This extraordinary climb can begin in either Buenavista del Norte (19.5 km) or Masca (3.7 km)
This is a tale of 2 climbs:
The long Mirador de Cherfe climb begins in Buenavista on the north coast of Tenerife, Gran Canarias, population 4,961 (2013). The Hellocanaryislands.com says of Buenavista “A pretty town at the foot of the mountain.”
The shorter of the climbs to Mirador de Cherfe begins in Masca, a small mountain village with a population of approximately 90 inhabitants. The Hellocanaryislands.com boasts of Masca“The most visited rural hamlet in Tenerife.”
The long climb, in the northwest part of Tenerife, starts at TF-42 and TF-436. We continue up TF-436 heading south up a consistent 6% to 8% grade. The switchbacks start a few miles into the climb and the scenery starts to open up as we get views of the valley. There are a few short descents to give the legs a break during the 5 kilometers leading to the wonderful town of Masca. Views near the city all the way to the top of the climb can’t be properly described. The only comparison we could come up with is the Napoli coast off the island of Kauai, Hawaii. We strongly recommend getting off your bike and snapping some photos as the views through the valley to the ocean are magnificent. Besides, a break is a good idea as the last 4+ km’s are brutally steep.
After we took our photos and captured the road we were about to climb, which looked so step it didn’t seem like a real road, we got on our bike and found the easiest gear on our machine to traverse the steep switchbacks (steepest ½ km is 13%). There was no break from the grade but the road quality was great and the scenery was amazing. The top of the climb was a little deceiving for us as we thought we were at the top until we came around the mountain and realized we still had another punishing mile to ascend before we got to the real top with parking on both sides of the road. Pictures from the top were a definite must to take in the steep road and amazing scenery.
As a word of caution, this is a very popular tourist destination which means a lot of traffic with large tour busses up this steep and narrow road. We recommend that you do this early in the morning as the traffic is lighter than the afternoon.