Puerto de Ventana is an HC climb that starts in San Martin (Teverga) and finishes on the border between Asturias and Castilla y Leon but to get there you will have to climb for almost 20km reaching 1587m in altitude.
The good news is that it is not the steepest of climbs. It averages a gradient of 5.9% and is a pretty steady ascent but it does have the odd ramp of up to double figures. The climb begins at San Martin near the village of La Plaza in Teverga. It starts off as a fairly gentle climb up until you reach about kilometer 7 where it begins to steepen, indeed the 5.9% average gradient is somewhat misleading as from about kilometre 7 the grade is more like a constant (8%).
The views on this climb and from the summit are truly spectacular so make sure you take your camera.
The scenery is quite diverse throughout the climb. In the first 7 kilometres you will be dwarfed at times by the Gorge type rock structures towering above you. From there you will pass along tree lined roads until toward the end the trees begin to thin out due to the altitude.
Once at the top you have spectacular views of both Asturias and Castilla de Leon.
Coming back you have two options; coming back the way you came or taking a circular route back on the QU-3 via Ricabo and Barzana (I’m not sure about road conditions this way). If you come back the way you came from San Martin, be careful as there are quite a few patches of broken road which you will certainly know about if you hit at 50km.
Things of Interest
Not far from the beginning of the climb you will pass the Parque prehistico de Asturias. This houses replica caves with cave paintings from around Europe and is well worth a visit.
Further up you the climb you will pass the Cueva Huerta which is the second biggest cave network in Asturias with aprox 14.5km of caves and there are also bronze age paintings and some lovely walks there.
If coming from Oviedo you will pass the La Senda del Oso (The Bear pathway). This is a 25mile trail open for hiking and cycling that follows the path of an old railway track. It passes through one of the few habitats still occupied by wild bears and also has a Bear conservation area. It’s an ideal track for the family as it is a flat trail and it offer spectacular scenery.
Here is the Profile and Stats:
Distance – From the sources I have studied it varies between 17km to 20km, just depends where you consider the start point to be.
Average Gradient – 5.6%
Max grade – 13% (very short)
Max Elevation – 1587m (figures vary depending on source but I base it on the sign at the top: see photo)
Difficulty – Testing because of it’s distance but for an HC climb it’s probably moderate rather than hard.