Life from an outsider's perspective…

Riding from El Puerto to Los Cristianos

Hi there,

I have recently moved to Tenerife and I am living and working in Puerto de la Cruz as a teacher. My partner and I are interested in taking up cycling and were thinking of doing a cycling trip over the half-term holidays (first week in November). We have 10 days and thought about cycling from Puerto de la Cruz to Los Cristianos and maybe taking the ferry over to La Gomera for a few days of walking.

We do not have much cycling experience so this might be an impossible challenge for us – saying that we are both 31 and reasonably fit (at the minute I do two or three 1hr spinning sessions a week).

I was just wondering if you could offer us some advice – would this be impossible to do, which route would be best to take and do you recommend any maps that give good information about the island.

Don’t think we would be fit enough to join any of your cycling tours just yet but maybe in the future!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Kind regards


There are a few routes to get to the South, and no it wouldn’t impossible – just think of it as a huge challenge!!!

The most direct route to take would be straight over the top, via TF21. That involves a continuous climb up to 2300m over a distance of 35km! That should take about 3-4 hours or so if you are reasonably fit. Provided you have a bike with appropriate gearing, it’s pretty much a constant 5% gradient, which is easy enough (just very, very persistent).

Age has nothing to do with it, because I’ve even cycled up there with a 62 year old lady!! (I’ve recently turned 31). Keep in mind though, there’s almost no respite, so you’ll be pedalling continuously uphill for at least 3 hours. If you can, start from Aguamansa!! That’s already half way up, and you cut out the traffic around Puerto & La Orotava.

After the climb, it’s down into the crater, up out the other side, and down down down past Vilaflor, then further down all the way to the coast. Keep in mind that the qaulity of road TF51 between Vilaflor and La Longuera isn’t very good. Also stay away from the road that goes from Boca del Tauce to Santiago del Teide, because it needs resurfacing, and isn’t that suitable for road bikes.

What I can say is that you should definitely forget attempting to do the return journey in a single day (for example, El Puerto to Vilaflor, then back to El Puerto). I would also forget the road that goes through La Esperanza (although it’s very scenic, the climb is even longer & mentally tougher!!!). The other way would be to go via Icod/Garachico, El Tanque, Santiago del Teide, etc… but it’s longer and still involves a lot of undulating hills which add up just the same (they can actually be worse than a continuous climb if you’re not used to it).

Here’s a good digital map from my webpage. There are two paper maps which stand out above the rest (which I also now sell). Other than that, know that there are tonnes of different maps available, so if you can’t get either of these two detailed maps, at least try to get one with topographic colour-contours on it.

1) Freytag & Berndt – Tenerife (Scale 1:75,000)
Kompass – Teneriffa (1:50,000)

I’d definitely recommend a trip to La Gomera also! Very beautiful!

Actually, I’m currently not doing the cycling tours as much as people think, as there’s not usually enough people interested. So I’m sticking with bike hire only for the time being. I do have several great quality rental bikes available if you need them; just let me know.

Hope I’ve helped!

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