very hard


Distance: 132km   Unevenness: 3730m


Tours through the best of the Basque Pyrenees.
Routes in which you will find variety of habitats from the high mountains in central ports to the humanized terrain of the low plains.

Tres fotos fijas

Artzaiak... Shepherds... it is a simple recognition, homage would be saying much, to this social group which during thousands of years has been interacting with the environment, creating the landscape we now see. Past and present, be taken into account, as for bikers (who is those to whom these routes are directed), this present can materialize in form of a white Citroen C15 followed by a dog (sheepdog, of course) suddenly emerging in any travel curve. For all that, Artzaiak (which means shepherds in basque).

We have included under the name of Artzaiak a series of routes that are developed in the same geographic space and that in a nutshell are modifications of the same idea so in this way it is possible to choose the difficulty of each different route.
For a better understanding of the possibilities, we have used the diagram of clothing sizes that more or less everyone understands; S, M, L and XL.
In general, the aim is to go over the Arbailles massif, which we will ascend by Ahüski, and the northern slopes of the Irati forest where we will place ourselves either ascending by Burdinkurutzeta or Artaburu. The closing will be through the ramps that touring the Valley of Sainte Engrace will end up leading us to Arette by Issarbe.


Itinerarie: Arette D918 - Tardets-Sorholus D247 - Altzai D117 - Otsolatze - D417 - Bastida D18 - Irati Cize D19 - Bagargi - Larrau (village) D26 - D113 - Sainte Engrace - Suscousse D632 - Issarbe - Barlanes - D918 Arette

Route on Wikiloc map

If you want to see the route on wikiloc website click on the green icon on the map.

Multimedia and/or description of the route

Alrededores de Arette. El campo base perfecto para practicar cicloturismo en el Pirineo Atlántico.

El pelotón desciende el puerto de Inharpu/Ahuski hacia Altzai -Vuelta a España 2016-

Zonas pastoriles con largos tramos tendidos en lo alto del macizo de los Arbailles, Ahuski.

Los favoritos coronando Inharpu / Ahuski por la vertiente que a nosotros nos toca descender. -Vuelta a España 2016-

No se sabe bien porque los organizadores eligieron el nombre de Inharpu para este puerto. Habitualmente se le conoce como Ahuski. -Vuelta a España 2016-
Altimetría APM Ahuski por Bastide. (por donde subio el pelotón)

COL de Burdinkurutzeta 1135m, una dura ascensión de 9 kilómetros con muchos tramos por encima del 10%. Al fondo el macizo de los Arbailles por el que hemos ciclado en el puerto anterior.

Irati-Cize, en el corazón de La Selva de Irati. Continuamos hacia Bagargi.

Selva de Irati en todo su esplendor. -Irati Extrem 2013-

Pueblo de Larrau, vamos buscando el exigente Issarbe por St Engrace.

Issarbe por St Engrace. Duros tramos al 13 y 14%. -Cicloturista Pax Avant 2013-

Issarbe por St Engrace. Zona media del puerto, muy exigente si hace calor. -Cicloturista Pax Avant 2013-

Issarbe por St Engrace. ¡En grupeta se va mejor! -Cicloturista Pax Avant 2013-

Issarbe por St Engrace. Nos acercamos ya al cruce de Suscousse donde abandonamos la carretera que continua hacia La Pierre de St Martín.-Cicloturista Pax Avant 2013-

COL de Issarbe, nos tiramos hacia Barlanes -Cicloturista Pax Avant 2013-

Criteria of graduation of the routes

We are where we are, in the Atlantic Pyrenees, with a plain to the North with localities at very low altitude and ports that are close to the 2000m range.
The southern slope is more "human", towns are in a higher altitude and the slopes are not so important.
The vast majority of the routes cover the ports of the "greats": Issarbe, La Piedra de St Martin, Laberouat, Bagargi, Artaburu, Arnostegi, Ahuski, Larrau...with slopes ranging between 1000 and 1700 meters. Some routes ascent one of these ports, others 2 or 3 and even more.
We anticipated this so the criteria are clear for each 6 levels that we have chosen for the ranking of the routes.

  1. Walks or family routes: Routes with light slopes and little travel. Suitable for untrained family groups or for people who usually don't use the bike.
  2. Easy: Routes with a slope that can reach 1000 meters but facing none of the large ports.
    The distance will range between 40 and 60 kilometers.
  3. Moderate: Routes with one of the "great" ports or a combination of similar difficulty. The slopes can be really important and slopes can range between 1000 and 2000 meters.
    An example of "moderate" is the Artzaiak S stage through Bagargi. The port is tough, but it is the only major difficulty of the day, i.e. we have the whole day for this task, that’s why we left it in "moderate"..
    The distance will vary between 60 and 100 kilometers.
  4. Hard: Routes with a slope ranging around 2500 meters. There may have to ascend 2 ports of the "greats" or one and several of the "minor".
    The distance will vary between 90 and 130 kilometers. An example of how difficult it can be, will be the short route of the well-known Larra-Larrau.
  5. Very hard: Routes ranging from the 2500 and 4000 meters of altitude. Sometimes there may have to ascend the 3 ports of the '' greats ''. The distance will exceed the 100 kilometers and may reach the 200.
    The long route of Larra-Larrau is one of the exponents of how difficult this route is.
  6. Challenge: In these times there is a public that demands "more" yet. To them arises the concept of "challenge": stages of more than a day in "non-stop" mode, 4500-5000 or even more meters of altitude routes, individual or group time trial with 3000 meters of altitude and over 100 kilometers of route.
    Finally, a variety of what riders would usually call "nonsense" which to be more elegant, here we call it, 'Challenges'.
Tracks download

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Altimetrys of ports in other web sites
foto de pie de pagina: bosque
pie de pagina: bosque