Puerto de Ancares (Pan do Zarco)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Murias 1,670m 1,110m 12.0 km 9.3% 1,642 *****






Puerto de Ancares from Pan do Zarco - Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Ancares via Pan do Zarco is the most intruiging ascent of this climb. To get to the start of the climb in Murias, you will normally have to ride the first half of Ancares via Balouta; from here the paths of the two ascents diverge.

Pan do Zarco (the name comes from a small stream running close to the road), takes the more direct route and, although there are several hairpin bends to ease the gradient, it is a tough climb. The gravel surface is not as much of an issue as it sounds. It is a lot smoother than the Colle delle Finestre, for example; however, it does force you to stay in the saddle at times on steep gradients, which can really set your muscles on fire.

The Pan do Zarco ascent was used in the 2014 Vuelta a España and was the scene of a famous mano a mano between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador. The scenery here isn't quite as incredible as on the ride from Balouta, but it is not far off and is still a beautiful climb - one that comes highly recommended.

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


Puerto de Ancares from Pan do Zarco - Galicia Cycling Climb

The view looking back from the top of the climb






Roads & Traffic

The road is in good condition at the start and finish of the climb; however, there is a gravel section in the middle part of the ascent. The gravel is very fine and is no problem to pass on a road bike, but traction can be slightly complicated if you like to climb mostly out of the saddle.

There is very little traffic on the climb throughout the year.




Alternative Routes

This is one of three main ways to climb Ancares from the west.

The climb via Balouta

The easiest (but very long) side is via Piornedo

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





Nearby Climbs


Puerto de Lumeras

Piedrafita

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