For those seeking climbs that will test your legs and mind until the sweet reward of reaching the top, Cycle Sierra Nevada is the place to ride with a variety of climbs certain to please any cycling enthusiast. The area is famous for its mountainous terrain and it´s a regular feature of the Vuelta Espana. We've listed a few of the climbs that you´re likely to tackle in your week´s cycling holiday with us.
La Zubia - 1200 m - 4.6 km
The closing climb of stage 6 of the 2014 Vuelta Espana is only a short spin away from our base in Velez de Benaudalla. The 1200m high climb is not a particularly long one, but what it lacks in length it is made up for in it's steepness. The total length to La Zubia is only 4.6 kilometres from which the first 600 metres are partly flat. The following 4 kilometres raise with an average gradient of 10%! Click on the image below for the final kilometres of the stage.
Sierra de Tejeda - 1358 m - 36 km
This is probably the most spectacular climb in the area. With 36 kilometres of steady gradient, the climb tops out at 1358 meters above sea level, with a well deserved coffee stop at the summit. This is the old road from the coast to Granada city, locally named La Carretera de la Cabra or The Road of the Goat. In the past, the road was used by mule drivers taking fish from the coast to the markets in Granada city, taking almost two days and traversing the mountain at night to avoid the daytime sun. We start the climb from the tropical climate of the seaside town of Almunecar. By-passing banana plantations and rising steadily through the small towns of Otivar and Jete, we eventually climb to alpine level and proceed on to the barren plains of the Vega of Granada and the famous El Suspiro del Morro pass.
Haza del Lino - 1300 m - 20 km
Haza del Lino sits atop the Sierra de la Contraviesa, a coastal mountain range famous for its vineyards, almond and fig groves. There are many approaches to the portal of Haza del Lino, both from the coast and inland. All approaches are incredibly beautiful and the views are breath-taking in all directions. It's hard to decide which approach we at CSN like most, it would be like a mother attempting to choose between her children. However, it's safe to say no matter which approach we attempt, it'll be a memorable time in the saddle with a great little cafe right at the end.
Trevelz - 1486 m - 20 km
Tevelez, resting at 1486 metres above sea level, is one of the highest villages in Spain. The village is famous for the quality of its air-cured Iberian hams. Because of the cooler climate- due to the altitude and the village's position within a gorge conditions for curing ham are ideal.
We have the option of three approaches for tackling the climb to Trevelz. Some are less steep but longer than others. Nonetheless, each approach takes in quiet stretches of mountain roads with great views and plenty of opportunities to refill for water and fuel.
Alto Hazallanas - 1650 m - 17 km
Leaving the outskirts of the city of Granada we travel through the golden plains of Cenes del la Vega, following the path of least resistance we track the source of the famous river that flows through the city, Rio Genil. Eventually after around 10km of steady climbing we make our way to the village of Güéjar Sierra. The village is situated in the north-western part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, at an altitude of 1,088 metres, it is a main gateway to the three peaks of the Sierra Nevada, most notably the Mulhacén, Alcazaba and Veleta.
For the final 6km the gradient of the road is less forgiving than the first half of the climb. The road really starts to kick up and has an incline of 20% in places. It really pays to have a compact crank or a 28" on the back sprocket here. One would be forgiven for questioning their love of the sport along this road, but don't let us put you off. The pain is worth it for the magnificent views from the Alto Hazallanas.
This climb featured on stage 10 of the 2013 Vuelta Espana, Chris Horner makes it look a little too easy for a man in his forties! Check out the final 7kms below.