Monte Aloia Galicia’s Mythical Mountain

Monte Aloia is situated at the southern border of Galicia. IIt towers above the River Miño and northern Portugal providing spectacular views. It is a natural park, and a paradise for many different lovers of nature. Hikers can spend a long day exploring it´s beautiful dense woodland. Trail runners have limitless mountain paths to keep them occupied. And cyclists too have as many as five options to reach the Chapel of Saint Julian at the summit, some 650m from the foot. The two most popular are the south face, the shortest route, and from Gondomar, although twice as long, but nonetheless still challenging. This mountain is a must for all cycling holidays in galicia.

The route up Monte Aloia from Gondomar is deceiving. It has three flat sections within it’s 12km, allowing the rider to regroup between each steep section.  The first 4km are steady until the village of Morgadanés , where a quick left and right introduces the rider to 3km at a steady 8% gradient. Next comes another flat section through the village of Prado, and the final drag to the summit. Once there one can take in a great view out to the Atlantic Ocean in the final 2km. It is a truly memorable ascent. The south face tackled from Tui, is a totally different proposition, with the 6km ascent averaging just over 8%.

The steepness of this side of Monte Aloia hits the rider immediately, with a first km averaging 8.2%. This leads to a small false flat , followed by a small rise to the village of Frinxo. From there, all the way to the summit, the gradient vary rarely drops below 9%. There section of hairpins past the water fountain and the visitor centre average almost 11%. The final 2km to the summit really hurts the legs and seem to go on forever. The view in the final 400m across the river valley to Portugal is well worth all the hurt experienced in the previous 6km.