Haza del lino (CASTELL DE FERRO)
CLIMB CATEGORY - HC
Length of climb - 22.4km
Summit elevation - 1,280M
Start elevation - 18M
Elevation gain - 1,269M
Gradient (avg) - 6%
A great place to stop for a coffee beside the sea, the little village of Castell de Ferro (Castle of Iron) is the perfect start for the 22.4km climb up to Haza del Lino. This is not an easy climb by any means, so ensure you’ve taken on some food and filled up your bidons in Castell de Ferro before you start heading up this glorious mountain.
Similar to the climb to Haza del Lino from La Rábita further down the coast, the first five and a half kilometres of this approach are also of a reasonably relaxed gradient. From then onwards, as you pass the junction for the village of Lujar the gradient starts to steepen to 9%, as you enter the main section of the climb. With the arrival of the first hairpin comes sections of over 20%.
The road surface up until Rubite is quite rough, serving to make this climb tougher than it should be. The road to Rubite can be quite disheartening, as there is little to see but the steep climb spread out before your eyes.
In the 13th kilometre, as you arrive in Rubite, you are given some welcome recovery with a half a kilometre of a downhill that should be used to prepare for the last 8km. You can also refill you bidons in Rubite, the origins of this town can be traced back to the Roman period.
As you start to climb again at 14.2km, the gradient relaxes a bit, sitting around 5% until the 22km mark.
From Rubite to Haza del Lino, the road surface is excellent and turns on the road make this part of the road more interesting for the rider, which allows you to relax a bit more as the gradient is also not as steep, letting you take in this more scenic section of the climb as almond trees break up the sometimes sparse landscape.
Don’t forget to try and spot the Atlas Mountains of Africa across the Alboran Sea on a nice clear day.
Food wise, there is a nice café in Castell de Ferro called Caferini, where you can sit out and enjoy the 20°C yearly average temperature here beside the sea. At the top of the climb, you can descend 1km down to Restaurante Haza del Lino, where you can enjoy a coffee as you look out on the mountains and sea below you.