In this article you’ll find our tips to make sure your Tenerife cycling holidays are unforgettable for the right reasons!

For route suggestions, downloads and everything else you might want to know about cycling in Tenerife, don’t miss our ultimate guide to cycling Tenerife.

Due to the terrible forest fires in 2023, we understand that some of the roads in Tenerife are closed. Check with the local tourism office, your accommodation or tour operator for the latest news.

Prepare like a pro

1. Most riders will want a compact 50-34 chainset with an 11-28 (or even 30 or 32) cassette. Tenerife is not somewhere you want to find yourself under-geared…

2. Cycling Tenerife is not much fun if you are very unfit. Flat routes are the exception rather than the rule and all the best rides involve climbing. You’ll need endurance as well as physical and mental strength to tackle the long ascents. Get some training in before you go.

3. Bike shops are clustered around the main accommodation resorts in Tenerife. That’s often a long way from where you’re riding. Bring enough spares. You’ll want tubes, tyre levers, and a pump or CO2 canisters, puncture repair kit and multi-tool. You may even want to bring a toolkit for larger repairs.

4. If you’re bringing your own bike, get it serviced before you come. If you’re hiring, check your bike carefully before riding out of the shop. You really don’t want a mechanical in mountains like you’ll find in Tenerife.


Pick the best routes

5. Plan your routes before you visit. Our guide to cycling Tenerife contains loads of information on the island’s best routes. You’ll find GPX downloads, route profiles, descriptions, photos and videos so you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Once you’ve decided on the route, familiarise yourself with it before you set out: for example, where are you going to refuel, what are the essential parts you need to remember?

6. You may sometimes wonder why our routes stick to a main road rather than taking a more direct minor road. Usually there’s a good reason: side streets in Tenerife can often be ridiculously steep and almost impossible to ride!

7. Don’t judge a route purely by distance. Riding in Tenerife is all about altitude gain. A 50 km ride is a lot harder when it involves 1,500 m of climbing!

8. Take it slow and steady. Even the pros take hours to get up some of the really tough climbs here.


Timing matters

9. You can cycle on Tenerife at any time of year (more information in our guide).

10. Be aware that if you visit in January, it doesn’t start to get light until around 7:30am (sunrise is as late as 8am) and sunset is between 6:20 and 6:45pm (click here for other months and more detailed information).

11. Heavy traffic on the main roads around the southern resorts and between La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife mean they’re best avoided during rush hour(s).


Don’t forget the weather

12. Though the weather in Tenerife is more stable than many destinations, don’t assume that the only thing you need to pack is suncream. You do need that of course, but pack for rain, wind and long descents too. As a minimum, we suggest arm warmers, waterproof jacket and long-fingered gloves. Our ultimate packing list has a checklist you can use.


Other stuff for an awesome Tenerife cycling holiday

13. A hire car is really useful on Tenerife. Unlike some destinations, the best rides are dotted around. If you want to experience the best the island has to offer, it’s worth having a car. Whether you hire a car or not, you should be familiar with the Spanish Highway Code.

14. Have at least a rough plan of where you’re going to fill up with water/food. Our ride guides contain suggestions for stopping points. You should also carry gels and bars in your pocket.

15. Particularly if you’re new to riding in the mountains, consider riding with a friend or group. That way help is at hand if something goes wrong.


Your thoughts!

Had a cycling holiday in Tenerife and got some additional tips? Please comment below!

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

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6 Responses to “15 tips for awesome Tenerife cycling holidays”

  1. Great information you provide about Tenerife. Will be there in May and your website confirms that it will be a great experience.

    • Excellent – so pleased to hear our info is helpful for you! Have a fantastic trip and let us know how you get on!

  2. Clare, great work on all your Tenerife information! As a cyclist and driver in the Canary Islands, I would add a suggestion that some might consider controversial: flashing lights front and back. As a driver, I notice that often my fellow cyclists (whom I’m always keeping a keen eye out for) are almost invisible on many of the winding roads, changing light conditions, and rapid descents. This is especially noticeable during changing weather conditions. It is not uncommon to go through 3 or 4 microclimates on a ride.
    Also, while the local drivers are generally quite considerate and obey the mandated 2 meter passing rule, there are loads of distracted and clueless tourists taking in the beauty of the islands.
    Finally, I really encourage cyclists to explore more the northern part of the island. While it won’t be a sunny as the south, there are charming villages, local restaurants, and endless challenging variations for riding. Plus there are at least 2 routes to get your obligatory El Teide climb in.
    Off to the islands for the winter🚵‍♂️🦎🏊‍♂️ It’s nasty work, but someone’s gotta do it.
    So, book your flight already!

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for your kind words and these tips. Definitely second your suggestion for the north, just make sure you bring your climbing legs! Enjoy your winter!!

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