Spain - Top Bike Climbs

#1
Llano de las Animas
SPAIN
#2
Pico Veleta
SPAIN
#3
Roque de los Muchachos (West)
SPAIN
#4
Pico Veleta - Granada
SPAIN
#5
Alto de l'Angliru
SPAIN
#6
Mount Teide (Los Cristianos)
SPAIN
#7
Alto de Gamoniteiro East
SPAIN
#8
Roque de Los Muchacho (East)
SPAIN
#9
Mount Teide (El Medano)
SPAIN
#10
Pico de Las Nieves (Ingenio)
SPAIN

Climb List: Spain
(sort by distance, difficulty, elevation and more)

PJAMM TRIPS ADVENTURE STARTER BUNDLES

Check out PJAMM Adventure's prepackaged (self-guided) cycling trips. They will help you plan, document and conquer your next adventure.
ALL TRIPS
Browse all of our prepackaged trips and find your next adventure!

MEMBER COMMENTS

Let us know your thoughts about this page. Signup for our FREE membership to post a comment or question.
Already have an account?
FULL SUMMARY

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

Cycling Llano de las Animas, Spain - bike parked against guardrail overlooking ocean next to rusty sign that reads "Feel the moment...it's a present!!" with a smiley face

Ride 15.6 kilometers (9.7 miles) gaining 2,000 meters (6,560’) at 12.6% average grade.

The name of this climb derives from the name of the plateau we climb to - ironically, llano means “flat” in Spanish.  This is the second-steepest 10 kilometers of tarmac in the world at 15.2% (just behind Al Jaadah Pass, Saudi Arabia at 15.4%).

aerial photo shows switchbacks snaking up roadway surrounded by tall trees

Start of the concrete.

Remaining: 2.9 km at 18%.

photo collage shows sign for Llano de Las Animas, PJAMM Cyclists stand with bikes next to water tank, view of rough, one-lane road

Treating overheated brakes during our descent.

PJAMM's profile tool shows climb gradient, route overview

PJAMM’s Profile Tool: Two kilometers average 20.8%, 500 meters average 23.4%, and 200 meters 29.4%.

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 World Top 10 bike climb behind: (1) Mauna Kea (Hawaii), (2) Al Jaadah (Saudi Arabia), (3) Babusar Pass (Pakistan), (4) Apagua (Ecuador), and (6) Baniamr Pass (Saudi Arabia).

 

PICO VELETA

SPAIN #2 - HARDEST BIKE CLIMB ON THE MAINLAND OF SPAIN

photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclist standing with bike, stone structure, aerial views of roadway snaking up mountainside

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.

PJAMM Cyclist gives thumbs up on bike

Sign at the start -- first KM is 12% (max 22%).

  Bike climb of Pico de Veleta - statue of Virgen de Las Nieves, Pico Veleta seen through statue

Virgen de Las Nieves -- peak above altar (21 km).

aerial view shows stone marker at the top of the climb

View from the top

Marker at Pico Veleta.

ROQUE DE LOS MUCHACHOS NORTH

SPAIN’S THIRD HARDEST BIKE CLIMB

ONE OF THE MOST EPIC BIKE CLIMBS IN THE WORLD

panoramic view of cliffs of Roque de los Muchachos

Cycling Roque de los Muchachos from the west (Canary Islands, Spain)

Ride 17.7 miles gaining 7,465’ at 7.4% average grade (9.7% climb only)

This is one of the most epic climbs in the world and ranked World #27 in difficulty.  We made the two hour ferry ride from Tenerife and stayed two days just for this climb and Llano de las Animas (world #6).  However, we feel like a solid five days riding on the island is justified.

photo collage shows views of cliffs of Roque de los Muchachos, sign for Mirador el Serradero, sign for National park

Roque de los Muchachos is truly one of the best bike climbs in the entire world.

Roque de Los Muchacho means “Rock of the Boys” and 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 VELETA FROM GRANADA

SPAIN’S FOURTH HARDEST BIKE CLIMB

panoramic view of Pico Veleta from Granada, altitude sign reads 2250 m

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 Alto de l'Angliru, Spain - view from Mirador about 1 kilometer from ride finish, bike parked next to informational signs on hillside

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%+.

Cycling Alto de l'Angliru, Spain - photo collage, bike parked in front of large white stone map for Anglirue mountain, cyclist rides on two-lane roadway on mountainside, sign for KM1, panoramic view looking down mountainside, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

This challenging bike climb has been made famous by the Vuelta a España.

MOUNT TEIDE - PUERTO DE LA CRUZ

SPAIN #6 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB

panoramic view looking down over Mt. Teide from Guimar

Cycling Mount Teide from Puerto de la Cruz, Spain

Ride 47 kilometers gaining 2,429 meters at 5% average grade.

photo collage shows views of Mt. Teide, signs for El Portillo and El Teide 

This is one of several climbs that end at the trailhead to the path to the top of Mt Teide and the highest paved road in Tenerife.  Additionally, 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 #11 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.

MOUNT TEIDE - LOS CRISTIANOS

SPAIN #7

Panoramic view of Mt. Tiede

Cycling Mount Teide from Las Cristianos, Spain

Ride 33.2 kilometers gaining 2,109 meters at 6.4% average grade.

photo collage shows iron cross atop a building, panoramic view showing the road switchbacking up the climb to Mt. Tiede, national park sign for Tiede Parque Nacional

This is one of the most popular routes to the top of the most popular destination in the Canary Islands: Mount Teide.  This route ranks #73 in the world and ends at the Teide National Park Sign, but do continue past the sign to the Visitor Center and paved high point of the road and island - this is the most scenic part of the climb and takes you in view of Mount Teide and its unique volcanic formations.

PJAMM Cyclists stand with bikes in front of sign for Teide Parque Nacional

Along with photos with Mount Teide in the background, this is the top photo opp location on the mountain.

ALTO DE GAMONITEIRO

SPAIN #8 OVERALL

Cycling Spain - Alto de Gamoniteiro -  mountainside, road, and radio tower 

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

Cycling Roque de los Muchachos East

Ride 41 kilometers gaining 2,473 meters at 5.6% average grade (7.7% climb only)

This climb begins in Santa Cruza de la Palma on the Canary Island of La Palma.  Roque de Los Muchacho means “Rock of the Boys” and 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.  

Ranked #84 world and #8 in Spain.

PICO DE LAS NIEVES

#10 HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN SPAIN

panoramic photo shows sweeping views of mountain landscape and lots of trees, blue sky

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.

Access to full Climb Summary requires a PJAMM Cycling PRO Membership!

It takes less than a minute to sign up & with your PRO membership you can:
  • Rate climbs, post comments and share your experiences on any of our climb pages
  • Create bucket lists of climbs & mark the dates you complete them
  • Weather data for all climbs - Start & Finish
  • Upload photos to your member page to customize your PJAMM Cycling experience
  • Utilize all of our interactive tools - Profile & Routes in Area
  • Download climb route .gpx files
LEARN MORE
SIGN UP

Already have an account? LOG IN HERE