Monte Zoncolan (Ovaro)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Ovaro 1,734m 1,200m 10.0 km 12.1% 2,180 *****

Monte Zoncolan - Ovaro - Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Zoncolan is one of the most challenging climbs in road cycling. The ascent from Ovaro has been used regularly in the Giro d'Italia in recent years and, without fail, provides great drama and incident.

The heart of the climb is the 6km section after the village of Liariis, which averages (yes, averages!) nearly 15% gradient. The good news is that the climb is fairly consistent in its steepness, and the gradient rarely gets above 18% for significant periods. The climb is marked with pictures of great cyclists, so look out for Miguel Indurain, whose sign marks the end of the hellish steep section.

From here the climb continues through some relatively flat tunnels, before a final steep ascent to the natural amphitheatre which forms the pass.

Zoncolan is a great climb and is a worthy challenge to undertake for well trained cycle tourists. In our opinion though, it is not harder than its Spanish cousin Angliru, the inconsistency and steepest sections of the latter, make it a touch more challenging.

Zoncolan is best climbed from May to October but is often open much longer.

Monte Zoncolan from Ovaro - Italian Alps Cycling Climb

The pictures of great cyclists from the past line the climb

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in excellent condition throughout and there is little traffic on the climb.

Monte Zoncolan Carnic Alps view

The top of the climb has great views over the Carnic Alps

Alternative Routes

This is the classic side, but Zoncolan can also be climbed from Sutrio and Priola.

Nearby Climbs

Monte Crostis

Sella Valcalda

Sella di Razzo

Sella Ciampiagotto

Cycling Holidays

The climb to Monte Zoncolan is one of the highlights of our Dolomites & Italian Alps cycling holiday, which crosses the mountains of Northern Italy.

In the links below you can find out more about this and some of the other tours that we run in high mountains.

Monte Zoncolan
Italian FlagItaly

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 9 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,970 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,490 EUR
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,630 EUR
*Bike Hire Included