Puerto de Pajares

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Campomanes 1,379m 991m 19.7 km 5.0% 820 **

Puerto de Pajares Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Puerto de Pajares is a frustrating climb for cyclists. It is one of the legendary and most historic climbs of the Vuelta a España, having been passed many times since its first use in 1945. In recent years, the climb has been extended to Cuitu Negru - adding another 5km from the top of the Pajares, with gradients in excess of 20%.

It is also a scenic climb, set amidst vibrant green scenery on the border between Asturias and Castilla-y-León. However, unfortunately the Puerto de Pajares also carries a very high volume of traffic. This traffic includes many trucks who are avoiding paying the faster toll road that runs parallel to the climb. The road is fairly wide, but on the steep sections, trucks sometimes can pass uncomfortably close as they don't want to lose their momentum.

The Pajares becomes an even less appealing option when you consider that La Cubilla - one of the quietest, most enjoyable and sceneic climbs in Spain - starts from the same town and runs more or less parallel to the Pajares. Our recommendation would be to give the Pajares a miss and to climb one of the other great roads in the area instead.

Puerto de Pajares is usually open throughout most of the year.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in very good condition throughout.

There is high volume of traffic on the road throughout the year, including a significant number of trucks. It is the main non-toll road between the cities of Oviedo and León.

Alternative Routes

Puerto de Pajares can also be climbed from the south side in a much shorter ascent, which is commonly continued to the ski resort at Cuitu Negru.

Nearby Climbs

La Cubilla

Cuitu Negru


La Cobertoria

El Cordal

Coto Bello

Cycling Holidays

We don't have any holidays that tackle the Puerto de Pajares. However, our Great Climbs of the Vuelta tour does ascend to La Cubilla and other climbs in this area.

You can find out more information below about this and similar tours that we run in high mountains.

Picos de Europa National Park
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,130 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,130 EUR
French FlagFrance

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,070 EUR