A place for cycling all year round:
Put simply, the weather is perfect for cycling all-year-round. Even though Tenerife is a relatively small island, it enjoys many different “micro climates” all over the island. For example, the South of Tenerife is generally the sunnier, drier part of the island. The North of Tenerife is a few degrees cooler and yet significantly greener. Meanwhile, the central volcanic crater acts just like a desert climate.
The upper part of Tenerife (“corona forestal”) is often surrounded by a thin layer of stratus cloud which hovers around 1200-1500m altitude. This is known as the “sea of clouds” phenomenon; most of the time you can easily ride straight through this thin band of cloud – expect 100% sunny blue skies once you’re up there! Along the North coast, the temperatures are approximately 15°C in Winter, 24°C in Summer.
Cycling in the Summer:
Summer is a fantastic time for cycling in Tenerife as it rarely (if ever) rains. It’s an ideal time for hardcore cyclists to practice their heat tolerance. Throughout July & August, Las Cañadas often experiences a “temperature inversion” effect – the higher you go up, the hotter it gets (the exact opposite of what you’d expect).
Cycling in Autumn/Spring:
September and October are particularly good months for cycling in Tenerife. During this time, if you plan your rides just right, the daytime temperature is often the same at sea level as it is at the base of Mount Teide, 2300masl. The same can be said for April & May.
Cycling in the Winter:
During winter, remember that the temperature drops approximately 3°C for every 1000 metre altitude gain. Leg warmers and a windproof jacket are needed for the descent from Teide. You can sometimes encounter frost/ice above 2000m for a few days of the year. When that happens, access to these roads is restricted or cut completely, but the roads are always cleared of ice promptly.
Wind & Fog:
There are only a handful of places in Tenerife which are constantly windy (Arico, Punta de Teno, El Bailadero and a place with coordinates 28.327852° N 16.856284° W). The rest of Tenerife is calm throughout most of the year. Some places are also prone to fog more than others (Aguamansa, Anaga).
The only time that it is extremely windy is when there is a sub-tropical storm. This normally occurs once each year, usually around the start of Winter. During one of these storms, there is never much lightning or rain, but there are gale force winds. The weather conditions deteriorate the closer you get to Mt Teide as snow is dumped on the volcanic cone itself. It’s advisable not to cycle anywhere at this time, but especially not “up” because it becomes too dangerous. Leaves, branches, and other objects tend to get thrown about, so it’s wise not to be out unprotected on a bicycle in the midst of a storm. Intense storms never last more than a few hours and they will completely disappear within a day or two.