SR Garbure et Piperade

SR Garbure et Piperade visits the Western Pyrénées, crossing the Franco-Spanish border 4 times. It uses many small roads with dreadful percentages. Low gears (mountain bike gears) are strongly recommended. The route offers a wide variety of scenery.

The start place is Oloron-Sainte-Marie, which has an oceanic climate, with mild and humid winters and moderately warm summers. Oloron railway station is served by TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine, who operate several trains per day to Pau.

As described by the route designer, Pierre Gadiou: “Straddling the Franco-Spanish border, this route visits Béarn, Aragon, Navarre and Soule. It allows you to climb about fifteen passes among the most beautiful and difficult of the Western Pyrénées. Marie Blanque - remarkable views over the Ossau valley and the limestone massif of Eaux Bonnes - pastoral atmosphere of plateau du Benou. Ichère, a small, rather rough pass connecting the valley of Aspe to the valley of Baretous. Hourataté - small road lost in the forest of Issaux, one of the last refuges for Béarn bears - almost scary atmosphere. Somport pass, a traditional passage between France and Aragon (Spain), dominated by beautiful summits of red rock - symbol of ecological resistance since the construction of the tunnel. Oroel - amazing change of scenery - Mediterranean landscape and vegetation. Sublime Romanesque monastery of San Juan de la Peña, built in an impressive conglomerate cliff. Zuriza - wild climb in the Hecho valley. La Pierre-Saint-Martin - phantasmagoric mineral landscape in the karst of Lara. Issarbe - steep slopes and remarkable viewpoint on the limestone pyramid of Pic d'Anie. Larrau - one of the Pyrenean giants - steep slope - remarkable landscape dominated by the peak of Orhy (first 2000 from the ocean). Arnostéguy by Hounto, taking the traditional route of the pilgrims of Compostela between France and Navarre, and Errozaté by the sources of the Nive - two exceptional passes by their difficulty (passages at more than 20% gradient) and their atmosphere on improbable roads between heaven and earth, in the midst of griffon vultures and free pottoks. Burdincurutcheta - not a problem by this slope - splendid landscape in the downhill. Ahusquy - again steep slopes in a wild setting - a true hymn to nature”. The route opened in 2013.

Garbure is a traditional dish in the Béarn, and Piperade a typical Basque dish. Both represent the visited areas. When you have eaten each of both, you are no longer hungry.

Spanish riders are allowed to start from a location in Spain.

Road Information

In Spain, the law requires cyclists to wear a helmet.

Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64)

Aragon (Province of Huesca)

Parque Natural de Los Valles Occidentales (local information - Ansó, Hecho, Zuriza)


List of rallies (in France)


Géoportail (topographic maps of France by IGN, Institut Géographique National)

Topographic maps of France by IGN can also be viewed on Openrunner (a service requiring a subscription of 13 euros per year)

Viamichelin (Michelin maps of France)

Iberpix (topographic maps of Spain by IGN, Instituto Geográfico Nacional)

Topographic maps of Spain by IGN are also viewable on Openrunner (5 euros per year or 3 euros per month)

Landscapes of the SR Garbure et Piperade