THE CLIMBS OF GRANADA

Granada is located in southern Spain, in Andalusia. It’s a very mountainous and unknown area but the best climbs of Europe are hidden here. We say this because when we talk about the best mountain passes to do with our bikes, we are don’t thinking only in the scenery. We want climbs with enough length and elevation gain (which we also have here), good roads, good weather all the year long to climb as much as we want and the most important, the less traffic possible.

Definetly one of the most determining factors to enjoy the road we ride is stay safe and don’t be afraid because all the time are cars bothering. Our roads are surprisingly quiet and the few cars we will find, treat the cyclist with respect.

This is our selection of the best climbs to ride from the city of Granada, our playground.

BLANCARES – 20,2Km / 541m

One of the most cycled by local cyclists due to its proximity to Granada city and its quiet, fresh and rolling road. It is characterized by being a smooth climb with some flat sections to gradually reach the summit.

This road is one of the main access routes to the Guadix-Baza plateau and Badlands.

PURCHE – 12,2Km / 762m

Used several times in the Tour of Spain and being one of the alternative roads to reach Sierra Nevada. The real challenge begins in the small town of Monachil. From here, we will handle a quite tough climb section of 6 km always around 10% to reach its maximum slope in the quarry area where we will reach 16%.

DUQUE – 19,15Km / 908m

The Duke (in spanish Duque) San Pedro de Galatino ordered to built the Hotel Sierra Nevada in that place in 1920, therefor the climb is known as the Duke (Duque) climb.

After cycle through Güéjar Sierra village, we will descend to the valley of the Genil and Maitena rivers. We will ride on a really narrow road and after crossing two small tunnels (without artificial light) we will start this beautiful and tough climb.

The first 3 km are really tough, with some cement hairpin turns until you reach the Agrilla fountain, with slightly ferruginous and spicy water. From here the slope smooths out and we can look beyond our front wheel.

ALGUACIL – 17,19Km / 1126m

Without doubt one of the toughest climbs in Granada. We can compare it with the Col du Granon in the Alps. From the picturesque town of Güéjar Sierra to the top is the most difficult part of the climb. In these 8km the slope will rarely drop below 10%. We will gain height soon and enjoy its fantastic panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada, “it seems that you can touch it with the tip of your fingers”.

In the last 100m climb, the tarmac becomes gravel,  but it worths cycle them to reach the summit where, it is not uncommon, to find cows grazing.

CÁÑAR – 8,3Km / 566m

Riding to the south, in the Alpujarra and very close to Órgiva, we find this climb of lovely hairpin turns.

The last 5 km have an average slope close to 10% to reach the town of Cáñar situated in the summit. But don’t be afraid for the numbers, having so many turns and privileged views of the valley, it will make your effort somewhat less noticeable.

LA CABRA – 33Km / 1376m

Located close to the coast, it is the furthest climb from Granada. If you are looking for a long day in the saddle with a good amount of elevation gain, this is your climb.

It is known as carretera de La Cabra (Goat’s path) and it was the old connection between the coast villages and Granada. Initially was used by fish carriers and it was a real adventure of several days to reach the city of Granada.

Once the highway was built to arrive at the coast, this road fell into desuse for our joy.

ALFAGUARA (GRAVEL) – 17Km / 813m

Our little homage to the Colle delle Finestre in Alps. Once we reach the top of Puerto Lobo, we take the road to the left to continue climbing to the Alfaguara Visitor Center. From here the tarmac disappears and the gravel carpet appears which will take us to the summit.

This kind of climb takes us to that old cycling (…and now so trendy) where tarmac rarely exists in the mountains and the route was even more tough.

MOCLÍN – 6,7Km / 333m

Moclín village was the old border of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. We will start climbing from the turnoff to Tiena village and the slope will be steady at 6-7%. After a nice hairpin turn we can contemplate unbeatable views of huge olive trees fields and Sierra Nevada in the background.

The last km to reach Moclín village is flat and the pine trees will disappear leaving us to contemplate this beautiful village, built on the steep mountain and surrounded by its castle walls.

ALFAGUARA – 12Km / 697m

In 2018 was the finish of the fourth stage of the Tour of Spain. The climb starts from the city of Granada and takes us into the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park. We will cross the village of Alfacar, known for the prestige of its bread ovens.

PUERTO LOBO – 8,8Km / 419m

From the city center of Granada, the climb starts by the old road to Murcia region. The begining of the climb is spectacular. Magnificent views of the city, the Cathedral, the famous Albayzín neighborhood, the Alhambra and Sierra Nevada in the background. Soon we will leave the city behind us to go into the Sierra de Huétor National Park.

VELETA – 42,4Km / 2564m

The Pico Veleta is the toughest climb in Spain and also the highest paved road in Europe. The Pico Veleta is more than an Hors Catégorie (HC) rated climb. It is longer and tougher than Tourmalet, Alpe d’Huez or Ventoux.

Cycling the roof of Europe is a tough challenge but it is an unforgettable experience too. The beauty of its views make that climb something magic.

ARGUMOSA – 15,5Km / 530m

We love road bikes off road and here we have one of our favorite gravel sections to do it. It is about 3km of gravel road that connects the valley of the Aguas Blancas river with the Genil river.

Once we literally cross over the Quéntar dam, this easy and fun path will begin. This section, with excellent views and surrounded by almond trees, finishes at the Argumosa farmhouse. From here the tarmac returns and we find short and step climbs that reach up to 18%. At the summit we will have magnificent views of the Sierra Nevada and the Canales reservoir.

SABINAS – IRAM – 35,9Km / 2247m

It’s the climb to the IRAM at 2850 m.a.s.l.,  the Sierra Nevada radio telescope, with an antenna of 30 meters in diameter. It has been essential in reaching one of the most important scientific discoveries of our time: the image of the black hole.

The climb from Granada is really long and steady, but the really tough will be riding above 2000m of altitude. A big challenge only comparable with the mythical Veleta peak.

VENTA DEL FRAILE – 17Km / 504m

The climb goes along the old Goat’s Path towards the coast. Known with this name because, until the beginning of the 20th century, the fish carrier, from the coast villages of Almuñécar and Málaga, stopped here to exchange some of their products for the ice from the Sierra Nevada snowfields. They need it for a correct fish conservation.