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Puerto de la Cruz , Biketours

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Travel time: August 02.

In August the weather last from bright sunshine to cold rain within one week but windy all time mostly blowing from north east. Bring a windbreaker or raincoat with.
Its more dry and sunny in the southern part of the island, the country side is a stony desert and there are less dirt tracks than in the green and more cool north.

The flight from Stuttgart to Tenerife South was 325Euro with www.LTU.de booked on Internet just two days before the flight. To get the bike with you have to use the phone and call their service center open 24h. Return fee for the bike was 30E. If you have a LTU-membership you always can carry on one sport gear for free. Membership is 30E :-)

Puerto de la Cruz
It is located on the north coast of Tenerife. From the Aeropuerto Sur take the direct bus 340 leaving every day at 9.45 AM, 2.00, 8.00 and 11.30 PM at the most right exit of the airport. Its 85 minutes ride.
If you like it a little more difficult take bus 341 to Santa Cruz leaving from 6.50 AM till midnight every hour (50 minutes ride) and change here to Linea 101, 102 or 103 to Puerto. Daily service from 6.30 AM to midnight every hour at least. Don´t wait for an invitation to stow away your bike. Just store it in the luggage rack. Faire is 8,40E total.

We stayed at **** Hotel Atalaya where all guests and even the staff is speaking German. The hotel is around one kilometer away from the city center and located on a small hill just beside the casino. Takes 15 minutes by feet or 2,50E by taxi to the center or return.
Most rooms are recently renovated or just under maintenance (August 2002) so expect some noise and ask for the new one with balcony.
The breakfast buffet is quite good but the dinner buffet has nothing special and is boring after two days. Better look for the nice bodegas in the city where you get delicious Spanish food for favorable prices.
But all in all it´s very good value for money you spend for Hotel Atalaya, Parque Taoro, Calle Dinamarca 3, E-38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Tel.:+34 922 376060, www.hotelatalaya.com. Here you can find a price list too but it´s always more cheep to get a complete package from an Internet travel agency.

There is no real beach in Puerto only some "boatless harbor" where you can take a bath on rocky shore in the middle of the city.
Playa del Soccorro is 9E away by taxi and has the best surf (2-3 meter) on the north coast. Equipment can be rented from the baywatch guards but ask for the price before because it can vary between 0 to 20E a day.

Be aware that Tenerife is NO spot to get back the stamina you lost over winter time. Except the altiplano there is nothing flat to cycle. To train hillclimb its perfect. 27% slope and more you can ride if you can. As mentioned above the north is the best location for biking even or especially because its more cloudy here so that its not as hot as in the south.

It is forbidden to leave the paved road inside the Parque Nacional del Teide. Even when you see some 4x4 driving along this dirt tracks. They are hunting rabbits for their pleasure and kick you in the ass while offroad :-((

Bring big wheels with you (2.3") because some tracks are very stony and some streets have grates with large gaps. Gloves with gel might be useful too to lower the vibrations you will face every day.

The most detailed map I could find in Germany was "Teneriffa" (Nr. 233) from Kompass, 1:50.000 for 9E but its also the worst because there are so many errors. Even the main roads have wrong numbers and forget about finding a location on the map mentioned at a sign on the track. To get an idea of the island its OK.

A useful book in German is "Mountainbiken auf den Kanarischen Inseln" from Michael Leibl, ISBN 3-89595-175-7 and will cost you 15E only. For Tenerife nine bike tours are described including a road book. La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro have some tour description too.

Most locals keep distance while overtaking but tend to honk before.

Tour 1:
79km, 2187Hm, 5.14h
Altitude profile

Very nice view points and good freeride to El Lagar but tricky orientation.

Starting at the Casino on the hillside of Puerto de la Cruz towards La Vera crossing the highway at the big roundabout and crank uphill to Realejo Alto. From here up towards Icod el Alto. After the view point at the beginning of Icod el Alto turn left the next road and follow uphill. It is getting very steep so if you like it more flat follow the main road and turn left at the camera sign meeting the steep road at the view point Corona which is very easy to find because of it´s forest of antennas.

Here starts the dirt track and the difficulties of orientation. Forget your map follow the road "in best condition" but always uphill which is sometimes that steep that you have to push the bike. At around 1250hm you hopefully reach the large stony track at the firepoint. Follow this track towards west (right) now more smooth uphill. Follow the track always toward west with very good views. Follow the sign "La Guancha" and later "El Lagar" leading downwards on a great freeride track with small jumps and nice turns.

At El Lagar you have a possibility to stock up with water. The track left hand side before the building leads towards El Teide and the right lower track to El Amparo which I took. At the sign "4 Lose 5" which is the start of a overhead transmission line turn right down on a great downhill track with lots of loose stones till you reach the street at around 850hm at El Amparo.

From here across Icod de los Vinos, La Guancha, Los Realejos an Cruz Santa to Puerto de la Cruz all roads are paved.

Shortcut: From El Lagar directly down on speedy dirt track to La Guancha.

Tour 2:
124km, 2908Hm, 7.57h
Altitude profile

It´s a hard ride around Teide but worth the very scenic views and mega long descent.

Follow the road across La Vera, La Montaneta and Cruz Santa. If you like it very steep turn right-hand side in the village and follow the road up the creek Bco. de la Roya. Otherwise turn left towards Realejo Alto and up to Benijos at the crossroad. At around 800hm follow the road to La Ferruja and further up to the picnic area Risco de la Zarza / Chanajiga.

Cross the parking area towards west and follow always the main track. You might cross tour 1 at around 1250hm. Follow the sign "La Canadas" if in existence. At around 1800hm you will meet the main road to the top. This will guide you around Teide to the crossroad at Boca Tauce where you have to turn right. It could be quite chilly and windy up here.

After a short uphill, a straight way down and a large S-combination is a parking area left-hand side at around 1550hm. Follow the road 300 meters and pass by a crash barrier and a sign of falling rocks and turn right on dirt track after. Now it´s tricky: First parallel to the road towards the small hill (P1585) where you turn right. Now try to follow always the right-hand track leading upwards till you reach a dirt road marked with a white/black triangle (It might be the same road right-hand side just after the large S-combination).

Now it´s all going down. Never turn right-hand side up (like I did at the crossroad with lots of signs and a barrier). Follow the sign "El Lagar" or "La Guancha" and you will see a small hiker on yellow rhombus hidden in the trees which you should follow. A long and shaky way to El Lagar and speedy downhill from here towards La Guancha. When you reach the paved road turn right to avoid the main traffic. Therefor you have some additional meters to climb. Better to head down all the way to La Guancha and take the main road if your stamina is gone.

Tour 3:
86km, 2754Hm, 6.39h
Altitude profile

Great descent after a long climb. Some tricky but hidden single tracks.

First follow the sign to Teide across La Orotava. Leave the main road to La Florida and follow the very steep road across Pinoleris and further on. This will join the main road again at around 1050hm where a restaurant is located left-hand side. After the fishing farm leave the main road on dirt right-hand side. Pass by an old mine and turn left the next track heading upwards on steep and stony surface towards L.Rodriguez always straight up. If it´s too hard take the next left again and it will lead you back to the main road.

From L.Rodriguez ride on the main road till you reach the crossroad at the restaurant. Take the left road towards the Observatorio. Some 5km ahead is a viewpoint left-hand side from where a dirt track leads you downwards. Do not follow the warning of the Danger-bees. At around 1750hm there should be a hiking track towards Choza Chimache. Take it if you find it. Otherwise turn right at the picnic hut Bolinaga steep down on rough gravel.

At 1400hm where you meet the main road again turn right to Choza Chimache. Take the lower track there and try to find the single trail right-hand side half way down to the Tres Cruces. A little later turn right and follow the dirt road to El Topo. Be aware that the track will climb some meters after a while before it´s going down and do not follow any side tracks before you reached the top. Mostly you will end up on a rough hiking track which might be nice for some DH-experts.

At the top is a picnic place left-hand side. Go straight down and take the next track left side following the sign "Pino Alto" and stay always on the main track. It´s great fun here :-)) At around 750hm the paved road to Cuesta de la Villa is starting. Have some break power left for this steep descent. After the village it´s an easy way to Puerto de la Cruz.

Tour 4:
104km, 2622Hm, 6.20h
Altitude profile

A long ride mostly on paved road but with lots of highlights.

Follow the sign "El Teide" all the way up till you reach the parking place where the dirt track starts towards the summit and discover the ban of cyclists :-( on that track because it´s within the border of the national park. Only hikers and 4x4 are allowed :-((

Down the same road to the junction at the restaurant and turn right to the Observatorio. Follow the road towards La Esperanza with very scenic views.

After the pass we took the road down towards Soria and further down to Parchel at the coast line following the road to Maspalomas. According to the map there should be a dirt track down to Agua Garcia at around 1400hm. I took the single track following the overhead power line and the small hiker on yellow rhombus. It´s hard-core. Best downhill for experts only. Turned right the next dirt track and down zigzag on each crossing following the sign "Pista La Vica". Nice speedy path. From there across La Victoria de Acenteje and Santa Ursula back to Puerto on easy road.

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