Cycling Climbs in North-West Spain
|Climb||Town||Altitude (m)||Length (km)||Gradient (%)||Difficulty||Rating|
|La Cobertoria||Pola de Lena||1172||9.7||8.9||978||****|
|El Cordal||La Vega (Riosa)||798||7.9||6.2||365||****|
|Angliru||La Vega (Riosa)||1570||12.6||10.1||2245||*****|
|Puerto de Pajares||Campomanes||1481||23.3||4.7||820||**|
|Puerto de San Lorenzo||San Martin de Teverga||1349||11.2||8.00||945||****|
|El Cordal||Pola de Lena||798||5.5||9||600||****|
|Ermita de Alba||La Fabrica||1173||6.6||11.2||1345||*****|
|Gamoniteiro||Pola de Lena||1772||16.4||8.9||1945||*****|
|La Cobertoria||Santa Marina||1179||8.1||8.5||686||***|
|La Colladona||Pola de Laviana||847||11.8||4.5||318||****|
|Leitariegos||Cangas del Narcea||1524||32.4||3.4||644||***|
|Puerto de Somiedo||Pola de Somiedo||1486||12||6.6||705||*****|
|Puerto de Ventana||San Martín de Teverga||1587||20||5.6||974||****|
|Puerto Marabio||San Pedro||1050||19.4||4.7||974||****|
|Puerto de San Lorenzo||La Riera||1349||10.1||8.5||955||****|
|Alto de Naranco||Oviedo||632||6.8||5.7||324||****|
|Alto de la Mozqueta||Ciaño||850||9.9||6.2||598||****|
|Alto de la Mozqueta||Figaredo||850||15.6||3.9||440||***|
|Valle de Lago||Pola de Somiedo||1024||7||7.1||540||****|
|Puerto de Somiedo||Meroy||1486||7.9||3.1||97||****|
|Puerto de Ventana||Torrebarrio||1587||10.1||3.6||147||****||Puerto de Lumeras||Candín||1048||4.3||5.3||115||***|
|Puerto de Lumeras||Sésamo||1048||6.9||5.7||145||***|
|El Peñon||Doney de la Requejada||1840||10.7||7.4||1024||**|
|Puerto de Ancares||Tejedo||1670||8||8.8||1445||*****|
|Collada Trevinca||La Baña||1837||10.7||7.3||624||****|
|Cruz de Hierro||Molinaseca||1510||19.8||4.6||675||****|
|Cruz de Hierro||Santa Colomba de Somoza (Astorga)||1510||13.2||3.9||271||****|
|Piedrafita||Villafranca del Bierzo||1107||13.8||3.5||190||****|
|Laguna de los Peces||Sanabria||1725||16.8||4.2||327||****|
|Llano de las Ovejas||Ponferrada||1946||33||4.4||1157||****|
|Llano de las Ovejas||Nogar||1945||18.6||6.1||781||****|
|Puerto de Ancares||Pan do Zarco||1670||12||9.2||1742||*****|
|Puerto de Ancares||Murias||1670||36.7||3.7||1250||*****|
|Puerto de Ancares||Piornedo||1670||39||3.5||1240||*****|
|O Poio||Villafranca del Bierzo||1335||26.5||2.8||263||****|
|Mirador de Ézaro||Ézaro||268||1.9||14.4||620||****|
|Cabeza de Manzaneda||Bibei River (OU-636)||1760||30.5||4.8||975||****|
|Fonte da Cova||Sobradelo||1837||27.1||5.6||1055||****|
|O Cadramón||Lagoa||1051||14.8||6.6||1028||***||O Xistral||Abeleira||1027||2.2||12.9||421||****|
MountainsThe North-West of Spain is a very mountainous area which is split between the autonomous regions of Galicia, Asturias and Castilla-y-León. The most well known climbs are relatively close to the coast in Asturias and form part of the Cantabrican Mountain chain that runs across Northern Spain.
But the higher climbs are actually found further south, with several passes in Castilla-y-León reaching nearly 2,000m altitude. The region of Galicia in the far north-west is characterized by rolling hills and medium mountains. There is barely a flat road to be found and so there are many more climbs than are detailed here, but we have picked out a few of the best and our favourites.
SceneryThe scenery varies considerably throughout the region. Some of the climbs in Asturias can rival the Alps or Pyrenees in terms of high mountain scenery, whilst those further south in Castilla-y-León tend to be a little less spectacular, and sometimes even a bit barren. The towns and villages that you pass through are more attractive in this area though, particularly along the Camino de Santiago route.
Inland Galicia is mostly forested and so, while the climbing is pleasant, don't count on there being too many spectacular views. It's a different story for the climbs near the coast, where there are often fantastic views looking out over the Atlantic.
RoadsThe road surfaces also vary considerably throughout the area. They are mostly the responsability of the autonomous communities; and so while those in Asturias and Galicia generally tend to be in very good condition, those in Castilla-y-León are not so great.
The climbs in the Province of Zamora in particular are often very bumpy, to the point of being annoying to ride on a road bike. Check out the individual climbs profiles for more details.
Traffic is generally not an issue in the region, and on many of the climbs you can ride for very long periods of time without seeing a single car. As always, there are a few exceptions, such as the Puerto de Pajares, which are busy, and so it pays to do a bit of research.
Getting ThereAsturias has one major aiport near the city of Oviedo (Asturias Airport), and there is another large international airport in Santiago de Compostela. The whole region is also quite well connected by train with Madrid, although it's worth bearing in mind that most of these a href="https://www.cyclefiesta.com/multimedia/articles/bikes-on-trains-spain.htm">do not allow bikes on board.
WeatherThis is the wettest part of Spain, due to its exposure to the Altantic weather. Galicia, in particular, gets a lot of rain throughout the year. Whilst the more easterly parts of the region tend to be quite a lot drier, particularly in summer.
Temperatures are slightly lower and more pleasant for riding than in most of Spain during the summer. The coastal areas are also quite mild during the winter, while snow is common on the higher inland areas - including along parts of the Camino de Santiago.
Cycling HolidaysWe currently run three cycling holidays in the region. Our Picos de Europa & Asturian Coast is the slightly easier option, with the option of doing valley routes or high mountains each day.
While our Great Climbs of the Vuelta is a difficult tour, tackling the most iconic climbs in Asturias, with hard rides each day.
We also organize tours along the Camino de Santiago from the city of León to Santiago. This tackles several excellent climbs including Cruz de Hierro - the highest point along the whole Camino route. This holiday is of medium difficulty and also has a strong focus on the history and culture of the region.
You can find more details and links to the full itinerary in the tour information below.