El Cordal (Pola de Lena) - Asturias

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Pola de Lena 798 498 5.5 9 600 ****

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El Cordal is a tough little climb with a brutal last 2km. It is short enough that it won't trouble regular climbers by itself. However, it is commonly climbed before Angliru and it certainly packs enough of a punch to weaken the legs before you get to the star climb.

Roads & Traffic

The road is fully paved and is largely in good condition. The surface is slightly rough in places, but it never presents any real difficulty either going up or down.

There is little traffic on the climb throughout the year.

Climb Description

El Cordal

El Cordal from Pola de Lena is a climb that suffers from being in the shadow (often quite literally) of the infamous Angliru. However, it is more than simple warm up, as many riders in the Vuelta a España have found out - particularly the steep section towards the top.

This is the more difficult side of the Cordal, but the side starting from La Vega is probably marginally more scenic. Both are pleasant and enjoyable to ride without being spectacular.

One of the best things about the Cordal is its vicinity to many other excellent climbs. Indeed, the town of Pola de Lena really deserves to be mentioned alongside the likes of Luz Saint Sauveur, Bormio and Guillestre for its proximity to so many classic climbs.

El Cordal is nominally open throughout the year, although may be closed for short periods due to snow in the winter.

Other Sides

El Cordal can also be climbed from the north side; starting in La Vega. This is the easier side and is one that is rarely used in the Vuelta.

Nearby Climbs

La Cobertoria
Puerto de Pajares
La Cubilla


El Cordal is one of the classic climbs used on our Picos de Europa and Ancares National Reserve & Somiedo Mountains self-guided cycling holidays. It is also included on our Great Climbs of the Vuelta a España guided cycle tour.