The Best Places to Cycle in Tenerife

The island of Tenerife, with its varied terrain around Mount Teide, is a cyclist's paradise
The island of Tenerife, with its varied terrain around Mount Teide, is a cyclist's paradise | © Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Charlie Bush
4 August 2020

Although Tenerife is relatively small at just 2,034sq km (785sq mi), it is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands and has an extensive network of roads that are ideal for cyclists. The towering Mount Teide offers different terrains and environments to explore by bike: The north side is green and lush, while the south side provides a drier and more barren landscape, and the volcanic mountain itself offers a unique cycling opportunity. With dramatic natural features like steep gorges, formidable pine forests and arid semi-desert areas crisscrossed by smooth wide roads, Tenerife is a cyclist’s paradise.

Mount Teide from Los Cristianos

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The tallest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, is an ideal place to train for climbing. The peak of this active volcano is 3,718m (1,2198ft), and the road ascends from sea level to just over 2,400m (7,874ft) high. Though not the highest road in Europe, it is the longest continuous ascent and is not for the faint of heart! Be warned: this highway to heaven has virtually no flat sections to offer respite and is therefore a gruelling test of endurance. Start at the popular resort town of Los Cristianos and head north to Arona and then through La Escalona and Vilaflor de Chasna before continuing on up the mountain itself.

The TF-12 Road

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The TF-12 winds through the verdant northeastern tip of the island from San Cristóbal de La Laguna to the coastal town of San Andrés. It is a relatively quiet road offering unsurpassable vistas of the Anaga Mountains. You will encounter deep ravines, quaint hamlets and sheer cliffs along this 50km (31mi) route that has been described by some as the most beautiful road in the Canaries. Begin at the town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and finish at San Andrés.

Masca and Teno Lighthouse

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The village of Masca, Tenerife
© Art Kowalsky / Alamy Stock Photo
In the northwestern corner of Tenerife is a gruelling but stunning ride through banana plantations and along sheer precipices and coastal routes. This ride is not recommended for beginners due to its narrow roads edged by dizzying drop-offs. However, more experienced riders will undoubtedly appreciate the spectacular descents from Masca and the road to the Teno Lighthouse. Start at La Arena Beach and head uphill towards the village of Masca. From this famous site, continue on to Buenavista del Norte and then on to Teno Lighthouse.

Along the Costa Adeje

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An easy route for beginners and amateurs, the Costa Adeje coastline is a scenic location for a casual cycle. Whether you ride north to south or vice versa, you will be treated to glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean and many of the island’s southwestern beaches. In the high season some roads can be busy with pedestrians and tourists, but the coast is nevertheless ideal for an easy excursion from your hotel. Simply ride on the path closest to the beaches along the Costa Adeje.

Las Chafiras

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This intermediate cycle route takes you along the tree-studded TF-65 and up to the picturesque town of San Miguel. From there you will head further south and west, with the colossal Mount Teide at your back, taking in the rocky beauty of south Tenerife’s arid terrain along the way. This loop also takes you south to the quintessential seaside town of Las Galletas before leading you back to your starting point at Las Chafiras. From Las Chafiras, head north along the TF-65 to San Miguel, and then turn west and take the TF-28 to Valle de San Lorenzo. From there, aim south to Las Galletas before taking the TF-652 back to Las Chafiras.

These recommendations were updated on August 4, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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