The city center of Granada is just at 45km from the top of Pico Veleta, which summit is perfectly reachable by this North side by the highest paved road in Europe, the A-395.

The Pico Veleta is also accesible by the South side, starting from the village of Capileira, located at La Alpujarra. The route is unpaved but under perfect conditions until km20 (2.700m), point reachable even for a touristic bus in summer. From here it heads into a rocky but rideable path, what includes also some small free bivouac mountain shelters: La Caldera (km25,0, 3.050m), Villavientos (km26,5, 3.083m) and La Carihuela (km32,0, 3.205m).

The numbers speak themselves: Distance 34km | Average 6,0% | Elevation gain 2.050m.

The summit is only accesible by bike in summer due to the snowfields. Although both climbs offer a spectacular landscape and one of the biggest cycling challenge in the world, the altitude and the changing mountain weather are serious facts to be considered.

I had a particularly hard, daunting moment on the climb when obviously, into the second night, still no sleep, your brain starts doing pretty strange things. Time started passing incredibly slow. It was the weirdest thing I ever felt, like I was stuck. It was a situation where I knew I was like, “all right, there’s only you here. It’s like a hiking trail, you’re so far from anywhere. You’re at like 3.000 meters. So you have to deal with this”.
Lachlan Morton

The altitude of Pico Veleta takes its toll, since you ride above 3.000 meters for a long time. In my case it affected on the way I could handle the bike. I had never experienced that mental fog, it was really difficult for me to ride the bike nimbly when I had to dodge the stones. I didn’t feel bad, just like a feeling of continuous drunkenness.
Santy Mozos | Source: Personal blog

It’s just crazy… the uphill and the downhill!
Bruno Ferraro

I didn’t expect it was so hard, the uphill and the downhill. It was really cold up there. There was a cloud, a blizzard. It was about 4 degrees.
Óscar Pujol

We felt strong in Trevélez, it was around 19:30 and we thought the climb could take about 4 hours. No way, we hit the summit at 00:30. There it was 0 degrees, windy and we just wanted to go down to Granada, but after 3 km we threw ourselves into the ditch, we couldn’t feel the hands, the feet… we couldn’t even take the sleeping bag.
Miguel Ángel García

I stopped in the final village before the Veleta Pass, Trevélez, one of the highest municipalities in Spain at nearly 1.500m. I pressed on up the climb’s endless moon-like landscape in the pitch black. Once I reached the top it was nearly into the minus temperatures, but fortunately the descent was tarmac and I could quickly reach the warmth of a lower elevation… or so I thought.
Ashley Dennis | Fuente: Breakaway Digital

We fell in love with the majesty and magnitude of the Pico Veleta, being the highest asphalted mountain pass in Europe, even though we had to summit it through high-mountain gravel roads and whirling trails. Something truly inexplicable unless you have witnessed it by yourself.
Toni de la Torre | Source: Raw Magazine