Cycling Volcano Pico del Teide from Las Cristianos.
This is the southwestern approach to the massive Mount Teide volcano. Mount Teide is a volcano on Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands and is the highest point in Spain and above sea level of all the Atlantic Islands. The highest point of Mount Teide is 3,718m (12,198’). The southern approaches to the summit have moderate traffic at the start due to the tourist towns they start in, i.e.Los Cristianos (southwest) and El Medano (southeast). Los Cristianos is a large city (population 21,235) which caters to tourists and has a ferry port. Much of the traffic we encounter along this long 52 kilometer climb is enroute to the same destination as we are.
After a few miles, we turn onto TF-51 and ride up to Arona which is located about one-third the distance up the volcano. . Once leaving this city, we encounter a tight grouping of 16 hairpins from kilometers 12.4 - 16.4 at 6.5% average grade. This set of hairpins reminds us of the lower hairpins on Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii. The scenery is nice but not spectacular along the lower third section of the climb.
The steepest 5 kilometers on this route begin just south of Vilafor (highest village on Tennerife at 1,400 meters) at km 23.7 (7.5%). We enter Teide National Park at kilometer 26, just north of Vilafor. We are in an alpine setting for about 14 kilometers after leaving Vilafor before we rise above treeline for the remaining 14 at at about kilometer 38.
Although the climb continues to the base of Mt. Teide, the majority of the climb ends just past the 2100 meter sign at about kilometer 35 (first 35 kilometers is 6.2% average grade while the final 16 kilometers average only 1.1% and include a 7.3 kilometer -2.6% descent.