Alto Velefique is one of the most iconic climbs in Spain

Alto de Velefique is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1,793m (5,882ft) above sea level, located in Almeria Province, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

Alto Velefique

Why is Alto de Velefique so famous?

The pass is one of the most iconic climbs in the region, recognizable by the high number of hairpin bends throughout the climb. Bikers who live here like to call it the "Spanish Stelvio Pass," but similarities with Alpe d’Huez are evident. North of the pass, the road tops out at 1,827m (5,994ft) above sea level.

How long is Alto de Velefique?

Tucked away in the arid southeastern part of the country, the curvy road to the summit is totally paved in excellent conditions. It’s called AL-3102. The pass is 24.7 km (15.34 miles) long, running south-north from Velefique to Bacares.

Is Alto de Velefique challenging?

The road is pretty challenging, with 29 hairpin turns, and very steep, hitting a 17% maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The ascent is very scenic because of the lot of hairpin bends. It has been featured in the Vuelta a España race as a 1st category climb. In summers, the area can be extremely hot. Cycling in this spectacular scenery includes views of what is Europe’s only desert, the Tabernas desert.

Is Alto de Velefique open?

Set high in the Sierra de Los Filabres mountain range, access to the pass, also known as Puerto de Velefique, is typically open all year round, with the occasional closure in winter due to dangerous weather conditions. The views are stunning in a desert-like scenery.
Pic: Luis J. T. M.