Puerto de Las Palomas (Grazalema)
|Start Town||Altitude (m)||Elevation Gain (m)||Length (km)||Gradient (%)||Difficulty||Rating|
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This is not an especially difficult climb, but neither is it easy. The gradient is fairly steady, but it hovers around 7% for much of the route, which can take its toll after 14km, particularly if you ride it hard.
Watch out for the section just as you leave Grazalema where the road ramps up to 14%. It is only short, but can catch you by surprise, particularly if you have stopped in Grazalema for a coffee.
Roads & TrafficThe road is in good condition throughout the climb. There is very little traffic until you reach Grazalema. From Grazalema there are a few cars, but not enough to be bothersome and they mostly disappear again as you turn off the A-372.
The climb to Puerto de Las Palomas is situated in the Sierra de Grazalema close to where the provinces of Cadíz and Málaga meet. The climb from this side begins at the southern tip of the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir, at the junction of the A-2300 and the CA-9123.
The climb heads south on the CA-9123 climbing firstly to the Puerto Chico, before a short descent into the town of Grazalema on the A-372. From Grazalema you head west, before turning onto the CA-531 for the final three kilometres to the Puerto de Las Palomas.
This is the least popular of the three main routes to Puerto de Las Palomas; however, that is largely a result of the starting location being awkward to reach. In terms of scenery, this is nearly as picturesque as the other two sides; the only slight disappointment is that much of the route is covered by trees.
Nevertheless, there are still fine views along much of the ascent and, given the good road surface and lack of traffic, the climb fully deserves its **** rating. The climb is normally open throughout the year, although sporadic closures in winter are possible. In July and August it can be very hot here.