Puerto de Somport or Col du Somport is a mountain pass between France and Spain located in the Pyrenees. Its name originates from "summus portus" (high gate in Latin). There is a border control at the summit of the pass at 1,640 m (5,380 ft) above sea level. Puerto de Somport has been featured in the famous Tour de France bicycle race. In Canfranc-Estación on the Spanish side, the road splits into the over-pass route and the tunnel. The asphalted road over the pass is numbered N330a. You can cross Somport Pass all year round thanks to the Somport Tunnel of 8.6-km (5.3-mi) length along E-7 Spanish road (N134 on the French side) built in 2003.
If you start your ascent from the French side in Accous, the ride is 28 km (17 mi), with the elevation gain of 1,202 m (3,944 ft) and 4.3 % gradient. When going from the Spanish town of Jaca, the ascent is also 28 km (17 mi), but with a smaller elevation gain (822 m or 2,697 ft) and less steep gradient (2.9 %).
In winter visitors are attracted to the pass by a 35-km cross-country ski trail that goes around Somport through both Spanish and French territory. It also features the Candanchú, a popular Spanish ski resort.
Puerto de Somport is one of the most ancient routes in the Pyrenees. Romans built the first road here. It was later used by pilgrims walking to the tomb of St. James from Arles to Santiago de Compostela. If you are interested in the history of Somport, visit nearby Fort du Portalet built in the Aspe Valley in 1870 to protect the border in the Pyrenees.
When is the best time to visit Puerto de Somport for a cycling trip?
Visiting Puerto de Somport for a cycling trip during mid-June to mid-October is recommended, as it offers favorable temperatures and attracts more visitors. The fall season, however, is also breathtaking as the surrounding flora undergoes a beautiful change of colors. Show more
Where can I find a cross-country ski trail around Somport during winter?
Somport has a 35-km cross-country ski trail, open during winter, which spans Spanish and French territories. The Somport-Passy Nordic Domain can be accessed from the nearby resorts of Somport, Astun, and Candanchu resorts by car. The Pyrenees region near Somport hosts several winter sports activities. Show more
What is the significance of the Somport Pass in the history of the Pyrenees?
Somport has been a significant communication route through the Pyrenees since the Roman epoch. Pilgrims also traverse the pass, as they trek from Arles to Santiago de Compostela. The 2003-built Somport Tunnel serves as a safer and smooth transit via the pass, replacing the original Roman-built path. Show more
How long does it take to cross the Somport Tunnel, and what should I expect along the way?
The 8.6 km Somport Tunnel has a driving time of approximately 10-15 minutes and offers an incredible view of the surrounding mountains in the Pyrenees region. The road leading to the tunnel has stunning views of forests, narrow roads, and steep hills. Show more
Where can I find accommodation in Canfranc-Estación for a multi-day stay in Puerto de Somport?
Accommodations like Velvet Huesca and Hotel Santa Cristina in Canfranc-Estación have cozy rooms, welcoming staff, necessary facilities. Hotel Tobazo is located within Candanchú ski resort, and the Somport camping area offers a more natural setting for visitors. Show more