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Cycling in Lanzarote

Cycling in Lanzarote

Cycling in Lanzarote is well known amongst cycling afficionados.

Despite it being a volcanic island, it has a very different typography to its neighbours Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Tenerife and Gran Canaria were formed by a single volcano meaning the centre of the island is the peak, and any ride is usually a climb from the coast up the volcano. In Lanzarote however, there is far more variation to the riding. The island offers undulating roads rather than straight climbs. The west and norther of the island is where the climbing is located and you'll ride through the Timanfaya national park if you're looking for climbs. Further south and east, the roads are undulating offering a great variety of cycling in Lanzarote.

The other thing to know about Lanzarote is that its windy. Nearly all of the time. However, its stunning scenery and warm temperatures mean most people will overlook that!

Best Cycling Routes

Our favourite routes head through the lava fields and the volcanoes. We have detailed 3 routes below and provided the GPX files of all of these routes. The first route take in the National Park and the second route takes in the stunning vistas of the wild north east coast. The third can be ridden on both the first two rides as it's a climb out of a valley across the north of the island. If you want more information, check out our blog on the best cycling routes in Lanzarote

Timanfaya National Park

Our favourite route starts in Puerto del Carmen and loops right across the island, taking in some of Lanzarote’s most dramatic scenery. You will head out from Puerto del Carmen and right into the foothills of the Timanfaya National Park. As you head into the park, you will pass by La Geria. The area is famous for its wines but also its unique method of growing the vines, protected by stone semi circles to take the brunt of Lanzarote's winds.

Vineyards in la Geria

Vineyards in La Geria

You'll soon be deep in the Timanfaya National Park and you'll begin climbing immediately. This is undoubtedly the highlight of the ride as you'll ride through the lava fields before you leave the national park at Mancha Blanca. Unlike neighbouring Canarian islands, you will only ascend to just under 400 feet before you come back to sea level on the north west coast. Expect to be buffeted by the winds here, especially by La Caleta which offers a great beach, and fantastic surf (hence the winds!).

You'll spend time at sea level before your second of 3 climbs today, which takes you up to Teguise and then on to San Bartolome. From here, you'll enjoy a huge descent back to Puerto del Carmen. If you want to tag on some extra riding, visit Yaiza at the end of your ride. Yaiza is an authentic village with typical white houses and brightly coloured window shutters.

Lanzarote Timanfaya National park (1)

The Timanfaya National Park

The Timanfaya GPX File

Mirador Del Rio

Your route will start from Puerto del Carmen again and straight on to a drag. The climb is 8km long but only at 3 % gradient so it's a nice acclimatisation to the ride today. After riding through the vineyards once again, you'll head uphill once more to the highest point of your ride today, topping out at 600m in Teguise. Stop here if you ride on a Sunday as the market will be in full swing. From Teguise, you'll ride up to the wild northern tip of the island where you'll reach the Mirador de Rio, a stunning lookout across the Atlantic.
Mirador del Rio Viewpoint, lanzarote

Mirador del Rio Viewpoint

 
Your route will lead you to countless observation decks and viewpoints such as Valle de Malpaso Haria, Mirador Barranco del Chafarís, as well as Barranco La Elvira which is only a few metres down the road and we recommend a great lunch stop at the restaurant in Los Helechos, where traditional food is served with great outdoor seating.
From the Mirador del Rio, you'll head around the northern tip of the island and the coastal riding between Órzola and Arrieta is absolutely stunning. The winds whip up huge surf which crash into the cliffs below you, for a feel of rugged wildness.
From here, you'll ride down the eastern coast on undulating roads. Make sure to ride on the road from Mala to Guatiza and then once back towards the LZ1, make sure you're on the road that runs parallel to the LZ1. The LZ1 is a main road and not enjoyable to ride so make sure you ride the roads designed for cyclists. You will also have the added beenfit of riding through the cacti fields of Guatiza if you're cycling through that area. From here, you'll ride back to Puerto del Carmen.
Road running through Lanzarote

The Mirador del Rio GPX File

Tabayesco Valley

If you're heading out of Puerto del Carmen there's an essential cycling route in Lanzarote that you have to ride. Head up the small gravel road next to the LZ1. It's not ideal and requires fully inflated tyres but it's far more cycling friendly than the LZ1. If you have to use the LZ1, make sure you only use it far the part that's necessary to access the Tabayesco climb.

The climb begins as you take a left off the LZ-1 onto the LZ-207 and you'll immediately hit a 5% average gradient. As you climb, you'll see the middle of the island and enjoy switchbacks to the summit.

The Tabayesco Valley GPX File

Where to Stay in Lanzarote

Puerto del Carmen or Playa Blanca

All our holidays are based in Puerto del Carmen in the east, or in Playa Blanca in the south.

Playa Blanca offers a beautiful seafront and great restaurants and bars and tends to be more upmarket. Riding the Timanfaya National Park is easy from both Play Blanca and Puerto del Carmen but Playa Blanca also has the added attraction of the saltflats in the south which are quite cool to ride through.

Lanzarote Southern Salt Flats

Lanzarote Southern Salt Flats

Playa Blanca tends to be hotter than Puerto del Carmen but Puerto del Carmen is arguably better positioned, especially for the norther loop up to the Mirador del Rio.

When to Cycle in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is a great option for some late autumn or winter sun. In the early months of the year, temperature can drop into the mid teens but also be as high as the early 20s. It has a warm and mild climate for much of the year and so you can ride pretty much anytime. Even in the summer, temperatures don't often reach the mid 30s unlike mainland Europe. Rainfall is also very rare and so you'll almost certainly ride without the threat of wet roads, even deep into the winter months.

As most people who have been to Lanzarote know, it's windy. The winds are ever present and particularly strong at the start of the year. Our favourite time to ride in Lanzarote is early Spring from about March to May, and from early autumn, from about September to October. The summer is fine to ride although it's very busy with tourists.

Lanzarote Road from Timanfaya

Road Leading out of Timanfaya National Park

Bike Hire in Lanzarote

In Gran Canaria and Tenerife, we would always recommend bikes with disc brakes. the descents are fast and straight, so its nice to know you have that stopping power on your bike. In Lanzarote, that tends not to be such an issue as the descents are not so ferocious, mainly because you're never descending from above 600m. However, we offer disc brake options on most of our bikes and we can arrange bike hire for you in both Puerto del Carmen and Playa Blanca. We can also arrange DI2 electronic gearing if you need, as well as many other upgrades.

Tips For Cycling in Lanzarote

We've highlighted the differences between other Canary Islands and Lanzarote but make no mistake, you'll still be climbing. Make sure you're well prepared and ready for the challenge. Get a suitable bike. That means light frame, decent groupset but avoid deep rims as the wind will make your ride very unpleasant and if you're not used to them, dangerous.

Make An Enquiry

We hope you found our guide to cycling in Lanzarote helpful. If you're looking to book your next Lanzarote cycling holiday, make an enquiry with us today.

    Make an Enquiry Call us on 0207 157-1519

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