Overall Rating

Every climb that we have profiled has been given an overall rating. This is a quick way of ranking how enjoyable we believe each climb is to ride and takes into account a number of factors, which are outlined below.

It is based on a star system with * being the least enjoyable and ***** being the most enjoyable to ride. It is an entirely subjective rating based on our experiences of the climbs.

The overall rating is different from the difficulty index and does not include how challenging a climb is in its calculation.


The biggest factor in calculating the overall rating is the scenery. A picturesque climb with fantastic views for miles around will generally result in a higher rating than a climb where you are surrounded by dense forest for most of the route.

Spectacular scenery can take many different shapes, ranging from, for example, beautiful coastlines in Mallorca to the high, rugged peaks of the Pyrenees of Picos de Europa.

This is entirely subjective, so if, for example, you prefer the barren, rolling landscapes of central Spain you may feel as though our ratings are not especially accurately.

Road Conditions

Another significant consideration are the road conditions of each climb. Included within this are two distinct elements: the road surface and traffic.

Climbs with very little traffic are more likely to receive a higher rating than those that are full of cars. Indeed, some famous climbs have been given just * because the volume of traffic makes them so unenjoyable to climb.

The road surface is given slightly less weighting, but still is important in deciding the overall rating. A perfect road surface with no potholes and no vibration makes for a much more enjoyable climb and descent.

History and Status

Some weighting is given to the history and status of a climb. After all, it is more enjoyable to climb something like Col du Tourmalet or Angliru, following in the tracks of the greatest cyclists throughout history, than it is to conquer a much lesser known climb with similar scenery and road conditions.

On the individual profile of each climb you will find more information about the history and status of each climb. Finding out about the famous races and battles that have taken place on the slopes makes the climb an even more rewarding experience.