Top 5 Cycling Climbs in Spain

Road Cyclist?  Thinking of Cycling in Spain?  Climb some Hills?  Want a Challenge
Here are 5 of the Best and some of the Hardest Climbs to Bike in Spain:

Best Cycling Climbs in Spain - Biking Sotres Climb

Here in order, are our "favourites" that we all love to climb on our cycling tours all over Spain.
Top 5 Cycling Climbs in Spain - Biking The Angliru

5. Peña Cabarga (Cantabria) – “Naughty and not nice North Climb”. 

At only 6km long, this climb is a short sharp shock! From sea level to a height of 566 meters it soon ramps up. With a small downhill at before the 4km marker, the final 1km averages 15%. The finish is always explosive for the pros (maybe not for us!). The views out to the seashore at the top are 2nd to none, and make for a great backdrop for any summit.

It is a nail biter if you can pry your hands off your handlebars.

Climb Andalucia's Pandera on your road bike tour

4. Valdepeñas de Jaén and La Pandera (Andalucia) - “Al-Andalus Ascent 

Valdepeñas has one of the toughest ramps in the world of cycling. With an inclination of almost 30% it is more than enough to ensure an epic day of racing for the aficionados. However it is so short it is not even categorized.  The area around is spectacular cycling with Andalucian castles galore. Join up the nearby La Pandera climb. 

Famous, steep and unshaded is not to be missed in the summer sun for those who like a challenge.. and heat stroke.

 3. Lagos de Covadonga (Picos de Europa) – “Warrior Rise” 

Many a past La Vuelta a España have been decided here.  Usually the etapa reina (Queen Stage) this twisting climb begins by the basilica Cathedral of Covadonga, and rises to the glacial lake of Enol – the hardest km being a muscle shrieking grind at 15% gradient (nicknamed, “La Huesera” or Bone yard). 

Seriously, you will be praying it will end at some stage.

Best Cycling Climbs in Spain - Biking Andalucia

2. Pico de Veleta (Sierra Nevada)  -  “Go Higher in Spain!”

The climb to the Sierra Nevada (25 kilometres and 9% average gradient to a height of 2,500 metres) is one of the great climbs in world cycling, but don´t stop there keep going and reach 3,380 meters at the top of the highest paved road in Europe (we say “paved” with a pinch of salt as the road is in incredibly rough condition over 2500m.) Weather conditions only allow this if there has been no snow in late Spring. 

Rewarding climb, amazing views, Bring your oxygen mask!

1. Angliru (Asturias) – "Not for the Nervous" 

La Vuelta organisers wanted something in the national race to rival the famed mountains of Le Tour (Alpe d´Huez and Ventoux). They certainly found a hill to be reckoned with.  And painful it certainly is, the climb is only 12.5km long with the first half of the climb not too demanding.  The first 5kms are at an average gradient of 7.6%, the 6th km is 2.1% (that feels like a downhill!) before the incredible last 6kms are an average of 13%, with a ramp at almost 24% at the Alto de El Angliru.......gulp! 

Good luck.  Sorry, we can not sugar coat this one... It is an absolute beast and David Miller did not dismount and throw his bike into a gutter for nothing... Hell on earth and easily one of the Pro Calendar Climbs that even the Pros have complete respect for.

Best Cycling Climbs in Spain - Biking the Angliru

Keen to try any of Spain's top cycling climbs?

Look at our Favourite Vuelta Climbs tour - North or South or our Guided Cycling tour based in Granada, Sierra Nevada & Granada.  Of course, La Vuelta keeps on finding new ones, so check our Vuelta bike tours for 2020 to see what's on the itinerary!


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