Cantabria Cycling Climbs

Climb Town Altitude (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Alisas Arredondo 674 8.9 5.8 347 ***
Alisas La Cavada 674 12.6 4.9 362 ***
Collado de Carmona Puentenansa 611 10.1 4.3 255 ***
Collado de Carmona Valle de Cabuerniga 611 4.9 7.2 321 ***
Collado de la Hoz La Hermida 663 10.4 5.2 351 ****
Collado de la Hoz Sobrelapeña 663 7.7 5.5 322 ***
Collado de Ozalba Puentenansa 559 5.7 6.7 175 ***
Collado de Ozalba Quintanilla 559 6.1 3.7 124 ***
Collado Espina Bustablado 920 9 7.8 1217 ****
Collado Espina San Roque de Riomiera 920 5.2 10.8 924 ****
El Caracol San Roque de Riomiera 822 6 7.7 454 ***
El Caracol Selaya 822 10.8 5.5 402 ***
Fuente Dé Camaleño 1105 16.3 4.2 340 ****
Fuente del Chivo Espinilla 1982 21.3 4.9 724 *****
Peña Cabarga Heras 569 5.9 9.2 722 ****
Picón del Fraile Linto 1614 21.6 5.6 812 *****
Piedrasluengas Potes 1354 29 3.7 432 ****
Piedrasluengas Puentenansa 1354 37.6 3.2 465 ***
Puerto de la Sía Arredondo 1250 20.6 5.3 644 ****
Salto de la Cabra La Hermida 1112 10.3 9.8 1442 ****
Puerto de San Glorio Potes 1609 26.7 4.8 674 ***


Cantabria is one of the most mountainous regions in Spain, with great climbs from its coastline right up to the borders with Castilla-y-León, Asturias and The Basque Country. Its most famous and highest range is the Picos de Europa mountains, situated on the border with Asturias, but there are also some great climbs in The Collados de Asón range - in the east of the region - and at Alto Campoo.

There are all sorts of climbs here: long and gradual, short and steep and also a couple of long and steep ascents!


Cantabria is one of the most picturesque parts of Spain - at least when it is sunny (more on that below...). The vibrant green scenery is particularly impressive when juxtaposed with high rocky peaks, as it is in the Picos de Europa. However, elsewhere it is also very pleasurable to ride, with the scenery very different to most mountainous regions in Europe.

Cantabria has the added benefit of some hilly coastal routes, which adds a nice diversity to riding around the region.


The road surfaces are generally in very good condition in Cantabria. The region invests a lot in the construction and maintenance of even the most remote mountain climbs.

It is easy to find quiet roads in Cantabria - simply stay away from the coasts (particularly around Santander) and away from the valley containing the towns of Torrelavega and Reinosa. Elsewhere there is usually little traffic; particularly in the mountains.

Getting There

The nearest large airport is Bilbao; although Asturias airport is just as quick if you plan on visiting the Picos de Europa. Santander has ferry links with the United Kingdom and trains also run here regularly from Madrid.


Cantabrias spectacular green scenery owes much to its wet climate. However, it is only wet by Spanish standards and would be considered normal for most of Europe. Cycling is possible here throughout the year, with winters generally mild; however, the best time to visit is from May to October. This is the driest and warmest part of the year.


You can visit Cantabria on our on our Picos de Europa Cycling Holiday.