Alto de la Cubilla

Alto de la Cubilla

The Asturian Tourmalet

Updated on 25 January 2024
Alto de la Cubilla

The Asturian Tourmalet

Going up to this port is to reach one of the peaks of the Asturian landscape. Bicycle touring fans know this well, since for some decades now they have considered this ascent one of the most beautiful and rewarding in the Principality, with nothing to envy to the very famous climb to Los Lagos de Covadonga.

If we are not fond of cycling, but are fond of nature, reaching this height means embracing the silence and immensity of an amazing landscape.

Latitude: 42.9906387 Length: -5.9053030
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The Alto de La Cubilla stands in full Natural Park of Las Ubiñas-La Mesa, one of the Biosphere Reserves of the Principality. Located in the central area of ​​the Cantabrian mountain range, this park unknown to the general public enjoys an outstanding setting, alternating large native forests and a multitude of steep peaks. Above them all rises the awesome Pena Ubiña, the queen of the massif, with its 2.417 meters of altitude.

the top of The Cubilla is located at a level of 1683 meters high and to crown it it is necessary to travel about thirty kilometers from the lowest area, overcoming some (not negligible) 1.300 elevation meters. A good challenge that has already been the end of the stage of the Cycling Tour of Spain.

Ascent to the port of La Cubilla

The most common ways to tackle this route are by bicycle, motorbike or car. Each one will find points in favor of one vehicle or another, but they are the bicycle fans those who speak wonders of this rise, closely followed by the bikers. The former become moved by the effort expended and the beauty of the itinerary, the latter maintain that from a car it is impossible to feel the pure air of this port and the feeling of freedom that the motorcycle provides.

In any case, the route that the road makes, a long and stretched zigzag that slowly goes up the slope, amazes anyone equally, especially when we have reached the top and we recreate ourselves in the improbable route by which we have ascended: that winding route, like a colossal roller coaster (which on clear days we can appreciate almost its entirety), leaves a well-marked groove on the natural upholstery that enchants us with an intense green.

The climb starts in the town of campomanes five kilometers from Pola de Lena. The first part, about 10 kilometers, is a false flat until reaching the town of Los Pontones, from where there are another 18 kilometers to reach the top. The following steps through the towns of Telledo, Riospaso and Tuiza are surrounded by oak groves and overcoming constant slopes of 5% to 7% unevenness. In Tuiza we will take a detour to the right towards the last section of the ascent. The forest is left behind while the view of the mountain range opens up, which allows us to see the top and enjoy a frank overview the rest of the way. We continue taking the horseshoe curves so typical of this pass, being able to find steeper ramps, of 10%, in the last three kilometers.

La Cubilla and cycling

Although it is not a port with steep slopes, as is common in the Asturian mountains, it is a very long ascent, with slopes that are not excessively hard but are long and sustained; which makes him always be compared with the Alpine and Pyrenean ports that we usually see in the Tour de France. In fact, many know him as the asturian tourmalet.

We are talking about a ski lift 28 kilometers that it becomes expensive and that requires a state of more than reasonable shape. A route that has more and more followers and that by now is already a place of pilgrimage for bike fans from all over. His unconditional ones assure that it is a paradise for the cyclist. The most beautiful climb in all of Asturias, they keep time and time again. And it is that the fervor for La Cubilla has been cultivated for decades. In 1965, a group of cyclists from Mieres, Figaredo and Moreda met in Campomanes to collectively ascend the port, a first cycling tour which would be followed by many and which became popular in the 80s and 90s with the organization of these tests by the Santa Cristina de Lena club. professional cycling I would get to the top later. The Vuelta a La Montaña Central de Asturias chose it as the queen stage in its 2002 edition. The Tour of Spain debuted in La Cubilla in the year 2019. The Danish Jakob Fuglsang won the stage.

There are many fans, but also renowned professionals such as Chechu Rubiera, Santi Pérez, Ricardo Valdés, Samuel Sánchez, Dani Navarro, Iván Cortina, Alicia and Lucía González, Aida Nuño, etc., who opt for the Cubilla in their preparation. physical. In addition, very close to this climb you can chain training sessions in other not inconsiderable ports: Cobertoria, Cordal, Cuchu Puercu, Carabanzo, Pajares...

In the Alto de la Cubilla

No matter how you get to the top, there are no parking problems at the top. La Cubilla is an emblematic mountain pass that crosses the Cantabrian mountain range to unite the provinces of Asturias and León. Located in the majestic Las Ubiñas–La Mesa Natural Park, the pass descends down the León slope to the no less majestic Babia y Luna Natural Park. The height is surrounded by mythical mountains such as La Tesa, La Mesa and La Almagrera, El Fariñentu, Los Fontanes and the white queen: Peña Ubiña. If we enjoy a good physical background, we can ascend to some of these peaks, although it is also possible to enjoy without more than a pleasant walk among the cattle, through the fields of the port already on the Leonese side, or approaching the ports of Ballota, in the Asturian council of Lena. Finally, we can dedicate ourselves exclusively to observation, letting absolute peace and a dreamlike landscape invade us.


Ascent to the Cubilla

Away kilometers 28
Altitude: 1.683 meters
Elevation gain: 1.300 meters
Start: Campomanes (Asturias)
Duration: 2 hours by bike - 30 minutes by car or motorcycle.

Photos © Roberto Menendez.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for Copyright Ramón Molleda