Posted On Jul 20, 2023 |

Discover Njinga's favourite European climbs as chosen by our riders…

Summer is here and for many of our riders, that means heading to Europe for an event like the Etape or Marmotte, heading for a cycling adventure somewhere idyllic like Mallorca, or just watching the pros tackle some of the (in)famous mountains of Le Tour from their sofa.

We asked our staff, Njinga academy members and Njinga Collective riders to tell us their favourite European climbs.

Get ready for exhilarating cycling adventures as we unveil Njinga's favourite European climbs below. These legendary ascents will challenge and inspire you, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable moments on the road. Discover the beauty and thrill of these iconic climbs and make them a part of your cycling journey. 

Catalonia's Peak

Nestled in the captivating region of Catalonia, and just outside of the pro-bike rider haven of Girona, Rocorcoba is a hidden gem among European climbs.

This serpentine ascent takes you on a journey through stunning landscapes and offers a unique cycling experience. As you tackle the twists and turns of Rocorcoba, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush countryside.

With its challenging gradients and switchback corners, Rocorcoba demands both physical strength and mental focus. The road winds its way up the mountainside, testing your climbing skills and pushing you to new limits.

This climb was chosen by Njinga rider Jon Jonson after completing it on the Njinga Challenge Series Trip.


Length: 9.9km
Elevation Gain: 745m
Average Gradient: 7.4%
Max gradient: 13%  

© www.veloviewer.com

Col Du Galibier
Conquer the Legendary Giant

Rising high in the French Alps, Col Du Galibier is a legendary climb, and a Tour de France favourite that has tested the mettle of countless cyclists.

As you pedal through its challenging hairpin bends and steep gradients, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and alpine views. Channel your inner champion and take on the mighty Col Du Galibier.

"I took on the Marmotte at the end of June, and have to say although punishing, Col Du Galibier is an amazing climb, with possibly one of the best descents as a reward once you’ve summited. The Galibier proved to test me & everyone around me to the limits…all suffering together...brilliant fun!" LUKE KING 


Length: 17.5km
Elevation Gain: 1990m
Average Gradient: 6.8%
Max gradient: 13%   

© www.veloviewer.com

Col De Neronne
A Slice of Cycling Paradise in the French Alps

Whilst not as steep or as long as some of our other favourite climbs you should still prepare to be captivated by the enchanting beauty of Col de Neronne in the French Alps.

This climb weaves its way through serene forests and alpine meadows, offering breathtaking views at every turn. Embrace the peacefulness of the surroundings as you conquer the challenging gradients.

"I think my favourite climb is the Col de Neronne from Salers, part of the 15-day tour we did last summer. Beautiful gentle climb in alpine meadows with tinkering cowbells to help the tapping away on the climb." LESLEY MARR 


Length: 8.7km
Elevation Gain: 291m
Average Gradient: 3.3%
Max gradient: 7.5%  

© www.veloviewer.com

Coll d'Honor
The Hidden Gem of Mallorca

Another European Mecca for cyclists is the beautiful island of Mallorca where you can discover the hidden gem of Coll d'Honor.

This climb offers a mix of rolling terrain and demanding sections, providing a thrilling challenge for riders seeking diverse landscapes. Experience the joy of cycling through Mallorca's picturesque countryside, surrounded by olive groves and Mediterranean charm.

"My favourite climb is the Coll d’Honor in Mallorca. The climb goes through the Orient Valley and is a pleasant average gradient of 5.6% over 6k. It’s lovely because you can cycle from Port de Pollensa by the sea into the mountains / hills with lots of shade and varied landscapes plus great coffee stops!" CLAIRE MOXON 


Length: 6km
Elevation Gain: 337m
Average Gradient: 5.7%
Max gradient: 17.2%  

© www.veloviewer.com

Conquer the Giant of the Pyrenees

Tourmalet, the giant of the Pyrenees, is a climb that every cyclist dreams of conquering.

As you ascend its winding roads, you'll follow in the tyre tracks of cycling legends who have left their mark on this historic mountain pass. Embrace the magnitude of the challenge and experience the sheer joy of reaching the summit, surrounded by stunning Pyrenean views.

Tourmalet is a true test of strength and determination, and conquering it will leave you with a sense of accomplishment like no other.

"Tourmalet from Luz Saint Sauveur is my favourite climb for the view from the top down the valley and then the epic downhill on wide roads where you can see for miles! Had the excellent company of Njinga riders which always helps!" MALCOLM LOCKHART

"Tourmalet is my favourite climb because it just goes on and on." JOE BURNIE


Length: 19.8km
Elevation Gain: 1406m
Average Gradient: 7%
Max gradient: 12.7%

© www.veloviewer.com

Discover the Hidden Gem of the Pyrenees

Tucked away in the Pyrenees, near Bagneres-de-Luchon, Superbagnères is a hidden gem that offers a captivating cycling experience.

Riding up from the town to the ski station this climb will reward you with breathtaking views, and a stunning descent.

As you pedal your way to the top, surrounded by lush greenery and majestic peaks, you'll feel a sense of tranquillity and accomplishment. Superbagnères may not be as well-known as Tourmalet or Ventoux, but it holds its own as a truly remarkable ascent that deserves a place on every cyclist's bucket list.

"Superbagners, is super by name and nature, it's not the hardest climb in the Pyrenees but it's definitely a challenge. As you come out of the forests and you begin to ride the more exposed roads at the top it’s hard not to imagine you are racing Robert Millar and Greg LeMonde with the sound of cowbells there to replace the hordes of fans!" JAMES LONGHURST


Length: 14.3km
Elevation Gain: 971m
Average Gradient: 6.8%
Max gradient: 11.5%  

© www.veloviewer.com

Reach for the Sky on the Giant of Provence

Last and by no means least on our list is Mount Ventoux, also known as the Giant of Provence, which is an iconic climb that has become synonymous with the Tour de France. Its barren landscape and relentless gradients make it a formidable challenge for cyclists seeking to push their limits.

As you ascend Ventoux's slopes, you'll feel the weight of cycling history on your shoulders. Reaching the summit, with its iconic weather station, is an achievement that will fill you with a sense of awe and accomplishment.

"Ventoux from Bedouin is my favourite climb for the fields, then the forests and then the moon at the top before the tower winds closer." MALCOLM LOCKHART

"I would have to say Ventoux is my favourite climb because it is so iconic and visually stunning - It was my first major cycling climb and I loved training for it and loved surprising myself. I travelled with Njinga as part of their annual challenge ride and per usual, their trips are special with this one being exceptionally special!" MONIE LINDSEY

Length: 21.4km
Elevation Gain: 1571m
Average Gradient: 7.4%
Max gradient: 12.4%

© www.veloviewer.com

Want to put your climbing legs to the test? Check out our next Njinga Challenge ride where we will be heading to stunning Rhodes Island to take on some of the spectacular climbs with an awesome community.

Need help to improve your climbing? Check out our structured and progressive 8-week Live Group Training Programmes. Or why not build up your climbing-specific strength with our 8, 12 and 20-week climbing plans in the Njinga Cycling Academy? Perfect to help you prepare to take on any climb.

Looking for more climbs to challenge yourself on?
Check out our top 5 favourite climbs in the Surrey Hills.

Categories: Ride Smart

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER and unlock expert fueling strategies to supercharge your energy and enhance your post-ride recovery.

Includes: Details on how to optimise your pre, during and post ride fueling, plus our favourite recipes you can easily make at home