Spain has the fifth most Top 100 World Bike climbs (9) of any other country, behind Italy (16), Austria (12) ,Saudi Arabia (12), and Switzerland (10). Spain’s Top road bike climbs are spread out further than in any other country: Llano de las Animas (Spain #1, World #5) is on La Palma, Canary Islands, Pico Veleta (Spain #2, World #14) is in southern Spain; Alto de Gamoniteiro is in the north; and Roque de Los Muchacho, Teide, Puerto de la Cruz, and Pico de Las Nieves are all situated in the Canary Islands.
LLANO DE LAS ANIMAS
THE HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN SPAIN
Ride 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) gaining 2,000 meters (6,560’) at 12.6% average grade.
Dani Avila, Spain, tard0d lifestyle:
The gradient profile for this climb says it all - there are several segments of extraordinary steepness. Add the length and altitude of this climb and you have the legitimate Top 5 world bike climb.
Start of the concrete.
Remaining: 2.9 km at 18%.
SPAIN #2 - HARDEST BIKE CLIMB ON THE MAINLAND OF SPAIN
The number fourteen 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 greatest bike climb in Spain is Pico de Veleta. This climb has it all -- it’s incredibly steep (almost impossibly so in places), it’s scenic, has hairpins, a unique summit, a ski resort, is situated partially along a private road, has a spiritual overlay, and more. PJAMM Cycling rode the hardest route to the top on our first day in Granada and took the longer route our second.
Sign at the start -- first KM is 12% (max 22%).
Virgen de Las Nieves -- peak above altar (21 km).
View from the top
Marker at Pico Veleta.
ROQUE DE LOS MUCHACHOS NORTH
SPAIN’S THIRD HARDEST BIKE CLIMB
Cycling Roque de los Muchachos from the north.
Ride 17.7 miles gaining 7,465’ at 7.4% average grade (9.7% climb only)
This is the hardest route up to the highest point on the La Palma of the Canary Islands. The climb begins on the northern part of the island near the tiny hamlet of El Tablado.
PICO VELETA FROM GRANADA
SPAIN’S FOURTH HARDEST BIKE CLIMB
This is an easier route to Pico Veleta, but still an exceptional climb ranked in the Top World 50 at 27 miles, gaining 8,300’ at 5.7% average grade.
ALTO DE L'ANGLIRU
SPAIN’S FIFTH HARDEST BIKE CLIMB
Cycling the mighty Angliru -- ride 13.1 kilometers (8.2 miles), gaining 1,220 meters (4,005’), at 9.2% average grade.
This may be the most popular Big Climb in Spain, even more so than Pico Veleta. The climb is very scenic and VERY HARD! On the face of it, 9.2% seems tough, but manageable. However, what separates Angliru from most Spanish bike climbs is its extremely steep segments that go well beyond 9%. There is an entire half-kilometer that averages nearly 20% (beginning about three kilometers from the top) and there are several briefer segments at 15%+.
This challenging bike climb has been made famous by the Vuelta a España.
MOUNT TEIDE - PUERTO DE LA CRUZ
SPAIN #6 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB
Ride 46 kilometers gaining 2,339 meters at 5% average grade.
This is the hardest climb to the high point of TF-21 (roadway to Mount Teide).
MOUNT TEIDE - LOS CRISTIANOS
Ride 33 kilometers gaining 2106 meters at 6.4% average grade.
ALTO DE GAMONITEIRO
SPAIN #8 OVERALL
Ride 14.5 kilometers gaining 1,408 meters at 9.8% average grade.
This is a Top 100 World Climb located in northern Spain and just south of Angliru. It appears that this climb has been included in the Vuelta a Espana at least once, in 2016: “Today is the turn of the sixteenth stage, the second in Asturias. Short stage of just 118 kilometers between Avilés and Alto del Gamoniteiro’s unprecedented summit in the Vuelta a España” (Sexto Anillo).
ROQUE DE LOS MUCHACHOS EAST
#9 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN SPAIN
This climb begins in Santa Cruza de la Palma on the Canary Island of La Palma. This is the third most difficult bike climb in Spain and the hardest on the Canary Islands.
Roque de Los Muchacho means “Rock of the Boys,” and this is a rocky mound at the highest point on the Island of La Palma. Also at the top of this climb are several observatories, with some of the largest telescopes in the world, constructed there because the altitude and dry climate provide for excellent observing conditions.
PICO DE LAS NIEVES
#10 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN SPAIN
Cycling Pico de las Nieves from Telde, Las Palmas, Canary Islands.
Ride 26.6 kilometers from 175m to 1933m gaining 1785m at 6.6% average grade.
MOUNT TEIDE - SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE
THE LONGEST BIKE CLIMB IN SPAIN
Cycling the longest bike climb in Europe - Mount Teide from Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Ride 63.1 kilometers gaining 2,871 meters at 3.8% average grade.
At 63 kilometers (39.2 miles), cycling from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to the high point at the Sendero de Montaña Blanca trail (beginning of the hike to Teide Peak at 3,718 meters/12,198’) is the longest bike climb in the Canary Islands, Spain, and Europe, and #10 in the entire world! One of the great Bike-Hikes in Europe is Santa Cruz to Montaña Blanca and then from Montaña Blanca hike 8.3 kilometers gaining an incredible 1,188 meters to Mount Teide Peak.
Note: To hike to Mount Teide summit you must have a permit (apply here). The Teide Cable Car parking lot is just past the finish of our climb - Google Map of Teide Cable Car.