Calar Alto (Tíjola)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Tíjola 2,155m 1,702m 33.3 km 5.1% 1,540 *****








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Climb Description

This is the most challenging side of Calar Alto, and is also one of the most scenic ascents to the top. Like the other four ways up to Calar Alto, the landscape is still mostly dry and rocky, but the landscape is greener than when approaching from the south, and you will get picturesque views of large olive groves on the first part of the climb.

The climb from this side is a tougher climb than a quick look at the average gradient would suggest. It is inconsistent, with several short downhill sections and other sections where the gradient is well into double figures.

The part of the climb between the village of Bacares and the Collado de Ramal is especially challenging. The road is mostly straight, with no hairpins to offer respite from the challenging slopes.

From the village of Bacares, it is also possible to take a different route, turning left and climbing towards Tetica de Bacares and the nearby Puerto de Velefique.

Calar Alto is usually open throughout the year. However, snow is possible in the winter and it can get 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 (Tíjola) -  Cycling Climb in Andalucia

You can see the road heading sharply uphill from the village of Bacares






Roads & Traffic

The surface 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.




Alternative Routes

The shortest and most popular route to Calar Alto begins in Gérgal - this is also the side most often climbed in the Vuelta a España. Another nice option from the south is to start the climb from Aulago, on a road that begins a few kilometres to the west of Gérgal.

There are also two ascents beginning not far from Tíjola. The more challenging takes the old road up through Las Menas, while an easier option takes a newer road out of Serón.




Nearby Climbs


Puerto de Velefique

Tetica de Bacares

Puerto de Escullar





Cycling Holidays

Our Cabo de Gata cycling holiday can be adapted to include the climb to Calar Alto. We can also arrange customized tours in the region. Please contact us to discuss the options.

You may also be interested in the links below to some of the other tours that we run in Andalucia. All of these can be modified to be made more challenging if you want to tackle some of the excellent climbs nearby.




Playa de Monsul - Cabo de Gata
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 6 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: from €1130 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Alhambra Palace - Granada
Spanish FlagSpain

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: €1,690 EUR
*Bike Hire Included

Andalucia Sunflower Fields
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,470 EUR
*Bike Hire Included