Updated: Feb 24
The Community of Valencia, where Denia and Calpe are located, happens to be the second most mountainous region in Spain (after Asturias) and is a year-round mecca for cyclists. Many riders only scratch the surface when it comes to riding the best climbs and often end up doing the same routes. One club training camp we know climbed the Coll de Rates five times in a week, including twice in one day. It's not unusual to see riders based in Albir and Benidorm ride the Guadlest valley a couple of times a week either. As good as some of these climbs, the region is blessed with many more fantastic and often better options that just require a little local knowledge.
Climbs close to Denia & Calpe #Cyclingweeklymagazine - covered some of the well-known climbs in a short guide to the area. We have a more extensive list here. Coll de Rates - is a good climb with great views, but at 6.5km long and 5%.2 not particularly challenging. The climb starts in the small village of Parcent, has great views and has become popular largely in large part due to it's proximity to Denia and Calpe. Cumbres de Sol - takes its name from the urbanization through which it climbs. The views at the top are fantastic and the climb is one of the hardest in the region, but for the most part, it's not pretty and there are lots of cars and houses, as you'd expect of a housing estate! There are certainly more scenic options that are as hard or harder if you want to test yourself. Vall d'Ebo and Vall de Gallinera - are two of the classic rides, both starting in Pego just over 20km from Denia. They're two of our favourites, but we start them from the pretty town of Planes to the West. Both have extensive options to extend the ride, such as the difficult Miserat and L'Orcha climbs. Our favourite extension would have to be cycling around the lake at Beniarres and taking Port Beniarres towards the Carricola valley. Port de Tudons (from Alcoleja) One of the most famous climbs in the region and a regular in Professional cycling, the climb offers multiple routes to the top including an the occasional open extension past the military base to Aitana. The gradients are mostly shallow and consistent and it is popular for Winter training with Pro''s and racing amateurs alike. The steady gradients make it amenable for most riders and a gentle pace to the summit at just over 1000m is rewarded with some fantastic views. Port de Tudons can also be climbed from Sella and Penaguila
Classic Climbs that you might not know Port Bosquet de Mogente Heading out of the pretty town of Mogente (Moixent in Valencian) this steady climb takes us south from beautiful wine country towards Ontinyent, passing the Bosquet lake and through a spectacular gorge, before rising to give us fantastic views of the Costera plains. Mogente is located close to the nearby 4th BC ruins of la Bastida de Alcusses and the organic wine produced at Bodega Celler de Roure. This is a great climb to include as part of loop from Ontinyent via Fontars del Alforins in either direction, as it also makes an excellent descent.
Puerto del Paller Another one of the fantastic climbs close to Ontinyent, with picture-perfect scenery and twisting ribbons of pristine tarmac that take us back onto the Portixol, from where we can either head back up and onto Ontinyent or to Mogente depending on the plan for the day. Rarely frequented from the coast, the riding in this part of the region is incredibly picturesque and the gradients comfortable for most of the way from Aielo de Malferit. Reconco de Biar An up and back down climb sharing a start with Port de Biar, before turning and snaking its way to 1200m in the Sierra de Fontanella mountains. There are fantastic views from the summit and the climb is popular with riders from Xixona and Alcoy and nearby towns. There are several short but steep sections, but for the most part the gradient will feel alpine. We often combine it with rides into the Maigmo park or the Carresqueta, which can make for an epic day of climbing in one of the best places to ride in the region
A fantastic climb heading from Alcoy into the Font Roja National Park and one of the best in the whole region. The climb has a few steep sections that are tougher than the overall average and the finish kicks up too, but there are no sustained steep ramps which makes for a flowing ascent. There's good shade from the summer sun in parts and the climb provides great views of the Serra Mariola National Park to the north. The summit is over 1000m in elevation and the Sanctuary here is an important tourist attraction, mainly frequented by small numbers of hikers in the summer. The views from Sanctuary are stunning, from where you can see the peak of Mont Cabrer.
Xorret del Cati
Ontinyent is blessed with fantastic climbs in every direction and Port de Bocairent happens to be one of our favourites in the whole region, for good reason. The views are spectacular and the gradient steady enough to make it the perfect warm-up climb if you have a long day ahead or want to finish the day with a fast and flowing descent back to the Finca. Port Bocairent also links immediately to Port de Mariola which takes you to nearly 1000m and into the heart of the Serra Mariola National Park. It also joins Subida Agres which takes you to Muro from where you can ride to the Vall de Galinera, Beniarres, Vall d'Ebo, Miserat, Port de Tudons, Gorga and many others.
Ermita Sant Esteve (from Ontinyent) Having only been recently paved, it's not as well known as other climbs but that will change as soon as the Volta or Vuelta choose to use it for a summit finish. From the junction it appears as a relatively benign 4.5km and 7.5%. However, with a 3km section averaging 10% of which 800m is over 13%, it is not to be taken lightly. The rewards are worth the effort though, as the panoramic views of Ontinyent and the Vall d'Albaida from the Hermitage are simply unparalleled.
Is one of the region's star 1000m climbs and perhaps one of the most beautiful. As such it is popular for Professionals and amateurs alike, especially with riders based in Alcoy. It's a fantastic climb in every direction and makes for a great circuit when combined with one of the regions other star 1000m climbs, the Carresqueta. The views are spectacular near the summit and when climbed in conjunction with the climb through Torremanzana all the way from Xixona, also makes for an exceptional longer and steady route.
A fabulous climb to the north of the region into the Benicadell mountains. The gradients are mostly benign, save for a tough 500m after the halfway point. Climbing from the north provides stunning views of the twisting road ahead and the peak of Benicadell that separates Valencia and Alicante. It's a fast and flowing descent towards the reservoir at Beniarres, from where we can return via the Serra Mariola or ride onto the Vall de Gallinera or Orxa. The road is traffic free, although the occasional motorbike will come past at the weekend to enjoy the flowing turns too.
The climb is mostly shallow with a couple of very short section that rises briefly towards 9%. It offers great views of the Serra Mariola and Sierra de la Fontanello and much of the Alicante region to the south. It peaks above 1000m and is a regular climb in Pro cycling, as it links to other more challenging climbs to the north and south. The scenery around Banyeres de Mariola is especially beautiful in the Spring and the switchbacks provide stunning vistas of colour. The climb can also be tackled from Banyeres.
Look at the numbers. And then look at the 2018 Volta a la Communitat summit finish with Valverde going toe to toe with Adam Yates. It's another 1000m climb, with several vicious ramps and is ridden as an extension of our rides into the Serra Mariola. It is a narrow, tight and twisting up and back down climb and the descent demands respect and control There are several other lesser-known climbs into the Serra Mariola from Cocentaina including Collado de la Zapata and multiple gravel options
Puerto Onil (from Banyeres de Mariola) The climb is mostly shallow with a couple of very short section that rise briefly towards 9%. It offers great views of the Serra Mariola and and Sierra de la Fontanello, as it peaks above 1000m and is also a regular climb in Pro cycling, as it links to other more challenging climbs to the north and south. The scenery around Banyeres de Mariola is especially beautiful in the Spring and the mountain switch backs provide stunning vistas of colour, especially in the Spring
Puerto de Biar - an easy climb from Beneixama towards the historic village of Biar. At the top you can take left turn and attempt the Reconco.
Puerto Torre Talada A stunning climb north from Font de la Figuera into the mountains of the Enguera wine region and Navalon. The roads are almost always entirely empty and this short climb is amongst the the most tranquil climb and terrain to be found, as it's a world away from the more familiar coastal routes and classic cols. The climb has several sections at around 10% followed by easier slopes, with no super steep ramps. It is perhaps closer in substance to the more famous climbs of France with overall gradients averaging 6% and 7%. From the summit we loop back to Mogente via the Cumbres de Valencia or continue to Ayora, Anna or Enguera. The area here is often undiscovered country for many visitors to the region, but offers rich rewards and a different experience, so perhaps it's no surprise the locals riders in the know don't shout about it. Port del Moro a.k.a. Port del Moro (from Fontanars dels Alforins)
The climbs that almost makes it to 1000m! It's also an often overlooked or unknown climb but does provide a fantastic interlude for rides into the wine country or as a challenge in itself. The gradients are mostly kind too and combined with a stop in Fontanars make for a more relaxed climbing day on the bike, if 1000m mountains can be considered relaxing. The descent is somewhat technical to Beneixama but can be enjoyed at a steady pace too, as the views in Spring especially are worth slowing down for. The descent to Beneixama is amongst the favourites with our guests; it's free of cars, the recently resurfaced tarmac is perfect and corners flow with great visibility and rhythm. The climb can also be tackled from Beneixama and is much easier. The descent to Fontanars is very technical with several tight hairpins that are approached at speed. Puerto el Portillol (Portixol) A classic climb straight out of Ontinyent into the Serra Grossa, The first couple of kilometre's from the town are shallow and steady and the remaining climb hovers around 6% with no steep ramps, making it a great to start to many rides or a fantastic finish to the day. It flows beautifully towards the top where there are stunning views of Ontinyent, Aielo and Xativa in the valleys below. The descent in either direction is also thrilling and beginner friendly, providing the perfect location to fine tune technique on open corners, with good visibility and a perfect road surface.
Cumbres de Valencia (from Mogente) A stunning climb north from Mogente into the mountains of the Enguera wine region and Navalon. The roads are almost entirely empty and this is perhaps the most tranquil climb and terrain to be found and a world away from the more familiar coastal routes and classic cols. The climb offers consistent grades to the summit with no steep ramps, perfect tarmac and wonderful scenery.
Guixop (Torres del Maigmo or Alto de les Xemeneies) Perhaps not as difficult as the harder side of the Xorret del Cati, Guixop is still a tough climb in its own right. It's set in the beautiful Sierra del Maigmo National Park, which provides a verdant green contrast to the arid and rocky terrain to the south and coast in this part of the region. The climb itself has sustained sections above 10% and ramps at around 15% as it rises to 1195m making it one of the highest in the whole region. Routes via this side of the Maigmo mountain are recommended for stronger riders seeking a challenge.
Puerto de la Carresqueta - used most year in La Volta Valencia or La Vuelta when it visits the region, the classic side of the climb starts in Xixona and rises to 1000m. It's a big wide road and once the main route linking Alcoy to the south prior to the motorway being built. It now means you get a perfect surface, very little traffic and views from the top are incredible. It can be climbed from Alcoy too and makes for a good route when combined with the Preventori climb. Enguera region (Valencia) We'll cover the Enguera region in more detail on another post. but suffice to say that our guests consistently tell us that is the day of the week. It's also possible to do a near 50km descent from the summit of Perto Peregrin to Xativa, that is without a doubt, the best descent in the region. The climbs include: Puerto Calderon, Puerto Benali, Puerto Peregrin, Port de Tous and Puerto de Sumacarcer. Bicorp and Dos Aguas Region (Valencia) This is perhaps the most remote region and not as easily accessible from Denia and Calpe, but the riding and scenery are possibly the most spectacular. It's more easily reached from Ontinyent, Xativa and Valencia itself and making the
Everesting If for some crazy reason you want to combine a trip to the Valencia region with an Everest attempt, here's our guide to the best climbs to use Other notable climbs Here we've shared some links to a few other climbs. There are of course many more, including the Miserat, Mirador del Xap and the climbs near Barx and Simat We'll cover these in more detail in a future article. From Xixona, there is the fantastic Puerto Torremanzanas that links with Benifallim. From Alcoy, there is the Revolcat, Puerto Urxola. From Orba, there is Coll de Gorga From Benigembla, there is Coll de Laguar From Benimantell, there is Font d'Larbe From Lorcha there is the Lorcha climb From VillaLonga, there is the Villalonga climb