Pico de Veleta

Pico de Veleta is located 3395 metres above sea level and is standing right above the Sierra Nevada national park. This impressive height is what earned it the title of the tallest main-road climb in mainland Europe. Although it may not be as visually attractive when compared to other European peaks, the Pico de Veleta still packs a punch and represents a demanding challenge to those people who wish to cross this peak off their bucket list and boast about having conquered some of the biggest mountains in Europe.
Cycling into the Sierra Nevada will definitely represent a one-of-a-kind experience. While all mountain belts have to begin the ascent at some point, very few ranges are over 3,000 metres long and so abrupt and theatrical like the climb starting from Granada and leading to Pico de Veleta.

The Climb in Detail

“The climb has never actually featured in the Vuelta Espana, it's simply too long, too high and too tough for a Grand Tour.” - Mountian High

The Ascents

The Pico de Veleta can be climbed from two main start points, the city of Granada and the town of Monachil, south east of the city centre. From Granada you will ride along the A395 before reaching the ski station Soy y Nieve and passing 2520 metres. Continue along the car free roads for the final 10 km. Monachil is the idyllic starting point. Considerably steeper than the equivalent first section on the A-395, this route is also a good deal quieter and prettier before joining the A395 and the final road towards the summit.


The highest road in Europe

It is strange to think that the highest road in mainland Europe is overlooked by road cyclists, especially considering the beautiful surroundings that Andalucia has to offer. But without the allure and history of some other high peaks in Europe, such as the Galibier and the Tourmalet the Pico de Veleta hasn’t yet entered the consciousness of the cycling community yet, like it deserves. Including the weather vane, the climb is 2295 metres above sea level with a mighty 2600m of ascending in 43 km.

Its place at the Veulta a España

In 1995 the Vuelta a España, Spain’s 3 week long cycling grand tour moved its race in the calendar from April to September, in part to allow the race to visit climbs in Spain that in the Spring were still under snow. This has not exactly worked out for the giant of Andalucia as the Vuelta has only used its roads a handful of times and has never gone beyond the military refuge, finishing at 2520 twice in 2009 with Frenchman David Moncoutié crossing the line in first and Miguel Ángel López winning in 2017.

Pico de Veleta -  Translated as - The Weather Vain

Take on this iconic climb, click or search below

Granada (AGP)
Number of Travellers
Want to take your bike with you? Click here to view available flight suppliers



Got a question about how to climb this mountain?
Select Date
Number of travellers
To prevent us receiving spam emails, please type the text that appears above into the entry box and submit.
ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.