The Divisoria : 100 cols on the watershed, Atlantic Ocean / Mediterranean
This route takes in 100 (surfaced) road cols on and near the watershed (LPE) between Atlantic and Mediterranean in Spain.
Elevation: at least 25,000 m; distance: about 2,800 km.
Traced by Bernard “Biki” Pommel (Cent Cols n ° 3094).
Geolocation files (GPX or KMZ) are made available to registrants.
The Club des Cent Cols, founded in 1972 and affiliated to the French Federation of Cyclotouring, has prepared this “Randonnée Permanente” based on a simple theme: “One Hundred Cols”. The completion of these one hundred cols will allow you either to join the Club, or to progress with your list in the Club’s “Tableau d’Honneur”.
This randonnée has a vertical climb in proportion to the cols it climbs: more than 25,000 meters. The distance involved isn’t negligible either. It is only after more than 2,800 km that you will reach the finish line, an average of 28 km of riding per col. You will find 100 cols on the route: 60 on the LPE, 23 on the Atlantic side, 17 on the Mediterranean side. Two main variants are highly recommended in out and back rides, allowing the addition of 7 cols (including 3> 2000 m and 1> 3000 m) in 135 km. 53 additional out and back rides will add 65 cols (including 1> 2000 m) in 505 km. The route and its variants allow you to cross:• 172 cols (including 4> 2,000 m and 1> 3,000 m) in 3,358 km, and• All the road cols in Spain located on the LPE (87, except one which seems inaccessible to bikes).
The extent of the country covered by this ride doesn’t allow us to give an exhaustive list of places to stay. We therefore limit ourselves to providing the internet addresses of organizations offering accommodation or providing information on this subject, such as tourist offices, hotel groups, etc. This list of addresses is on the page Accommodation of the randonnée.
As in all the Randonnées Permanentes of the Club des Cent Cols, “La Divisoria” can be done without time limit and in as many trips as the participant wishes. However, winter can make some cols impassable even if their altitudes are not very high. The hot August weather can be difficult. The best seasons are spring and autumn.
The randonnée, which is offered from north to south (but which can be done in reverse), begins in Saint Jean Pied de Port and ends in Tarifa, the extreme tip of mainland Spain (and Europe). It is divided into 7 sections (see table below), each starting and ending at a relatively easy motorway access point (for those who would like to randonnée several times).
For each section, you will have to stamp your route map at two points; you must also have your card stamped at Saint Jean Pied de Port and Tarifa, for a total of 16 stamps obtained in 16 different localities.
Presentation of different sections
- Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – Legutiano (321 km, 12 cols, minimum altitude 120 m, maximum altitude 1056 m [Puerto de Ibañeta], 4,350 m of climbing). The departure is from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port for a very short section in France, and we take the Camino de Santiago to cross the first col of the randonnée, the Puerto de Ibañeta (Co de Roncevaux ) then the “Montes Vascos” which connect the Cantabrian Cordillera to the Pyrenees. We pass the Sierra de Aralar, then follow the Sierra de Urkilla to Legutiano (highway: Vitoria Gasteiz).
- . Legutiano – Reinosa(316 km, 18 cols, minimum altitude 130 m, maximum altitude 1200 m [Puerto de la Sía], 3900 m of climbing) We go around the Sierra de Gorbea from the north. The difficult Puerto de Orduña, then the very pretty Cantabrian cols, then a series of cols of the Magdalena lead us to the reservoir created by the Ebro dam and on to Reinosa (motorway).
- . Reinosa – Almarzas (near Soria) (379 km, 12 passes, minimum altitude 880 m, maximum altitude 1755 m [Puerto de Santa Inés], 3300 m of climbing) It would really be a shame not to do the variant Collado de la Fuente del Chivo, 1992 m, at the foot of Pico de los Tres Mares (Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Cantabrian Sea) and admire the source of the Ebro, before setting off again towards the south-east and the mountains of ” sistema iberico ”. A first long portion without cols leads us to the very flat Puerto del Paramo de Masa which, however, is a watershed. We bypass Burgos from the north, take a few kilometres of the Camino de Santiago in the opposite direction, and attack the Sierra de la Demanda then the Sierra de Urbión (which we cross by the rough Puerto de Santa Inés) before returning to the surroundings of Soria.
- . Almarzas (near Soria) – Cuenca (454 km, 20 cols, minimum altitude 910 m, maximum altitude 1,790 m [El Portillo], 3000 m of climbing) The route heads east towards the Sierra de Moncayo then turn off southwest, crossing often desert places. Not much relief, but the cols succeed one another before Medinaceli. The Puerto de Maranchón is then a last prize before a second long portion without cols (Molina de Aragón). Business resumes when we approach the Sierra de Albarracín through the pretty village of Bronchales. After crossing this mountain, the ride to the source of the Tagus and back, although optional, is a must! (Collado de Casa Carnero). After this, the crossing of the Serranía de Cuenca in total solitude, then Cuenca (do not miss the suspended houses …)
- . Cuenca – Vélez-Rubio (500 km, 9 cols, minimum altitude 722 m, maximum altitude 1600 m [Puerto del Pinar], 3100 m of climbing) Like the Knight of the Doleful Countenance, the col bagger will cross the Mancha into a very long section without relief or cols, although a watershed. This changes in Robledo with the Sierra de Alcaraz, then the Sierra de Segura. Finally the Puerto del Pinar takes us into Andalusia.
- . Vélez-Rubio – Estación de Salinas (409 km, 10 cols, minimum altitude 670 m, maximum altitude 2034 m [Los Chispones], 3,700 m of climbing) The Andalusian traverse begins with the Sierra de Baza, full of cols except unfortunately at the top, then continues by bypassing the Sierra Nevada. Bypassing yes, but two out and back variants are highly recommended: Puerto de la Ragua (2039 m) and especially Pico Veleta which, though it certainly requires a day, allows an extraordinary harvest of cols culminating with the Collado O Carihuela del Veleta (3229 m). After this magnificent ascent, Granada will be extra reward, which, like the Moor, we leave with a sigh. We then follow the Sierra de Alhama to Estación de Salinas.
- . Estación de Salinas – Tarifa (339 km, 19 cols, minimum altitude 0 m, maximum altitude 906 m [Puerto de Pedro Ruiz], 2,300 m of climbing) This second Andalusian part is not the least provided with cols, and with remarkable sites, foremost of which is Ronda; Ubrique then reveals its beauties, a last small massif is crossed before joining Algeciras by the Alcornocales natural park. Two small cols then take you to Tarifa and its Punta Marroquí, the end of the journey, where you will dream on seeing Africa.
- Puerto de Ibañeta
- Puerto de Belate
- Urdunako mendatea ou Puerto de Orduña
- Puerto de la Sía
- Collado de la Fuente del Chivo (variante)
- Puerto de la Pedraja
- Puerto de Santa Inés
- Puerto Orihuela
- Puerto del Pinar
- Puerto de la Ragua (variante)
- Collado de las Sabinas (variante)
- Collado O Carihuela del Veleta (variante)
- Puerto del Suspiro del Moro
- Puerto de Gáliz
BCN and BPF sites on the route
Since the entire route is outside France, this tour does not include any BCN / BPF site.
The Michelin maps at 1 :400 000° from series 571-578 are sufficient for this randonnée
Rules of the randonnées permanentes
Any participant in this 100 Col Route agrees to respect the rules governing it.
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