and Croix Blanche, a day up Cirque du Troumouse and Gavarnie, then the route des lacs and then get on my way. Weather and fitness permitting.
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  • Just got back from 4 days in the Pyrenees and thanks to those who recommended Pyrenees Cycling Lodge - we had an outstanding time there - 5 star food and hospitality. Already planning a return trip, so another recommendation from me.

    Soulor from the north and on to the Aubisque is a proper bucket-list ride (although I did cook in the mid 30's temperatures!)

    Luz Ardiden and Hautacam were great because they're dead-end roads to ski stations, so hardly any cars. Was able to use the full width of the road to descend the top 4-5km of Luz Ardiden down the switchbacks

    Tourmalet was quite a boring climb (went up from Campan - looks even duller from the Luz side)
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,194
    Good to hear you had a good one, Pyrenees are fantastic! Favour them over the alps. Just got back from a family holiday stopping in Argeles Gazost, Bigorre and Luchon. Hoping we can go back next year now!

    Luz Ardiden is a beauty of a descent! Though the weather was terrible the day we did that and Hautacam.

    Tourmalet from Luz is one of my top 3 climbs.
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 9,842
    Luz Ardiden was my favourite in the Pyrenees too. That said my travels have proven that opinions are very much defined on the basis of weather. It was sunny and not too hot when I did that one.
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  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 7,384
    Thanks all, flying tomorrow morning, hopefully Luz Ardiden as a gentle intro tomorrow afternoon (!)
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  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,522
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Good to hear you had a good one, Pyrenees are fantastic! Favour them over the alps. Just got back from a family holiday stopping in Argeles Gazost, Bigorre and Luchon. Hoping we can go back next year now!

    Luz Ardiden is a beauty of a descent! Though the weather was terrible the day we did that and Hautacam.

    Tourmalet from Luz is one of my top 3 climbs.

    I loved the Tourmalet from Luz especially as it was on a special day for me. I took the Voie Laurent Fignon diversion after Bareges... beautiful.
    Loved Luz Ardiden the next day, both up and down.
    However, I also did Hautacam and I really never enjoyed it. Thought it was right swine and never got into any sort of rythm.
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  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 1,982
    dabber wrote:
    durhamwasp wrote:
    Good to hear you had a good one, Pyrenees are fantastic! Favour them over the alps. Just got back from a family holiday stopping in Argeles Gazost, Bigorre and Luchon. Hoping we can go back next year now!

    Luz Ardiden is a beauty of a descent! Though the weather was terrible the day we did that and Hautacam.

    Tourmalet from Luz is one of my top 3 climbs.

    I loved the Tourmalet from Luz especially as it was on a special day for me. I took the Voie Laurent Fignon diversion after Bareges... beautiful.
    Loved Luz Ardiden the next day, both up and down.
    However, I also did Hautacam and I really never enjoyed it. Thought it was right swine and never got into any sort of rythm.
    I didn't like Hautacam either. It was at the end of a hard day though!
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  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 7,384

    Tourmalet was quite a boring climb (went up from Campan - looks even duller from the Luz side)

    You're wrong.

    It's a bit dull on the campan side, not very interesting to start with, then you get to hideous la mongie. It's good above la mongie.

    But the Luz side is totally stunning from start to finish. A climb that lives up to its reputation. (On a good day like yesterday anyway!)
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  • Thanks for all the above reports -- I just returned from a 3 day hiking trip in that area, and picked up a cycling col map as inspiration. We drove up to the top of Aubisque -- the "proper" Aubisque doesn't look that crazy, but add in the 15k uphill approach and you've got a proper haul.

    (can really recommend the western Pyrenees for day hikes or hut-to-hut, too. We based ourselves in Arrans-Marsous. So easy to get to from Dax or Pau or the Lourdes airport)
  • I did the Aubisque on a day with low cloud so no views anywhere near the top, and even then it was a great climb. Went via Col des Borderes, which is a great way to approach it. A much nicer more scenic road than just going up the main Soulor road, but unfortunately an extra couple of km at 10%+.
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  • pS5YZZH.jpg

    And this is the Cirque de Troumouse which is very quiet, very beautiful and has some sections which are brutal. And has a cafe (pictured) about 3km from the top.
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