Riding the Pico del Veleta, Europe’s highest cycling climb.
A challenge for 2019?
Did you know that the highest paved road in Europe is situated in Andalucia, Spain?
Pico del Veleta or “Weather Vane” is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.369m (11,053ft) above the sea level, located in Sierra Nevada, a mountain range in the region of Andalusia, provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It perhaps lacks the fame of the Col du Tourmalet, the Mont Ventoux or Alpe d’Huez; but the Pico del Veleta is longer and tougher than all of them.
This road, unpaved only in the last meters, was built after the creation of the Sierra Nevada National Park. The access road that arrives to approximately 10 metres below the summit is the highest paved road in Europe.
Starting from Granada, the ascent is 43 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 2.700 meters. The average percentage is 6.2 %. There are possibilities to take alternative routes.
The climate of Andalusia
Andalusia is one of Europe’s warmest regions with dry, hot summers and mild winters. Most striking is the large number of sun hours. In many places the sun shines on more than 300 days. That makes the interior in the summer a hot oven. In the interior it is warmer than the coast. In the winter, that is the other way around. The summers are dry, but with a few exceptions. In some (mountainous) regions there is a microclimate. In the Sierra Nevada the snow falls early in the autumn and in the Sierra de Grazalema (province of Malaga) there is just as much rain as in London. We have to say that rain often falls in the early spring and late autumn in a short time. Almeria, however, is once again the driest place in Europe.
When can you best cycle in Andalusia?
December, January, February
In the flatter areas of Andalusia, especially in the west, you can cycle well, just like in the neighborhood of Almeria, Malaga and Marbella. The mountains have their own climate with a chance of rain or snow.
March & April
Apart from the high mountains, it is already good cycling weather. You can walk against a rain shower (which sometimes stays for 2 days)
May & June
You can now cycle well anywhere. June can be very hot.
July & August
Smotherly hot, especially in the low-lying inland. In the mountains and at the sea the heat is slightly tempered.
September & October
In the low-lying parts it is still very hot at first. The temperatures drop to pleasant values in October. The chance of precipitation increases.
In Andalusia you could still call it spring-like, with temperatures that can easily reach 20 degrees in the first half of the month.
Cycling along the Costa del Sol
If you love cycling, cycle touring and mountain biking, Málaga province boasts a wealth of areas to explore on two wheels. We can recommend cycle tours and mountain bike routes that take in coast, mountains, areas of natural beauty and the Costa del Sol’s cities and villages. If you can’t bring your bike, you can easily find companies that rent all the necessary equipment. Grab your bike and start pedaling!
Maybe you were bitten by the golf microbe too? Then of course you are at the right address on the Costa del Golf.
As you can see, reasons enough to own your own luxury property on the Costa del Sol. Take a look at our properties here and do not hesitate to contact us without obligation. We are happy to help you.