Calar Alto (Gergal)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Aulago 2155 1420 22.5 6.31 1245 ****

Click on the profile to enlarge (🔍)

This is generally recognised as the most difficult of the three main ascents to Calar Alto. The gradient is relatively consistent, in that there are few steep sectionsm but there are numerous kilometres in excess of 7%, so it is not really a climb that you can spin up on a relaxed ride. For most experienced cyclists though it should prove no great challenge.



Roads & Traffic

The road is in very good condition throughout and is enjoyable to both climb and descend on a road bike.

There is very little traffic on the road throughout the climb - although you may encounter a few cars during the rush hours to and from the observatories.



Climb Description

Calar Alto - Gergal


This route to Calar Alto begins at the roundabout 1km to the east of Gergal, where the A-92 meets the A-339. The climb follows the A-339 to the Col de Venta Luisa, before turning left onto the AL-871 to climb the final three kilometres.

The climb from Gergal is the most popular ascent of Calar Alto and is the side most commonly used in the Vuelta a España. The climbing here is an acquired taste, as you begin next to a desert and climb through rocky scenery with a few pine trees dotted around providing most of the vegetation.

Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable climb and is particularly special as it is one of very few places in Europe where you can cycle to over 2,000m altitude in the winter.

Calar Alto is usually open throughout the year. However, snow is possible in the winter and it can be bitterly cold at the top in January and February. The heat can also be a problem in July and August, with temperatures in excess of 35°C and very little shade to be found.

Calar Alto is usually open throughout the year. However, snow is possible in the winter and it can be bitterly cold at the top in January and February. The heat can also be a problem in July and August, with temperatures in excess of 35°C and very little shade to be found.



Alternative Routes

There are two other common routes to reach Calar Alto. The climb to Calar Alto can be started from Tijola to the north, which offers a different perspective of the mountain.

Another option is to climb from Aulago, which begins a few kilometres to the west of Gergal.



Nearby Climbs

Puerto de Velefique
Tetica de Bacares




Tours

You can extend our Cabo de Gata Natural Park cycling holiday to include Calar Alto. Or please contact us if you would like to arrange a custom tour in the area.