When you are planning anything on a bike now, be it a Sunday run, a full blown holiday, or it seems a grand Tour, climbing seems to be an integral part. Cyclists have always wanted to go uphill since bikes were invented. However, this now seems to be an obsession, with riders and organisers alike. The recent Vuelta de España was packed with different types of climbs. Even the “hilly” stage in Galicia had 3300m of vertical gain. So, for those who like challenging terrain, this region is perfect for riders of every ability. It can truly be said that Galicia is a cyclist’s paradise.
The Modern Day Problems of the Famous Climbs
The historic climbs, particularly those featured in the Tour and the Giro, have always been part of cycling folklore. The Stelvio and Alpe D´Huez are the two most famous from those great races. Most cyclists have those two on their bucket list of things to do before they die. Tourists flock to these monuments, and and just bike tourists. The Alps in particular have become a haven for motorcyclists too, who much prefer descending to ascending. This has added to the danger of visiting these climbs. Tourism in general has not helped either. Cycling has made these places very familiar, and in the summer now, these mountains can be very busy with tourist traffic. Nothing quite like rounding the hairpins of Alpe D´Huez in a caravan of motor homes and exhaust fumes. Similarly heading down a busy dual carriageway ahead of the Tourmalet is not ideal preparation.
Galicia is a Cyclist’s Paradise
So, if you want to enjoy climbing on a bike, what ingredients do we need. Well, first a decent supply of mountains and hills is fundamental. Secondly, as climbing implies going uphill, sometimes to altitudes well above 500m, some good weather too. Thirdly, roads that are relatively traffic free, as all climbs have to be descended too, and safety is an issue. And lastly, a good combination of climb length and severity. Thus, those who love to climb should try a bike trip to Spain, as the country offers this in abundance. And in particular, the cycling in Galicia is tailor made for those who love climbing.
Galicia’s Famous Climbs
On our page, we have listed the Galician climbs. These are those found just in the south western part of the region, and the Portuguese border. Galicia offers some of the best cycling terrain on the continent, and undiscovered gem. And for those who love climbing, it offers long 30km efforts such as Cabeza de Manzaneda. Also, short , violently steep efforts such as Monte Aloia and Arga de Cima. Each of these climbs present a different challenge, and that is what makes Galicia so unique. Many of these climbs can be tackled traffic free, in fact there are more animals than cars. Descents can be enjoyed without dodging motor homes or motorbikes. Nature in it’s rawest from can be observed. And you are never far from the sea, to enjoy some flat after all the effort.
Here in the region of Galicia, cyclists have everything they could want on a bike holiday. Climbs, safe roads, little traffic, ocean side rides, and after a day in the saddle , great food too. All these ingredients add up to make Galicia the ideal place for cycling holiday. Galicia is a cyclist’s paradise. Come and see it for yourself.