Gran Canaria vs. Tenerife | Which island is the better cycling destination?

The Canary Islands are seen by many cyclists as one of the best places to ride your bike. If you like riding your bike, you should definitely visit them.

But which of the islands is the "best" one? In this blog post we compare the 2 most visited ones Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

Best Day Tour

Gran Canaria 0 : 1 Tenerife

It's not an easy choice but ultimately the 3 main routes towards Teide National Park are simply perfect. The tarmac is probably one of the best you will ever ride on, and the long ascent with not too steep sections is not easy to find anywhere else in the world. 

Tenerife Teide National Park Area

Tour Variety

Gran Canaria 1 : 1 Tenerife

This one is clear, Gran Canaria simply has more route options to choose from: A more flat and stunning tour along the coast. Multiple climbing routes towards Ayacata, a common coffee stop. Nice shorter routes and if desired you can keep them "almost flat" (i.e. just a few hundred height meters on the island). 

Food

Gran Canaria 2:1 Tenerife

For the perfect cycling day you want a mid-day stop for a coffee or sweets, and a rewarding dinner afterwards.

You can find nice food places on both islands, yet Gran Canaria offers a much broader choice and many food & drink stops for cyclists (with options ranging from tasty Tapas to tempting pancakes or ice cream). In contrast, during the Mount Teide tours in Tenerife you likely spend your day with your energy bars and gels as there are not many places to check-in for a rest (plus it is likely rather cold at the top), most options you only have at your destination at the end of your tour.

Cycling Community

Gran Canaria 3:1 Tenerife

You will find more like-minded cyclists in Gran Canaria. In Tenerife you are "one of those few guys riding the bike on the island" :)

Streets

Gran Canaria 3:2 Tenerife

I cannot remember even one street in Tenerife with bad tarmac. You really have perfect conditions there. In contrast, every main tour in Gran Canaria has some rough tarmac, I would almost call it Gravel! It's not fun with 25mm tires and you sometimes wonder why the government is not improving them. In addition, the car traffic is slightly more aggressive.

On top of that, Gran Canaria has its famous road closure from Taurito to Mogan for many years by now which you just cannot understand why nothing has been done about it, while easy solutions seem to be obvious. A bit dissapointing for a "cycling island". You can safely pass the 200 meters through the "highway" tunnel and some cyclists do, but officially it is forbidden. 

Verdict

Overall Gran Canaria has a slight edge if you have to choose. But at best you don't have to choose and simply enjoy both islands! With the ferry you can easily move between the islands, because if you love cycling, you will love both islands equally!

You can find a compilation of nice routes on both islands in our Routes section.

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