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 ****
La Farrapona Riera 1708 18.7 5.8 1105 *****
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 Cabañaquinta 847 5.5 7.6 382 ***
La Colladona Pola de Laviana 847 11.8 4.5 318 ****
La Cubilla Campomanes 1683 28.1 4.6 877 *****
Leitariegos Caboalles 1525 10 5 304 ****
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 Marabio Entrago 1050 12.7 5.1 542 ***
Puerto de San Lorenzo La Riera 1349 10.1 8.5 955 ****
Alto de Naranco Oviedo 632 6.8 5.7 324 ****
Coto Bello Corigos 1198 10 8.3 765 ***
La Colladiella Sotrondio 850 9 6.5 521 ***
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 ****
Cuitu Negru Busdongo 1845 11.2 5.7 972 ***
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 **
El Peñon Truchas 1840 14.4 5 743 ***
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 Frexulfe 1051 15.6 6.1 974 ***
O Cadramón Lagoa 1051 14.8 6.6 1028 ***
O Xistral Abeleira 1027 2.2 12.9 421 ****





Mountains

The 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.


La Cubilla

La Cubilla is one of our favourites in the region






Scenery

The 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.



Roads

The 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.


Laguna de los Peces

Laguna de los Peces in Zamora is a nice climb, but doesn't have a great road surface.







Getting There

Asturias 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.



Weather

This 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 Holidays

We 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.




Picos de Europa National Park
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Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,130 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
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