Tenerife's TF21

The greatest motorcycle road in the world?

Well I've yet to see anything that compares to this 50 mile stretch of pristine tarmac. It'll transport you first up to and around the volcanic Mount Teide, climbing over 2,000 meters, through pine forests, bare mountain tops, a mars-like desert surface, even crossing black volcanic lava flows…before descending those 2,000 metres through similar pine forests. You'll need to be able to handle hairpin after hairpin bend, though visibility is generally good round the corners and the road is nice and wide.

The road's 50 mile in length  and runs south-north from Granadilla de Abona to La Orotava. Or of course the other way round works just as well. It was in the latter direction that I completed the journey on a beautiful day in early February. It was unseasonably warm, which meant the temperatures at the height of around 7,000 feet was more pleasant than I'd anticipated...in fact it was around 18c.

Whichever way you travel you'll first climb through pine forest before reaching the boundary to The National Park of Teide. There are plenty of places to pull over, and I have marked three of the most popular places on the interactive map (linked below). I'd suggest either an early or a later start The parking areas can be quite congested at peak times, but finding room for a motorcycle shouldn't prove too difficult. I loved arriving after the majority of trippers had made their way back down. The light was warmest and the shadows lengthening. 

Rocque Cinchado, has become emblematic of Teide, probably more due to the fact that tour buses have easy access , so it is photographed thousands of times a day.

To photograph Roques Cinchado simply head for Mirador (viewpoint) de La Ruleta. This is the busiest area for day trippers, but do not be put off. Easy marked trails head off from here.

But I prefer a short walk from the nearby Llano de Ucanca lay by. From here you can take a short walk to the Rocques de Garcia. The Catedral (Cathedral) is unmissable

The final lay by I have marked is Boca (Mouth) Tauce. An impressive lava flow can be viewed and photographed where it came to a standstill many years ago.

The Catedral, rises 310 metres 

Coffee and cakes?

Don't miss the small town of Vilaflor. There is a beautiful square and gardens and two rather impressive churches. Having visited the square on previous visits I now only go for one thing and one thing only - cake

I have marked the Dulceria (cake and coffee shop) Hermano De Pedro on the map - don't miss it. For me this is the best coffee shop on the island - Lavazza coffee and cake to die for. It is a short walk from the square - so check the map.

Also, just north of Vilaflor (again marked) is a recreational area in the pine forest called Las Lajas. You are able to camp here at no cost. There are picnic areas, BBQ facilities and a male and female toilet.

The Catedral in cake at Hermano Pedro Vilaflor

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