Taming the Beast - Thomson Bike Tours Blog

If you’re going to ride in the Canary Islands you can’t not climb Spain’s highest peak, El Teide.

Often covered in snow, but still a climb you can do in short sleeves and shorts, the 56.5km or 35 mile climb up the south side of the volcano is definitely one of those bucket list climbs.  We tackle it on day 5 of our Gran Canaria & Tenerife camp.  Logistically, the Thomson team splits up and the bikes are taken over on the inter-island ferry on the evening of day 4, ready for you when you arrive by island hopper the next morning.

Starting from Los Cristianos, the climb starts almost immediately, gaining height rapidly as you climb out of one of the most touristy towns on the island.  There is little respite until you eventually reach the volcanic wasteland towards the center of the island.  It’s a fascinating moonscape that never fails to thrill as you cycle upward.  The peak of the volcano is only visible from the last 3rd of the climb.

The downhill to Santa Cruz de Tenerife is not as straight-forward as it seems either as the road twists and turns past the European space program observatories and down through the clouds, into the pine forests. It’s important to take a wind jacket and cover up as the temperature change can catch you unawares.

the Island hopper

Island hopping to Tenerife

El Teide with snow

There’s often snow on the volcano

breathtaking roads on Tenerife

The volcanic wasteland makes for eerie cycling

el Teide from the north

The view of el Teide from the northern side

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