Bilbao, Santilliana, Cangas de Onis, Picos de Europa, Oviedo
7 days − Guided.
4* Hotels & Country Inns
Kick Butt on these Famous Vuelta climbs of the North which are by no doubt the finest first class road cycling in Europe. Cycle along the roads of Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque country in this tour, and test your metal.
Awesome ascents snake upwards into the clouds as you take on all the famous summits of La Vuelta. A real Classic cycling climbs tour.
Ride through the amazing Picos de Europa, the mystic Fuente De with panoramic vistas, Covadonga’s lakes and legends, Peña Cabarga’s fame and of course Angliru’s pain – the hardest pro climb in Europe! Try them all on this beauty of a road cycling tour. A truly classic road cycling holiday that “bags” all the famous passes of the fabled Green Spain that the pros have ridden over the years in La Vuelta.
On an unrivalled journey that takes us through the Basque Country, Cantabria, the stunning Picos de Europa and ends in Asturias with the incredible Angliru, this is a fully supported and guided trip for those who want to sample some amazing scenery and of course test themselves on some world class ascents and thrilling descents.
20 May 2021 | 23 Jun 2021 | 19 May 2022 | 22 Jun 2022
85 km Daily Average
- Attempt the toughest climb in Europe – The Angliru
- Scale ascents of Lagos de Covadonga, Pena Cabarga & El Fito
- Kick Butt on some of the best road cycling in Europe – Total ascent 7900m / that’s 25,917 feet folks!
- Epic A to B journey through 4 unique provinces, with local food & customs
- Discover the fabled home of Road Cycling in Spain!
- Enjoy Asturiano cider, Basque country cuisine and mountain dishes of Cantabria
Tour with one of the very few Spanish Official tour Operators of La Vuelta
Our experience of running Vuelta Tours here, on race day is Unique and we know where to go
We are Pro Race fans and get a thrill out of riding these routes here too
We are a Spanish company with Spanish Guides, so we are Invested in Spain!
Parador Boutique accommodation makes for a quality experience on this route
I had a first class experience doing Famous Vuelta Climbs of the North in June, 2014. Route was excellent with plenty of challenging but achievable climbs and descents aided by the professionalism and passion of Geoff and Dean.The roads were excellent as we’re the hotels and it was fantastic to experience the food, culture and even the cider of the North with a great bunch of like minded individuals the majority of whom were Cycling Country devotees of which I am now one. Can’t wait to do another Cycling Country adventure but better bring my wife next time!
Day 1. BILBAO BASQUE COUNTRY
Ride : 63 km | Elevation Gain : 1100 m
Meet in the Basque city of Bilbao to transfer out to our beautiful rural hotel retreat. Ride into the foothills and climb a gentle 3rd category road up to Las Munecas, a famous pass where in past La Vuelta race days the locals are out in a sea of orange supporting their home Eusakadi team. Enjoy our welcome dinner trying the high quality basque cuisine.
Day 2. PUERTO DE ALISAS, PEÑA CABARGA, CANTABRIA
Ride : 105 km | Elevation Gain : 1600 m
Our morning destination is the category 1 Puerto de Alisas, a climb featured regularly in many Vueltas. After dropping down to near sea level contemplate our next challenge, the unique Peña Cabarga climb. Another cat 1, the Cabarga was raced up in 2016 and 3 years ago with Chris Froome of Team Sky taking the win. It is only 6km long but the views from the top of the coastline explain the average 9% slopes that hit 19% for a few horrible metres. Descend back down to our medieval hideaway Parador Hotel inland, a great spot to start tomorrow´s ride from and enjoy the atmosphere of this special village.
Day 3. PICOS DE EUROPA, POTES, FUENTE DE
Ride : 95 km | Elevation Gain : 1300 m
Today’s route takes in the stunning Picos de Europa, often voted as one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. A morning ride takes us past flowing rivers as we pedal onto the mountain village of Potes, our base for the next 2 evenings. Potes is one of the most attractive villages in Cantabria and is surrounded by spectacular mountains. From here we will climb the col of Fuente De (a gentler ascent), made famous in 2012 as the place Alberto Contador sealed his Vuelta victory. From this picturesque high head back down to our mountain retreat Parador hotel and enjoy a group dinner together.
Day 4. SAN GLORIO PASS, CANGAS DE ONIS
Ride : 120 km | Elevation Gain : 1700 m
Another epic day awaits as you pedal up the smooth hairpins of the San Glorio pass to a height of 1206 metres. The scenery of the surrounding mountains is breath taking (as is this 26km climb!). After this grand achievement we ride down through gorges before ascending again to an unsurpassed viewpoint. What goes up must come down and so enjoy a descent of over 40km to tonight’s town of Cangas de Onis. Cangas is a great place for bars, restaurants, and their cider. Enjoy this comfortable hotel and easy walk into the centre.
Day 5. LAKES OF COVADONGA, EL FITO, VILAVICOSA
Ride : 95 km | Elevation Gain : 1400 m
The morning is all about the ascent to the Lagos de Covadonga, a hors category thriller which is probably the most famous climb in Spain and many a past Vuelta has been decided here. Last featured in La Vuelta 2016, Quintana attacked and won, leaving Gesink, Froome and Contador in his wake. Making it to the high lakes at the top, cruise back to continue along a valley of flat and fast roads. Try the short category 1 “El Fito” to reach a 360 degree viewpoint. Descend along the green Asturian valleys, finishing in Vilavicosa. We take a short transfer to attractive Oviedo, our base to be ready to ride from the hotel the next day.
Day 6. THE ANGLIRU
Ride : 90 km | Elevation Gain : 1850 m
Our final riding day could be the best with the most feared climb anywhere on the cycling race circuit – the mythical Angliru. Be afraid, be very afraid! This hors Cat mountain will challenge us like no other climb. A 12.5 km hairpin ascent of super steep bends of upto 23.5% (avg of 10%), your triple/compact chainset will be needed! A test for all climbers (previous Vuelta winners include Contador, Heras and Simoni), this was where Chris Horner sealed his 2013 victory after riding away from Nibali and Wiggins cracked to lose the red jersey to Cobo in 2011. Transfer back to our 4 Star City hotel in Oviedo and enjoy a group meal. Uncork some Asturiano cider to celebrate our mountain adventure.
Day 7. TRANSFER
After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye as we take our transfers to Oviedo-Asturias airport or the very conveniently located train station that accesses the rest of Spain. ¡Gracias y Hasta Pronto!
Road Cycling : Guided & Supported
Bikes : Road
Route : Bilbao – Basque Country – Cantabria – Picos de Europa – Asturias – Oviedo
Groups Size : 6+, Discounts for 4+ if booking together | Make it a Custom Tour for 6+
Challenging : Daily average of 85 – 100 km over mountainous terrain. The tour is suitable for experienced cyclists of all ages who have a good level of fitness and enjoy road biking. It goes without saying – expect climbs! Be prepared to descend mountain roads. Quiet country and mountain roads. Rolling countryside with long mountain passes.
6 Nights Specially chosen 2 luxury Paradors, 4* City, and 2 rural retreat hotel
All bedrooms are en-suite
3 dinners of 3 courses (including wine, beer, soft drinks)
Welcome drink and meeting
Complimentary custom Cycling Country Spain Race cycling jersey
Complimentary Cycling Country water bottles, helmet hire
Tour guide book / Route notes / maps / profiles
Experienced guides with a wealth of local knowledge
Daily snacks and refreshments (MULEBAR Energy Bars and Goos inc!)
Electrolyte drink supplements
5% off future trips!
1-2 leaders with full van support to pick up souvenirs, provide refreshments, act as guides, offer tips and insights throughout the day, provide directional signs where required, transfer luggage and provide on-road assistance. 1 guide cycles with the group
Arrival point – Bilbao centre Hotel
Departure : to Oviedo – Asturias airport
Quality road bike hire either Carbon Trek Emonda S6 Ultegra (210 Eur) or Carbon Trek Emonda SL6 Ultegra Disc (235 Euros) for the tour. We also have wheel upgrades available (e.g. Dura Ace C50, or Ultegra wheelsets). If you do bring your own bike, we recommend a compact or triple chainset. You can bring your own road bike though please note we don’t take any responsibility for your bike whilst on tour.
Bilbao is well connected with international flights, train and coach services and Oviedo is as well at the end.
Will you be wishing you were back in bed on this tour? Riding or hiding, the hills are there for the day, so your night times should be free of any obstacles to blissfulness.
Stay in a beautiful luxury PARADOR in the Picos de Europa, right under the Massif, where its outdoor lifestyle building is a delight and in the middle of lovely historic Santillana del Mar.
A comfortable quality city 4 star hotel that gives a great base to go out exploring on bike and your free evenings in Oviedo, a great city to wander.
“Thanks for those Vuelta Climbs
Thanks so much Maggi.
We had a great time and Javi was awesome guide.
PS – El Angliru was great. Can’t wait to get back there to improve my time 🙂 “
S. Fridman – Calif, USA – June 2019
“Top of the List! Northern Climbs
I write this as Javi and Dani drive us back to Bilbao after and amazing week of riding in northern Spain. This is the 12th year running that a group of us have gotten together to do a week long epic tour with past trips to the Alps, Dolomites, Pyrenees, Colorado, California and the Pacific NE USA and this trip and Cycling Country as a provider goes to the VERY top of the list. Geoff and Maggie have put together a fantastic schedule for 1 week of very scenic, challenging and historic riding (La Huelta symbolic). Javi and Dani then executed it to perfection. We couldn’t if asked for better hosts…with excellent support, advice and great attitude throughout….and super riding companions. The accommodation was excellent (recommend taking the option to upgrade to Paradors for a couple of nights as they are even better than the very nice standard accommodation). The roads are, for the most part, in perfect condition and local drivers very accommodating to cyclists. Food on the road and in local towns (lunches, coffee and dinners out) were very reasonably priced and good quality compared to the rest of Europe. As for the riding…this route isn’t for the faint of heart as we covered over 700km (440mi) and 13,000m (40,000 ft) over 7 days with famous La Huelta climbs Pena Cabarga, Lagos de Covalonga and Angliru as well as a number of other category 1-4s included. This is a serious cyclists route…but if you are up for it, it was immensely satisfying! Kudos and chapeau to Cycling Country all around. Sore legs and all, I want to come back soon!” G. LaDoe – London, UK – July 2017
“Tough Climbs, but Awesome experience. Thanks guys for an amazing week that really challenged us on the bikes. I feel I am a better cyclist after trying those climbs. Good luck for the season!”
S. Martin – Vancouver, Canada – May 2015
“Cycling Northern Climbs
I had a first class experience doing Signature Climbs of the North in June, 2014. Route was excellent with plenty of challenging but achievable climbs and descents aided by the professionalism and passion of Geoff and Dean.The roads were excellent as we’re the hotels and it was fantastic to experience the food, culture and even the cider of the North with a great bunch of like minded individuals the majority of whom were Cycling Country devotees of which I am now one. Can’t wait to do another Cycling Country adventure but better bring my wife next time!” M. Preston – Sydney, Australia – June 2014
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
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