I used this route on my way to Spain and Portugal in July 2012. Nice route ! Once you passed the Col du Pourtalet (direction Spain), the road kind of opens up, with some nice sceneries.
One of my favourites. Ridden it many times and never tire of it. Stay over at Laruns at the Hotel de France recommended.
Great road with marvelous scenery especially at the way from Laruns up to Col Du Purtalet where the France / Spain borders are. The Spain side has lot of great open corners for fast riding.