Calar Alto (Tijola)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Tijola 2155 1472 36.6 4.02 1161 ****

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This is a tougher climb than a quick look at the average gradient would suggest. The gradients are inconsistent, with several short downhill sections and several sections where the gradient is well into double figures.

The most challenign kilometres are just after the turn away from Bacares, where the average gradient hovers close to 10% for four consecutive kilometres. Once you have passed there, however, you are pretty much home and dry with the last few kilometres generally quite easy.

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.

Climb Description

This is the least climbed side of Calar Alto - mostly because the starting point is so remote, that it would usually require a lengthy detour to even get to Tijola.

It is a pleasant climb though on excellent road surfaces and offers different scenery to the other two main routes. It is still dry and rocky, but the landscape is greener than when approaching from the south, and you will get picturesque views of vast olive groves on the first part of the climb.

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 most popular is to climb from Gergal - this is the route mostly chosen by the Vuelta a España.

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


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.