CLIMB CATEGORY - 2
Length of climb - 8.3km
Summit elevation - 1,015M
Start elevation - 449M
Elevation gain - 566M
Gradient (avg) - 7%
Starting in the always interesting Órgiva, this climb must be counted as one of the most beautiful around. After leaving the town, you quickly lose count of the number of hairpins you've gone around as you climb up towards Cáñar.
This climb is steep, but excellently surfaced, with sections above 15% commonplace. Once you find your rhythm on this climb it really becomes a joy to ride. The views down onto Órgiva and the valley and mountains surrounding it are especially stunning on a sunny day.
This climb is sure to make you smile, the switchbacks reminiscent of Italy's infamous Stelvio climb. The first two kilometres up to the left hand turn are sometimes busy but once you take the turn for Cáñar the road really quietens down, making it unlikely that you'll see a single car for the last 6km up to the top.
Upon reaching the top it's always nice to stop for a coffee and take in the views. Cañar traces back its origins to the 8th century with the arrival of the Arabs. It has an interesting history and some interesting points to note.
"Because of its altitude, it was initially called “Gebel”, Arabic for “mountainous”. Its isolation has meant that, today, it retains much of its Arabic heritage, to be seen in the architecture of its whitewashed, flat-roofed houses, its narrow streets, its terraced farming with the acequia system of irrigation, the threshing grounds and the flour mills.
In keeping with the rest of the villages of Las Alpujarras, when, in around 1609, the Muslim uprisings were crushed and the Moors expelled by the Catholic Monarchs, the village was repopulated by the “Old Christians” from other parts of Spain. "
If you have time to spare before the descent back down towards Órgiva, why not visit the Parish Church, which was built over the Nasarid Mosque in 1775. A visit to the Ruins of the Shrine of la Santísima Trinidad is also worthwhile.