Abantos (El Escorial)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
San Lorenzo de El Escorial 1,640m 620m 11.5 km 5.4% 745 **

Abantos from El Escorial - Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Abantos is one of the more popular climbs for cycling in the Madrid region because of the relatively low volume of traffic on its slopes. However, this is compromised by a poor road surface and scenery which is largely forested.

The climb begins from San Lorenzo de El Escorial - home to a spectacular monastery which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The vast palace was formerly the residence of the King of Spain. Towards the top of the climb there is a much more controversial and less celebrated palace. Situated less than 2km from the summit, Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen) which was built by the fascist dictator as a mausoleum to himself.

The visually spectacular site set in the beautiful surroundings of the Guadarrama Mountains was built by Republican prisoners and is a source of great contention in Spain even today. The modern democratic governments claim that the site is to remember the victims of the Civil War on all sides of the political spectrum - but the majority of Spaniards feel that it is an insult. The remains of Franco have recently been removed from the monument.

Abantos is open throughout the year subject to weather. Closures during winter, however, are common.

Abantos from El Escorial - Madrid Cycling Climb

An impressive view of the monastery in San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Roads & Traffic

The road is in very poor condition. It is asphalted, but it is narrow and cracked in places with some large pot holes and some gravel sections. It is passable on a road bike - just about - but is not the most enjoyable ride.

There is generally little traffic on the climb, although it can increase on festivals and during weekends in summer.

Abantos top of climb

The top of the climb is a welcome sight; the road surface is better on the other side

Alternative Routes

Abantos can also be climbed on a long looping route from the Aceña River.

Nearby Climbs

La Navacerrada

Puerto de Cotos

Bola del Mundo

La Morcuera

La Navafría

Alto del León

Cycling Holidays

We don't currently run any tours in this part of Spain. If you would be interested in customizing an itinerary to this region, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss the options.

You may also be interested in the links below to some of the mountainous tours that we currently run elsewhere in Spain.

Picos de Europa National Park
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,490 EUR
Tramuntana Mountains - Mallorca
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,420 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

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