Ride the Vuelta: Why you need to cycle in the Sierra de Ancares

In celebration of this year’s Vuelta a España, we are exploring what makes each stage of the tour truly unique and why Spain makes a perfect destination for cycling holidays.

In our last blog we took you through the Basque Country, this week we move inland to the Sierra de Ancares, home of the Ancares National Reserve and one of Spain’s all time greatest climbs, Puerto De Ancares.

Sierra de Ancares

Ideal if: You like going off the beaten track, love nature and beautiful scenery.


Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/sabelaperez/

The Puerto de Ancares rises majestically at the intersection of Galicia, Asturias and Castille and Leòn in the north-west. It has been described by Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre as ‘a cycling paradise’, and the description is certainly merited for one of the most beautiful and unspoilt spots in Europe. Some villages here have only had electricity and running water since the 1980s and you can still go hours without seeing a single car.


Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/dkouh/

There are four routes to the summit, all difficult and all mind bogglingly beautiful. The climb does not feature in this year’s edition, however it has been the host to some dramatic scenes in the past, including the famous battle between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in 2014.

Along the way be sure to ride through O’Cebreiro, a tiny village which, according to legend, was the one time home to the Holy Grail. This is a beautiful route with quite gentle ascents, before a stunning rolling return through the rest of the Ancares National Reserve.


Photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/adriaron77/

As well as cycling through the Ancares National Reserve you can ride down through Galica to the coast or North to Ovideo where you can include some more of Spain’s greatest cycle routes.

Why not take your ultimate companion with you – your bike. Riding your own bike after training means you know you have the bike set up exactly to your needs to enjoy your journey even more when taking on this terrain.

Taking your bike abroad has never seen so easy. Contact Banbury Bike Box hire if you’d like to know more information for getting your bike your destination safely.

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