This 4 day itinerary is extremely gruelling. The stages can be very long and there will hardly be enough time to enjoy the wonders the island has to offer. Take into account that in Lanzarote you don’t only need to be concerned with the elevation gained and the kilometres travelled, but also the type of terrain. It is arid and rocky. These are factors which must be considered when evaluating the difficulty.
1 Stage: Puerto del Carmen-Orzola
64 kms / 350 meters positive accumulated elevation.
One shouldn't be too confident given the lack of elevation gain on this route. The route is demanding. There are a few technical spots which will slow down our speed. We will cross the most populated area of the island, including the capital, Arrecife. We will also travel along solitary and exciting paths and trails. We will cross beautiful villages such as Guatiza, Arrieta or Punta Mujeres and then we'll have our first contact with lava in the slags of the northern Corona volcano. The beauty and the sights will compensate for the challenges.
2 Stage: La Graciosa
30 kms / 330 meters positive accumulated elevation
Yes, we understand it's only 30 kms and with little elevation change. A route a pro could do in less than 2 hours. But friends.....you are in the Graciosa, a place which merits at least a day of your lives.
It's a short stage given the limited terrain of the Graciosa Island, but due to its uniqueness and beauty it is an obligatory visit. Perfect days to forget the world, to enjoy your bike, but to enjoy the beaches, to do some water sports like kite surfing or diving, etc. or to relish in the tastes of the Canarian gastronomy.
It is also good for us to relax a bit before taking on the two most demanding stages of the Vulcan Bike.
3 Stage: Orzola-Yaiza
91 kms / 2.000 meters positive accumulated elevation
The first part of this stage until Famara is the most "alpine" of the Vulcan Bike. Today we are going to ride through the highest area of the island. If the highest point of Lanzarote is only 700 meters above sea level, the elevation accumulated on this route is going to triple that number given the number of ascents and descents we are going to do. The challenges we are going to face will be compensated tenfold by the spectacular landscape we are going to be experiencing along the journey.
The second part isn't less difficult and this makes this day a real challenge to overcome. Here we will see that the name, "Vulcan Bike" is very appropriate. This is the day with the most kilometres along the route during which we will cross through various lava areas, one being the amazing Timanfaya National Park. If you want to see something similar you will have to go to Hawaii....yourself. Following this lava "hell" we will finish the stage in the quaint village called Yaiza.
4 Stage: Yaiza-Puerto del Carmen
62 Kms / 820 meters positive accumulated elevation
This stage may appear not to be too long, but it is demanding. The first part from Yaiza to Playa Blanca takes us along fast trails and very rocky areas where we are forced to use all of our technical skills to manoeuvre our bikes.
From Playa Blanca to the Puerto del Carmen we will have to cross Los Ajaches, a mountain biking paradise in the most inhospitable and wild terrain of all the island (with permission of the Timanfaya volcano!). There are a number of ascents and descents, paths, single track trails and many technical spots. If you aren't a pro rider, don't worry, what you can't do "in the saddle" you can do walking. No one will be watching.
The Ajaches are a mountainous ridge at the south of the island which together with the Famara cliff are the oldest areas of Lanzarote. These two areas are several million years old. The highest point just passes 600 meters above sea level; however, we won't ride above the 200 meter line. Due to erosion, its ancient volcano is hardly visible. Its location parallel to the sea and its millions of years of erosion which have created a number of ravines reaching the sea make it a difficult terrain to ride through. There are no roads and the paths can't free themselves of the extensive erosion. Being at the south of the island, the aridity is extreme.
The number of ravines and the veritable solitude are going to put our cycling skills to test. Without a doubt this stage is the perfect finale to the Vulcan Bike.