Why you should choose Sierra Nevada for your next training camp.
Even just looking at the number of pros who choose Sierra Nevada as a base for their training camps is a good indicator of how good cycling is in the area, but why should you choose it? There are multiple locations available to the cyclist, such as Girona, Gran Canaria, Mallorca, and more; but below are some of the reasons as to why Sierra Nevada is perhaps the best choice.
What should you look for in a training camp destination?
All of these locations have a broadly similar appeal; good weather, well-surfaced roads, nice climbs and descents. The drivers are respectful, the roads are quiet, and there is a good amount of variety. The decision you have to make is one of suitability, do these destinations offer said roads, good variety, facilities, weather and accommodation? Is it expensive? Is there a good choice of food and restaurants? Do you want someone to guide you or do you want to focus on your own training on solo routes? Do you want a cycling holiday or a full on eat-sleep-cycle-repeat training camp? Are you coming with a group or solo?
Once you have decided what sort of package you’re looking for, you’ll soon realize that Cycle Sierra Nevada can comfortably cater for every single one of these criteria.
What does Sierra Nevada have to offer?
Climbs- The selection of climbs here is second to none, whether you want a short steady climb for some hill repeats or want to go from sea-level to over 1200m in one climb, Sierra Nevada has all this and more. The views on these climbs have to be seen to be truly appreciated, with vistas of sea, of mountain-side villages and deep valleys all serving to improve already stunning climbs. You are sure to return home from Sierra Nevada better able to climb.
Descents- The roads here are pure perfection, making the descents here things of joy. Sweeping bends, fast straits, and tight hairpins all add to the fun of these long downhills. While descents may be daunting to some, the road surface, and little traffic means these descents are nothing to be feared. Your descending will undoubtedly be improved by the time you head home.
Weather- The weather around Sierra Nevada, in our experience over the years, is fantastic, with very little rain, and plenty of sunshine. Temperatures touch 20°C+ from January onwards, and the sun is a constant companion on rides here all year.
Quiet Roads- The roads here are exceptionally quiet, and what drivers you do meet, are incredibly respectful, providing as much room as possible, as well as making sure you know they’re there before they begin to overtake. There are climbs here where you could easily not meet a car for over an hour.
Variety- The variety in Sierra Nevada is endless, with an array of routes, climbs and descents to choose from. Feel like a recovery spin? Cycle down to the beach for coffee. Want an epic day? Head for one of the 20km climbs spread out around us. You’ll never have to ride the same roads twice. Such is the multitude of climbs out here that you’ll have trouble picking.
Choosing our favourite climb is no easy task, and for this reason we’ve compiled a top ten list of the climbs we can recommend.
Haza del Lino: Haza del Lino has a number of beautiful approaches, both from the cost and from the other side of the mountain. You can easily go from sea-level to 1200m on the climbs up Haza del Lino, which can go on for over 20km. The views from Haza del Lino out onto the Alboran Sea, and onto the mountains and valleys around you are sure to live long in the memory. read more
The Goat’s Path: One of the most spectacular climbs in the area, this 36km climb is quuite steady, eventually topping out at 1332m above sea level. This 5% climb starts from the tropical climate of the seaside town of Almunecar. By-passing avocado plantations and rising steadily through the small towns of Otivar and Jete, eventually climbing to alpine level and proceed on to the barren plains of the Vega of Granada and the famous El Suspiro del Morro pass. read more
Los Guajares: Los Guajares is the closest climb to our base here in Velez de Benaudalla. 14 km in length, this steady climb brings you through the village of Guajar, averaging a 5% gradient. Perfect for a FTP test, the views out onto the sea as well as onto the snow-capped Sierra Nevada are beautiful, making the climb fly by. read more
La Contraviesa: Starting in the formerly Roman village of Torvizcon, this climb is a tough one. A steep climb with sharp hairpins, be advised to take care if descending down this road.In spring, this climb is particularly beautiful, with almond trees and their pink blossoms starting to spread from the lower slopes making their own way up the mountain day by day as the warmth of spring grows. read more
The Mine’s Climb: Starting just outside Torvizcon and finishing near Busquístar, this 13.2km climb is far from easy. The first 10km are relentless, hovering around 5-7%. At the top of the climb sits the El Conjuro Mines. These mines were originally used in Moorish times for the extraction of iron. read more
La Zubia: 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 1,095m high climb is not a particularly long one, but what it lacks in length it is made up for in its steepness. The total length to La Zubia is only 4.6 kilometres from which the first 1,600 metres are partly flat. The following 3 kilometres continue up with an average gradient of 10%. read more
Pico de Veleta: At 3,398 (11,148 ft) metres above sea level the Pico Veleta is Europe's highest paved road and consequently Europe's highest cycling climb. The meaning of the name literally translates as Pico or peak and Veleta meaning "weather vane", the name will perhaps take on a greater resonance as you approach the top.
The climb starts just outside of the city of Granada at 750m and arrives at the summit of 3398m some 43km later. A description of the Pico Veleta by author Daniel Friebe sums up the climb quite well. Put simply the Pico Veleta...
"is taller and tougher than anything on the Tour de France but lacks in kudos what it offers in elevation precisely because of its height... it is, more simply put, too high. Too high for year-round access and too high, perhaps most to the point, to join the upper crust of professional cycling's most noble mountains". read more
Sierra de Lujar: A feature in Roadtripping Sierra Nevada, this roughly surfaced, but incredibly rewarding climb is not soon forgotten. The steep gradients and poor surface are all wiped away the second you reach the top, where 360° views await you, views that cannot be one justice with a simple photograph. read more
Trevelez: Trevelez, resting at 1,486 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.
There’s the option of three approaches for tackling the climb to Trevelez. 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. read more
Cycle Sierra Nevada Training Camps and Cycling Holidays
If you’re interested in trying out some of these glorious climbs, and getting a true experience of all that Sierra Nevada has to offer, don’t hesitate to fill out the booking form here. Should you have any questions or want to know more, please contact us. From bike hire, guided tours, or organizing routes and accommodation for you, Cycle Sierra Nevada has all this and more.