The canary islands are one of the THE winter destinations when it comes to mountain biking. The question is… which of the seven main islands is the one to choose? Today, we will take a look at the two most mentioned ones in this context. Tenerife and La Palma.
So which one of these two beauties is the right one for you?
The short answer is – it depends what you are looking for! ;) Both islands are great mountain bike destinations with lots of trails to choose from. In both cases it is recommendable to have a guide or local with you. You are not allowed to bike everywhere and it is generally more enjoyable to have someone with you who knows the area well.
Both islands are of volcanic origin and have micro climates that are astonishing. One day you can end up in what seems like a misty rain forest and the other day in a desert-like surrounding.
If you prefer to stay in an apartment or a small hotel that is off the beaten track, you should be able to find something nice on platforms like AirBnB. We used it at both destinations and found our own little gems each time.
So what exactly are the differences?
Tenerife is the biggest island of the archipelago, while La Palma is the third smallest. Tenerife seems to have focused a lot on beach tourism in the early days and still has a lot of beach goers coming to the island every year, while La Palma seems to be attracting more of the outdoorsy crowd.
As mentioned, the micro climates and different terrains are impressive. If you book a week of bike guiding you can expect to see quite a variety of trails. During our Enduro Weeks on both islands we were biking through rainforests, sand and loose rocks. We enjoyed a mixture of technical passages, switchbacks and the most rewarding panoramic views. Our favorites were the Bajamar trail on Tenerife and the Lava Stream Bed on La Palma.
Bikes and Guiding
Both island are an ideal destination for the winter months. So a good place to kick off the season. If you like it a little less touristy with a pinch of hippie vibes, we would recommend La Palma. I spent three weeks there on a workation and absolutely loved it.