Life from an outsider's perspective…

Where is the best location on the Island for us to stay?

I’ve just found this blog (very useful!) and I am in a similar position to this person, but wanted to make sure i’ve got this right:

Just to clarify, me and my girlfriend would like to have a (road) cycling holiday in Tenerife during the last fortnight in March. As well as cycling we also enjoy walking/fell running and swimming.

Could you please suggest where in your opinion is the best location on the Island for us to stay? and whether the weather is likely to be decent during that period? (we usually go to mallorca for our cycling but we figured it’s time for a change!)

Thanks in advance!

I might be biased but think Puerto de la Cruz is probably the most scenic resort & also offers the best access to different parts of the island for both road and mountainbiking. The downhill mountain bike scene is already quite big here and is getting more popular all the time. As far as road cycling goes, the main climb to Izaña / El Portillo / Las Cañadas is exceptional, either via TF21 (preferably starting in La Orotava) or TF24 (starting in La Esperanza).

There are fantastic views of Mt Teide from all along the North coast and there are direct bus services to all the major places including the capital Santa Cruz, La Orotava, Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes. It has a lot of restaurants to choose from, black volcanic sand beaches and other tourist attractions… obviously it’s also more convenient for me to deliver rental bikes around this region too.

In Summer, the temperatures experienced in the North of Tenerife are usually a few degrees cooler than in the South. A lot of people [particularly the English] think that the North is always cloudier than the South. Yes there is often a thin stratus cloud band between about 1200-1500m altitude, but like the main website says, it’s always sunny above this layer (unless there is a snow storm). The most affected zone is just below Aguamansa. The reason for this is that the La Orotava valley traps clouds because of the steep sides at each end (above Icod el Alto / La Corona on the western side and Pino Alto / La Florida / Pinoleris on the eastern side). The upside of this is that it also makes it greener and more beautiful. Looking down on it from above is certainly a sight to behold. Although it’s not always true, because as I write, there is a beautiful sunny blue sky here in Los Pinos and zero cloud. Puerto de la Cruz juts out from the coast further into the ocean and is not affected as much; it’s one of the sunniest places along the North coast of Tenerife.

Having said that, all places have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Los Gigantes is a very cosy nice little resort located right alongside beautiful 500m sea cliffs. It’s closer to Masca but unfortunately it is really too far away to explore Anaga. Be aware that the road leading out of Los Gigantes up to Santiago del Teide is also steeper than most at around 6.5% gradient. The road TF38 to the base of Mt Teide is quiet and has few cars but is really in need of resurfacing so is more suitable for mountain bikes.

Las Americas is often sunnier than the other resorts but the terrain is a less interesting compared to the North of Tenerife. The road from Granadilla de Abona to Vilaflor and beyond is not to be missed. Unfortunately, it also has the reputation for lager louts, so if you’re looking for a more authentic place, the North of the island is probably a better choice to stay. If you’re seeking a quieter cycling holiday, be aware that there are also many small villas dotted around Tenerife.

La Laguna & Santa Cruz are the best places to stay if you want to see the Anaga mountain range. The appearance of fog is normal in the the Anaga mountains between about 800 – 1000m altitude.

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