La Palma: A Mountain Bikers Paradise
La Palma is better known as a hiking destination, rather than a cycling one. It is the greenest of the Canary Islands and therefore regarded by some as the most beautiful. The island has also not yet been spoiled by mass tourism, which makes it an ideal location for those seeking peace and tranquility.
For a small island, La Palma offers a wide variety in landscapes including dense rain forests, barren lava fields, beautiful pine forests, rocky sea cliffs, and black sandy beaches. A large mountain range runs directly through the island from north to south, dividing the island in two and also making La Palma the steepest island in the world. The highest point of the island, the Roque de los Muchachos is 2,426 meters high and can be reached by bicycle.
The west of the island is much drier and warmer than the east. During the winter months of December, January, and February you may encounter one or two days of rain on the eastern side of the island. The chance of rain on the western coast is much less likely, but the eastern side of the island is much more fun and developed. At sea level the temperature is always pleasant in La Palma, ranging from 18 degrees in the winter to 32 degrees in the summer.
You must search quite extensively to find flat areas to cycle in La Palma. Due to the limited road network, one would not immediately describe La Palma as an ideal road cycling destination. Yet, some people have happily spent a few days or a week cycling the island, often gaining significant elevation in that short time. The real “tough guys” start their routes at sea level and cycle to the Roque de los Muchachos.
La Palma is an ideal destination for mountain bikers. There are beautiful, awe-inspiring, trails through pine forests and over volcanoes. There are several companies that rent out good mountain bikes and organize excursions around the island.
Links: Cycling Options on the Canary Islands
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