From Tarascon, you go east towards the Montségur and Croix des Morts passes. The crossing of the Plateau de Sault and the gorges of the Aude will be the relaxation part before climbing on the "roof" of the Ariège passes: the Port of Pailhères at 2001m. Then follows the ascent of the Col du Chioula, rewarded by the balcony overlooking the Ariège valley and the descent to Verdun (caution in the switchbacks). The circuit ends with a 16 km climb including passages at 11% and an arrival at the Plateau de Beille at 1800m, the Mecca of cycling champions.

Please note L'Ariégeoise XXL is a very demanding course reserved for perfectly trained cyclists (4000km of preparation) who are aware of the demands represented by such a series of high mountain passes.

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Location

Ariège Pyrenees

South of Ariège, on the border with Andorra, are the Ariège Pyrenees. Between mountainous landscapes and activities, there are many [...]

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Your itinerary

Map List

1 - From Tarascon-sur-Ariège to the Montségur pass

Leaving from the Tarascon-sur-Ariège Tourist Office, catch up with Avenue Victor Pilhès D618. Pass Mercus Garrabet, arrive at the Saint Antoine roundabout, la charmille, first right towards D117 Lavelanet, pass Saint Paul de Jarrat, Celles, Nalzen. At the veterinary clinic turn right D509 direction Montségur. Pass Villeneuve d'Olmes, direction Montferrier D9. Climb to the Col de Montségur, descend to the village.

2 - From Montségur to Espezel

Continue to Bélesta via Fougax and Barrineuf D9. After the intermittent Fontestorbe fountain and the lemonade, pay attention to the junction, turn right on the D16 towards Belcaire / Querigut Mijanes. Climb through the forest, pass the cross of the dead. Arrive in the Aude department D29. Pass the Bénagues. Continue to the sawmill inn, turn left on the D613 towards Espezel. Drive, turn right D29 Espezel / Belfort. Enter the village of Espezel.

3 - From Espezel to Rouze

Cross Espezel at the stop sign in the village, go straight ahead, still on the D29. At the give way go straight on D29 towards Mazuby. Go down into the forest to reach a junction, turn right D107 towards Aunat. Continue on the 107 to turn left, go up on the D20 to Rodome, then Aunat. Stay on the D20 to Bessède de Sault. At the fork, turn right towards Gesse. Go down in the bends, at the fork, turn right towards Quérigut / Mijanes D118. Stay on the D118, pass the old Usson baths. Turn right on D16 towards Rouze. Begin the ascent to reach Rouze.

4 - From Rouze to Col de Pailhères and then Col du Chioula

On leaving Rouze, turn right onto the D116 towards Mijanès. On leaving Mijanès turn right on the D25 col de Pailhères / Mijanès. Ascent of the pass then descent. Pass Ascou station then the village. After Ascou turn right towards Ignaux D613 the Chioula pass. Leave Ignaux and Sorgeat to climb to the pass.

5 - From the chioula pass to the Marmare pass, the corniches road then the Beille plateau.

From the chioula pass, descend to the Marmare pass then turn left on the D20 towards Caussou / route des corniches. Continue on the D20 pass Bestiac, Lordat, Axiat, Appy, Caychax. After Senconac turn left before going down on the D120 to reach Verdun and Les Cabannes. Arrive at Les Cabannes, take the direction of Plateau de Beille by the D522.

6 - Beille platter - Arrival

You have arrived at the Beille plateau! Enjoy the view 😉