South to North Lanzarote Coastal Cruise! (anti-clockwise loop)
Puerto Del Carmen, Arrecife, Costa Teguise, Orzola, Mirador De Rio, Haria, Teguise, San Bartolome and back down to Puerto Del Carmen
Up and out early is the Lanza motto. Catch the sunrise and early morning calm before the trade winds pick up. Starting from PDC, I use the coastal cycle trail heading north past the airport, Playa Honda and Arrecife as a warm up. Once past the capital city and Costa Teguise it’s quiet roads, countryside and lots of cacti all the way. Join onto the cycle highway, inland of Costa Teguise, which it’s a beautiful traffic free straight and flattish road all the way to Orzola. There are 2 garages along the way where you can top up on supplies and use the banõs, but if you’re anything like me you got to earn your scooby snacks! So tuck in, head down and put some power into those pedals!
Orzola has one of the most beautiful backdrops on the island. It’s gigantic burnt orange cliff face and tropical blue sea gives a truly spectacular welcome. Quaint and quiet, you’re sure to enjoy a little break. My go-to seaside cafe in Orzola is Restaurante Os Gallegos. Decent coffee, freshly squeezed zumo de naraja and front row seats to watch the ferry docking to La Graciosa. If you’re short of energy, get a €2.50 jamon y queso toastie down you. You’ll need the calories for the climbs ahead.
First up, Mirador De Rio. This will take an hour from Orzola, up curvy but not too steep roads to the highest point of the island. Overlooking the Atlantic and La Graciosa island, it definitely calls for a romantic photo with your bike.
Enjoy the glorious cliffside decent towards the vibrant little town of Haria in the hills. You could have another cheeky coffee and pastry stop here to reenergise for the second climb, especially on a Saturday for the local street market and music. Just don’t get carried away shopping souvenirs!!
The Mirador de Haria climb takes you up the lush green, terraced valley via a series of hairpin turns. Well worth a stop and photo on the top corner to appreciate the landscape, terraces and effort. You’ll notice the Haria valley is saturated with Palm trees, an old tradition of planting palms at birth – one for a girl, two for a boy. Once parallel with the two giant golf balls, you’ve reached the top. Good work! It’s down hill mostly to Teguise so why not have a competition “who can free wheel the furthest”. Loser buys the beers!
Lunchtime!! This next part’s my favourite – proper foodie I am! Cycling down the main road into Teguise, you wouldn’t think it’s anything special but Oh My Goodness!! The old, cobbled street town is a treasure chest of quirky tapas bars, sangria sunspots, seafood shacks, vegetarian cafes and pizza patios. Depending on how hungry, sweaty and smelly you are, pick a suitable sunny table, a big straw umbrella, and sit down. My top restaurant recommendation is Hesperides. If you don’t go there for lunch, I strongly recommend you drive back up later for dinner (and a pre-drink or 2 in El Patio just round the corner). Hesperides is a fine mix of modern and traditional. Mostly Canarian-European dishes with the occasional hint of Asia. It’s big colonial building has a super stylish interior, yet a very casual and chillaxed ambiance with it’s plant conservatory and large open window seats looking out onto the pedestrian alleyways and sunny terrace. Stumbled across this delight when I noticed their speciality dish, “Crispy Japanese Salmon with seaweed, sweet chilli and vegetable salad”, being served up with sangria in the sunshine. That and the aubergine parmigiana is a must try!!
Don’t worry if you overeat or have a cheeky cocktail because it’s pretty much all downhill and flat from here. Clip in the cleats and soar down the long San Bartolome road. This leads to the freshly tarmacked La Geria road – a whistle stop tour of the Lanza wine region. Once passed the “Fake Fire Mountain on your right, take the next left towards Macher, down into Puerto Del Carmen and then straight TO THE BEACH!!!
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