Tenerife 2023

In February 2023, I headed back to the continent courtesy of Jet2Holidays. I suppose when I say ‘continent’ I should clarify that the continent was Africa. Well, nearly… I’d been asked to fly to Tenerife, one of Jet2Holidays ‘cycling’ destinations. I’ve never really been a package tour person but, then again, I wasn’t a river cruise person until I had the opportunity of jumping on a boat down the Rhine. (And I was well and truly converted!)

This trip to Tenerife is one of the many cycling holidays offered by Jet2 Holidays. Jet2 have a range of flights to Tenerife and I chose to travel from Manchester to Tenerife South. I stayed at the Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort and Spa, one of the ‘Winter Sun’ destinations offered by Jet2Holidays but, of course, Jet2Holidays offer holidays to Tenerife all year round.

I left (a bike called) Wanda at home and hired at bike at the hotel where I stayed for four nights from February 13th (the Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa in Costa Adeje). From one end to the other, Tenerife measures just 80km (which is about twice the length of the Isle of Wight) so with three full days to explore the island I had the time to be able to seek out some interesting nooks and crannies. One key difference between Tenerife and the Isle of Wight is that on the latter your are rarely vertically challenged when it comes to cycling. The highest point on the island is a modest 241 metres (St Boniface Down). The highest point on Tenerife is, err… 3,715 metres: the volcano, Mount Teide.

But what about the cycling? Well, I was kindly pointed in the direction of the Col Collective website which has a page dedicated Mount Teide, the volcano at the heart of the Spanish island. It is, curiously, the highest point in Spain at 3,715 metres. I don’t think you are able to cycle all the way to the top of the volcano – certainly not on a road bike – but here’s a Col Collective video about cycling as far as you can go:

Here’s what the Col Collective say about the ride up the side of Mount Teide:

“Just off the north-west coast of Africa, Tenerife is the largest and most popular of the seven Canary Islands, a magnet for tourists in search of winter sun and sangria. Of course, if lying by the pool isn’t your thing then you may wish to turn your attention towards the mighty Mount Teide, its snowy volcanic peak rising up to 3,718 metres above sea level making it the highest point in Spain.

“Cycling from El Médano you actually face one of the shorter of the six main routes, just 51km(!) up to the Teide plateau. Most comparable in terms of average gradient and length to the magnificent Col de L’Iseran from Bourg Saint Maurice in the French Alps, Teide is the only place in Europe where you can climb continuously from sea level to 2,100 metres in one go. It’s not the gradient, it’s the length that really takes its toll on this one. More than a climb, it feels like a full on bike ride as you trace your way out of town and towards Las Cañadas, a collapsed crater measuring 48km in circumference that El Teide sits within.

“As the glistening Atlantic coastline and old fishing hamlet of El Médano fade away, the aroma of eucalyptus fills the air as the road gently twists and turns ahead. From Granadilla the gradient continues to hold its form around 4-6% allowing you to really enjoy your surrounds.

“Take some time to recover and refuel at the halfway point in Vilaflor, things are about to be turned up a notch as the gradient hits 11% before you rise above the clouds and enter the Teide National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site no less. There’s little wonder why over three million tourists are drawn towards Teide’s mystique. The sheer scale and beauty is hard to comprehend (especially after over 50km on the bike!)

“Although the road continues up to the foot of the volcano at 2,325 metres elevation (where you can then take a cable car to the top) it’s the Parador de las Cañadas hotel (famously used by Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in his build up to the Tour de France) at 2,152 metres where the pro’s choose to recover and soak up the view. What a climb. What a ride!”

The Col Collective, Mount Teide

There are other ways to the top, however. There’s a cable car and a hiking option but it looks as though it’s not as simple as just rocking up and either jumping on board or setting off walking. Tickets and permits are required. But definitely something to look into nearer the time. All the details are on the official Mount Teide website.

With only a few days to explore Tenerife, I didn’t do any island hopping but if I had decided to jump on a ferry to Gran Canaria, the email that arrived in my inbox yesterday would have been useful. Here’s what the local tourist authority have to say:

Gran Canaria, when you get off the bike

With Christmas knocking on the door, Gran Canaria these days is abuzz with cyclists looking for tranquility, a variety of routes and pleasant weather, far from the rigors of winter, which already hits cyclists’ morale hard when it gets warm outside before leave.

A cycling holiday in Gran Canaria makes perfect sense at this time, hundreds of cyclists are right now enjoying every little corner that the island has for the curious cyclist among other professionals.

But once you get off the bike, the island offers many attractions that fill hours off the road with experiences.

Always natural

Gran Canaria has always taken the conservation of its natural heritage very seriously. In 2005, UNESCO rewarded this effort with the declaration of a World Biosphere Reserve. 43% of its surface is protected territory.

You can already imagine the number of places to get lost and enjoy the more than 100 species of flora that can only be seen on the Island and emblems of local fauna such as the blue chaffinch or the canary lizard.

Rest on beach

Gran Canaria has almost 60 kilometers of beaches spread over 236 kilometers of coastline, with options for all tastes.

Picturesque places like the coast of Mogán and Agaete or stupendous carpets of golden sand like Las Canteras and Amadores.

In the south of the island is Maspalomas, an ideal enclave where you can enjoy a warm sunset next to a nineteenth-century lighthouse that enjoys a peaceful retirement. Las dunes, a small portion of desert anchored by the sea, is a sublime setting for those who associate their well-being with rest.

Not just cycling

Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Gran Canaria has known how to take advantage of its advantageous circumstances to transform itself into a fun water park. Surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are some of the sports that can be practiced throughout the year. Jet skiing and parasailing ensure high doses of adrenaline and the richness of the seabed is a great attraction for lovers of diving and sport fishing. Back on the mainland, golf and hiking play a major role on an Island that exposes its 24 degrees of average annual temperature as the best argument for exercising outdoors.

Travel with family

Gran Canaria is a family destination that ensures instant disconnection with the little ones in the house but also aims to establish itself as a meeting point for doing business. Its air connectivity and the quality of its accommodation allow you to combine work with endless alternatives for leisure time.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the island’s capital, boasts of being a location where it is forbidden to be bored. The city hides its most intimate secrets in the old neighborhood of Vegueta, where interesting museums are located that the visitor should inspect.

Three identities on the plate

The gastronomy of Gran Canaria is another example of the miscegenation that has given it its triple European, African and American identity. La Isla proudly sports a wide range of products. There are exquisite cheeses, fruits and vegetables that are exported to the Old Continent, excellent fish and traditional pastries made art thanks to the legacy of several generations.

This trip to Tenerife is one of the many cycling holidays offered by Jet2 Holidays. Jet2 have a range of flights to Tenerife and I chose to travel from Manchester to Tenerife South. I stayed at the Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort and Spa, one of the ‘Winter Sun’ destinations offered by Jet2Holidays but, of course, Jet2Holidays offer holidays to Tenerife all year round.


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