Puerto de Ancares (Balouta)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Muñis 1,670m 1,355m 36.7 km 3.7% 1,645 *****

Puerto de Ancares from Balouta - Cycling Profile

Click on the profile to view in full screen (🔍)

Climb Description

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.

The ascent via Balouta is effectively two separate climbs, with the steep section beginning after the village of Murias. From here it is 12km at an average of nearly 8% gradient, with several stretches up around 14%.

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

Puerto de Ancares from Balouta - Galicia Cycling Climb

The view looking back from the top of the climb

Roads & Traffic

The road is in very good condition.

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

Puerto de Ancares Gradients

The only difficulty on the road is the steep gradients!

Alternative Routes

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


O Poio

Cruz de Hierro

Llano de las Ovejas

Cycling Holidays

We currently do not have any cycling holidays that include Puerto de Ancares. However, our Great climbs of the Vuelta and Camino de Santiago cycling holidays pass nearby and could be adapted to include the climb.

Find out more in the links below about these and other mountainous tours that we run nearby.

Picos de Europa National Park
Spanish FlagSpain

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

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,090 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

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