Cycling in the Ariege
We believe cycling in the Ariege is one of the best cycling experiences in France! And its one of the best kept secrets! The area covers 4889sq km in total, 40% of which is designated as national park and 50% mountains. With 3000km of municipal roads, we not only have 7 Tour de France Cols within reach of the B&B but have the flatter Cathar country to the north of Foix. It’s one of the least populated areas of France. Much of its countryside being dedicated to agriculture, the roads are therefore amazingly quiet compared to other parts of the Pyrenees and Alps.
Living in and biking the Ariege we have a good knowledge of the area and pass this on to you through our routes enabling you to get the most out of what this region has to offer. Our cycling will take you along beautiful quiet back roads, spectacular landscapes, through sleepy medieval villages or towns with the odd Cathar castle thrown in for good measure.
Bespoke routes for you – when contacting us let us know a little about you – ability, fitness etc, we will then have a good idea of the length of ride and terrain. The ride of the day is usually discussed either the night before or over breakfast. Its not set in stone and obviously can be changed according to how the legs are feeling. Most of our guests find that a mix of terrain is good – a day out in the mountains followed by a day out in the undulating terrain.
Throughout your stay with us we are on hand, and are happy to do a pick up back to the B&B if required.
If you’re not looking to ride the whole day we have a variety of routes which will take up to 2/4 hours – let us know.
A Taster of our Routes
Approx 119km 1291m – 6 to 7 hours
Easing you in to the Pyrenees. A ride taking you out of the mountains and heading towards the flatter Cather countryside. Stopping off for lunch in the beautiful historic ville de Fanjeaux after which continuing on through to Camon, a small fortified medieval village famed for its roses. Then heading back to Foix travelling through rolling countryside with the Pyrenees as your backdrop.
Approx 108km – 2600m
A short distance you may think but packed with climbs descents and some fantastic scenery. TDF Col de Peguere starts on the edge of Foix. The Col de Marrous leads to the Peguere totaling approx. 22km of climbing, albeit gentle. Fantastic descent down into Biert and the quaint ancient town of Massat where we will stop off for a lunch break. You will then be ready to ascend the TDF Col de Port, a beautiful climb, followed by the rewarding downhill into Tarascon. From there steady flat ride into Foix and back to base camp Loubieres
Approx 140km 2700m
Another quiet route, running parallel to the main valley road to Ax Les Thermes you will have a birdseye view. This route takes a steady climb from Bompass passing through typical pyrenean villages up to the Col de Chioula and its ski station. There is still a little more climbing to do as we head towards Belesta and then to the famous last Cathar stronghold of Chateau Montsegur – now a ruined castle. From there head towards Foix for a well earned beer before base. A long day but well worth it.
All routes can be downloaded. We also provide the paper version too!
TDF Cols in the Ariege
- Col de Peguere elevation 1375m total ascent 9.8km TDF 2012
- Port de Lers elevation 1517 ascent 11.5/16.6km TDF 2012/2015
- Col de Port elevation 1250m ascent 17km TDF numerous/2015
- Col d’Agnes elevation 1570 ascent 10.2km TDF 2011
- Plateau deBeille – elevation 1790m ascent 15km TDF 2011 & 2015
- Guzet Niege – elevation 1010m ascent 23km TDF 1995
- Col de Pailheres – elevation 2001 ascent 18.6km TDF various/2013
- Col de Chioula – elevation 1470m, ascent 9.7k TDF from 1955 to 2001
- Col de Montsegur elevation 566m, ascent 15km TDF 2019
- Prat d’Albis ascent 1211m with an ascent of 11.8km TDF 201
Incorporate a trip to the Haute Pyrenees – an early start, where you will experience a couple of the iconic TDF cols Tourmalet, Hautecam, Soulor, Aubisque. A fantastic day out, you will notice the change in scenery, whilst climbing the legendary cols of the area. Please enquire (there will be an extra charge)