Tenerife - A Winter Cycling Destination

In recent years Tenerife has become the most popular destination for the best professional cyclists to train during the winter. The best Grand Tour contenders in the world over the last two decades, including Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali have all spent several weeks on the island, taking advantage of the unique conditions that the island provides.

Mirador de Masca
You don't have to be a professional cyclist though to reap the benefits of cycling in Tenerife. It is a cycling paradise for riders of all levels; the sub-tropical climate, the perfect road surfaces, high number of excellent climbs and the ability to ride for extended periods at high altitude throughout the winter, all make it an excellent training destination. In addition, Tenerife has beautiful scenery, largely centered around Mount Teide - a 3,700m high volcano that forms the centre point of the island.

Whether you are preparing for a tough sportive, looking to hone your racing edge, or simply love to climb mountains in warm weather conditions; below we look at how you can use Tenerife to your advantage.

Our cycling holiday to the island offers a combination of great climbs, superb hotels and takes care of all the bike hire and transfers so that you can just concentrate on the cycling! It is also multi-centre, allowing you to discover nearly all of the island and ensuring that you don't have to ride the same routes more than once.

Altitude Training & High Mountains

The main reason that Tenerife has become so popular with professional cycling teams is because of the opportunities that it offers for altitude training.

For us mere mortals who are not professional riders; all this red blood cell count is not so important. But having the ability to cycle high mountains - climbs which take several hours to ascend - in the middle of winter, is a fantastic training opportunity.

Of course there are other places in Europe where you can stay and cycle over 2,000 metres, but in January or February these are usually covered under several feet of snow.

Mount Teide

Excellent Climbs

A tough training block can work so well in Tenerife because it is such a mountainous island; there is barely a flat road to be found and the whole place is littered with fantastic climbs.

The most famous and iconic climb is Mount Teide - a huge volcano that basically comprises the entire island. There are numerous different routes to climb Teide, with the longest over 50km; it is a relatively gentle ascent giving you plenty of time to take in the magnificent scenery.

Elsewhere on the island, there are some superb climbs in the Anaga Natural Park in the north and around the villages of Masca and Icod de los Vinos in the west. These range from shorter, steeper climbs to longer more sustained ascents which are very similar to what you will find in the Alps or the Pyrenees.

For more information on some of the great climbing routes check out our Guide to Tenerife Cycling Routes.

Anaga Natural Park

High Quality Roads

The road infrastructure is superb in Tenerife. Nearly all routes have been recently re-laid and so the climbs and descents are super smooth and enjoyable to ride. On most of the cycling routes there is not a lot of traffic anyway, but in January and February it is even more reduced than during the rest of the year.

Tenerife is similar to Mallorca in this respect, with beautifully paved roads that don't even seem to have any purpose except to admire the stunning scenery. The road planners there must have been cyclists.


The other key benefit to Tenerife as a winter cycling destination is the weather. The climate is sub-tropical and daytime temperatures rarely drop below 20°C during the winter. To give you an idea of where Tenerife is based geographically - if you head due east you will reach the Sahara Desert within 600km. If you head due west, you will end up somewhere in the middle of Florida.

Rain is very uncommon and is usually in the form or light drizzle if it does arrive. In January to March, the most popular period for cyclists, Tenerife averages a total rainfall of 50mm (two inches), with an average of just 1.5 rainy days per month.

Sunny Tenerife

It's t-shirt weather even in winter


Tenerife has two airports, one in the north and one in the south of the island. Both airports have flights to and from wide range of European destinations and there are several low cost airlines that fly there regularly throughout the year, including during winter.

If you would like more information about cycling in Tenerife, or would be interesting in our fully customisable Cycling Tour around the island, please feel free to contact us, and we would be happy to help.

For a less hilly and more easy winter cycling holiday, you may also be interested in our Cabo de Gata cycling holiday, which tours around the Almeria region - the warmest part of mainland Europe. Check out the details in the information below.

Mount Teide
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 7 Days
Level: Difficulty Medium to Challenging
Price: from €1,390 EUR
Playa de Monsul - Cabo de Gata
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 6 Days
Level: Difficulty Easy to Medium
Price: from €1130 EUR
*Bike Hire Included