Should I choose Costa Brava, or Tenerife?

nlmkiii

Active Member
Been given a cycling holiday by the wife for Xmas (What a wife!!!), and I get to choose Tenerife or Costa Brava/Alicante. There seems to be pro's and cons for each.
I'm going in March.

Tenerife - Mt Teide is a classic bucket list climb, and the area seems to have a lot more long epic climbs. I'm a bit concerned that it's high traffic? I'm quite confident in traffic, but let's face it... life is better without it! (It's also about £80 more expensive due to higher flight costs... not a major factor, but if all is the same, might as well save the money)

Costa Brava - Looks amazing, and some nice looking climbs, but doesn't look like it has anything particularly epic. Given that I don't holiday much, I wonder if I'll feel underwhelmed by it? That said, very little traffic, so probably more enjoyable for long days in the saddle?

Just hoping some of you can advise on this. Are my assessments correct, or am I wrong about the pros and cons of each place? Don't need you to decide for me of course, I just want to know I have the right info when making the decision!!!
 

Sharky

Veteran
Location
Kent
You must have a birthday coming up soon - so what to get you for your birthday solved - the one you didn't choose as your xmas present.
 

Twizit

CS8 lead out specialist
Location
Surrey
Can't speak for the Costa Brava for cycling but didn't find traffic an issue in Tenerife whilst out there last Easter. Ok it's a bit busy getting out of the coastal towns but up on the volcano itself it was wonderfully quiet, which is where you'd spend most of your cycling time anyway.

If going would suggest a hire car or think about getting out to other areas such as around Masca and the North East end of the island for some variety.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Ive been to Tenerife 6 times. The drivers on the whole very courteous. You can ride two abreast where the road is wide enough, but recommended to stay single file. The mains roads have a space beyond the white line in alot os places. The climbs from the south of the island where most folk stay are very long, can be 3+ hours to the crater lip from resorts like Los Cristianos. Roads are super smooth, weather very consistent mid 20's. The climbs aren't very busy during the week, but more so on the weekends. There is very little flat either up or down. If you get to the top of Teide just passed the Hotel Parador, the descent will take nearly an hour, can be cold and very fast(be careful).
 
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postman

Legendary Member
Location
Meanwood ,Leeds
You lucky person you.What a wonderful trouble and strife you have.So last March we went to Costa Adeje pronounced ADECKIE,it was superb a bus trip up the mountain for an evening visit to see the stars.Hilly but if that floats your boat Costa Adeje Los Cris is your area.
 

Edwardoka

Bloviating windbag
Can't speak much for Costa Brava as a cycling destination in itself, Catalonia is nice and I enjoyed some of the stuff around Girona (particularly Guilleries-Savassona).

Tenerife OTOH is an excellent cycling destination. I found the sun and sangria areas of Los Cris/Playa de las Americas/Costa Adeje to be unpleasant but the rest of the island is really fantastic.

As said above, it is a very diverse island - while most people know about the climb from Los Cris to Teide, the Anaga mountains in the northeast are an incredible (but very tough) place to ride a bike, and the climb from Buenavista del Norte to Santiago del Teide via Masca is epic.

I did my two Teide ascents from San Cristobal de la Laguna and Santiago del Teide, both wildly different rides, both amazing, starting from opposite sides of the island.

I'd go back tomorrow if I could.
 
OP
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nlmkiii

Active Member
Thanks for the advice people. Given what you all said about traffic not being that bad, I've just booked Tenerife for 3 nights. The idea of a 50+km climb up Teide is just too much of a pull.

Now to try and get this 94kg frame down to 90kg by March!

The weird thing is that I can imagine a 4 hour climb, it seems doable. But 1 hour descent!?!?! I can feel my neck hurting already!

Gosh this is exciting!
 
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nlmkiii

Active Member
As said above, it is a very diverse island - while most people know about the climb from Los Cris to Teide, the Anaga mountains in the northeast are an incredible (but very tough) place to ride a bike, and the climb from Buenavista del Norte to Santiago del Teide via Masca is epic.
What are the Anaga mountains like?
 

Edwardoka

Bloviating windbag
What are the Anaga mountains like?
Very nice, rainforest, very craggy, with a pleasant climate - the road runs along the central ridge about 3500 feet above sea level and there are lots of twisting winding roads down to the coast. Stunning place to ride, with one caveat: with the exception of the San Andres road, they are all dead-ends, and so those wonderful descents come at a hefty price - you have to ride back up the same way.

The climb back up from Almaciga to El Bailadero completely broke me.
 
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CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Thanks for the advice people. Given what you all said about traffic not being that bad, I've just booked Tenerife for 3 nights. The idea of a 50+km climb up Teide is just too much of a pull.

Now to try and get this 94kg frame down to 90kg by March!

The weird thing is that I can imagine a 4 hour climb, it seems doable. But 1 hour descent!?!?! I can feel my neck hurting already!

Gosh this is exciting!
Im in the mid 90kgs. I go with an organiso tour company on the island. They do several levels of rides, from beginner to seasoned rider.

The climbs that go up via Vilaflor in the south are popular. Vilaflor is your last stop for food and drinks before cresting the crater lip and descending into the basin. Hotel Parador is where all the Pros stay. You can get food and drink there. Its going to be nearly 2 hours from Vilaflor to Parador hotel.

There are several routes which lead to Vilaflor then one road up. You have to go part way South West to get a different ascent via Chio. or East beyond the airport to climb via Giumar/Arafo

Always have fluid and snacks, puncture repair kit and warm gloves and wind gillet for the descents, they can get very cold. Helmets are a legal responsibility in Tenerife
 
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CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Oh just so you know, Tenerife drivers never indicate, even though they give riders space and hardly ever speed by a rider, you have to be aware of sudden changes in direction:okay:
 

Edwardoka

Bloviating windbag
Always have fluid and snacks, puncture repair kit and warm gloves and wind gillet for the descents, they can get very cold.
And lights. The warmer climate and low latitude can lull you into a false sense of security about how much daylight there is left.

I got caught out - descending the mountain road from the Teide observatory to La Esperenza through the clouds and gathering gloom with no lights was exciting.
Thank goodness once I made it back to civilisation a good samaritan took pity on me and drove me back to my hotel. Didn't make that mistake again.
 
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