Charles Ripon Adt09 0009293 MdCharles Ripon Adt09 0009293 Md
©Charles Ripon Adt09 0009293 Md|Charles RIPON

Free to pedal in the Ariege Pyrenees

The Ariege Pyrenees are a land of bicycles. Here, there’s something for everyone: touring bikes, sport bikes, electric-assist bikes… Depending on the model you choose, you’ll need to be in varying degrees of physical condition, but you’re guaranteed to get away from it all thanks to the magnificent landscapes of the Ariege Pyrenees! And if you’ve forgotten your bike, you can always rent one from one of the stores in the area!

Land of bicycles

Mythical races

When we say “land of cycling“, we’re not just talking about words: to attest to this, we need only list the numerous passages of nationally and internationally renowned cycling races:

  • TheTour de France, with its high-altitude finishes on the Plateau de Beille and Plateau de Bonascre, and its crossings of the Col de Pailhères, Col de Port and Port de l’Hers
  • La Ronde de l’Isard, an international race for young people under 23, with a finish at the Goulier-neige resort.
  • And last but not least, created in 1995, the cyclosportive “l’Ariégeoise “, now ranked among the top 5 cyclosportives in France. To take part in the Ariégeoise is to ride on the roads of the Tour de France and climb the passes that have made the history of modern cycling!

The cornice road

Let's get started!

No mountain pass today, but a leg-breaking outing: the Route des Corniches!

This beautiful road, perched at an altitude of 1000 m, reveals its typical mountain villages, its Romanesque churches, and a sumptuous panorama of the Pyrenees. We decided to take a break in Lordat, partly for the beautiful view of its castle, but also… because there’s a fountain there!

That’s right, the cyclist drinks regularly, in small sips… so he knows perfectly well where there’s drinking water (fountains, cemeteries…), to fill up his cans.

From collar to collar

Just for the view

We continue towards the Col de Marmare, where the road narrows and offers long, shady stretches… and then reaches the Col du Chioula, where we decide to stop and enjoy the breathtaking view before us.

Descent to Ax-les-Thermes

Cyclist's rest

Then it’s downhill to Ax-les-Thermes, and here we are on our machines, playing with the brakes and looking for the best curve… In Ax-les-Thermes, a stop at the bistro awaits us all (and it’s sacred!), over half a glass for most of us… before heading back to the starting point and our cars!

Taking on the passes

Just for fun

I like these outings that alternate climbs and descents, but what I prefer is when the slope rises for many kilometers. Mountain passes, you might say! And in the Ariege Pyrenees, we’re spoiled for choice.

So, it’s all set, get your gear and let’s get rolling?

Ariège's little extras
The Ariege Pyrenees, your oxygen bubble!

Looking for unspoilt nature, the great outdoors and white water?
In winter, ski, snowboard, skating, snowshoeing, sledging, dog sledding, at Ax 3 Domaines, Beille, Ascou and le Chioula, Mijanés and Goulier...

In summer, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding or canyoning...

And all year round, enjoy the benefits of the thermal waters at Ax-les-Thermes, Ussat-les-Bains or the Bains du Couloubret.
And don't miss the Grotte de Niaux and the Parc de la Préhistoire.

Not forgetting the history of our mountains and their heritage, pastoralism and local produce!

Book your next mountain vacation!