San Glorio (Cantabria)
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San Glorio from Potes is a long climb which requires good pacing, but it has no very steep gradients.
Roads & TrafficThe road is in very good condition throughout.
There is little traffic on the climb.
Puerto de San Glorio is a regular feature in the Vuelta a España. The climb is the highest in the zone around the Picos de Europa Natural Park and is an important pass in the region; not just for humans, but also for the local bear population. Don't worry though, they are very timid and there is almost no chance that you will ever come across one of them.
At the top of the climb, it is possible to turn off and continue climbing towards Mirador de Llesba - an extra 2km with some quite steep gradients. At this mirador there is an impressive statue of a brown bear.
San Glorio from Potes is the classic side of the climb. It is a long ascent that begins gently, before settling into a steady 6-7% gradient for the final 16km. If you are feeling good it is possible to get into a nice rhythm and fly up there, but on a bad day it can turn into a real struggle. The scenery here will help you to take your mind off any struggles though, particularly once you leave the villages behind and enter the beautiful open countryside.
Puerto de San Glorio is open throughout the year depending on weather. There is normally snow around from November through to April (indeed, there are controversial plans to build a ski resort near the top of the pass); in these months, whether or not you can cycle depends how recently the road has been cleared.
Other sidesSan Glorio can also be climbed from the west - in a short ascent beginning from Portilla de la Reina.