The hardest and most beautiful mountain passes in Spain - La Bolsa del Corredor
They say that beauty is relative and cyclists are specialists in finding beauty in suffering and difficulty. Mountain ports are the clear example of this and most of us love to squirm on the bike to reach its peak.
If a few months ago I presented the hardest mountain ports in the world on this occasion I have made an extremely exclusive list of hardest and most beautiful mountain ports in Spain. With your permission I have taken the luxury of joining beauty and difficulty or is it that you will tell me that a 25% ramp does not make your hair look like scarp?
Hardest mountain ports in Spain
We start strong with a real wall. The Angliru is not the longest nor the highest mountain pass but its 12.5 kilometers at 10.1% average slope They leave anyone nailed.
The Angliru is a recent "invention" that the Tour of Spain announced in the late 90's and since then its popularity has not stopped growing. The ramps of 22% that we find in the area of the cueña de las cabres put you fully among the mountain ports most “hated” by cyclists. If you plan to climb the Angliru it is important that you carry the appropriate development. Otherwise you will not be able to reach the top without setting foot on the ground. The Angliru is located in Asturias and annually it is a place of pilgrimage for many cyclists.
If the 18 kilometers of ascent to the Port of Navacerrada seemed to you few calm that we have your solution. The Ball of the World is an extension of the port and if you still have strength in the tank you will have to face 3.5 extra kilometers at more than 11% average slope. A true wall that the Tour of Spain has used as the end of the stage on more than one occasion.
The climb from Collado Villalba (Madrid) offers a total of 22 kilometers of climb to 6% of average slope and more than 1300 meters of positive slope. A mountain pass with a lot of entity that in the initial part offers other alternatives of ascent from the Cotos area or the 7 revolts.
In the province of Lugo we find one of the most famous mountain ports on the list. The port of Ancares has nothing to envy for hard mountain ports like the Mortirolo. On the slope of the Balouta River we come across 12 kilometers of rise to 9.2% of average slope. A long and hard port like few. A wonder for cycling enthusiasts that on the top has some appetizing views. The Tour of Spain has already visited the area on more than one occasion and it would be surprising that it did not return soon to one of the hardest and most beautiful mountain ports of the Iberian Peninsula. Ancares has it all. Horseshoe curves, zigzag areas and a desired rest before facing the final part of the climb.
The Cuitu Negru is another colossus that we met recently thanks to the Tour of Spain. A port that in the final part has been recently paved and culminates the ascent to Puerto de Pajares with 3 kilometers of infarction at more than 13% of average slope. The final climb is a real show and a real litmus test for those cyclists who have dared to climb from the Frecha. In total you can accumulate up to 23.5 kilometers of climb to 6% of average slope. The port is located in Asturias and each year hosts the arrival of more and more cyclists. If you make a summer getaway through Asturias I recommend that you do not miss the opportunity to climb to this port.
A Canary port could not be missing on this list. The Pico de las Nieves is for different reasons one of the most special of the islands. The rise accumulates 1800 meters of positive slope along its more than 26 kilometers and by natural beauty it is one of the most beautiful in all of Spain. The boot located in Carrizal (sea level) makes it very special and allows us to enjoy all kinds of landscapes. The port is laid and except in the middle part of the ascent it does not accumulate large ramps so with calm and tranquility any cyclist can climb to its top. The viewpoint on the summit is sublime and on clear days it allows us to contemplate the beauty of the Canarian landscape. A mandatory mountain pass for all those cyclists who visit the island of Gran Canaria.
Sierra Nevada - Veleta Peak
The longest mountain pass on the list and the Europe's highest paved road. Thus we could summarize the spectacular ascent to Veleta Peak. The mountain pass is located in Sierra Nevada and from its lowest slope located in Pinos Genil it accumulates 44 kilometers of ascent and more than 2500 meters of positive slope. An authentic savage that allows us to qualify it as the hardest mountain pass in Spain. To the longitude and to the unevenness we must add the problem of the altitude and it is that to more than 2700 meters the lack of air is a reality and the landscape becomes practically a lunar zone. Needless to say, the full climb can only be done in the summer months. During the rest of the year the summit is covered by snow.
We close the select list with a somewhat unknown ascension. The climb to Roque de los Muchachos is one of the most demanding in Spain and although at the media level it has never been exploited I assure you that 30 kilometers at 7.3% average slope They will not leave you indifferent. The port has a tremendously constant profile and does not admit any rest to its top. Located on the island of La Palma, I would not be surprised at all that would soon host some stage end on the return to Spain. One of the toughest climbs but also one of the quietest.