Bola del Mundo

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Collado Villalba 2,257m 1,350m 21.8 km 6.2% 1,540 **

Bola del Mundo from Collado Villalba - Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Bola del Mundo shot to fame when it was first used in the Vuelta a España in 2010 - a stage which was won by Ezequiel Mosquera. The steep slopes, high altitude and awkward road surface of Bola del Mundo produced entertaining racing and somewhat set the theme of steep finishes for subsequent editions.

The climb itself follows the Navacerrada for the majority of its route - in fact the first 18.6km are the same. At the top of the Navacerrada you simply turn right and continue on a concrete track to the very top of the mountain.

These last 4km are by far the highlight of the climb; they offer fantastic views and it is a rare pleasure to be able to climb to the top of the highest peak in the area. Unfortunately the first 18.6km to the Navacerrada are not enjoyable. The road is very busy throughout the year with fast moving traffic. It is cheating in some ways, but we would recommend driving to the top of Navacerrada and just doing the last part of Bola del Mundo (For the last 4km alone this would have a rating of **** in terms of the scenery, the challenge and the low volume of traffic).

Alternatively, you can climb to the Navacerrada from La Granja or Puerto de Cotos, which are both quieter ascents.

The climb until Navacerrada is open throughout the year - although it is even busier in winter as most of Madrid seems to go there for skiing lessons. The stretch to Bola del Mundo is usually cleared of snow to allow access to the weather station there; but it is bitterly cold there and winter is certainly not the time to be climbing in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Bola del Mundo from Collado Villalba - Madrid Cycling Climb

Sharp hairpin bends towards the top of the climb

Roads & Traffic

The road is in very good condition until the Navacerrada. At the pass you turn off the main road and follow a concrete track to the radar station on the top; this is bumpy and can be difficult to get traction while standing on the steepest sections.

The road until the Navacerrada is very busy throughout the year. The section in between Collado Villalba and the town of Navacerrada follows a main road with fast moving traffic and is very unpleasant for cycling. After turning off the Navacerrada, the road is extremely quiet for the last 4km to the top of Bola del Mundo.

Bola del Mundo Road Surface

The road surface in the last 4km is really gnarly

Alternative Routes

The first part of the climb until La Navacerrada can also be climbed from the north, starting near the town of La Granja, or from the east, via the Puerto de Cotos.

Both of these routes are quieter and more enjoyable than riding up from Collado Villalba.

Nearby Climbs

La Navacerrada

Puerto de Cotos

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