A road to ride before you die!
It goes no where - just up the mountain and stops!
However, it is one of the most exciting rides I have ever made - I touched my boots twice on a 1200GS, the second time I knew it was coming and lifted it - but it touched anyway.
Incredibly fast, incredibly twisty - there is some tourist traffic but even in mod august it was light enough to get round. The mountain was above the snow line but warm - the google map does not look right - just take the 923 from Gavarnie and ride till it stops.
I cant believe that this road is not on already - maybe it is under another guise.
Its where I take customers who want a little help with riding seriously twisty mountain roads before they set off.
I have only seen one group of foreign riders on it (GB) so maybe it is a secret - well worth riding.
One of the best roads I have ever ridden. Great road surface, great corners, no traffic at all and spectacular scenery. What else can a biker ask for?
This route runs from Vielha on the N230 in the Spanish
Pyrenees to Bagneres De Luchon on the French side and
takes in the Col Du Portillon.
Three of the attached photos are of the N230 between Vielha and Bossst.
It's a nice road in interesting surroundings but has it's fair share of traffic so chill out and go with the flow.
At Bossòst we took a left onto the N141 aka the Col Du Portillon. It's a nice route which had some fresh tarmac when we visited with plenty of variety. It is frequented by cyclists, some of whom must have taken up riding when God was a boy. I swear one lady was well into her nineties!
The road climbs nicely towards France and this is evident by the greenery that surrounds you. There are a few nice hairpins on the way up to the summit which is about 1300 metres, and there's a few nice ones on the way down too. There are also some nice sweepers thrown in for good measure. When you get to the top you cross the border into France which consists of two graffiti strewn pillars and a line painted across the road, which now becomes the D618a. Stop for the obligatory photo shoot at the waterfall on the French side and then drop into the town of Bagneres De Luchon - see my last 2 pics.
We stayed at the Panoramic Hotel which was very comfortable for the price, and biker friendly to boot. Plenty of restaurants to choose from in the town, but it's now you realise that the French side of the mountains is much pricier than the Spanish side. Over 2 euros for a thimble of lager compared to a euro for a whole pint in Spain. And buy your ciggies in Spain too! That's about it then, not a bad route overall but nothing you'd be desperate to return to. As usual, not the best pics but I hope you enjoy them anyway.
Assuming you are coming from France - you will probably com via D117/N20. When you hit Hospitalet-Pres-L'Andorre you will turn onto the N22. Somewhere about here look to take a break and do what ever you do to prepare. This is a seriously twisty road - and a fairly fast one - most of the hairpins you can safely take between 60 and 80 KPH but there a quite a few tighter slower ones - the good news is you will evenly wear every surface of your tires - the bad news is some of the corners merit 'back brake dragging' and that's going upwards! Low season (the Pics are from April 19th 2007) the roads are clear of tourists - so we only had about 5KM when people got in the way. The rest of it is indescribably brilliant! We did our base (Montrejeau) to Andorra and back in a day - 480 KM 8-9 hours ride time - every KM briliant! took the Fazer but the MT03 or the ER6 would be better. The route (all here) is D618/N117 and this final bit N22, CG2 CG3) if you're down here - treat yourself! Don't forget to look at the Pics!