Cycling the Canary Islands

Lanzarote is the second island of the Canary archipelago I visited last month after Fuerteventura. Despite the geographical proximity, the vibe is totally different from one place to the other.

Lanzarote grabbed some deep parts of me, it’s rough and earthy.

For the adventurers, it is a land to discover every time the touristic paths are left on the southern coasts.

It has the power and the strength of all its volcanos, scattered around hills and rocks.

This island made me sleep as peaceful as a baby, while the winds were singing a daily lullaby, dancing together with the stars.

Lanzarote is the fire of all the sunsets I loved. Lost among the show of a thousand and a million shades, every evening different.

El Golfo

This island sent me back to simplicity and to the very root of my existence, challenging what I dare while being brave to feel everything I keep hidden inside.

A place naked like the soil of the moon. Empty but never boring.

Here I discovered again bare things like the smell of the rain on the plants. After long time, I felt I was exactly where I wanted and needed to be.

The sand slapping my cheeks and my premature summery outfit when cycling with a mountain bike I had on rent for two days made me feel alive.

I loved keeping my cycling routes focused on the north, where I can hear better our Mother Earth raging through a million inpatient waves.

Day 1

Tao – Famara

I left the village of Tao around midday after I got my mountain bike, baptised ‘Pepita’.

Tao is a very short way until Famara, the village you can meet on the way after Tiagua, Miguel and Soo. Caleta de Famara is one of the surfers’ main spots located on the North side of the island. I enjoyed the ride due to the view and the weather, which was sunny and around 20 degrees. As I discover the sport mode on my bike, I started getting lost off tracks: big wheels don’t lie!

Caleta de Famara

The music is on and loud on my ears. I breath with open lungs while remembering the yoga classes of the previous days. I get dirty with the sand, I go on the rod and switch off road when I see some small hills. I feel the kid inside myself screaming out loud…pura vida!

My lovely Pepita and the village of Famara in the background

After a quick swim and a coffee, I head South towards Teguise. The road is crowded with cars but also with groups or solo cyclists like me. It is pretty safe to cycle even on the bigger roads because locals seem to be used to tourists populating the roadsides all year round.

Famara – Teguise

I have never been to South America but I imagine that would look a lot like Teguise. The main square on Sunday is crowded with tourists visiting a local market and there are a couple of sweet tapas places located beneath it which are nice to visit during the warmest hours of the day because they always cross the rays of the sun.

Teguise

I keep on riding towards the north and I exit the town, meeting on the way the Pirates’ museum and lots of bare countryside that looks always more exciting to my eyes. I took the big LZ10 to get till Haría where I cross the Parque eolico, the village of Los Valles and a couple of ‘ermitas’ (hermitage).

The view takes my breath away and even the warm weather!

Mirador de Los Valles – Haría view

 

Haría

Once out of the town, I really start feeling exhausted. I switch on the electric mode on my bike and head towards Ye, which is a couple of km up on a hill. The night before I booked a bed in a rustic Finca located between Ye and Orzola, so I decide to go straight there for a warm cup of tea and some refreshments.

Teguise – Haría – Ye – El Cortijo eco Finca

I am positively surprised by the property owned by Emilio, the owner of the Finca ‘El Cortijo’. If you are not expecting luxury but you are happy with authentic experiences, this is the place you want to be. It is on the main road after the town of Ye and before Orzola.

If you arrive there by car mind the road as it’s not in good condition and pretty steep. With my bike was a fun path, though!

El cortijo

The inside is even more appealing, sweet and quiet, including the wind you hear all the time in this group of islands. The place smells old books and stories. I wish I was less tired to write more of my stories, sitting in this cosy living room.

 

El cortijo – sitting room

The evening turns quickly into night. I entertain myself with a huge book about the most famous artist of the island – Cesar Manrique. After some time and right before I was falling asleep, two German guys arrive and we start chatting. The lights suddenly go all off and we find half bottle of gin. Creepy urban tales starts to roll on the table together with shots and flashlights, so I go to bed pretty happy and feeling inside a real bucolic French style movie.

Day 2
The day rises early for me, as I can’t wait to get back on my bike. At almost 9 o’clock I am already on my way to the village of Orzola, after a quick hike on the volcano which is  next to the finca.

Riding down till Orzola

Leaving the town behind is getting into the most interesting view of my whole trip.

The road is almost flat and easy to follow. The surroundings keep on changing, they follow the coast while the colour of the sea and the shore make fun of every viewer who tries to encapsulate a single picture of this area of the island.

Coastline view from Orzola till Arietta

It is pure beauty and wilderness and it’s not high season, so I am lucky enough to meet only few tourists on each beach I stop. My favourite beach is ‘ Caletòn blanco’ and I also loved the fisherman village of Punta Mujeres.
 Today is not as warm as yesterday so I skip the swim option and I focus more on cycling, which still gives me shivers and a sense of freedom nothing can’t beat.

Punta Mujeres

After Arietta, I shortly stop to Guatiza and the beach of ‘Los cocoteros’. I was also supposed to meet a Couch Surfer member but the guy did not show up so I opt for a 30 mins power nap on the beach, kissed by a now warmer and brighter sun.

On the contrary of my morning plan (get down till Costa Teguise), I decide to take the shortest way back home.
I also lost my map and I have plans for the evening in the village of Tinajo, so I keep on cycling and go for the easy way. Making plans is not my thing, not even for this!

Arietta – Guatiza – Los Cocoteros – Teguise

Once I climb back to Guatiza from the beach, I to get into the big LZ71 and I shortly reach once again the beautiful Teguise.
From there it is a short way to Tao via the industrial road.

I park my bike when it’s about 5 pm and I love enjoying the view of a tired day from one of the best place I’ve been on this island. Lucky enough to work as a volunteer for some time in this site, I am now writing these lines from Sicily, from where I will soon head to Portugal.

New days, new routes. New friends to meet and a big heart to fill with healthy memories and ways to express my voice through the words I write and the pictures I will treasure for ever.

View from Kalindi centre – Lanzarote

For more info, you can check:

http://kalindilanzarote.com/ for Detox, yoga and meditation programs with accommodation in Tao;
http://www.ebike-lanzarote.com/en/ for renting e-bikes;
El cortijo finca for accommodation in Ye
Hitchhiking is a very popular, safe and cheap way to move around Lanzarote. I suggest you to skip buses and cars and gor for some adventures!

  One thought on “Cycling the Canary Islands

  1. April 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Great photos and lovely post. Really enjoyed reading about Lanzarotte as never been there. Need to get that sorted soon.

    Like

    • April 10, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      I suggest you to visit this island and if you will do it, I hope you will catch that magic vibe, too. Thanks for stopping by Jonno! Oh by the way, your blog seems a spot worth a visit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

        Thanks Chiara, always good to know someone likes the blog.

        Liked by 1 person

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