If you are on a cycling holiday in Tenerife, you might only want to climb Mount Teide once. There are many routes up the volcano so which one should you choose? These are our route notes on cycling Mount Teide from the south west, starting in Los Cristianos.
Tenerife’s most popular resorts, hotels and restaurants are in Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas. You can organise a pretty inexpensive cycling holiday in Tenerife from any of these locations and so the most popular route up Mount Teide is from the south west.
Starting the Climb
You will cycle out from Los Cristianos and head across the TF-1, the main arterial route around the island. Once you are across this is where cycling in Tenerife becomes so enjoyable. The road heads up towards Arona is your first town on your climb before a series of switchbacks kick up at around 7-8% before delivering you across La Escalona. Once you have crossed the town, the climbing becomes a little more intense as the ascent pitches up, before gradually settling back into a rhythm of around 5% incline.
Arriving at Vilaflor
You will cycle up still further before arriving at Vilaflor. You will have only ridden 20km but would have already ascended over 1,400m which gives you an idea of the challenge anyone faces cycling up Mount Teide.
On reaching Vilaflor, Spain’s highest village at 1,400m, refuel if you need as there are no other towns between here and the summit. Once you leave Vilaflor, you will be cycling up into the Teide national park and the crater. The jet black perfect tarmac strikes an impressive contrast against the foliage which grows so bright from the nutrients of the lava fields.
Riding into the Crater
You will continue riding on for another 12km and ascend another 800m. It’s at this point that you will reach the plateau before Mount Teide gives your legs a rest. From here, you can enjoy some downhill and flat sections before sweeping right and enjoying your last few kilometres on undulating roads up to the Teide cable car.
Length: 47.5 kilometres
Average Gradient: 5.3%
Toughest Gradient: 14%
Total Ascent: 2,540m
Top Tips For Riding From the South West
Ride out nice and early if you are riding between May and October. You will climbing almost 50km and ascending over 2,500m so you want to avoid the midday heat.
Remember that the sun doesn’t rise until relatively late in the winter months and so you won’t be able to start your ride as early as you can in the summer. For example, in December the sun doesn’t rise over Mount Teide until almost 8am.
Vilaflor is only 20km from your starting point but it’s almost 1,500m above sea level. Be prepared for a change in temperature, especially early in the morning as it can be cold even if it’s very bright.
It is often very cold and windy at the top of the climb so be prepared. Arm warmers or a windbreaker are really important no matter how warm it is at the start of your ride.
Read out top tips for riding in Tenerife here.
Other Routes up Mount Teide
There are a variety of other routes up the volcano.
These are our route notes on the western climb from Adeje.
Check out the best of cycling travel with Love Velo.
Other Routes in Tenerife
Mount Teide is the most famous route in Tenerife but be sure you check out the epic ride from Masca to the Punta de Teno lighthouse. Read more about that route here.