Mountain Biking in Gran Canaria
The mountain biking on Gran Canaria has been called the best on planet! While that is a big claim to make, it has a combination of factors that really appeals to dedicated mountain bikers who come here. The island reputation as a mountain biking destination will continue to grow, thanks to the UCI World Cup Marathon that was held here recently, and again the mountain biking magazines have started to finally see it too, many years later than their road counterparts.
This is good news because you still have the chance here, even on this small island, to ride in places that no one has ridden before! The not so good news is that while you can ride independently on the road with you and your mates, this is not as feasible with mountain biking. This is not due to any local laws, but more to do with the geography of the island. It is very difficult to ride from the start points at Playa del Ingles and get to any of the decent riding areas without a very, very long road or track climb first. There will be many hours of pretty unappealing biking and bike carrying before enjoying the day as you intended.
Add to this, that none of the MTB trails are marked in any way, and you realise that you may have bitten off more than you chew in one day. The answer to this is the mountain biking excursion companies who offer reasonably priced excursions that include bike, lunch, and shuttle up to the trail head. Each day is a different route and with a guide it is the most hassle free way to learn about the island’s mountain biking routes.
We should mention that although you can bring your own bike, it is advisable to think first about what “type” of bike you have. If it is a hardtail, then really you have a hard bumpy painful day ahead of you. The trails are always rocky and bumpy and can be extremely hard on bikes and equipment. Even a lightweight racing full suspension bike will not be sufficient for the descents and will probably not have enough travel to soak up the terrain. Basically this island was made for the “all mountain” grade of bike that is of reasonable weight, has long travel suspension front and back, disc brakes and a geometry that keeps the front of the bike high and the rear slightly lower.
These are the only type of bikes that the excursion companies carry, and if you are planning to come for a week, this type of bike can be rented for around a €100, probably only slightly more than what the airline will charge you for carrying your bike.
So the advice is to use the excursion companies, and get to ride such awesome trails as the “Devil’s Staircase” the “Widow Maker” “Dark Side of the Moon” and the tricky for some “Cliff Richard”, and there’s the “Hill that can’t be Climbed” if you fancy yourself as a climber.
There is an enormous variety of routes available for all levels and abilities and the excursion company will advise you depending on your ability about which excursions are most suitable for you. Helmets, lunch, bikes and shuttle are all provided in the package. If you are planning to be independent, instead be independent with a friend, bring an outer jacket, good map, basic First Aid kit, mobile phone, energy bars and sufficient water, at least a full 2 litre pack on top of being well hydrated. Lightweight knee and arm protectors would complete the wish list.
A good MTB shop is a must and again Cycle Gran Canaria takes care of both MTB and Road. So information about routes, excursions, weather, MTB bike hire, bike repair, parts, cycling clothing or just plain old advice then this is your best option.
The information in this section was provided by Cycle Gran Canaria who are based in Playa del Ingles and Las Palmas. You can reach them on
+34 928 769 508. They offer top quality bike rental as well as guided
cycling and advice in all languages.