Climbing Mount Teide – South East Side From El Medano
Climbing Mount Teide from the south east side is probably our favourite route. The climb takes in Granadilla and Vilaflor, 2 of our favourite places to stop and enjoy a coffee whilst cycling in Tenerife.
El Medano is situated in the south east of the island, a stone’s throw from the airport. It’s a much smaller town than Playa de las Americas or Los Cristianos and has lovely views from the port of Medano.
El Medano to Granadilla
There is only one road in and out of El Medano and it’s a very busy road so you need to take extreme care when riding out of El Medano, for the first 4km. Once you cross over the TF-1 the main road that runs through most of Tenerife, you will be out of the heavy traffic and the road quietens down as you head towards Granadilla. Granadilla sits at 650m above sea level so you will be climbing a fair way from El Medano.
Granadilla to Vilaflor
Once you reach Granadilla, you will be on the edge of the national park and not far from the crater. However, whilst the distance to Vilaflor is only another 15km, you will climb another 750m meaning by the time you have reached Vilaflor, the highest village in Tenerife, you will have climbed 1,400m. Grab a drink and a coffee if you need before continuing on your ride up the volcano.
Vilaflor into the Crater
You will wind your way up a few hairpins with high trees on your left and the rocky mountain face on your right. When there is a break in the tree line, you will be rewarded with stunning views over the south of the island and in certain places, you can get a glimpse of La Gomera to the west.
The cycling offers no respite as you climb higher on the windy TF-21. You will cover another 800m of climbing along your next 15km of effort before the TF-21 sweeps right. Stop just as you turn right and pull in on the cobblestoned car park and admire the incredible sight in front of you as Teide stands tall and imposing in the distance.
The Final Push
The road levels out and even gives you a little downhill but keep pedalling to stop your legs cramping or locking up, before the last 5km and 280m of climbing up to the Teide cable car.
Distance Cycled: 50.7km
Total Ascent: 2,578m
Average Gradient: 5.1%
Max Gradient: 15%
Top Tips For Riding From the South East
Take the first section of the route up Mount Teide really carefully. The road is busy, especially as the day progresses.
Pace yourself from El Medano to Granadilla. You will climb 600m in your first 15km but the ascent gets tougher as you head to Vilaflor. That section of the ride will see you ascend another 800m in your next 12km.
Vilaflor is only 25km from El Medano but it's almost 1,500m above sea level. There is a significant change in temperature, especially early in the morning on your ascent.
Ride out early in the morning if you are in Tenerife between May and October. The climb will see you conquer almost 50km and ascend over 2,500m so you want to avoid the middle of the day.
The sun doesn't rise until almost 8am in the winter months and so you won't be able to start your ride as early as you can in the summer.
It is nearly always very cold and windy at the top of the volcano. Prepare for the cold with arm warmers or a windbreaker.
Read out top tips for cycling in Tenerife here.
Other Routes up Mount Teide
There are a variety of other routes up the volcano.
These are our route notes on climbing Mount Teide from the west side.
These are our route notes on cycling Mount Teide from the south west side.
Other Routes in Tenerife
The ascent of Mount Teide is the most famous route in Tenerife but be sure not to miss out on the epic from Masca to the Punta de Teno lighthouse. Read more about that route here.