Driving the wild Port de Cabús in the Pyrenees
Port de Cabús is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.308m (7,572ft) above the sea level, located on the Andorran-Spanish border. It's one of the highest roads of the country.
Where is Port de Cabús?
Set high in the Pyrenees mountain range, the pass, also known as Coll de Cabús, links the Pallars Sobirà comarca in the Province of Lleida in the western part of the autonomous community of Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain with La Massana, one of the seven parishes of the Principality of Andorra in the northwest of the country. At the summit is a big parking lot. There are no border controls on the pass. The pass was historically significant as it was an important smuggling route into and out of Spain. In winter, road traffic is prohibited (while there is snow on the tracks): recommended to do this route between June and October.
On the Andorran side, the road to the summit is totally paved. It’s called CG4. At this elevation it’s one of the highest paved roads of Europe. The road is 17.8 km (11.06 miles) long starting from La Massana, the main town of the parish. The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 9% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The last 2 -3 kilometers of the road whilst paved will have no safety barriers, the cliffs are rocky and the drops are significant. If you have any doubts in your car or your own ability to drive up here then don’t.
On the Spanish side, the road is totally unpaved. It’s called Carretera de Tor. It’s a very challenging drive with rough parts. A 4x4 vehicle is recommended. The road is 7.5 km (4.66 miles) via 9 sharp hairpin turns starting from Tor. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 12% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Road traffic is strictly regulated within this natural setting and no unauthorized convoys of more than 4 vehicles are permitted.
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