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Well trained cyclists can try to follow the likes of Armstrong, Ullrich and Basso and climb the Tourmalet. You will not your progress by the signs each kilometer, showing the altitude, the number of kilometers to the top, and worse, the average grade for the next kilometer. Many cyclist take road each day from either side of the col. The Col is at 2114 meters, with a slendid panorama to both the east and west side. The nice restaurant allows you to eat and drink before your descent. There are more Tour memorabilia there then you will be able to see in one visit. When descending, don't try to go as fast as Indurain, cars are using the road too!


The restaurant at the top is also serving food in the winter, but only on ski's (or snowboard and some walking). The photo below was taken in the winter of 2003, to enter the restaurant you had to walk down to the entrance through a tunnel of snow.

If you are there during the Tour (usually mid July), you can follow the Tour from close by. Or you can join the thousands of amateurs that like to ride up the road while cheered by the enthusiastic crowd. On the day of the Tour the road is closed, the last part to the Tourmalet is even closed the night before. When the tour is going uphill from Barèges, you can take the chairlift at Super Barèges to near the Col du Tourmalet and find a spot on a 10% grade slope. When descending at the Barèges side, you can find a nice spot in the village, where they make a 90º turn at the entrance of the village.

Lots of merchandising before the riders come by make a spectacle by themselves.

Mountain bike

You can rent a mountain bike in Barèges and take a tour a long the slopes of the valley. You can start in the village and take the trail above the chalet to St Justin and back, or drive to Le Lienz. There are several tracks there, some which are also followed by horse riders. In winter time, these tracks are often used for cross country skiing.