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Cross Country Route Grading System

The Lavatrax Route Grading System

We have created a route grading system which consists of two elements, the first being the technical difficulty of the ride based upon the trail conditions and obstacles that you are likely to encounter on the ride and the second element being the perceived level of fitness required to complete the ride. In some cases, the fitness score is loaded a little due to the route having a tough climb at some point, so if you see a route that you like the sound of, but are not sure that you meet the suggested fitness level, then please ask for advice.

Technical Difficulty Grades

Level 1 - Reasonably smooth surface requiring only basic bike handling skills and the ability to use brakes and gears effectively

Level 2 - Some loose surfaces may be encountered which require the rider to have some previous exposure to off road biking

Level 3 -Some loose surfaces may be encountered and some sections of single-tracks which require the rider to have some previous exposure to off road biking

Level 4 - Extended single-track sections with the possibility of drops and steps up to 30cm. Good understanding of line choice, bike positioning and rider weight distribution required.

Level 5 - Full on rocky terrain with tight switchbacks, loose rocky descents and larger drops or trail obstacles. Regular black route riders only.

Fitness Level Grades

Level 1 - In good health, can manage a brisk walk whilst maintaining a conversation

Level 2 - Average fitness, takes some regular excercise

Level 3 - Above average fitness. Rides or takes fairly strenuous exercise on a regular basis

Level 4 - Mr or Mrs Fit! Rides for a couple of hours 2 or 3 times a week, or takes similar durations of other types of exercise

Level 5 - Super Fit! Racer or serious fitness fans.

Weekly Cross Country Ride Schedule

Typical Weekly XC Tour Program

A typical standard 5 day program of XC rides which take in the best routes that the island has to offer. You can find a more detailed description of each route below. Please note that we do not run XC rides be default. XC rides are by prior arrangement and subject the minimum rider numbers and guide availability. Please contact us in plenty of time if you would like to participate in one of our XC rides.

  • Monday: Chio - Arenas Negras - Chio
  • Tuesday: Vilafor - Madre del Agua - Vilaflor
  • Wednesday: Flight Path
  • Thursday: La Esperanza
  • Friday: The Long Way Down**

We have many other routes available and will be happy to substitute one of these for the normal scheduled ride provided that there are no prior bookings. Please just ask and we will do our best.

All tours are subject to a minimum group size of 2 riders (**except Long Way Down which is 4 riders due to transfer distance) unless by prior agreement or you have reserved a private guide.

We can cater for up to 11 riders by prior arrangement.

Arenas Negras

Distance - 28kms

Technical Difficulty - 2

Fitness Level - 3

Riding Time - 2.5 to 4 hours

Altitude Profile -

Altitude Profile - Arenas Negras

Approximate transfer time from south coast resorts - 1 hour

The route starts with a steady warm up climb on tarmac as we cycle through the rugged Chinyero area of the island, site of the last eruption on the island back in 1909. On reaching the Chio recreational area we look to turn off the road and start to ride on the forest roads, initially with a short continuation of our climb on a loose volcanic gravel surface before topping out at around 1650m above sea level and beginning our gradual descent through the Canarian pine forests and volcanic landscapes, but always with some stunning views on hand. Eventually we reach the Arenas Negras area and we are met with a stunning view over the harsh black volcanic landscape with an often snow capped Mount Teide sat majestically in the background. From here we continue our gradual descent before finally needing to make a short climb along a shaded forest track back to our start point and a final road descent to a local cafe where you may purchase food and drinks and take time to enjoy the views over the coast before making the transfer back to the resorts.

Vilaflor Loop

Distance - 27km (plus descent if taken)

Technical Difficulty - 1

Fitness Level - 3.5

Altitude Profile - Sorry, not available

Approximate transfer time from south coast resorts - 40 minutes

This is a scenic ride mostly on reasonable smooth jeep tracks. The ride starts from the town of Vilaflor, officially the highest town in Spain. It climbs on the tarmac road for a little over 4kms to the main trail head. From there we climb further on the old jeep trails to a height of around 2050m above sea level before gradually descending to the Madre del Agua camp site where we break for a snack (not provided). From here it is possible to make the hike to the view point for the Paisaje Lunar, an amazing volcanic lunar landscape unlike anything you've seen before, but as this walk can take around 1.5 hours we can only offer the walk during the summer months when sunset does not limit our time on the mountain. The return leg climbs for a short time before turning and making a steady descent back towards Vilaflor, the last 2kms of the descent being on tarmac road once again. The ride ends with a cafe stop back in Vilaflor where you can buy local food and drinks.

For those wishing to extend the ride a little, it is possible to take the road back to the town of Granadilla.This is a fabulous ride on this fairly quiet route and offers beautiful vistas over the south coast along the way. This option is always fully supported by our Minibus so that you can climb back on board when ever you feel ready.

Flight Path

Distance - 35kms
 
Technical Difficulty - 2
 
Fitness Level - 3 to 4
 
Riding time - 4 to 5 hours
 
Altitude Profile - 
 
Approximate transfer time from south coast resorts - 20 minutes
 
This is our newest XC route. A coastal ride with lots of zippy singletracks on dusty, rocky trails. Although we never get much higher than 200m above sea level this ride manages to sneak in over 350m of climbing and descending over the ride.
 
Starting out we pass through the fairways of Golf del Sur and head out across the baron rocky ground towards Las Galletas, pausing at the most southerly point of the island at Punta Rasca before heading into the coastal town of Palm Mar where we duck into a cafe to take on coffee and cake before heading back along the same general direction but on different tracks to reach our start point and the end of the ride.

La Esperanza Classic

Distance - 26kms

Technical Difficulty - 2

Fitness Level - 4

Riding Time - 3 to 4 hours

Altitude Profile -

La Esperanza Altitude Profile

Approximate transfer time from south coast resorts - 1hour

This route takes visitors to a different part of the island. The Esperanza (the Spanish word for a hope or wish) forest is in the North of the island, not far from the capital city of Santa Cruz. It is a mixed forest of both Canarian pine and Eucalyptus trees. Not only is the terrain in this area much different to that in the south, being smoother and having more soil than the south, but the weather is also more humid, this can be seen in the much denser vegetation and the often damp trails.

From our start point at Las Raices we make a short tarmac climb to pick up our first forest track, after a few minutes on here we start our first climb of the day. This starts quite steeply and can be a tough introduction to the tour. The climbing lasts for around 30 minutes before we descend gradually for a short time to meet the main road once more. From here we pick up our first single-track descent which in the dry is super fast, but on a damp day is incredibly slippery. Linking sections of single-track with short sections of forest track we continue to loose a few more hard earned metres of altitude before eventually climbing once again of forest track back to the main road. After a short road section we reach the top of the trail and take a quick stop at the cafe for refreshments before heading off to sample the gem of this trail, aptly nicknamed "The Green Tunnel of Fun". This single-track descent is fast and flowing, but with some big drops to one side, it keeps you incredibly focussed on the job in hand! A little more forest track and single-track brings us back to our start point. 

Long Way Down

Distance - 53km

Technical Difficulty - 3

Fitness Level - 3

Riding Time - 4 to 6hrs

Altitude Profile -

Altitude profile - Long Way Down

Approximate transfer time from south cost resorts - 2hours

Starting the ride at a height of around 2300m by the planetary observatory of Izaña we take to the gravel roads and commence the gradual descent to the coast. The route flows quickly through lava fields and forests taking in a couple of sections of single track before hitting an old tarmac road at the El Contador BBQ area and descending to the hillside town of Arico where we break for lunch in a local Tasca (Food and drinks not included in price). We then follow the old main north to south road which hugs the contours to pick up the final off road descent into El Medano where we end the ride right by the beach.

Playing With Planes

Distance - 16km

Technical Difficulty - 3

Fitness Level - 3

Riding Time - 2 hours

Altitude Profile - Sorry, not available

Approximate transfer time from south coast resorts - 15 minutes

A short "play time" ride from the coastal resort of El Medano. Starting from the town, we climb along loose single track and bed rock up towards the TF-1 motorway before skirting alongside the motorway for a couple of km. We then start to make our way back down towards the coast initially along dusty single track, before this turns into a number of moon like solid rock ridges where we take varying lines down into the valley before skirting around the airport perimeter. Then we drop into one of the many barrancos and follow the lines carved out of the rock over the centuries by rain water before finally reaching the beach where we stop at the Flashpoint for refreshments. This ride requires some riding experience as there are several short but steep descents and drop off's of up to 30cm.