Monte Faro rises above the coastal town of Valença , on the banks of the river Miño, across the bridge from Tui. It is the twin sister of Monte Aloia , and although not as brutal as Aloia, it is a tough climb. Most of the gradient is in the first 4km so the stats can be deceptive. The climb is the N-101 road out of Valença , and immediately kicks up in the first km, touching 12% . The road winds its way through the village of Vilar, with two or three ramps above 10%.
Once past Vilar, there is welcomed shade as the road twists through the pine forest. At the 3km mark, the road hairpins back on itself, and loses the shade. This section until km4 has a lovely view across the Miño, for those who can look across. A small “S bend ” signals the end of the tough gradients, and the road hairpins back to the top at a gentler 4%. For those brave enough to tackle cobbles, there is a route up to the very top for a stunning view.