The Best Cycling Climbs On Lanzarote

Warm Weather Training Amongst The Volcanoes

The volcanic island of Lanzarote offers some fantastic training roads for cyclists
The volcanic island of Lanzarote offers some fantastic training roads for cyclists

Warm Weather Training On Lanzarote With Some Fantastic Cycling

The Canary Islands off the West Coast of Morocco offer a great choice for cycling training year-round thanks to their relatively warm climate when compared to the winters of Northern Europe.

Lanzarote, as a result has become a popular destination for cyclists and triathletes looking to soak up some sunshine while helping to develop their performance or for those looking to test out the roads of the prestigious Ironman triathlon course.

Whilst not being known as a mountainous destination the island itself was formed dramatically by volcanic eruptions which helped to develop the island's somewhat lunar landscape. On Lanzarote many of the best climbs and cycling routes are dotted with volcanoes for added dramatic landscape effect.

Lanazote's Best Road Cycling Climbs

Whether you're staying down in Playa Blanca at the Southernmost point of Lanzarote, at the La Santa sports complex to the West or in Costa Teguise to the East, the majority of these climbs are well within reach of many a cyclist training on the Island

  • Tabayesco- The longest climb on Lanzarote at just over 10km in Length
  • Femés- Arguably the steepest cycling climb on the island.
  • The Mirador Del Rio- The remotest feeling and arguably the most beautiful climb as many of the Ironman Lanzote competitors will testify
  • Los Valles- From Teguise up to the highest point on Lanzarote.
  • Orzola- From the Northernmost point on the Island at Orzola climbs a beautiful twisting climb the allows the option to further extend the climb up to the Mirador Del Rio.
  • La Geria- Snaking gradually up to the volcanic vineyards makes this one of Lanzarote's best cycling routes.

Looking Up The Tabayesco Climb

The Tabayesco cycling climb is the longest on Lanzarote and a great training route
The Tabayesco cycling climb is the longest on Lanzarote and a great training route

The Top Hairpins of the Tabayesco Climb

Looking down on the hairpins of Tabayesco with Haria in the background
Looking down on the hairpins of Tabayesco with Haria in the background

Climbing Tabayesco

The climb of Tabayesco starts at the turn off of the LZ 1 road between the villages of Mala and Arrieta. Tabayesco village is signposted 1 km from the main road as the road drags into the village and continues to climb upwards

Tabayesco is the longest unbroken climb on the island at 10.5 kilometres in length and effectively is tackled in two sections. 1) The Narrow 5 km route up the valley to 2) a left turn and numerous sweeping switchbacks onto the LZ 10 road which catapult you upwards towards the welcome sight of the Restaurant Los Helichos atop the climb at an altitude of 580m.

The average gradient of 5.5% stays very consistent throughout the climb with occasional ramps up to the 8% mark. In terms of gearing most cyclists will find this climb well within their control with a 39 x 23-25 rear gearing although in honesty the fitter riders will be able to hit this climb in the big ring or consider using it as part of an interval training session.

Looking Back Towards Playa Blanca From The Femes Climb

The Femes Climb. Looking out from the top hairpins back towards Playa Blanca
The Femes Climb. Looking out from the top hairpins back towards Playa Blanca

The Southernmost Climb On Lanzarote Is Arguably It's Toughest- Femés

Whilst talking at the bike shop in Costa Teguise with the owner I was quite surprised when he insinuated that the final section of the Femés climb was so steep that I would likely have to get off and walk. It puzzled me as my map certainly didn't indicate something with the kind of gradient I'd find back home cycling in the Lake District or Peak District.

To many the Femés climb starts from the Island's Southernmost resort- Playa Blanca but really starts to climb after the Papagayo roundabout after you've passed the petrol station and treatment works where the gradient stays around 5-6% for the first 4 kilometres.

The final kilometre of the climb after the Maciot island is what makes this a real challenge as the road ramps up around the final couple of hairpins to over 15%. I had no need to get off and walk but my legs were telling me that I definitely needed my 39 x 23 gearing as the brutal headwind hits you trying to push you backwards.

A Cyclist Climbing the Mirador Del Rio

The rugged yet beautiful Mirador Del Rio climb offers amazing views to La Isla Graciosa
The rugged yet beautiful Mirador Del Rio climb offers amazing views to La Isla Graciosa

Climbing The Mirador Del Rio

The Most Amazing Views, Although You'll Need A Head For Heights On The Mirador Del Rio

Arguably the most memorable climb for many a rider is the Mirador Del Rio. The climb feels like you're somewhere very remote at times and demands a head for heights as the Risca De Famara drops down dramatically to sea level off to your side. It's hard to say you've ridden Lanzarote if you haven't climbed up to the Mirador.

The short climb of around 3 km will not be exceptionally taxing unless you're climbing it halfway around the Ironman Lanzarote event. Average gradient is around 3% although there are some sections which hit around 6% and you're often going to find a headwind hitting you in the face. You'll hit about 475m altitude by the top and might be tempted to visit the rather swanky looking observatory at the top. If you do: make sure it's a clear day otherwise you'll be wasting 4.50 euros.

If you want to make the Mirador a good length climb, ride it as one with the Orzola climb featured below.

Writing on the road will egg you onwards on the climb and give you the impression that you're a pro rider.

Pro-Style Road Markings On The Ironman Lanzarote Course

The climb to the Mirador Del Rio features in Ironman Lanzarote and specators write words of encouragement on the roads to inspire racers
The climb to the Mirador Del Rio features in Ironman Lanzarote and specators write words of encouragement on the roads to inspire racers

Looking Back Down The Los Valles Climb Towards Teguise

Looking Back Down The Los Valles Climb Towards Teguise and the Castillo Santa Barbara atop Guanpay in the distance.. The Los Valles Climb features in the Ironman Lanzarote Bike Course
Looking Back Down The Los Valles Climb Towards Teguise and the Castillo Santa Barbara atop Guanpay in the distance.. The Los Valles Climb features in the Ironman Lanzarote Bike Course

Climbing Into The Mountains Of The North Via Los Valles

If you're staying in Playa Blanca or at La Santa the popular Los Valles climb up to the Penas De Chache at the highest point on the island where the radio beacon is visible throughout much of the climb.

The climb itself starts a few kilometres after Teguise along the LZ 10 road heading in a North-Easterly direction after the road drops down into a lush green valley that provides a stark contrast to the Lave fields of much of the island.

The road snakes round and upwards through the picturesque village of Los Valles with views North towards the large weather station beacon atop the Penas del Chache at the highest point on the island and the wind turbines of the Parc Eolico until you reach a long, straight section where you feel as though you're on top of the island towards the Restaurant Los Helichos for the descent of Tabayesco.

Whilst not exceptionally steep or hard, the Los Valles climb can become challenging due to facing up to that non-stop Lanzarote wind. The straight section beside the wind turbines of the Parc Eolico is very exposed to crosswinds so some care does need to be taken.

At times I've riden the Low Valles climb in the big ring without too much hardship, and at others I've struggled into a challenging wind in the 39 x 23 gearing so can imagine other riders potentially needing something with a lot more range to make things easier so consider fitting a 12-25 cassette or similar prior to riding on the Island.

The Climb of Los Valles is around 6 km in length so provides a good challenge to even a fit, race-ready cyclist and is featured on the Ironman Lanzarote Bike Course (PDF file).

Orzola- A Gem Of A Climb From The Far North

At the North of Lanzarote lies the small port of Orzola. The road South from Orzola features a truly beautiful climb which personally ranks as on of the best on the Island.

The wind always seems to be on your back as you ride out of Orzola meaning that this climb becomes much more pleasurable. The road itself slowly drags up to the small village of Casas La Brena with it's Aloe Vera museum after which the hairpins start- All offering amazing views of the highest Volcano on Lanzarote- The Montana Corona at 611 metres altitude.

From Orzola South With Views Of The Montana Corona Volcano

Heading South into the mountains from Orazola gives amazing views of the crater of the Montana Corona rising up to 611m.
Heading South into the mountains from Orazola gives amazing views of the crater of the Montana Corona rising up to 611m.

Combining Orzola And The Mirador Del Rio

The climb up from Orzola is only about 5 kilometres in length but for added challenge riders can combine it with the Mirador De Rio to create an almost 10 km climb. By turning right at the end of the Orzola climb the LZ 201 snakes upwards towards Ye village where a rider can choose the first signpost for the most direct route up to the Mirador Del Rio which is a very rough rugged road surface, or follow the road through the village turning right after the village at the bus shelter to take the more scenic route up with views of the Isla Graciosa.

The Rugged Beauty Of La Geria Makes It a Diverse Landscape For Cycling

The rugged landscape of La Geria makes it an excellent Lanzarote cycling route
The rugged landscape of La Geria makes it an excellent Lanzarote cycling route

Exploring Lanzarote's Volcanic Beauty- La Geria

Outsiders wouldn't think that Lanzarote is a hotbed of wine production but the fertile soils and mild climate make for an excellent culture of wine making in the area. The key area for Lanzarote's wine makers is the La Geria region in the middle of the Island.

The best way to climb up to La Geria is from Uga towards the South of the Island. The road flows gently upwards towards the wine maker's offices and shops which appear a haven for day-tripping tourists and seem inviting for a rider to stop for a little sample.

The Landscape features black soils and the vines themselves are almost buried in protective craters which give the landscape an almost lunar edge.

Locations Of The Best Climbs and Cycling Routes On Lanzarote

show route and directions
A markerTabayesco -
35542 Tabayesco, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

Climb through the village of Tabayesco on your way up to the Restaurnt Los Helichos on this iconic Lanzarote climb and the Islands longest unbroken cl

B markerFemés -
35570 Femés, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

Climb up to Femés from Playa Blanca for the steepest climb on Lanzarote

C markerMirador Del Rio -
Mirador del Rio, Carretera de Yé, S/N, 28703 Haría, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

One of the best cycling routes on the island takes you to the North of the Island and the rugged yet beautiful Mirador del Rio. A must ride climb.

D markerStart of Los Valles Climb -
35530 Teguise, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

Climb up onto the Lanzarote Ironman bike course and head north towards the highest point on Lanzarote

E markerOrzola -
Órzola, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

Head South for a beautiful climb up towards the might Montana Corona

F markerUga- La Geria -
35570 Uga, Las Palmas, Spain
[get directions]

Head North from Uga along the LZ 30 road and it snakes up through the vineyards of La Geria.

Coffee and Cake at Jonniebakes

Coffe and Cake at Jonniebakes on the way back to Costa Teguise makes the riding worthwhile
Coffe and Cake at Jonniebakes on the way back to Costa Teguise makes the riding worthwhile

And After All That Climbing You'll Be Ready For Coffee And Cake

While cyclists are known for their slender, toned physiques: In reality this hides a very guilty pleasure which often makes all those miles worthwhile. We absolutely adore coffee and cake.

So once you've nailed some of the Islands best climbs and cycling routes it's a good excuse to reward yourself with a stop mid-ride at a nice cafe.

One of the best cafes for cyclists in Lanzarote has to be Jonnie Bakes in Teguise. They're located on the main LZ10 road in Teguise on the Avenida Gran Aldea between the Teguise Island and the turn up to the Pirate Museum at the Castillo Santa Barbara.

They're an artisan bakery and cafe so expect some amazing creations. We sampled a beautiful sour cherry cake and white and milk chocolate cake's. My personal recommendation is their amazing pan au chocolat

They're in a fantastic location on your way back to La Santa, Costa Teguise, Puerto Del Carmen and Playa Blanca so there's no excuses to say you're not in the vicinity.

For more info visit Jonniebakes on facebook for some photos of the days produce.


Looking for Some Help on the Ironman Lanzarote Bike Course?

The Ironman Lanzarote bike course is amazing and arguably one of the most beautiful yet brutal Ironman bike courses you can take part in. If you're not going to be able to get out there before it gets to your race or you want to learn the course the people at tacx have developed an awesome Ironman Lanzarote Course Video to help your race performance.

Have Your Ever Ridden Lanzarote?

We'd love to hear what you thought about your experience on the island. How did you cope with the strong winds and what were your favourite cycling routes in the comments tab below.

Thanks for reading

Liam Hallam - CyclingFitness

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Comments 5 comments

annerivendell profile image

annerivendell 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Loved the hub. I'm not a cyclist, but I am a huge fan of Lanzarote and have often been there during the Iron Man. I enjoyed the descriptions and the photos, particularly of the Mirador del Rio, one of my favourite places. Voted up


tehgyb profile image

tehgyb 2 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

What beautiful routes. I wish I had the money to take a quick vacation and ride them!


raymondphilippe profile image

raymondphilippe 2 years ago from The Netherlands

CyclingFitness I had a hard enough time cycling from Lancaster to Hull three years ago. My body seems to be adapted to flat lands ;-)


CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 2 years ago from Nottingham UK Author

Thanks raymondphillipe, Lanzarote has some fantastic training on a relatively small Island- It's no wonder it's such a haven for triathletes and road cyclists looking for better weather during the winter


raymondphilippe profile image

raymondphilippe 2 years ago from The Netherlands

That must be a thrill! What a great route. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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