Arrate - Eibar (Basque Country)
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Roads & TrafficThe road is in very good condition.
There is little traffic throughout the climb.
Arrate from Eibar is the most iconic cycling climb in the Basque Country. It is not especially challenging, nor especially beautiful (although there are some fantastic viewpoints on the ascent), but it is steeped in cycling history.
Cycling is a big deal in modern day Spain both in numbers of amateur riders and also in terms of following professional cycling - where only the Belgians, French and Italians are arguably more fanatical. However, it was not always this way with the popularity really only beginning to catapult from the 1980s when riders like Pedro Delgado and Miguel Induraín become household names.
In the Basque Country, however, cycling has always been a big deal and Arrate is at the center of that. Historically, the two main bicycle manufacturers in Spain - BH and Orbea have always been based in the town of Eibar and neighbouring Ermua - both originally starting out as munitions factories before turning to bicycles after the First World War.
The location of these manufacturers helped to bring into existence the Subida a Arrate (Climb to Arrate), in 1936, which quickly developed into one of the most prestigious races in Spain. That race continued until 1986 when the one day event was absorbed by a stage race. In that period great climbers such as Federico Bahamontes, Raymond Poulidor and Luis Ocaña attempted the race, with the former winning it five times.
Today, Arrate remains a key feature in the world of professional cycling; it is used each year as a decisive climb in the prestigious Tour of the Basque Country stage race. Winners on Arrate in recent years is a rollcall of great climbers including Joaquim Rodríguez, Nairo Quintana, Samuel Sanchez and Alberto Contador.
In terms of scenery it is a picturesque ascent; much of the climb is in forest, but there are some nice views where there are gaps in the trees. The church that you reach at the top of Arrate is also a beautiful spot, with fine views out to the valley below.
Arrate is open throughout the year.
Other sidesArrate can also be climbed from Azitain on a shorter and steeper road. However, we recommend first doing the classic route from Eibar.
Puerto de Urkiola