• A Natural Paradise, Asturias
    MTB & Road

Asturias, North Eastern Spain

Situated in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, between the Autonomous Regions of Galicia and Cantabria, is a small region that does not fit the stereotypes of Spanish tourism. A cycling paradise still undiscovered by the mainstream cycling community, despite being an important host to La Vuelta Espania for many years.

Asturias has more to offer than you can imagine, cycling holidays for the family, including the 20km Bear Trail that takes in sight of the small ASTURIAN villages, crossing bridges over fresh water stream and rivers and of course the famous brown bears that roam the region. Also if you are looking for a challenging cycling terrain, then look no further, if it’s good enough for the Pro riders of La Vuelta, then it will deliver a unique experience for you.

Emulate the achievements of great cyclists like Jan Ullrich, Alex Zülle, Tony Rominger and Laurent Jalabert and take on slopes with inclines of more in excess of 23% during the climb in the Cycling Tour of Spain (La Vuelta a España) to mythical peaks such as the COVADONGA LAKES, ANGLIRU AND LA FARRAPONA.

Famous Climbs

Los Lagos de Covadonga

The Lagos de Covadonga is an HC climb similar to Alpe d’Huez in length, gradient and height gain. A spectacular climb it was the grand finale of Stage 15 of The Vuelta España in 2012 and this year it was where Nairo Quintana claimed his red jersey back on stage 10. A spectacular climb with amazing views of the lake and definitely one to tick off the bucket list.

Angliru

The Alto de L’Angliru is a brute of a climb but well worth doing if you have the legs for it. People say this is the hardest climb in Spain, it was certainly tough on the legs as we climbed it with a few friendly Spanish guides. I was gagging and had to make two short stops to catch my breath! The climb has featured several times in the Vuelta de España since 1999.
 
Originally it had been no more than an old cattle track and was not known as a cyclist route. Even after being tarmacked this narrow, extremely steep road still left much to be desired by some cyclists and as Pedro Delgado stated prior to the start in 1999 ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen before.
Riders will be getting off their bikes and walking. If you are not fit, don’t come.’ It’s inclusion in the Vuelta was due to Spain’s desire to find climbs to rival those in the Tour de France and Giro de Italia. Los Lagos de Covadonga rivaled the Alpe d’Huez and Mortirolo so the idea was that the L’Angliru would rival Mont Ventoux and Monte Zoncolan in the Giro d’Italia, and it certainly did.
 

El Naranco

El Naranco is an iconic climb that has featured often in the Vuelta a España over the years and made a welcome return in 2013 with Joaquim Rodriguez taking the stage win and more recently this year when David de la Cruz from Etixx-QuickStep made his stage 9 victory. It’s not that long nor steep a climb but its location over-looking Oviedo has made it the famous climb that it has become. Indeed, since 1941 the ‘subida de Naranco’ has been one of the primary sportives in Spain although it has now been incorporated into the Vuelta de Asturias.
The climb can be accessed from the centre of Oviedo and the climb itself is a very pleasant one, taking you past some of the most famous and well preserved Pre-Romanesque buildings in Asturias.
At the summit you will reach the statue of Christ called ‘The Sacred Heart Jesus’ which has looked down upon Oviedo since 1951, amazing and beautiful views.
Although there are two small sections that go into double figures the rest of the climb never really goes up to much more than 8% with the first 2 kilometers not even reaching 6%. 

Sotres

The Alto de Sotres will be the summit finish of Stage 15 of the 2015 Vuelta a España. The name of the climb varies from source to source. Some, such as the actual Vuelta a España website, have it listed as the Alto de Sotres. Others will refer to it as the Jitu de Escarandi. The last 2Km of this climb hit 14%, with spectacular views.
 

 

 

It is no secret that people eat well in Asturias. Its wonderful natural larder (the sea, the countryside and the mountains) offer everything one could ask for, with the guaranteed quality of the best ingredients.

Proof of this is the dozens of products that to date have been worthy of being awarded a Protected Designation of Origin classification. And it’s not all about traditional cuisine (although this cannot be missed). Nowadays the stoves are used to prepare modern dishes that, together with the traditional cuisine, make this place a paradise for good food: bean stew, casseroles, seafood (crab and barnacles); fish (hake, monkfish), red meat, lamb and of course a wide variety of artisan cheeses (the most varied in Europe: Cabrales, Casín, Afuega’l pitu, Gamonéu, etc.).

Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy a dessert of “arroz con leche” (rice pudding), “casadielles” (pastries), or “frixuelos” (crepes). All washed down with some cider, the Asturian drink par excellence, an apple elixir that forms the basis for various social events and whose pouring ritual is considered an art worth seeing.

  • Average flight time from the UK to Asturias is 1hr 50min
  • Asturias airport is just 30 miles from the capital, Oviedo
  • Asturias plays host to the La Vuelta Espania
  • Some of Spains toughest cycling ascents are in Asturias
  • Asturias is much greener than typical Spain destinations
  • Great for both coastal and mountain cycling, both for road and MTB
  • The main mountain range for cycling is called The Picos de Europa

Asturias is a cyling paradise and offers a lush green, mountanous and coastal climate. August is the hottest month in Asturias with an average temperature of 19°C (65°F) and the coldest is January at 9°C (48°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 6 in July. The wettest month is January with an average of 120mm of rain

Just like England, Asturias can be prone to some rain in early spring months but an idea cycling holiday destination from May - October.

Asturias, North Eastern Spain
Price from £875pp