Ancares - Balouta (Galicia)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Muñis 1670 1355 36.7 3.7 1645 *****

Ancares - via Balouta Profile
Click on the profile to enlarge (🔍)

The average gradient for Ancares via Baoluta is pretty much meaningless. As you can see from the profile; Ancares from this side is essentially two consecutive climbs. The first ascent looks quite tame, but it is still 10km at 6.7%, and it is easy to go too hard here and then struggle on the main climb.

After a descent and rolling section, the real climb to Ancares begins shortly after the village of Murias. It is around 12km long with an average gradient of 7.8%, including numerous stretches of 14% and 15%. It is a very tough climb and one that causes difficulties both from its gradient and its length.

Roads & Traffic

The road is in very good condition throughout.

There is very little traffic on the climb throughout the year. This is one of the most isolated and uninhabited parts of Spain.

Climb Description

Ancares from Balouta

This is the most spectacular side of one of the most enjoyable climbs in Spain - if not in the whole of Europe. The Ancares National Reserve is one of the remote and isolated parts of Spain and this climb goes right through the heart of it.

There really aren't enough superlatives to emphasise how enjoyable it is to climb Ancares - especially from this side. It has it all: a perfect road surface, next to no traffic, amazing scenery throughout, delightful mountain villages, some steep gradients and sweeping downhill sections. It also has its place in cycling history, having hosted a stage finish in the 2012 Vuelta a España - won by Joaquím Rodríguez.

It is one of the most challenging climbs in Spain to access, given the remote location. Indeed, the nearest international airport is over two hours away by road. However, it is worth making the effort to come here and do this stunning climb.

Ancares closes in winter due to snow, but is usually open from mid-April to early December.

Other sides

This is one of three main ways to climb Ancares from the west. The climb via Piornedo is also a popular climb. While the hardest is the side used in the 2014 Vuelta - via Pan do Zarco this side also includes a short unpaved section.

From the east, it is possible to climb to Ancares from Tejedo.

Nearby Climbs

Puerto de Lumeras
Llano de las Ovejas


Ancares is one of the highlights of our Ancares & Somiedo self-guided cycling holiday.