Great Climbs of the Vuelta Cycling Holiday
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GREAT CLIMBS OF THE VUELTA

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday

Spanish FlagSpain

Great climbs of the Vuelta
Self-Guided Cycling Tour
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging - Hard
Price: from €1,130 EUR
This self-guided cycling holiday tackles some of the best cycling mountains in Spain. Riding across the region of Asturias, you will ride the most iconic and spectacular climbs of the Vuelta a España race.

Highlights on this seven night tour include the climbs to Lagos de Covadonga, La Cubilla, La Farrapona and the fearsome Angliru. The climbs in this region are particularly beautiful, with vibrant green scenery and dramatic rock formations, as you ride through National Parks and Natural reserves.

The route also follows the picturesque Asturian coast and stays in charming historic towns, including Cangas de Onís, Pola de Somiedo and Oviedo. There are two different route options each day to give you more flexibility, but this tour is mostly in the mountains, and so it is designed for riders who love to climb and descend! If you would like a slightly more leisurely tour in the region, you may be interested in our Picos de Europa & Asturian Coast tour.

Below you can find a detailed itinerary, and click on the tabs to see more highlights, as well as all the practical information about the holiday.
Great Climbs Vuelta Cycling Tour Map
Click to enlarge map in new window


Tour Availability


J F M A M J J A S O N D

Day 1 - Cangas de Onís

We will transfer you from the arrival point to the town of Cangas de Onís. The capital of the Kingdom of Asturias until the 8th century, Cangas de Onís is a picturesque town on the edge of the Picos de Europa National Park. It is known for its Romanesque bridge and has a charming historic center with several great restaurants.

Depending on your arrival time, there is the opportunity to ride a scenic circular route around the Ponga Natural Park, including tackling the Collada Llomena - climbed in the 2021 edition of the Vuelta.

Vibrant Green Scenery of the Picos de Europa
Vibrant Green Scenery of the Picos de Europa

Day 2 - Lagos de Covadonga & Mirador del Fito

The first full day in the saddle begins by tackling one of the most iconic climbs in Spain - Lagos de Covadonga. The climb is one of the most used in the Vuelta and is known for its beautiful scenery, culminating in two mountain lakes at the top. It's quite a tough climb with an average gradient of 7.3% over 12.6km, but it's well worth the effort, and fully deserves its reputation as one of the most spectacular in Spain.

From there you return through the Picos de Europa National Park and climb the more modest Mirador del Fito. Regularly featured in the Vuelta, Mirador del Fito has a fantastic viewpoint looking over the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Asturias.

The ride then finishes by heading towards the Green Coast and following gently rolling roads into the town of Villaviciosa.

The longer route includes the beautiful climb up to Alto del Torno, which is not so well known as some of the others on this holiday, but is highly recommended.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 94km (2,300m Elevation)

Longer Route: 116km (2,700m Elevation)
Lagos de Covadonga
Mirador de la Reina - Lagos de Covadonga

Day 3 - Alto de la Mozqueta & Coto Bello

The ride today leaves the coast and heads south into the green hills of Asturias. The route crosses a couple of smaller, local climbs between traditional villages, before tackling the more substantial Alto de la Mozqueta.

A relative newcomer to the Vuelta, La Mozqueta has been used in the race several times in the last decade or so. Its last few kilometres pack a punch, but this climb is more about the scenery than the difficulty. The vivid green hills, and open views towards the top provide an impressive backdrop.

The longer route also climbs to Coto Bello , a steady ascent which averages almost exactly 8% gradient for its 10km. Like La Mozqueta, it climbs through open green countryside, and has superb views of the high peaks surrounding it in almost all directions.

The day finishes in the Pola de Lena; a lively Asturian town, which is ideally situated at the foot of some of the best cycling climbs in Spain.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 80km (1,750m)

Longer Route: 119km (2,900m)
Asturias Quiet Roads
Typically quiet roads and vibrant green scenery in Asturias

Day 4 - La Cubilla & El Cordal

Today you will tackle what is undoubtedly one of Spain's most scenic climbs - La Cubilla. Known as the 'Asturian Galibier', La Cubilla is long and relatively gentle for the most part, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the spectacular high mountain scenery, which stretches into the neighbouring province of León.

The Cubilla is a decent ride all by itself, but there are a couple of extension options depending on how your legs feel. The most popular is to continue to El Cordal. Used regularly in the Vuelta, it is a short but punchy climb along beautiful quiet lanes. From the top you loop back via a different route to the town of Pola de Lena.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 70km (1,580m)

Longer Route: 90km (2,600m)
La Cubilla Scenery
La Cubilla

Day 5 - Gamoniteiro & Somiedo Natural Park

This is arguably the most challenging day of the holiday, not so much because of the length, but because of the challenging gradients of both climbs.

The ride begins by climbing La Cobertoria and Puerto de San Lorenzo. Both of these Vuelta regulars have steep sections that will test the legs; although the great scenery and excellent road surface still makes them a pleasure to ride.

The longer route climbs to the stunning Gamoniteiro. One of the highest climbs in the region, Gamoniteiro has long had mythical status amongst local riders. However, due to its narrow road and protected park status, it's a real newcomer to the Vuelta. But given the challenge it poses, combined with its beautiful backdrop, we are sure the race will keep coming back in the future.

The day finishes in the charming town of Pola de Somiedo - nestled in the heart of the Somiedo Natural Park.

Cycle Routes:


Shorter Route: 68km (2,250m)

Longer Route: 83km (2,900m)
Gamoniteiro
The view from Gamoniteiro

Day 6 - La Farrapona & Puerto de Ventana

Most of today is spent in the spectacular Somiedo Natural Park. This is the most diverse and remote natural area of Western Europe, and is a beautiful area to cycle around. The Somiedo mountains are home to golden eagles, vultures, wolves and the Cantabrian brown bear. It really is a fantastic area of natural beauty and also home to some fantastic cycling climbs.

First up on the longer route is La Farrapona - a Vuelta regular in recent years; most notably in 2014, when it staged a fine head-to-head battle between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. Most of the climb is gentle, allowing you to appreciate the natural scenery, but it does become a bit steeper in the final few kilometres.

From La Farrapona you climb over the two modest ascents of Puerto de Somiedo and Puerto de Ventana. Neither is very challenging, but both are really enjoyable to ride thanks to the open scenery and extremely quiet roads.

The day ends with the long descent of the Ventana into the tranquil town of San Martín.

Cycle Route:


Shorter Route: 75km (1,500m)

Longer Route: 115km (2,650m)
Puerto de Ventana
Puerto de Ventana

Day 7 - Oviedo & Angliru

The final day in the saddle only has one significant climb, but it is the big one! The day begins with a very enjoyable ride heading gently downhill through the Trubia River valley, passing through an impressive gorge along the way.

After tackling a couple of small climbs, you will begin the main challenge of the day - Angliru. One of the most fearsome climbs in cycling, Angliru is a regular star of the Vuelta a España; its notoriously steep slopes always cause plenty of action as riders strain every sinew to try to keep the pace.

It is a tough challenge, but one which is certainly do-able if you pace yourself well, and it's a great achievement to stand on top of the mountain having conquered it - with all of Asturias laid out in front of you.

From Angliru it is nearly all downhill into the city of Oviedo; a lively and historic town with some of the best restaurants and tapas bars in Spain. The longer route has the option of climbing to Alto de Naranco, a medium length ascent overlooking Oviedo. But we don't blame you if you choose to skip this one!

Cycle Route:


Shorter Route: 89km (2,450m)

Longer Route: 106km (2,920m)
Angliru Summit
Angliru Summit

Day 8 - Departure / Extensions

After breakfast the tour comes to an end in Oviedo. We will transfer you to Oviedo train station or Asturias airport in time for your onward journey.

If you would like to extend your holiday in this beautiful part of the world we would be happy to arrange this for you.

Popular options include spending more time in Oviedo or Gijón, visiting some of the charming coastal villages, or doing even more hiking and cycling in the Picos de Europa mountains, or nearby Somiedo Natural Park.

To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
Naranco Church
One of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Naranco churches in Oviedo

This cycling holiday takes on the best climbs of the Vuelta a España. These are the toughest, the most scenic and the most rewarding climbs in Spain. Starting with the iconic Lagos de Covadonga, and finishing with the infamous Angliru - every day on this tour offers a spectacular challenge.

Check out just a few of the tour highlights in the photo album below:

Included
  • 7 Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
  • Continental breakfast each day
  • Transfers to and from the arrival and departure points (see below for details)
  • Luggage transferred between hotels
  • GPS routes and mobile app to easily follow the routes
  • Detailed information pack about the routes, restaurants and everything to see along the rides
Not Included:
  • ❌ Bicycle Hire (Optional extra €150 EUR - see below)
  • Flights
  • Tour Extensions
  • Travel Insurance

Bicycles
Bicycle hire is an optional extra for this tour, as we know that some of you may prefer to bring your own.

Because of the length of the rides, we strongly recommend road bikes for this tour. Our road bikes are lightweight full carbon and have compact chainsets and large cassettes so that you can climb easily at your own pace.

More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. We provide either these or similar models.

All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required, as well as a Cycle Fiesta water bottle.
Our Road Bicycle Our lightweight road bikes

Difficulty Level & Roads
This is a demanding tour and is rated as challenging-hard. The routes are long and there is significant climbing each day, even on the shorter routes. To get the most out of this holiday it is advisable to have done significant preparation, and to be comfortable doing four or five hour hilly rides on consecutive days.

If you are worried about the distances, we would recommend our Picos de Europa holiday instead. On this tour you can still ride climbs like Lagos de Covadonga and Angliru, but the overall rides are easier and accessible to riders of different levels.

The routes are all on paved roads and the surfaces in Asturias are in excellent condition. There is also very little traffic, making it a pleasure to ride.

Find out more about our tour difficulty levels here.

Arrival and Departure
The arrival point for the tour is Oviedo. We will pick you up from Oviedo (Asturias) airport or train station and transfer you to the starting town of Cangas de Onís.

We can also transfer from Santander, or anywhere else in the Picos de Europa area.

The departure point is also Oviedo. We will transfer you to the airport or train station at the end of the tour.

Asturias airport has a few international flights as well as regular connections to Madrid and Barcelona. Oviedo train station is also well served, with daily departures to Madrid.

If you have trouble finding a good connection to and from Oviedo/Asutrias Airport, please contact us, and we can make alternative arrangements.
Picos de Europa Arrivals and Departure Map

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.


What is your policy regarding Covid travel restrictions?

*Covid Policy 2021*


In response to the Covid Pandemic we have made some temporary alterations to our standard terms and conditions.

Reservations made in 2021 (for holidays taking place in either 2021 or 2022) can be postponed for any time in the following two years, without penalty, if you are unable to travel as a result of travel restrictions or other uncertainty. Notification of the postponement must be made at least ten days before the start of the tour.

Before the balance of the invoice has been paid, the deposit of €150 is also refundable in full for reservations made in 2021, if holidays are cancelled because of Covid related travel restrictions or uncertainty.

For reservations not made in 2021, the normal terms and conditions regarding cancellation apply.

When can I do this tour?

We run this tour between May and October each year, as we believe that these are the best months for cycling in the region.

The tour can start on any day of the week from May to October. If you would be interested in doing the tour at different times of the year, please contact us and we can let you know if there is availability.

What is the weather like?

From May to October the weather in the Picos de Europa 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 20-25°C (68-77°F).

Asturias is one of the wetter parts of Spain, due to its proximity to the Atlantic, and there are a few rainy days each month - even during the summer - so be prepared for this possibility.

But it's all relative; this is still Spain! And it is common to have dry, sunny days throughout the holiday.

Can I personalize or change aspects of this tour?

Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.

What is your cancellation policy?

The full cancellation policy can be found in out terms and conditions.

Why book with us?

We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:

- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.

- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.

- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.

By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.

- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.

Which famous mountains will I climb?

Where can I find more information about the region?

We have plenty more detailed information on the website.

Check out our page on the Picos de Europa for a general overview.

And we also have some more indpeth articles looking at the fascinating history and culture of of the Asturias region:

Hotel Santa Cruz
Hotel Santa Cruz - Cangas
You spend the first night in this stylish 3-star hotel in the centre of Cangas de Onís. It is situated next to the picturesque Sella River and the town's stunning Romanesque bridge. The rooms are very comfortable and the breakfast here is excellent.
Casa España
Casa Espana Hotel
This boutique hotel is housed in a historic building right in the heart of Villaviciosa. It has comfortable rooms and is well located for strolling around the charming pedestrianized center.
Hotel Ruta de la Plata
Hotel Plata - Lena
You spend two nights in this family run 3-star hotel in the town of Pola de Lena. It is centrally located and has comfortable and quiet rooms, which makes it great for both relaxing and for exploring the town.
Hotel Castillo de Alba
Hotel  Castillo de Alba
This 3-star hotel is located in the charming village of Pola de Somiedo. It has comfortable rooms in the heart of the mountains, and has a great restaurant.
Posta del Camin
Posta del Camin Hotel
Charming 3-star hotel in the village of San Martín. The family run hotel has great views and is well located in the town center. It has comfortable rooms and its own good restaurant.
Gran Hotel España
Gran Hotel Oviedo
A very comfortable 4-star hotel in the beautiful historic center of Oviedo. It is situated just metres from the cathedral and museums, and a short walk to Gascona street - famous throughout Spain for its tapas bars, Asturian cider houses and bodegas.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.


Starting Date Price (per person)¹ Single Supplement Bike Hire
May, June, Sept & Oct €1,130 EUR €540 EUR €150 EUR
July & August €1,280 €590 EUR €150 EUR


¹Price is 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.

To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.

For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.


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