Port d’Aula is one of the most beautiful roads of the Pyrenees
Port d’Aula is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.265m (7,431ft) above the sea level, located on the border of France and Spain.
Set high in the Pyrenees mountain range, the pass links the Ariège department in the region of Occitanie, in southwestern France with the Province of Lleida in the western part of the autonomous community of Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain. The road to the summit offers amazing views, especially over the Etang de Prat Matau and Etang d’Areau, two alpine lakes. On the Spanish side there’s not any road to the summit.
In France, the road to the summit is stunning. It’s totally unpaved. It’s called Route Forestiere du Port d’Aula. Built in the 1970s, it’s said to be one of the most beautiful roads in the Pyrenees. The drive is extremely challenging, very narrow (impassable for 2 cars at the same time) and with 43 hairpin turns. The last part of the road is closed to motorized private vehicles. Starting at Couflens, the road to the summit is very steep, hitting an 11% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The ascent is 17.8km (11.06 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.570 meters. The average gradient is 8.82%.