Great Climbs of the Vuelta a España
- Guided 7 Nights
- Arrival - Oviedo
- Departure - Oviedo
- Difficulty - Challenging
- Price - €1480
- Dates - June - September
This guided tour takes place in the north of Spain amongst some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Europe. Beginning in the Picos de Europa National Park and crossing through the Sierra del Aramó and the Somiedo Natural Park, you climb some of the most famous mountains in professional road cycling.
On this holiday you will test yourself on the slopes of Lagos de Covadonga, Angliru, La Farrapona, Puerto de Pontón and many more of the climbs which make the Vuelta a España one of the most challening events in sport.
The tour is fully guided and includes all transfers, meals, accommodation and bike hire (if required), so the only thing that you have to do is enjoy the scenery and conquer some climbs!
In addition to the cycling, you will sample the unique and fantastic food and drink from the region, including Asturian cider, fabada asturiana, cabrales cheese and artisan chocolates.
Day 1 - Cangas de OnisWe will transfer you from the arrival point to the town of Cangas de Onis. The capital of the Kingdom of Asturias until the 8th century, Cangas de Onis is a beautifully picturesque town on the edge of the Picos de Europa. It is famous for its Roman bridge and the high concentration of restaurants and artisan shops that line the narrow streets.
Depending on your arrival time, there is the opportunity to do a beautiful circular route which passes the Mirador del Fito and the beautiful Green Coast.
Distance: 60-82km (37-51 miles)
Day 2 - Lagos de CovadongaToday you will tackle what is probably the most famous ascent in Spanish cycling - Lagos de Covadonga - which has been featured over 15 times in the Vuelta a España, most recently in 2014.
The climb is known for the beautiful scenery, culminating in two mountain lakes at the top. Lagos de Covadonga is a tough climb with an average gradient of 7.3% over 12.6km, and it fully deserves its reputation as one of the most spectacular in Spain.
The longer route continues with a fantastic circular route through the Ponga Natural Park before returning to Cangas de Onis.
Distance: 47-96km (29-57 miles)
Day 3 - Puerto de Pontón & RiañoToday you head into the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park, climbing over the stunning Puerto de Pontón. There is the option to extend the route to Panderrueda, a highly recommended route which climbs up to 1,460m
The day finishes in Riaño - the village of a thousand postcards. Surrounded by distinctive peaks and a vast lake, Riaño is one of the most recognisable villages in Spain and is a stunning setting to stay for the night.
Distance: 67-83km (42-52 miles)
Day 4 - Redes Natural ParkThis is the longest basic route of the tour, but it is also one of the easiest, as the majority of the climb is downhill. After climbing over the Puerto de San Isidro, there is a very long and enjoyable descent down into the Oviedo Valley.
This route goes through one of the most remote parts of Spain and, although you pass through several small villages on the way, it is a wonderfully serene and tranquil ride.
The day finishes in Pola de Lena - a town known in the region as 'the home of cycling' for its proximity to several of Spain's most iconic climbs.
Distance: 109km (68 miles)
Day 5 - Angliru & El CordalToday begins with a relatively short and sharp descent over the Alto del Cordal, before tackling the mighty Angliru.
Star of the show at the 2013 Vuelta, Angliru is one of the toughest mountains in professional road cycling. The climb averages 9.9% gradient over 12.5km, with the last six kilometres closer to 13%.
As with all the climbs in the region, the views on the climb are superb, and the sense of achievement at completing Angliru will live long in the memory. However, don't worry if you can not make it to the top; it is a one way climb not a pass, so you can turn around and roll back down any time to continue with the route.
The route returns along quiet country lanes to Pola de Lena. If you wish to cycle further, there is the opportunity to extend the route to Puerto de Pajares, another climb regularly used in the Vuelta.
Distance: 68-128km (42-80 miles)
Day 6 - La Cobertoria, Puerto de San Lorenzo & La FarraponaThe climbing begins straight away on this beautiful route, as you are immediately thrown on to the slopes of La Cobertoria. At 9.9km long, and with an average gradient of 8.8%, this is a challenging climb; although the fairly consistent gradient makes it possible to find a steady rhythm.
After a descent and flatter section through the Teverga Valley, you climb the Puerto de San Lorenzo, a spectacular route which takes you into the Somiedo Natural Park - one of the most remote regions in Spain.
The longer route finishes by climbing La Farrapona - a decisive stage finish in the 2014 Vuelta a España, and one of the most enjoyable climbs that you will ever do on a bicycle.
The day ends in Somiedo; a beautiful mountain village in the midst of stunning natural scenery.
Distance: 70-106km (43-66 miles)
Day 7 - Puerto de Somiedo & Puerto de VentanaThe final day in the saddle leaves the spectacular scenery of the Somiedo Natural Park with a fairly gentle climb, before then tackling the longer and more challenging Puerto de Ventana.
You then head into a beautiful valley, which you follow towards the historic city of Oviedo. There is one last test, however, in the shape of the Alto del Naranco. This shortish climb has been a stage finish in the Vuelta thirteen times, and the views from the top offer a great view over both Oviedo and the Asturian coastline.
The day comes to an end in Oviedo, where you will stay in a delightful spa hotel in the historic center. Distance: 70-km (64-86 miles)
Day 8 - OviedoAfter breakfast the tour ends in Oviedo. We wil transfer you to the departure point, or can arrange for you to extend your holiday in this beautiful part of the world. We would be happy to show you even more of the fantastic climbs in the area.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|23rd - 30th July 2017||€1490||€280||€150|
|3rd-10th September 2017||€1480||€280||€150|
|Other Dates||contact us|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- 7 nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure point
- Continental breakfast every day
- 6 x Lunches (Three Courses) and refreshments every day
- 7 x Evening Meals
- Bicycle Hire (Road Bikes)
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Experienced guide cycling the route with the group (fluent English)
- Support vehicle along the route
- Cycle Fiesta water bottle
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle further
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
- Hire of bicycles (see here for details)
- Tour Extensions
The following are not included in the tour
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
There are two basic route options to choose from each day. The shorter route is usually between 60 and 80km (there is one longer day, but it has relatively little climbing and is mostly downhill).
The longer route is between 80km and 130km and generally contains one additional climb to the shorter route.
There are optional extensions each day for those of you who to wish to cycle even further.
You are free to mix and match the routes, as they both start and finish in the same place. If you wish to do the shorter route one day, then the longer route the next day, for example, it is entirely up to you.
How difficult is this tour?
If you choose the shorter routes then this is classified as a challenging tour. There is significant climbing
every day, but the routes are not extremely long, and on most days there is only one long climb. Daily climbing is generally between 1,000m and 2,000m.
The longer routes are hard and will challenge most cyclists. There are multiple climbs each day and the distance is long. However, it is not a race, so as long as you go at a steady pace they are perfectably manageable for strong touring cyclists or club riders. Daily climbing is generally between 2,000m and 3,500m.
This tour uses paved roads, which carry little traffic.
Which famous mountains will I climb?
The following are some of the most famous and spectacular mountains that you will climb on the holiday:
Lagos de Covadonga (L)
Mirador del Fito
Collado Llomena (L)
Puerto de Pontón (E)
La Cubilla (L)
El Gamoniteiro (E)
Puerto de San Lorenzo
Puerto de Somiedo
Puerto de Ventana
Valle de Lago (E) Puerta de la Magdalena (E)
Alto del Naranco
(L) = On longer route only (E) - Available as an optional extension
What are the arrival and departure points?
Oviedo is the arrival and departure point for this tour. It is the nearest major city to the Picos de Europa and Somiedo Mountains and has good transport links.
Oviedo is served by Asturias Airport, which has international flights, as well as regular domestic routes. It also has a train station with several trains running each day to Madrid. We will transfer you mmet you anywhere in Oviedo (e.g. Asturias Airport, trains station, another hotel) at the start of the tour and will likewise drop you off anywhere in Oviedo (including Asturias Airport) the end of the holiday.
If you have trouble finding a good connection to and from Oviedo/Asutrias Airport, please contact us, as it is may be possible to arrange transfers from other cities in the area, such as Santander or Leon.
If you have trouble finding a good connection to and from Oviedo, please contact us, as it is may be possible to arrange transfers from other cities in the area, such as Santander or Madrid.
What type of bikes do you hire?
For this tour we recommend that you use road bikes (although hybrids are also available). The bikes we use on this tour have low gearing, set up for use in the mountains. Please see our bicycles page for further details.
When can I do this tour?
We run this tour in July and September each year. These are the best months for cycling in the mountains, as many of the routes are closed in winter and can be quite wet in spring.
What weather can I expect?
From July to September the weather in the Ancares and Somiedo Mountains is usually very good for cycling. It is warm, but without the searing temperatures that are common in much of Spain throughout the summer months. Typical day time temperatures range from
Rain is not especially common, but there are a few wet days in each month - even during the summer - so be prepared for this possibility. There is a good chance though that you will have dry, sunny days throughout the holiday.
Can I see the altitude profiles for each day?
Below are the altitide profiles for both the shorter and longer route each day (the shorter one is always first). In addition to this there are optional extensions, with a lot more climbing available!
We believe that the hotels that you stay in are just as important as the towns that you visit and the scenery that you ride through. On this tour we have chosen accommodation that
is of a high quality and is typical to the area. These include mountain chalets and small boutique hotels in the center of the villages where you stay.
Cangas de OnisThe tour begins in the delightful village of Cangas de Onis. Here you stay in a small boutique hotel in the center, close to the river and the Romanesque bridge.
RiañoIn the stunning setting of Riaño you stay in a delightfully small and traditional mountain hotel, which overlooks the spectacular lakes and peaks on the southern edge of the Picos de Europa National Park.
Pola de LenaIn Lena you stay in a highly rated hotel in the center of the small town. The hotel is close to several excellent restaurants and offers great views of the mountains to the west.
SomiedoYou stay for the night in the finest hotel in the delightful village of Somiedo. The hotel is small, with fewer than twenty rooms, and is housed inside a stone building which is traditional to the region. It is in the center of the village, close to a local shop and several restaurants.
OviedoIn Oviedo you stay in a luxurious **** spa hotel situated in the historic old town. It is less than a five minute walk from Oviedo Cathedral and the Holy Chamber - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do this tour in a group of six or more people as a private guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided tour.