It’s a real close call for me, the climb from sea level to the top of Mount Teide in Tenerife is quite spectacular but as far as best overall experience goes, for me, you can’t beat Santa Barbara, Central Coast California.
You can ride from beach to the mountain top via the infamous Gibraltar Road, which periodically graces the Amgen Tour of California, in about an hour. The roads are surfaced well and the locals are friendly and tolerable towards cyclists.
You can expect consistently good weather all year around and it’s on the Pacific Coast Highway which is one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever ridden.
Santa Barbara is my favourite place to take clients on 1:1 coached camps. You can hit the flats or the climbs, working on technique is easily achievable. Racing and group rides are frequent and easily accessible. The busy city roads have more than adequate cycling lanes and the back roads are quiet enough to do some meaningful coaching.
Truly for me it is cycling paradise.