Canary Islands

The Three-Island Shortbike Trail

trail part 2: Lanzarote

Lanzarote is consistently rated amongst the top 10 biking holiday destinations in Europe. Mountainbike magazine describes ‘With 365 beautiful bikedays a year, Lanzarote, Black pearl of the Canary Island, persuades with its unusuals lunar lava landscape.’


The trail

Lanzarote is surreal. An island of extraordinary allure, mad geology and spectacular contrasts. Lanzarote is black deserts and white houses; soaring volcanoes and sweeping sandy beaches. It’s bleak and beautiful, stark and stunning. Relativiely off the beaten path, its dried lava fields and lofty trails offer perfect conditions for mountain biking. And there will be plenty of opportunities to test that theory, as many sites of great, unusual beauty are only accesable by mountain bike. In two days, you will cross the island from north to south. Prepare for an ever-changing mountain bike journey that is out of this world.

You will ride along some spectacular coastline — particularly the wild shores of Caleta de Famara, with sea cliffs rising to over 400 metres. Meanwhile, the coastal cliffs of Los Hervideros, (Spanish for ‘boiling waters’) rank amongst the island’s most unusual lava formations, and here you will be able to witness an all-natural spectacle as the waves explode against the rocks.

You will cross through numerous lava fields such as the Los Volcanos Natural Park and part of the amazing Timanfaya National Park, also known as Planet Mars. The route takes you through the vineyards of La Geria where the black volcanic ash turns the whole valley into a spectacular piece of landscape art.

The north of Lanzarote – which is relatively green thanks to the oasis in the valley of Haría – offers a refreshing contrast to Timanfaya. You will find yourself plunged into a hidden Lanzarote of quiet villages, sleeping dogs and donkey tracks. Here, you will also climb the Mirador Del Rio, sitting at one of the highest points on the island at 479 metres. In the south of the island, another highlight includes a ride on the Ajaches mountain ridge crater, followed by a stunning downhill run to the sea.

Before catching the boat to the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura, you’ll have a dip at the hidden Papagayo beach. Shaped like a shell, Papagayo wins you over with its crystal-clear and still waters.

Riding surface

Dried up river bed (barrancos) and lava fields, dirt single tracks and 4×4 trails all offer the perfect conditions for mountain biking. Some connecting roads will be on tarmac, and occasionally there might be some short technical climbs, downhill trails or off-road trails due to extensive erosion.

Average mileage

For the first stage in the north, the minimum distance covered will be 50km and 1400m elevation gain, mostly off-road. However, the constant transition between ascents and descents makes it a challenging day. For the second stage in the south, you can choose between 70km in distance and 900m elevation gain or go for the longer route of 90km and 1200m elevation gain. Some connecting parts will be on tarmac.


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