Loudenvielle is shining a light on the mountain bike world stage, hosting both EDR (EWS) and Downhill World Cups in 2023, Loudenvielle is set to become a must-visit mountain bike holiday destination for years to come. A picturesque, tiny mountain town nestled at the end of a stunning valley in the Pyrenees, Loudenvielle is in the very centre of some of the best riding in France.
An incredibly forward-thinking resort, with the riding spread over 2 hillsides. One is serviced by a fast, modern gondola and chairlift, and the other is supplemented by a shuttle bus system. The riding is varied but best described as gravity-focused and technical, the majority of runs having at least something steep in them meaning Loudenvielle is best suited to an intermediate and above rider.
Peyragudes Bike Park / Skyvall
The bike park in Loudenvielle is well built and has plenty of variety and to generalise it's best suited to an enduro or light DH / Freeride bike with it's natural lines and minimal jumps. It's spread across a large section of one of the hillsides (more on the other side later) and serviced by the Skyvall gondola, fast, modern and easy to access, many of the trails finish at the base of the lift. Whisking riders up to the Peyragudes station above Loudenvielle, this is the midpoint of the bike park.
From here there is one more chairlift, though not open every day, that allows access to the very top of the mountain and the full Candy flow trail and Privilege EWS track. Candy is also accessible from the mid station so even if the chairlift is not running you will find plenty of flow trail to warm up on.
Flow for days, smiles for miles
The pick of tracks in Loudenvielle
The pick of tracks here would have to be Six Pack and the Urge Line, though there is fun to be had all over the mountain, with plenty of links and alternative options to keep everything feeling fresh and new run after run. The Urge Line even has live timing via an app, an awesome feature to keep you coming back for more to try and beat your record or even set a top time against some locals or pros.
The riding on this side of the mountain is varied but the overall feeling is quite natural. There are berms, table tops and jumps but you will see most of this machine work on the green and blue runs. The reds and blacks may have berms in certain spots but the trails themselves are cut in and graded, then left to expose rocks and roots with maintenance applied where needed to avoid braking bumps. The World Cup downhill track, open to the public may start flowing and smooth, but it definitely gets steep and technical enough that there is no doubting that!
The official bike park
The official bike park is not only on the Peyragudes side of the resort however, some of the very best riding is found with access to a shuttle van, which the resort can provide for a very reasonable €35 per person (2023 pricing) for the day. Here you'll find 4 of the finest trails in Loudenvielle, Tourtere, Kern, Dolmen and the incredible Nabias.
This is known as the Val Louron Zone and though the trails here are official it's far less about the bike park and more about long, natural, steep and a really challenging mix of technical and flow. Tourtere and Kern a very similar in style and you could easily compare them side by side, with fun, flowing and lulling into a false sense of security before getting steep.
Nabias is a seemingly never-ending alpine gem, with turn after turn with scattered doses of rock and some steep sections.
Dolmen is as black as trails come, very steep and technical. None of these trails could be considered easy but they do bring a smile to your face. Nabias may be one of the finest trails in the area, a bit of a climb from the shuttle drop-off, but the views and descent are worth every pedal stroke.
Loudenvielle 2023 UCI DH World Cup
At a track universally loved by riders for its wide taping and lots of line choices across the off-camber, steep, technical sections, the UCI Downhill World Cup at Loudenvielle was a fantastic race to watch. In the men's, Loic Bruni held off Laurie Greenland & Jackson Goldstone of the Syndicate, after fellow Frenchmen Thibaut Dapréla and Benoît Coulanges crashed in their Finals run. In the women's, Vali Höll topped the podium, ahead of Nina Hoffmann and Marine Cabirou.
Loudenvielle is a small town, a village really
Loudenvielle is a small town, a village really. There is a hotel of note, the fantastic 4 star Mercure Peryagudes, fully equipped and set up for mountain bike holidays and despite the quality of the establishment they are very welcoming to riders come rain or shine.
In the very centre of town, with its own spa facilities, hammam, sauna, hot tub and plunge pool it's a perfect and comfortable base for a mountain bike holiday in Loudenvielle, or as a stopping point mid-tour for our High Pyrenees Heli Bike Tour
Loudenvielle Key Facts
Peyragudes / Skyvall Zone
With 2 green, 4 blue, 3 red and 3 black trails there is plenty of variety accessed from the Skyvall Gondola The riding is excellent and while not suited to beginners beyond the green and blue runs, it's a brilliant zone for intermediate to expert riders across all the graded trails to have some fun and expand their skill set.
Val Louron Zone
An intermediate + to expert zone, all of the trails here have at least some steep, technical challenges to navigate. The riding is incredible, as are the views and the feeling of the Pyrenees mountains surrounding you.
Chairlift and Uplift Information
- The Skyvall Gondola is open daily from 6th July - 27th August daily and for weekends throughout May, June and September
- The Privilege Chairlift is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 6th July - 2nd September.
- A day pass for the Skyvall Gondola in Loudenvielle is €31
- A shuttle day in Loudenvielle costs €35 per person excluding a guide
Guiding and Coaching
A guide in Loudenvielle will cost from €180 for a half and from €300 for a full day
Toulouse is the closest airport, approximately 2 hours from Loudenvielle. A transfer will cost between €250 and €400 for a full van including bike carriage, each way
Loudenvielle is 11.5 hours drive from Calais, costing €72 in tolls
Loudenvielle Mountain Bike Trails
The Balnea Thermal Spa is a real draw card to Loudenvielle
The Balnea Thermal Spa is a real draw card to Loudenvielle. Open all summer it's easily one of the best ways to chill and unwind after a day on the hill, it's not just for the ladies! With multiple pools, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzi and icy cold plunge pools it's a 10 out of 10 facility.
With pricing from €20 per session for an adult it's a welcome addition to your trip.
Loudenvielle also benefits from a professional gym and sports development complex. Maybe this is the last thing you're looking for on a bike holiday but gains never sleep, and if you're looking to head to Loudenvielle for some training this a great addition to the resort.
Why Visit Loudenvielle
We have ridden in Loudenvielle multiple times on our research of our High Pyrenees Tour and found the town and riding too good not to share as an individual destination. For the gravity-oriented rider of intermediate or above level, there is so much quality riding on offer.
From it's Enduro World Series trails accessed by shuttle or the lift-accessed bike park and trails such as Six Pack, Urge Line or the Coupe du Monde, Loudenvielle has a serious amount of riding to take on. While there is not quite enough to spend a week here without repeating it's no bad thing to have the time to master the trails here.
There is also the option of spending an uplift day with a guide from Louron Bike & Trail to make the most of the riding around the valley and of this incredible part of the Pyrenees, including the historical town of Luchon and it's awesome local trails.
Post riding, Loudenvielle has some brilliant facilities including 2 pump tracks, a Thermal Spa and fully equipped Gym, it's stunning open lake is a great spot for a post-ride hang out. It's relaxing village with the vibe of being in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a valley and secluded from the world.