Cycling on the mythical route des cols in the Pyrenees

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EcolabelPyreneesCycling TourismNature and Outdoor ActivitiesMountainsSummer

© Adobe Stock - Goodluz
© © Adobe Stock - Goodluz

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 26 October 2023

Take up a new challenge: this summer, go to the Pyrenees to discover the mythical road of the passes by bike! Cirque de Gavarnie, lake of Génos-Loudenvielle, Pic du Midi... take the time to be amazed. After all, it's not about racing!

Day 1: Lake Génos-Loudenvielle

© Alain BASCHENIS - OT Vallée du Louron
© © Alain BASCHENIS - OT Vallée du Louron

For the first stop on your bike tour, choose the lake of Génos-Loudenvielle in the Louron Valley. Take a picnic by the water after a dip in the lake, or continue pedaling with a pedal boat tour! It is also possible to walk around the lake, thanks to the many small paths that surround it. Bring your camera and sunscreen! Otherwise, sit comfortably on the grass or on a bench to simply admire the panorama offered by the meeting of the mountain, the forests and the lake, in shades of beige, green and blue. It's breathtaking!

The Louron Valley

Day 2: Néouvielle National Nature Reserve with 70 lakes

© Shutterstock
© © Shutterstock

Make another stop in the heart of one of the first nature reserves created in France in 1936: the Néouvielle National Nature Reserve. It owes its reputation to the beauty of its 70 lakes and their crystal clear waters. Hikers, cyclists and nature lovers also come here to admire the granite ridges, the marmots and the immense and imposing massifs of hooked pines. Here, all the richness and beauty of the Pyrenean biodiversity is expressed.

The lakes of the Pyrenees

Day 3: Tourmalet pass

© Shutterstock
© © Shutterstock

It is impossible to go through the Pyrenees without stopping at the Tourmalet! This pass is one of the greatest symbols of the Tour de France, known throughout the world. It is 2 115 meters high and offers a panoramic view on the Bastan and Gripp valleys. Nestled at the foot of the Pic du Midi of Bigorre, which rises to 2,877 meters, this exceptional site dominates the Pyrenees. You can also take the cable car to visit the planetarium and the observatory which are installed there. Beware of sunburn!

Destination Tourmalet-Pic du Midi de Bigorre

Day 4: The Gavarnie cirque

© Shutterstock
© © Shutterstock

After the Tourmalet, you absolutely must stop at the Gavarnie cirque, located in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park. Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1997, for its cultural and natural wealth, this spectacular site is one of the largest glacial cirques in Europe. In addition to its snow-covered summits, the cirque de Gavarnie is famous for its large waterfall of more than 420 meters high. One crosses there many hikers, come to admire the nuances of the stone, the limestone and the plants, but also eagles and marmots. This place is a must-see in the Pyrenees, so give yourself a well-deserved break in your bike trip to contemplate it!

Le Cirque de Gavarnie

Day 5: Pyrenean Wildlife Park

© Parc Animalier des Pyrénées
© © Parc Animalier des Pyrénées

What better way to end your cycling trip than with a stop at the Pyrenees Wildlife Park? Located in Argelès-Gazost, it is home to more than 120 wild species, from bears to wolves, from vultures to otters, from prairie dogs to ibexes, from deer to parrots, not to mention the local mascot: the marmot. If you have always dreamed of getting close to the marmots, you can feed them alongside the caretakers, inside their enclosure. The park blew its 20 candles in 2019 and created, for the occasion, a new ecolodge in which visitors can stay. They will then have the chance to wake up in front of the little inhabitants of the park: paradise!

Pyrenees Wildlife Park)

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