Cycling Pico de Veleta Granada

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Pico de Veleta - Granada

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 6.2 %

Length: 43 km

Height start: 700 m

Height top: 3400 m

Elevation gain: 2700 m

Maximum: %

Pico de Veleta rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 27 (all)
Ranking Spain: 33 (all)
Ranking Sierra Nevada: 3 (all)
Difficulty score: 248.93 what?

Pico de Veleta ratings

(4.6) Overall

(4) Road

(5) Traffic

(4) Amenities

(4) Surroundings

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Nice but terrible peak starting from Granada with a paved (but not driveable) road to the top in the Sierra Nevada. High difficulty index due to its length (43 km!), gradient (2700 m!) and height, not its %. Last 8 km get harder though. Snow possible also in summer.

The Pico de Veleta is situated in Andalucia and belongs to the Sierra Nevada . Starting from Granada, the Pico de Veleta ascent is 43 km long. Over this distance, you climb 2700 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 6.2 %.

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Location info

Find all information on climbs and cycling in Andalucia and find all climbs in Andalucia on a map.

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Stories, information and comments from Pico de Veleta climbers
Story by Guy from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, submitted on 10/04/2014
Climbed the Pico on the 6th of July 2013. Conditions were very nice and warm. On the same day we discovered that the Sierra Nevada Limite took place. This race ends at the Pico. We took of from Granada and followed the same route as the Sierra Nevada Limite. So we did not ascent on the A-395 but followed the GR-420 and the GR-3200. It is a very nice ride on a road with not much traffic but with very steep section, up to 17%. After a while the GR-3200 joins the A-395. Reaching 2500 meter you pass the barrier. After this the road gets much worse. After 4,5 hour reached to top. Very nice views. Overall a very nice climb I can recommend
My personal climb rating:
Story by Dick Oliemans from Strand/Cape Town, South Africa, submitted on 04/09/2013
Did this climb in September 1987 with my Dutch buddy

as one of the last stages of a 1 month cycle camping trip around Andalucia, on touring bikes loaded with panniers.. In those days there was no barrier, and the last very steep 8ks was on tarmac in reasonably good condition, it appears to have deteriotated since. Starting in Granada the 55 k to the top took us about 4 1/2 hours excl regular stops. The top was covered in clouds but every now and then Granada popped up deep deep below. I do recall oxygen problems during the last very steep kilometre.. We went down on the gravel road ending in Capileira, 35 km unpaved, on normal touring bike tyres.. Only 1 pinchflat, and we arrived just before dark in Capileira (where we wild camped and treated ourselves to a restaurant meal instead of the usual campinggas pasta meal..) Still see this as one of the most memorable stages done in my long touring cycle career.. ( I am now 54 years old)
My personal climb rating:
Story by Martin Poettgen from Ruhrstadt, Germany, submitted on 17/08/2013
Hi guys.

Motivated by this page i cycled Valeta in July 2013. It''s a fabulous experience.

Find my video i made on youtube. Search for:

"Rennrad Tour auf den Pico de La Valeta"

It''s 5:43 long.

Thanx for the page


My personal climb rating:
Story by Martin Poettgen from Ruhrstadt, Germany, submitted on 17/08/2013

I cycled the Valeta in July 2013 with up to 45°Celsius. Its raly an event for everbody who loves cycling.

Find my video on youtube:

seach for: Rennrad Tour auf den Pico de La Valeta - Europas höchste Asphaltstrasse

It''s 5:43 long.


My personal climb rating:
Story by Dave Noble from Loughborough, United Kingdom, submitted on 20/09/2012
I rode up and back from Granada on a road bike with 23 tyres in September 2012. High 30s temperature at the bottom, which made it tough, but pleasant at the top - I didn''t need a coat for descending. It is really only an up and return trip unless you are touring on a mountain bike and have researched the track conditions on the way down to Trevelez on the other side.

Road conditions are excellent until above the ski station where it is closed to cars. From then on it is crumbling tarmac until the last 2 kilometres when the tarmac disapears - it was just rideable for me, but at the limit of what is sensible on those tyres - it made the descent hard as I had to be on the brakes all the time which is unnatural for me!I found the views and isolation of the top section easier than the heat of the main road at the bottom and didn''t sffer much from teh altitude.

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Story by Graham from , United Kingdom, submitted on 19/09/2012
Road this in fantastic weather mid September 2012. Great road up from Granada to the military post where the ''proper'' road stops and there is a barrier. Then it gets from difficult to silly unless you are on a mountain bike! Yes it''s high so altitude is a factor and parts are quite steep. Then the grooved surface, gouged out by snow ploughs starts to disintegrate with rocky, graveley parts that require very careful navigation on a road bike with 23mm tyres. At about 2800m the ''tarmac'' stops and it is NOT a metalled road! So sorry Spain but you have not got the highest metalled road in Europe unless you get some tarmac on the top few kms! Cime de la Bonette rules as not only the highest pass in Europe but the highest PROPER road!
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Story by Steve from huddersfield, United Kingdom, submitted on 15/09/2012
I climbed on a 30/42/52 touring road bike with 11-27 block in early October from the outskirts of Granada, following the main road up. Stopped briefly at the tourist information center where the road to the ski station diverges, hoping for coffee and cake, but no luck! At 2500m elevation(at the university outpost) there is a warm little bar which did a good ham sandwich too.

After the vehicle barrier the road gets rougher, steeper and wilder. No one else about at all. The head/cross wind got stonger and stronger as the road hairpins up which made it very hard.

The altitude started to affect me and for some distance i had to stop and rest every few hundred metres.

Frightened of getting blown off the top of the Pico, at 3200mts took the right hand fork to the observatory. The track beyond that down to Trvelez was narrow and obstructed by rocks which had fallen from Mulhacen. Only rideable on a mountain bike.

The descent was amazing ! Except for a puncture after 4k which was very hard to fix with the gale and altitude brain fog.

Take more warm clothes than you think you will need and food - with the altitude and the cold it could be a dangerous place if you had a major bike problem.
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Story by Scott from Fleet, United Kingdom, submitted on 15/06/2012
Three of us climbed this in late June 2011. We started out from Monacil where we were staying. This route gives you a much tougher introduction to the main, long climb. Once on the main road, you just keep pedalling smoothly and only the wind gets in your way. There are two routes on the main road. We took the right hand road on the way up and the left hand road on the way down. As others have said, you can grab a drink or something to eat at the Sierra Nevada ski resort. As you head out of the resort, there is a barrier across the road, and cars are stopped here. The surface deteriorates little by little as you climb. We did the whole climb on mountain bikes. I reckon that you could ride a road bike but would opt for 23-25mm tyres with some tread. There is a fork in the track after a few kilometres. The right hand fork clearly goes to the observatory. Keep on the left hand fork to climb to the top. Even in late June there was a lot of snow and the snow plough had gone home for the weekend as the road disappeared under a blanket of white. We pushed for a bit but then it all got too deep, so we left the bikes and clambered to the highest point that we could see.
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Story by Willem from Wilnis, The Netherlands, submitted on 18/12/2011
In 1961 I drove up this mountain all the way up by car, as a 11yr old boy with my father and brother. I still remembered that and decided to include it in my cycling holiday in Andalusia. On the second of October 2011 I started in Cenes de la Vega end after only 5 kms the climb started. The conditions were escellent and there was no snow. Up to 2500mtrs it was slow but steady. The next 12 kms the road got worse and worse and the altitude was noticeable more and more. I managed to get to the top just in time. I was the last person there that day. It was rather cold and windy clouds were moving in. The decent was really cold due to sundown and speed. Take warm and windtight clothing! It took me 8hrs to climb and 1,5 to decend. Wonderful experience at 62!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Willem from Wilnis, The Netherlands, submitted on 18/12/2011
In 1961 I drove up this mountain all the way up by car, as a 11yr old boy with my father and brother. I still remembered that and decided to include it in my cycling holiday in Andalusia. On the second of October 2011 I started in Cenes de la Vega end after only 5 kms the climb started. The conditions were escellent and there was no snow. Up to 2500mtrs it was slow but steady. The next 12 kms the road got worse and worse and the altitude was noticeable more and more. I managed to get to the top just in time. I was the last person there that day. It was rather cold and windy clouds were moving in. The decent was really cold due to sundown and speed. Take warm and windtight clothing! It took me 8hrs to climb and 1,5 to decend. Wonderful experience at 62!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Michael Nickel from Alicante, Spain, submitted on 20/12/2010
We (50 and 58 years old)climbed on the 2nd of October from Granada. It took us a bit more than 5 hours. Very windy conditions on the top section. No snow on the road. From 2500m on the road gets very bad (we climbed with racing bikes, one flat tire there!) Great views all over the trip, but the landscape is a bit depressing (no green) It is tough to climb the pico veleta due to its length and altitude which caused us some trouble. Dont forget to have a beer at 2500m (nice restauran/bar there!!)
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Story by horse h from trowbidge, United Kingdom, submitted on 12/04/2010
in o9 riding to faro took the scenic route, west cost france,irun ,pamplona logrono,soria,madrid, granada ,took turn to sierra nevada heading for la vetta on the 395.took wrong turn ended up in guejar sierra coming out of town saw a small road heading to high ground which i followed this turned into a loose graveled road VERY steep and hairpin bends every 100 kms .as i was riding a harley davidson and full luggage. turning round and going back down was not an option bends to tight, to steep,and loose gravel.kept going and met the 395 and then up to mulhacen, a ride that i will never forget.going back down on the 395 was a doddle. ps if you like these sort of roads try the d27 from la mole to domaine du rayol near cogolin south of france views & hair pins awsome. but take care ,locals use this as a short cut to the coast
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Story by sander from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, submitted on 09/03/2010
Very windy at around 2500m so cycling took up the whole width the road. At one point my front wheel blew sideways some 10 cm. Beautifully sunny to compensate. The climb from the southern side is nicer, although the last pass to Veleta was impossible to pass because of snow (20 July!). From the south side its also possible to cycle up the rough road to Mulhacen (by MTB) following the south ridge. To do this find the path to the right at 2750m., just after Mirador de Trevelez and some 200m after the junction with the road that leads to the Poqueira refugio.
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Story by Dave Mounter from Chester, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/01/2010
In 1987 I was house sitting for my mum and dad in Almunecar on the coast for two weeks, with my son of one and a half years. I had hired a small car, a Seat Panda, front engine and drive. I tackled the Pico de Velata from the south side from the Trevelez Road. On this occasion I was able to reach the summit. The last stretch was over gravel heavily riven and snow. We did slip and slide a fair bit but I was confident that we would not go over the edge. The views from the top were magnificent but I was alarmed to see that Mujhacen, close by was higher! I drove back down to the small quarry lake and took a rough track off to the left. It took me two extra hours but by dint of driving much of the route backwards I achieved the top of Mulhacen too.
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Story by Vladimir from , Czech Republic, submitted on 30/09/2009
Hi, did anyone try to get down on the other side of the hill? If yes, is the road in good condition? Or did anyone climb from the other side, not from Granada? Many thanks for answers. Have a nice one....
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Story by Paul Narramore from , United Kingdom, submitted on 01/08/2009
Hello I intend to ride a motorcycle to Spain in the summer and ride up the Pico de Veleta. It sounds as if cars are NOT permitted, are motorbikes? And how poor is the road surface near the top for a road motorbike? Thank you.
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Story by jochem and irene from utrecht, The Netherlands, submitted on 10/12/2008
We climbed Veleta in end of septmeber 2008 during our bike trip from Girona to Sevilla on a ""rest"" day in Granada. From the Campign it was 55 km and took 5h30m on touring bike, with snow on thelats 500 m (we walked). The first part is a little busy but the stretch after the skiing vilage is fantastic. Very cold downhil, even with full gore-tex rain suit due to the fog and speed. Tip: After the ski-station there is one fork in the road, you have to take the left option, the other goes to the astronomical observatory, not the summit.
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Story by Pierre Tessier from Montreal, Canada, submitted on 29/09/2008
I climbed the Veleta in late September 2008. I started from Granada. I rode 7 km to the beginning of the climb. Then its a 42km climb to the top. Very nice road conditions. Not too steep, around 7% average. The last 10km are more difficult because of the altitude and the road conditions. It is for bikes only, no cars allowed. I did not appreciate the last kilometers in the dirt road, specially with my tiny 20mm tires. I had to carry my bike the last 300-400 meters to the very top. The whole climb took me less than 3 hours, including a short stop near the ski station where I drank a coke. I climbed with a 39X25. It was perfect for most of the ride expect the last kilometers where a extra gear would have been welcomed. Still I recommend this climb to anyone looking for a challenge and the view is great from the top.
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Story by Rob from , United Kingdom, submitted on 21/06/2008
I cycled this road back in August 1989 on a Marin Mountain Bike. We had cycled from St Malo in Northern France in about 4 weeks with full camping gear. We decided to go up to pico veleta on a ""day off"" and did the trip without panniers. We carried lunch, water and a sweat shirt for he journey back. Great feeling getting to the top and an unbelievable downhill with painfully cold extremities
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Story by Phil from Melbourne, Australia, submitted on 06/03/2008
In Summer 2000 I added Granada to my bicycle lap of Spain. Cycled up Pico Veleta with a fully loaded mountain bike and camped at a nice lookout at around 2500 metres. Spent a few weeks camping up there and pretty much concentrating on the descent from the peak down into Granada. Loved the whole descent, especially the wide visible roads from the peak and the fast roads down lower. Wish Id learnt about the bus a bit earlier as the ride up each day was a killer. Recommend nice wide slick tyres for better grip through the corners and definitely a mountain bike, not racing bike. Whatever, just my preferences! Enjoy. Its the best road descent Ive ever made and one of the The most memorable biking experiences.
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Story by Nigel Somers from Belfast, Northern Ireland, submitted on 10/02/2007
Hi all, I rode to the top of the Valeta the day before Ed and managed to see Vuelta too!! Extremely hot day at the bottom was as Ed said very cold at the top!! But it was awesome!! Highest Ive ever been (apart from flying) and well worth the effort to get up. I stayed on main road and maintained a steady pace upto 2500m. After this point the road is closed to cars and surface degrades somewhat but still rideable on a road bike. Altitude and steepness starts to kick in and its quite an effort. Topping out at 3400m I was surprised to not be alone but had company of numerous walkers/hikers too!! Very cold descent until around 2000m and then extremely fast descent on main road, WOW!! Took me 3 hours 20 minutes to complete ascent from my base in village at bottom with gearing of 39*25!! (a bit lower would certainly have been nicer!!) Any strong rider should attempt this climb its well worth the effort and an experience Ill never forget.
Story by Ed Tarwinski from Sotogrande, Spain, submitted on 21/09/2007
I was in Granada this week to see the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) and on Mondays rest day I finally rode up the Pico Veleta, crossing another personal goal off my list. Its Europes highest road. I took the extremely interesting and scenic route via Güéjar-Sierra (single track road, 20km per hour speed limit for a long section) which takes you to the top without ever touching the wide, and sometimes boring, main road. Nearing the summit it became progressively harder due to gradient, high wind, poor road surface, 65% of normal oxygen concentration due to altitude and low temperature (6 deg C at top compared to 30 at the bottom). By then I was starting to knock after only two bidons and two little flapjacks during the 4+ hour climb (Note - no shops/cafés after Güéjar-Sierra going by this route). I was in 30 x 23 (35 inches) on my road bike almost the whole way. I descended to the ski station for some welcome grub then enjoyed the glorious long descent on the main road, where I was hardly touching the brakes and frequently overtook cars - yeehaw! Total distance from my base-camp just outside Granada was 54 miles including one navigational error of about 3-4 miles on the way up (Tip: Theres no *&%$# sign, so turn right after the church in Güéjar-Sierra!) 21Sep2007
Story by Evalds from Jurmala, Latvia, submitted on 06/01/2007
Hello! Is it possible to reach pico de Veleta by car in June? Please send me much information about this possibility as possible. Evalds
Story by michael leskovec from melbourne, australia, submitted on 24/09/2006
A very good test of stamina. Definately worthy of making the effort to get there. Its a long steady climb but the last 3 km is the true test. The last km is rocky spongy gravel, i had to walk my bike up parts. Coming from sea level the day before i actually did feel the altitude with dizziness. The view and feeling at the top was incredible. The descent is fast but can get very cold(i went in october).

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