Love Velo’s Destination of the Month comes from the sunny Canary Islands. Sitting off the north-west coast of Africa; Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are three of the most frequently visited destinations among the road cycling community. But what makes them so special? Find out why, in partnership with British Cycling, we’ve chosen the Canary Islands as our hottest destination right now.
When is the best time to travel?
There is no bad time to visit the Canary Islands. The warm summer months can reach over 30 degrees however, rides in the mornings and late afternoons are exceptional at this time of year. During the winter, average temperatures of 16 degrees ensure warm weather riding is still on hand. This is the perfect place to cycle if you’re looking for some winter training with a temperate climate and very limited rainfall between the months of December and February.
Our favourite time to ride in the Canary Islands is between March and May. The cooler winter months have passed whilst the coastal breeze combines with the incoming heat to ensure cycling conditions are near perfect.
As the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is the most popular destination for cyclists. With Mount Teide forever in the background, the undulating coastal routes and smooth, inland roads will provide you with an incredible cycling experience. There are a number of picturesque places to stay on the island, from Los Cristianos on the south west coast to Abades in the East – both of which offer accessible and scenic routes up to the base of the famous climb.
Teide is slow burner, demanding a gradual 6% climb for 33km. However, the breathtaking views from the summit make the climb even more rewarding. Professional cyclists are often spotted training here so keep an eye out for riders keeping their fitness levels up during the off season.
Lanzarote offers a slightly different cycling experience to its neighbours. The volcanic inland terrain contrasts the golden sandy beaches that attract so many tourists each year, providing you with two opposite landscapes to explore on two wheels.
One of the most popular routes to follow takes you along the El Golfo Coast. Here, you’ll be treated to views over the Atlantic and some of the most unforgettable riding you’ll ever experience. Head inland for some challenging climbs through the spectacular moonscape, or continue following the rolling coast and break up your ride with stops in the coffee shops and restaurants.
By now you’ll begin to see a pattern occurring. Gran Canaria, like its warm weather neighbours, is home to a mixture of stunning beaches and even greater cycling opportunities.Those who love a climb will want to take on Soria. Start in Playa del Ingles and head north where you will climb up to 1170m before enjoying a spectacular descent back into the popular town.
Many people choose to visit the Canary Islands with the assistance of a guide. In Gran Canaria, follow an experienced, knowledgeable guide around the island as you visit Santa Lucia, Fataga, the Tauropass and more. This is a great option for those seeking great rides and unforgettable views alongside a number of similarly experienced riders.There’s a reason why cycling in the Canary Islands is so popular but don’t just take our word for it. Check out the options available in Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote and start planning your next cycling holiday today.