Colle del Nivolet - Italy
The first climb that you should definitely add to your list is the Italian mountain pass known as the “Colle del Nivolet”. This climb is 46.4 kilometres long and contains a whopping 2.125 vertical metres with an average gradient of 4.5% and a max. gradient of 12.9%. This climb for sure poses a challenge to every recreative cyclist. So we advise you to switch to your inner chainring in order to get on top of this mountain!
The view on top of the mountain is breathtaking as you watch over both the lakes known as the “Lago Agnel” and the “Lago Serrù”. Both lakes are very popular tourist attractions in the protected national park of Gran Paradiso, located in Valle d’Aosta, Italy. This mountain pass was the inspiration for the CYCLEUR de LUXE Nivolet ladies t-shirt.
Colle Fauniera / Col di Morts - Italy
The Colle Fauniera also known as the “Climb of the Dead” is another Italian mountain pass that should be on your list, without a doubt. It contains 1.673 vertical metres stretched over a length of 21.8 kilometres. This climb is not for the faint hearted as it has an average gradient of 7.7%. If you want to get you and your bicycle to the top you have to survive the steepest 100 metres at a gradient of 20.8%!
Once you get above the tree line, through the clouds, the view is said to be amazing. Once you get to the top of the mountain, you will notice a tribute to the late Italian cycling legend Marco Pantani. If the weather is somewhat decent you can see all the surrounding mountains and far beyond.This mountain pass was the inspiration for the CYCLEUR de LUXE Fauniera ladies t-shirt.
Grossglockner Pass - Austria
The Grossglockner pass is said to be in the top 5 of the toughest mountains to climb in Austria. Hidden in its 21.2 kilometres of uphill roads are 1.753 vertical metres. This mountain pass is made to hurt your legs. The average gradient of these roads is 8.3%, while the max. lies close to 14%. The famous Transalp race also features this climb in one of its 7 stages.
©climbfinder.com user: Buxert
The climb starts off surrounded by trees and waterfalls. Everyone who’s done the mountain pass describes the view as “phenomenal”. Be advised, leaving early during the summer is important as the mountain roads get pretty busy due to its popularity among cyclists and car & motorcycle enthusiasts. Which we can’t blame them for, the view indeed is amazing. This mountain pass was the inspiration for the CYCLEUR de LUXE Grossglockner male t-shirt.
Portet de Castells - Spain
The fourth mountain pass is a short but very intense climb that offers a great view to those who get to the top. The climb is only 3.8 kilometres in length, but ascends over 450 metres in this short distance. Needless to say that this is a challenge for real climbers. The average gradient is 11.9% and the steepest 100 metres have a gradient of over 20.5%. It’s only 40 kilometres away from places like Calp and Benidorm, which are very popular among cycling teams for training camps. Pro-team Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise even integrates these scenic climbs in their training rides.
Once you arrive at the top of this climb you have a beautiful view over the mountains and the man-made reservoir of Guadalest. When you’ve finished the climb you might as well go visit the town of El Castell de Guadalest, which is gorgeous. The small town on the mountain is only 16 square kilometres and houses just over 220 inhabitants.
Passo dello Stelvio - Italy
This infamous climb is probably one of the most famous mountain passes in the history of cycling. It’s quite the challenge with its 1832 vertical meters spread over the length of 24.1 kilometres. The average gradient of this pass is 7.6% and the steepest 100 metres even have a gradient of over 13.5%! This makes it one of the hardest climbs out there, according to former pro cyclist Ivan Basso.
Once you get to the top, you get to see all the hairpin bends you did on your way up. Not only that, you also get to see the amazing mountaintops that surround the Passo dello Stelvio. These mountains are covered in snow most of the time. The roads of the Stelvio can also be covered or blocked by snow, this is why we advise you to go during summertime. This mountain pass was the inspiration for the CYCLEUR de LUXE Stelvio backpack.
Col du Galibier - France
This mountain is famous for its 100 year long feature in the Tour de France. It also appeared in a single Giro d’Italia stage back in 2013, which finished 4.2 kilometres from the top at the Marco Pantani memorial. The climb is almost 35 kilometres long and has around 1.400 vertical metres. The average gradient is only 4%, but the steepest 100 metres have a gradient of more than 11.5%.
On top of the mountain awaits a breathtaking view. If you aren’t tired yet you can even hike up the small trail that leads to a viewpoint at 2700 metres. This point offers a view of the glaciers of the Barre des Écrins and the La Meije, the peaks of the Rochebrune, the Grand Galibier and even the Mont Blanc! Cycling enthusiasts who have done the climb describe it as “mythical”.
Rila - Bulgaria
The last mountain pass is The Rila, located in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria. It is also the highest mountain in the country. This gem is not known to many, but is very underrated according to those who do know it. The climb is 14.5 kilometres long and contains over 1.700 vertical metres. The average gradient is 11.7% and the steepest part is just below 36%! No wonder this is said to be the eight most difficult bike climb in the world.
On the way to the top you ride past a few of the Seven Rila Lakes. These are only a few of the 200 glacial lakes in the area. The amazing panoramas and unspoiled mountain views will definitely captivate you. So take some time to enjoy the view, if you aren’t suffering too much.