• Distance 136 km
  • Elevation gain 3450m Max 16%
  • Difficulty
  • Epic rating

This demanding loop takes you through the rolling countryside of Northern Tenerife to La Orotava, a World Heritage Site and utter gem.

From there, you tackle the 38 km ride up the northern side of Teide. This ascent is considered by many to be the most beautiful of the routes up Teide and the dense forest in the upper reaches provides welcome shade.


All metrics in this article are approximate.

Due to the terrible forest fires in 2023, we understand that some of the roads in Tenerife are closed. In particular, we’ve heard that some of the routes up/down Teide to/from the north are subject to restrictions on cyclists. Check with the local tourism office, your accommodation or tour operator for the latest news.


The 38 km ascent of Teide from La Orotava is a truly great climb. It’s long but the gradients are never unmanageable. The forest provides welcome respite from the sun. The road surface is flawless, maintained by the cycling gods themselves. And you are blessed with breathtaking views of the summit of Teide and an ever more distant coastline.

Cycling Teide on a road stretching into the distance surrounded by lava fieldsRoad over Mount Teide’
Lava fields you pass while cycling TeideCrater landscape on Mount Teide
Road through the forest from La Orotava towards Mt TeideShaded road through the forest from La Orotava

Route notes

1. Chío to Icod de los vinos: 0-28 km

Chío is a good hub to start a number of rides. It sits at the bottom of a 38km climb to the summit of Mount Teide.

This route starts on one of the smaller roads from Chío, climbing up the hillside northwards above the TF-1 motorway to Arguayo. Climbing straight from the gun is rewarded by incredible views both west and northwards on quiet country roads, lined by palms and brown volcanic rock.

The road joins the TF-82 and you reach Santiago del Teide. Leaving the town, you see the steep hairpins up to the Mirador de Cherfe, the road to Masca. That’s for another day though (read more here).

The TF-82 takes you over the col and after a short descent, you take a sharp right onto the TF-373. This scenic, peaceful road bypasses the busy TF-82 and takes you nearly as far as Icod de Los Vinos, passing through fields, forest and the village of La Montaneta.

Avoid a trip into Icod itself, or be prepared for a vertiginous descent into the town and a lung-busting climb out again!

2.  Icod de los Vinos to La Orotava: 28-58 km

From Icod it’s a rolling 30km ride on the TF-342 towards La Orotava, though La Guancha, Icod El Alto, Los Realejos, Cruz Santa and La Perdoma. The radiant blue sea expands on your left while the steep north side of Mt Teide rises on your right.

Orotava is a beautiful historic town with narrow cobbled streets, grand pastel-coloured buildings and sublime views down the steep hillside. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. La Orotava to Chío: 58-136 km

From Orotava, navigation is easy: get on the TF-21 and climb!

It’s 38km from the town to the summit of Teide, a long gradual climb from 350m of altitude to over 2300m. While the length, elevation gain and altitude challenge some of the epic climbs of the world, some things are on your side. As you’ll have read in the highlights, the forest provides a wonderfully cool respite, the road surface is excellent and the views of Teide are superb. It’s never too steep and sections of 8% are interspersed with shallower gradients, helping your recovery.

After the visitor centre at the junction of the TF-24, the gradient eases and you enjoy the rugged lunar landscape within the crater of Mt Teide, with black and brown shades of volcanic rock lining the perfect tarmac.

From the summit at the cable car, beware the fierce winds as you pass the famous Parador Hotel, turn right on the TF-38 and enjoy a never ending descent to Chío.

Road from Teide to Chio in Mount Teide National ParkThe turning to Chió
White buildings and blue sea of La Orotave, one of Tenerife's most beautiful townsViews over gorgeous La Orotava (photo credit: Betelgejze/Shutterstock.com)
Sunset of La Gomera islandViews out to La Gomera island as you head down to Chió

Café stops

There are numerous villages between Chío and La Orotava where you’ll find restaurants, bars and the odd shop. La Orotava would make a particularly fine place to stop to refuel before you tackle Mount Teide.  It’s at least worth filling the water bottles at this point since there’s nothing between the end of the urban settlement at Chasna, outside Orotava, and the top of Teide. [Note: one of our readers has advised that there are now cafes after Chsana – see the comments below!]

Once you’re at the top, pick between a few places that offer food and drink along the road between El Portillo and Boca Tauce – you are likely to need sustenance after that climb! Your choice includes the famous Parador Cañadas del Teide and the cable car station.


We stayed at Be Live Playa La Arena, which is convenient for the start of this ride at Chío – though as ever in Tenerife, it’s a fair climb up to Chío from the coast!

You may also want to check our other suggestions for the best places to stay in Tenerife for cyclists.


The temperature at the top of Mount Teide is often significantly colder than at sea level. We’d suggest taking some arm warmers, thin gloves and a windproof jacket – and more if the weather is uncertain.

The summit road can be windy: we’d suggest leaving the deep sections at home.

Remember there’s less oxygen at 2,000 m. Don’t push too hard.

Read our tips for Tenerife cycling holidays and our complete guide to planning a cycling holiday in Tenerife, before you set out.

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com 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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10 Responses to “Mount Teide loop via La Orotava,

  1. Hi Clare, thanks for your detailed guides for Mt. Teide including the comparison guide. It helped me choose which route I did today getting the bus from Santa Cruz to PdLC. I rented a bike from Ride Base (highly recommend) and went up the La Orotava way to the summit at the cable car and back down the same way. My only suggestion for your website is to update that there are now a few more cafes / restaurants beyond Chasna – I stopped at Bar Restaurant Cruz de Tea at Aguamansa and there was another open a little further up Restaurant Los Andes. Definitely glad of having an extra layer (if just a thin waterproof) for the descent, even put on my facemask!

    • Hi Colin, thanks for your kind message and great to hear our articles helped you. Thanks for taking the time to share the info on cafes too, will make a note in the article. Thanks! Clare

  2. Great route.
    Yes, Aguamansa is the last place to refuel before you ascend the 20k to El Portillo. There are several restaurants just before you enter the forest.
    With Covid, things have changed a bit restaurant-wise. Restaurante El Portillo, at the intersection of the TF-21& TF-24 is temporarily closed. Don’t despair. Continue about 2k up the TF-21, past the El Teide visitors center, and you will be in El Portillo Alto where you’ll find 2 restaurants.
    For those cyclists that have already done the superb route you outlined (but who are based in Puerto de la Cruz), there is another alternative. Ascend from Puerto through Orotava to El Portillo, fuel up, and take a left at the TF-24 intersection towards Izana and La Esperanza and finally back to Puerto de la Cruz. To me, this is the most picaresque Puerto loop. About 100k with 2800k of climbing according to Komoot.
    If you’re doing this loop in the winter, you’ll want to have gloves, arm/leg warmers/jacket as it can be a little nippy up high & on the descents.
    As noted above by Colin, Ride Base Tenerife in Puerto de la Cruz, is highly recommended for guided tours/rentals.

    • Hi Kevin, thanks so much for your detailed comments. Useful to know about the Covid-related restaurant changes too. Thanks and happy riding! Clare

  3. I will stay at Be Live Playa La Arena (now landmar) in August for holiday and I am looking for a ride to Mount Teide. By chance I found your post, which is very helpful. Thank you very much! I have a question: from the hotel or nearby area, is there any guided tour for Teide? I am alone and it is my first time to Tenerife. It will be nice to join some group ride or guided ride.

  4. Fantastic route! Rode this yesterday (10th Oct 2023). It turned out to be a particularly good choice for a hot day as the temperature dropped significantly (~10C) on the climb up Teide from Orotava, and the crater was a very pleasant 21C. As mentioned by Kevin, there were a few restaurants open in Aguamansa, and there’s also a mini-mart in Chasna, but I’m unsure whether these would all be open year-round. The fire damage to the forest is extensive, and it looked to me like 70% or more has burnt in the recent blazes.

    • Hi Ben, great insights, thank you. Great to hear you enjoyed the route despite the fire damage. So sad, hopefully the forest will start to recover in a few years.

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