El Teide (Santa Cruz)

Start Town Altitude (m) Elevation Gain (m) Length (km) Gradient (%) Difficulty Rating
Santa Cruz 2325 2308 63.7 3.6 1316 ***

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This is the longest ascent of El Teide and is one of the more challenging. The gradient is more inconsistent than on the other ascents, although this also includes several substantial donwhill sections. At 64km in length it will take even a strong cyclist well over three hours, so a good endurance base is essential.

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is in very good condition throughout the climb. The biggest problem with this climb is the high volume of traffic, particularly in the first 15km. From Santa Cruz to La Esperanza expect a steady stream of cars which, although mostly slow moving, can severely affect the enjoyment of the climb.

From La Esperanza the climb turns into a more traditional mountain road, there are still a few cars on the road, but it is not nearly so bothersome as during the first 15km.

In the busier tourist season expect an increase in traffic again as you approach the top of the climb. In winter this is not usually a problem.

Climb Description

El Teide

This climb to El Teide begins in Santa Cruz, the capital and largest city in Tenerife. From Santa Cruz you follow Avenida de Los Menceyes out of the city into San Cristobal de La Laguna.

In La Laguna you turn onto the TF-24 and continue past Tenerife North Airport all the way into the Teide National Park. At the end of the Tf-24 you join the TF-21, heading south for the final section.

This is our least favourite ascent of El Teide. The major problem is the traffic in the opening kilometres. However, it is also the side with the least interesting scenery; much of the route is covered by trees and you have to wait longer than on the other routes before the landscape opens up and becomes more spectacular.

Perhaps the main advantage of this side is that you pass through the city of La Laguna - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ancient capital of Tenerife.

This side works much better as a descent having climbed a different way. The road surface is excellent and you will be exposed to the heavier traffic for a much shorter period of time when going downhill.

El Teide itself is the main climb in Tenerife and one of the most famous in Spain. The mountain is the highest in Spain at over 3,700m and, although the road does not go so high, it is still a hugely popular climb with cyclists.

In recent years many professional teams have chosen Tenerife as their winter cycling training base, because of the opportunities that El Teide offers for altitude training.

The climb is situated in the centre of the Teide National Park, one of the most beautiful locations in Spain and there are stunning views throughout as you begin on the coast and finish towards the top of this vast volcano.

Due to Tenerife's sub-tropical climate, El Teide is open throughout the year. This makes it one of very few places in Europe where you can ride climbs that rival the great Alpine ascents throughout winter.

Alternative Routes

El Teide - Los Gigantes
El Teide - El Médano
El Teide - Playa de San Juan
El Teide - Puerto de la Cruz

Nearby Climbs

Pico del Ingles - La Laguna
Pico del Ingles - San Andres
Mirador de la Cumbre


Our Tenerife cycling holiday includes El Teide, as well as many other fantastic climbs on the island. Or please contact us if you would like more information.