Let me introduce you all to a great cycling trip in the Catalan Pyrenees. The idea comes from a local club in a little french village near the coast named Bompas. It includes the eastern part of the Pyrenees, getting to the Mediterranean sea. In fact, the trip includes an amazing coastal road in the Spanish-french border, and then a stunning climb to the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery overviewing the coast.
It is 676 km long and includes all 3 Catalan-speaking countries: Spain, France, and Andorra.
The route includes many important climbs in the area such as Coll d’Ares, La Quillane, Puymorens, Envalira, Collada de Toses, or Monestir de Sant Pere de Rodes. The highest point is Coll d’Envalira, at 2407 mts height, in fact, the highest pass in the whole Pyrenees range of mountains. The total elevation of the trip is over 9700 mts.
Possible start at Ripoll, we climb Coll d’Ares then to Prats de Mollo, towards Pertús, La Jonquera to Roses and then heading north to France until Collioure and Bompàs (home of the club who suggested the tour). Then to Rivesaltes, Sournia, Prades, Sant Miquel de Cuixa, Sant Marti del Canigo, Vilafranca de Conflent. Climb to Coll de la Quillane. Mont Louis, Llac de las Bouillouses. then you have to climb to Puymorens and Port d’Envalira. Descent to Andorra and back to Catalonia then Collada de Toses and back to Ripoll.
Nevertheless, there is also some additional climb that should be mentioned and included if you have time enough on a trip like this. Let me suggest one of my favorite climbs in the whole Pyrenees, which is Port de Pailheres.
When to do the trip
This trip is possible in summer, and also late spring or early autumn. It is also possible to do this (or a similar) trip even in winter, just avoiding the highest climbs, and staying closer to the coast. A sample tour would be closing the loop at Puigcerdà. for instance.
The trip is not just about the climbing and the hard cycling, it is also about enjoying amazing places as Sant Martí del Canigó (picture aside), a fantastic abbey on top of a peak, and also some nice examples of Catalan Romanic art, such as Sant Miquel de Cuixa. Other highlights of the tour are nature related, such as Lac des Bouillouses, in the french Cerdanya.
Here you can see all the details of this route if you would like to ride it! And do not forget that we can adapt the route to your needs in case you need a little shorter route or just a little easier! In any case, we can provide a fully supported trip (with our van transporting luggage and supporting in case of any issue) and we can also provide all the hotels, so you can focus on just the cycling.
The experience of cycling the Catalan Pyrenees is also about the quality of the roads, the hotels, and the amazing food. All in all a big trip, no doubt!