Alto Velefique is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.793m (5,882ft) above the sea level, located in Almeria Province, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, in Spain. It is one of the most iconic climbs in the region, recognizable by the high number of hairpin bends throughout the climb.
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.
The road is pretty challenging, with 29 hairpin turns, and very steep, hitting a 17% of 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.
Access to the pass, also known as Puerto de Velefique, is typically open all year round, with the occasional closure in winters due to dangerous weather conditions. North of the pass the road tops out at 1.827m (5,994ft) above the sea level. The views are stunning on a desert-like scenery. Bikers who live here like to call it the "Spanish Stelvio Pass".
Pic: Luis J. T. M.