Holiday Ride Notes
Saturday, 9 December 2006

Crete. Sunday 16 October. Hora Sfakion to Georgiopolis. A Sunday ride over the White Mountains.

Today was the big ride back over the mountains to the North Coast. 8 of us took part. Alan was not feeling too good so he took his bike in a taxi. This worked out well for the rest of us as he was able to take our panniers as well.(Alan was back on the Bike the next day)

Weather started out well on the south coast with its warm and dry micro climate. There was more cloud over the mountains and a lot cooler but sunny again on the north coast. We had the usual northerly wind this time as a headwind.

The climb from the south coast was on a dramatic series of hairpin bends alongside the entrance to the Imbros Ravine. We had spectacular views down along the south coast nearly 2000 ft below us.

We stopped for our own elevenses snacks at a closed cafe with views down onto the hairpins snaking down to the coast and over the start of the gorge. Better progress than yesterday with 6 miles covered but quality miles with 1800 ft climbed from sea level.

About 2 miles further on and 500 ft more climbed I saw a an open cafe at a spectacular location on a cliff above the gorge. Coffee and chocolate cake made for a welcome stop.

We continued the climb with the road snaking upwards beside the gorge to a
high point of 2647ft. After a brief descent into a mountain valley we stopped for lunch at a local taverna in the small remote village of Ammoudari.  

We had to climb 150ft out of the valley and then enjoyed a long winding descent towards the distant north coast. At about the 900ft level we turned off onto some winding country byroads with remote villages and down to the north coast resort of Georgiopolis.

Today was Avryl's 72nd birthday and Peter, Richard and I discussed getting her a cake for after supper. Peter found in town a 12 slice Baklava cake (a Greek dessert) and 2 candles shaped as a 7 and a 2. This was presented to Avryl as an after dinner surprise.


Crete, Sunday 16 October, starting the climb.

Crete, Sunday 16 October, Riding High

Crete, Sunday 16 October. A birthday surprise for Avryl.

Crete, Monday 17 October, Georgiopolis to Hania.

Today Alan was able to ride but it was
Lynn's turn to be under the weather (only a 24 hour bug) so both she and Arthur took a Taxi. Weather today was warm and sunny with temperatures up to 24C.

We took a look at the causeway with a Church at the end and then headed up to the hills. We took a byroad via Vamos. The route started with some hairpin bends away from the coast and then a more gradual climb to a highpoint of 748ft.

We stopped for elevenses at Vamos and then descended to the coast and stopped for lunch at Kalami. We had to join the busy National road for a few miles before turning off to the naval base town of

The ride into Hania was interesting as I found a quieter route than the main route to the centre with a lot of little minor streets and not a little guesswork to eventually get us to the centre. When close to the Hotel we came across Arthur and Lynn out shopping.

The hotel was an old building in the old quarter of Hania with very high ceilings in the rooms.


Crete, Alan and Liz climb the hairpins from Georgioupoli

Tuesday 18 October, Hania to Rethimno.

Today everybody else was getting an afternoon flight from Hania back home. Due to my flying out later due to the passport problem I was starting a 2 day ride back to Heraklion to fly back Thursday.

Weather was warm, about 23C and sunny in the morning and clouding over in the afternoon. Some rain came through but luckily not till evening.

I got a little lost coming out of Hania and ended up joining the
National Road. On the flat and with a NW tail wind I got up to 23 mph which was OK with panniers!

After Souda I rejoined the byroads we had taken the previous day via Vamos and stopped for lunch at a cafe in Georgioupoli.

In the afternoon I took the
Old Road which is well inland from the new National Road. Ridges come down from the White Mountains
so travelling east there are constant ups and downs gradually increasing from 500ft to 837ft.

I found a very plush Hotel on the seafront at Rethimno and gave it a try. Arriving on the day and at the end of the season I got a room for 40 Euro, 20 off the normal rate.

Mileage for the day was 47.


View west of Vamos at 738ft

Crete, Wednesday 19 October, Rethimno to Heraklion.

There was a good start today as the Hotel had the most enormous buffet breakfast I have seen in
Greece. This included fruits, cereals, breads and cakes and enormous bowls of fresh jams and marmalade. On top of this there were hotplates with eggs, bacon and baked beans for a full English (Arthur had been hankering for that all Holiday) Needless to say some serious eating followed to stoke up for the hills ahead.

Weather was a little cooler reaching about 20C but sunny skies and very clear all day.

Rethimno was easier to escape from than Hania with a straightforward route following the coast. After about 5 miles the road went under the
National Highway and headed inland for the hills.

Old Road goes further inland than it did yesterday running between a coastal range of mountains on one side and the White Mountains on the other side. Again the road crosses ridges and with more climbing and higher passes than yesterday. There were 6 major climbs each one higher than the last up to 1570 feet above Heraklion. The last pass had great views down to the coast and Heraklion spread out below.

Mileage for the day was 52.

I tried my luck again at upmarket hotels. The first one was 129 euros but the second was only 55 euros including breakfast. There was nowhere else for the bike so they told me to put it in the lobby against the stairs (on the marble flooring!)

Tomorrow I cycle to the Airport to complete a very good trip after the first few hitches were out of the way.


View down to Heraklion on the Old Road at 1570ft 



Posted by Edwin at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006 4:49 AM EST
Tuesday, 5 December 2006
Lanzarote 2006

Friday 13 January. Lanzarote . Puerto del Carmen to Costa Teguise and back to Puerto del Carmen.

For anybody not aware of this I arrived in Lanzarote last Tuesday and I am staying here for 8 weeks as a winter avoidance measure. I am based at an Apartment in Puerto del Carmen. Wednesday and Thursday were cloudy but dry but temps still up to 17C.

Today was more like it with a bright sunny day and temps up to 21C.

Today’s destination for lunch was Costa Teguise up the coast to the north but with the busy capital of Arrecife in the way I took an inland route with lots of climbing to the central plateau at 1000ft.

My route out took estate roads round the north end of Puerto del Carmen to a quiet lane up to Tias and then across to the high point of San Bartolome. The many hills I passed near were the remnants of old Volcanoes giving a stark and desolate feel to the landscape.

Then a nice long gradual downhill on a main route but quiet road to Tahiche and more of a climb from here before descending to Costa Teguise. This is a modern resort but the Buildings are all low rise in keeping with most of Lanzarote. I stopped for a picnic lunch on the prom near the central beach which is a beautiful rocky cove.

The return took in a long gentle climb to the main coast road. The new road was in course of construction the last time I was here 2 years ago. I crossed to the parallel old road which had no traffic. Then I turned off inland and another climb via Teseguite to the old capital of Teguise at 1000ft.

Then a long straight road south back to San Bartolome and a little byroad south from Masdache winding its way between volcanoes back to Tias and a long fast descent back to base.

I finished the day with some sunbathing beside the pool until 5.00.

The days ride was 45 miles with about 3500ft of climbing.


Costa Teguise Beach


Byroad between Volcanoes on the way back


 Saturday 14 January. Lanzarote. Volcanoes Ride.

The day dawned bright and sunny again with temperatures reaching 20C.

Today I decided on a ride in the southern end of the Island where massive eruptions of many Volcanoes only 250 years ago spread a sheet of lava over a third of the Island.

The lava field is spread over a high plateau over the centre of the Island at 1000ft. This means that to get anywhere interesting on the Islands roads usually means a climb of 1000ft which makes for some good training rides.

I took a byroad south to Puerto Calero and then a steady climb inland to cross the main road at a roundabout. Then the real climb started on a byroad to La Asomada. The gradient was about 12 percent for 2 Kilometers and the summit was reached at 1150ft. Near the top an old villager said something to me which I didn’t understand in my non existent Spanish but I decided must have been “Well done, bravo” or maybe it was “you silly tourist, why do you ride a bike up this hill”

After a short descent to the Uga to Teguise road I turned off heading north towards Mancha Blanca and the other coast. Here there is a vast plain of lava rocks too recent to be broken down into soil with volcanic cones shattered by the force of the eruptions on each side.

From Mancha Blanca I took a road west into the Timanfaya National Park. This road is not far from Club La Santa, Sports Training Centre on the north coast and is base for many cyclists here for winter training. I greeted many coming in the opposite direction. Several also came past me with ease. I decided they were probably 20 to 30 years younger.

I then headed south again on a dead straight road through the lava fields to Yaiza. Then an unavoidable 2 miles of main road before turning off on the byroad to Puerto Calero. I went down to the Marina for a cafe lunch before continuing the last 3 miles back to base.

Mileage for the day was 31 with about 2000ft of climbing.


Riding up to Asomada


Shattered volcanic cone


Riding towards Timanfaya

A sea of lava laps against the hills


Sunday 15th January. Lanzarote. Circuit to Mount Tarnia.

Weather started cloudy but soon cleared to sunny skies. Temperatures reached 20C. After hard rides the previous two days I undecided on a shorter ride today.

I took a minor road up to Tias and bypassed the town to the west taking another minor road under the Motorway and then further up to the village of Conil. A little above the village I came to the high point at 1180ft. I was now on the high volcanic plateau in the centre of the Island. The landscape was harsh and rocky but I spotted one tree with the red cone of Caldera Colorada in the distance.

I continued to the main Uga to Teguise road at Masdache. There was little traffic on the main road but I turned off it to head further north towards Mount Tarnia. This byroad was carved out of the rocky lava sheets. Near the base of Mount Tarnia I turned off on another road to El Islote and then back to Tias on byroads. I had a fast descent on the main route back down to Puerto Del Carmen.

Mileage for the day was 22 with about 1500ft of climb.


Sunday 15 January. Lanzarote. There are Trees!

Sunday 15 Jauary. Lanzarote.Mount Tarnia


Wednesday 18 January. Lanzarote. Tabayesco and La Nieves Ride.

Today was a little different for me from the usual short and easy Club Wednesday ride. Weather was sunny with some cloud and temperatures reaching 19C.

I headed up the byroad to Tias and then on to Conil and Masdache on the central plateau. Then on the main routes but still fairly quite roads to San Bartolome and Tahiche. Here I joined the LZ1 coast route headed north east. This road had recently been replaced by a new road leaving the old road as an access road. I took this and there was so little traffic it felt more like a road width cycleway.

After 10 miles I turned off the main route on a byroad via Tabayesco which wound its way up a valley for a 1200ft climb to come out near Haria. Near the bottom of the climb I was passed by a group of 4 German Cyclists out training. 2 speeded ahead but I managed to stay with the other 2 which made for a good workout.

Near Haria the byroad joined the main Haria to Teguise road which hairpinned its way up for another 800ft of climb to the pass at 2000ft. At the top of the pass I turned off on a byroad to the viewpoint and Church of La Nieves. This has one of the best views on Lanzarote looking down from 2000ft cliffs to plains along the North West coast.

I continued down to Teguise on the main road which is a great smooth surface making for a fast descent. Then back to base via San Bartolome and Tias.

54 miles for the day and about 4000ft of climbing.


Byroad climbing fromTabayesco

View from the top of the pass



View from La Nieves


 Thursday 19 January. Lanzarote. El Golfo Crater and Femes Ride.

I planned a shorter ride today after yesterday’s exertions. Weather was bright and sunny and very clear although it clouded over later in the day. Temperatures rose to 20C.

I headed southwest to start with on the Playa Blanca road via Yaiza which involved a climb to 750ft. Then I turned off on a quiet byroad across lava fields where the lava had flowed down from the multiple eruptions to the sea. I went down to view El Golfo Crater which is a volcanic cone eroded in half by the sea.

The road then continues a circuit along the coast on dramatic lava cliffs pounded by the sea. I saw on the route a big group of disabled cyclists on 3 wheel hand powered recumbents.

I passed under the main road and climbed up to Las Brenas and then further up with great views down across the plains on the southern tip of the Island to Playa Blanca with the hills of the Island of Fueventura visible in the distance. The byroad comes to a roundabout where it joins the mountain road route coming up from Playa Blanca. From here the road heads skyward up a cliff with gradients of about 15% for a mile.

On top of the cliff is the village of Femes where I collapsed into a restaurant for lunch dripping sweat. I soon recovered to appreciate the great views from the terrace at 1250ft. The road from Femes back to the main road had been recently resurfaced which made for a great fast descent.

Mileage for the day was 36 with about 2500ft of climb.


El Golfo Crater


Near the top of Femes Hill


Saturday 21 January. Lanzarote. Club Ride to Teguise.

On Wednesday Alan and Liz flew out to Lanzarote for 2 weeks staying at a resort further up the South East Coast from me of Costa Teguise. Today I cycled over there to join them for a ride.

Weather was warm and sunny with scattered light clouds. Temperatures reached 21C.

I had a 17 mile ride over there with a 1000ft ridge to climb and we met up at Alan and Liz’s Apartment. After a visit to the shop to sort out a problem with Alan’s hired mountain bike we headed inland on a quiet gentle climb.

We cycled under the main road at about 500ft and then headed north east parallel to the main road on the old road which had no traffic. After about 2 miles we turned off on a byroad towards Teguise via the village of Teseguite. We circled the base of an old volcano crowned by the castle of Santa Barbara. We came out just above Teguise at 1100ft. We then had a short descent into the back alleys of the old town where we found a restaurant for lunch.

In the afternoon we had a good descent on the main road to the town of Tahiche with views towards the mountains to the south. Here we split up with Alan and Liz heading back to Costa Teguise and I headed back to Puerto del Carmen.

My mileage for the day was 47 with about 2500ft of climbing.


Riding inland from Costa Teguise

Lunch at Teguise. Photo by Alan


Sunday 22 January. Lanzarote. Costa Teguise.

Today I met up with Alan and Liz again and then we all joined Avryl and her friend who had arrived in Lanzarote for a week last Thursday.

Weather was warm and sunny with temperatures reaching 21C.

I cycled over to Tahiche and met up with Alan and Liz who had cycled over from Costa Teguise. We had elevenses at the cafe for the Cesar Manique Foundation. We then had a look round the Museum which is the former house of the famous sculptor, Architect and Painter. The house is built on a Lava Field with a lower level built out of small caves created from Lava bubbles.

We then cycled down to Costa Teguise to meet up for a lengthy Restaurant meal on a warm sunny terrace with Avryl and her friend before a short walk round to their nearby apartment for tea..

My mileage for the day was 31 with 2100ft of climb.


View from Cesar Manrique House

Riding to Costa Teguise


Tea at Avryl's


Lanzarote, Monday 23 January to Thursday 26 January

Monday 23 January

Monday was cloudy but dry with temperatures up to 18C. I got in a good hard bike ride with first a 1100ft climb to the central plateau and then down the main route towards Teguise but turning off on a byroad to descend back to sea level on the far coast at Famara overshadowed by towering 2000ft cliffs. Then a hard uphill climb into the wind via Soo, Tiagua and Masdache to return back via Tias.

38 miles today and 2300ft of climb

Tuesday 24 January

Today there was light rain most of the day so I decided I needed a rest day!!

Wednesday 25 January

Wednesday was a great sunny day with temperatures up to 21C. Today I took another ride over to the far coast but using different lanes. I rode via Tiagua and then a billiard smooth descent to Soo and then down to the coast near Club La Santa (a complex full of cyclists) Then up via Tinajo to the craters and lava fields and a great fast descent back to base via La Asomada. The afternoon was spent sunbathing on the terrace. 37 miles for the day and 2400ft of climbing.

Thursday 26 January

Alan and Liz and taken their hired bikes back and yesterday they hired a car for the rest of their trip. Today they drove over to my apartment for elevenses and then we took a drive round some of the sights of the SW corner of the Island. Weather was warm and sunny most of the day reaching 19C but with one short shower in the middle of the day.

We first went to view El Golfo Crater followed by lunch at a seafront restaurant in El Golfo Village. Then on down the coast to Los Hervideros where the sea has eroded caverns under the lava cliffs. Today the Atlantic rollers were very big pounding over the rocks. Then on to Playa Blanca for tea and cake at a seafront cafe


Lanzarote. Wednesday 25 January. Descending towards village of Soo

Lanzarote. Wednesday 25 January. Club La Santa

Lanzarote. Thursday 26 January.Waves pound Las Hervideros


Lanzarote. Thursday 26 January.Alan and Liz on Playa Blanca Seafront





Lanzarote. Sunday 29 January to Wednesday 1 February.

Sunday 29 January

Weather today was generally cloudy with a few sunny spells and temperatures getting to 18C. By previous arrangement I rode over to Costa Teguise to meet up with Alan and Liz. I took my usual route going inland and climbing to 1000ft.

Alan and Liz had moved to a very plush all inclusive Hotel for the last few days of their stay after getting a big price reduction for booking out of season at the last minute. There was a side entrance so I was able to get the bike round to their room to park it on the balcony.

Alan and Liz still had their hired car rather than bikes so I joined them in a drive over to the Jameos de Agua caves in the north of the Island. These are caves formed as part of a long lava tunnel from a Volcano to the sea. We had elevenses at a cafe in the caves and then looked round the caves and museum.

We then went on to Orzola on the northern tip of the Island for lunch before going on to a viewpoint at Guiante overlooking Graciosa Island and then returning to Costa Teguise.

I rode back by the same route completing 31 bike miles for the day and 2100ft of climb.

Tuesday 31 January –Search for a front mech.

Weather today was mainly sunny with some cloud in the middle of the day. Temperature got up to 19C.

Over the last few days I had experienced a lot of problems with my front gear changer and after a lot of fiddling I decided that the spring was probably done in. On a previous ride I had noticed a bike shop in La Santa village called Pro Bike. Today I rode over there. The English couple running the shop were very helpful and checked it out while I waited and confirmed the spring was finished but they did not have a replacement triple changer. They directed me to a Bike Shop in Arrecife called Cyclemania.

As the Bike shop would be closed from 1.30 to 4.30 I stopped for lunch back up the hill at Tinajo and then found a back road into the capital via Guime. The bike shop was easy to find being opposite the only high rise building in Lanzarote. I stopped in a cafe next to the bike shop and got talking to a couple from the Lake District who belonged to the CTC and had been admiring my Roberts Bike.

When the bike shop opened they found a Campag Mirage triple changer and fitted it while I waited. I had a pleasant ride back along the prom/cyclepath which runs for 6 miles on the seaward side of Playa Honda and the Airport to Matagorda and then the seafront road back into Puerto Del Carmen.

Mileage for the day was 45 with 2500ft of climb.

Wednesday 1 February. Volcanoes Ride.

Today I took a short ride taking in the lava fields and Volcanoes. Weather was mainly sunny in the morning clouding over in the afternoon and temperatures getting up to 18C.

I headed out on byroads up to Conil at 1150ft and then on the road across the Lava fields to Mancha Blanca and on to Timanfaya National Park. At the park boundary I stopped off at the Visitor Centre to learn all about Volcanoes and Lava. Then on to Yaiza and back on the main road with a stop for lunch at the Puerto Calero Marina.

31 miles for the day and 1500ft of climb.


Lanzarote. Sunday 29 January. Alan and Liz at Jameos de Agua Caves

Lanzarote. Tuesday 31 January. Cyclepath near Airport

Lanzarote. Wednesday 1 February. Volcano near the National Park


Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. Viewpoints Ride.

Today was a great biking day, light winds, sunny and clear with temperatures up to 20C. I decided on a long ride to visit some of the viewpoints to the north of the Island.

I took a back road up to Tias and then another back road to the main plateau road at Masdache. The traffic on both the back roads was very light averaging a car every 2 minutes. Then a fast ride along the centre of the Island to Teguise where I stopped in the square for a break and a snack from my Bar Bag.

Then onwards and upwards along the Haria road to climb another 1000ft to 2000ft. Just before the top I turned off on a side road to La Nieves which is a Church and a car park perched on the edge of 2000ft cliffs above the surf, pounding Famara beach far below. From here there is one of the best views in Lanzarote over the northern coastal plains and the distant volcanic peaks to the south. For some reason it is off the standard tourist trail so is fairly quiet and peaceful.

I continued to the top of the pass and then down the hairpinned descent to Haria. Then further north and another climb to the viewpoint at Mirador del Rio in the far north of the Island. There are 2 roads and I took the narrow windy backroad along the cliff edge with amazing views across to the Island of Graciosa. The Mirador del Rio is a viewing area and building built into the cliff face and the cafe has windows looking out over the view. This made a great place for lunch.

My return route took the other road down to the village of Ye and then a long descent back to sea level on the other coast at Arrieta. From here I took a fast route on the smooth surface of the new coast road gradually climbing to 600ft and then down to Tahiche before another climb to San Bartolome and down via Tias to base.

64 quality miles for the day with 4500ft of climbing.


Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. Hairpins on Haria Pass

Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. Clifftop road leading to Mirador del Rio


Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. View from Mirador del Rio

Lanzarote. Thursday 2 February. View from La Nieves


Lanzarote. Saturday 4 February to Monday 6 February

Saturday 4 February

Weather today was generally sunny with some scattered cloud and temperatures up to 20C. I bought a paper today and noticed maximum temperature in Bognor Regis yesterday was 0C. This confirmed my feelings that it was a very good idea to give winter a miss this year!

Today I decided to explore some little used lanes north east of Teguise. I headed over to Teguise with the usual climbs and stopped in the town square for a break and a snack. Just out of town on the route to Haria I turned off on a downhill backroad to Teseguite. Then onto an even quieter lane via El Mojon. The lane meandered down towards the coast with some steep drops above Guatiza.

I crossed over the New road and then into Guatiza. I then decided to take an untried dead-end road down to Los Cocoteros. This turned out to be an uninteresting little place which probably wasn’t worth descending 300ft and then climbing back up again.

I headed back on the old road to Tahiche. I rode 4 miles on the old road which runs alongside the new road to Tahiche and for that distance the traffic count was zero and 1 bicycle.

I headed on climbing nearly back to San Bartolome but then turned off to descend down to Playa Honda a small resort between Arrecife and the Airport. I stopped at a cafe on the prom to enjoy the warm early afternoon sunshine.

I headed back to base on the seafront cyclepath encountering the afternoon aircraft rush hour as the planes passed low over the cyclepath which at one point is only yards from the end of the runway.

Mileage for the day was 48 with 2800 ft of climb. I had gradually been increasing the mileages over the last few weeks and the week ending today was the first over 200 with 224.


Sunday 5 February

Weather today was sunny in the morning but clouding over in the afternoon. Temperature got up to 19C.

Today I took a ride south to Playa Blanca first climbing to 780ft at Uga. I took the old road which runs adjacent to the new road with a good smooth surface but very little traffic. The road gradually descends over about 10 miles first over lava fields and then across open plains.

Just before Playa Blanca I decided to explore a back road which does a loop to the west of the town. I made my way to a lighthouse with views across to the hills of Fuerteventura. Near here is the start of a wide promenade which I cycled for 3 miles into Playa Blanca.

After lunch at a seafront restaurant I headed back on a more direct but vertically challenging route via Femes. The road climbs with an easy gradient to a roundabout at 800ft but then heads up a cliff with grades of 16 to 18% to climb another 400ft to Femes at 1200ft.

Mileage for the day was 41 with 2200ft of climb.


Monday 6 February. Slavering hound ride.

Today there was a bright and sunny start and then more cloud by midday clearing mid afternoon. Temperatures reached 19C.

I climbed to the central plateau on quiet lanes via Tias and then another lane across the lava fields towards La Vegueta. Passing near a farmhouse 2 dogs spotted me and gave chase. The smaller one was fairly harmless looking but the bigger one looked like a cross between an Alsatian and the Hound of the Baskervilles with a fierce bark and slavering hungry look. I tried squirting it in the eyes with water from my water bottle but it paid this no attention. Luckily both dogs seemed content to bark fiercely and run alongside and made no attempt to bite. It was a good 500 yards before they gave up and went back home.

I continued descending to the other coast via Soo and Famara. I then had a long climb back up to the plateau near Teguise and then I descended to Playa Honda to stop for lunch at a cafe on the prom. I then returned to base on the cyclepath along the prom and past the Airport.

Mileage for the day was 42 with 2100ft of climb.


Lanzarote. Saturday 4 February. Plane coming into land over cyclepath

Lanzarote. Sunday 5 February. Playa Blanca Prom

Lanzarote. Monday 6 February. Cycling towards Famara




Posted by Edwin at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006 5:16 AM EST

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