We have documented the highest roads above sea level you can ride a bicycle on in all of Europe. On this page and on the individual climb pages you will find detailed summaries, epic photographs and statistics for these rides.
Pico Veleta, Spain, the highest road in Europe.
THE HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN EUROPE
Cycling Pico de Veleta -- a top world bike climb.
Ride 31.3 km to 3366 m gaining 2,689 m at 7.7%.
THE NUMBER SEVEN MOST DIFFICULT CLIMB IN THE WORLD. It is not often that we are blessed to climb “The” of anything, whether it be the “hardest,” the “longest,” the “steepest,” or, in this case the “highest.” Yet we can honestly claim that Pico is a “The” climb: The highest paved road in all of Europe -- now that’s saying something! And it’s not just high, it’s H A R D!
THE SECOND HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN EUROPE
Col des Gentianes is the 40th ranked bike climb in the world.
We finish this climb at a crazy 2,897 meters/9,504’.
The road access up this climb takes you to a ski resort. By the way, you can take the tram up in six minutes, versus 3+ hours by bike...but that takes all the fun out of it, right?
THE THIRD HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN EUROPE
Rettenbachferner is the highest paved road open to the public in Europe.
The Rettenbachferner bike climbs finishes at 2,817 meters/9,242’
Pico del Veleta’s last 11.5 kilometers are paved but closed to the public. Much of Col des Gentianes is gravel, although manageable on road bike.
THE FOURTH HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN EUROPE
Climbing Mount Etna the 8.5 km past Rifugio Giovanni Sapienza requires cross or mountain bike.
We finish the Mount Etna bike climb at 2,798 meters/9,180’.
Mount Etna is a major tourist destination in Italy. The big sweeping switchbacks up the mountainside take you to the restaurants/visitor center/parking lot, where the paved road ends. Many tourist park there and hike, bus, tram, or quad to the summit.
THE FIFTH HIGHEST BIKE CLIMB IN EUROPE
We finish the Cime de la Bonette bike ride at 2,768 meters/9,080’.
Col de Bonette is part of the Route des Grandes Alpes, a tourist itinerary that begins in Thonon-les-Bains and travels over many of the most spectacular passes in France and Europe, including Col de L’Iseran, Galibier, d’Izoard, and Bonette.
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