Mountain Biking in Gran Canaria

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.


Road Cycling in Gran Canaria

Road Cycling

Gran Canaria is the place for road riding in Europe. This is a onerous claim to make, but is based on a combination of factors. First the weather: it is close to perfect riding weather all year round, and only during the summer months (especially July and August) can it get a little too hot for those who are not experienced riders. By experienced in this regard, I mean people who are perfectly fit and know how to hydrate and rehydrate with the correct liquids before, during and after a days ride in high tempertures.

Second, the roads on the island are aesthetically perfect for road riding, and it is no wonder that almost every cycling magazine in Europe has been here at some point for features and articles. For the experienced riders, there are 150 km / 200 km loops with an enormous amount of climbing, up to 3000m in some variations of the loop and for the more sedate riders, you can easily head out for a 60k to 100km ride, take in a few perfect climbs and make it back to base with out any problems at all.

Third and finally, the scenery is absolutely amazing, the Fataga canyon on the way to Fataga will take your breath away, it is just plain prehistoric in appearance, and indeed mummified remains have been found there and are now on display in Las Palmas.

If you are in the “trade” and know your cycling jerseys from the bovine variety, then riding in Gran Canaria could have you pedalling alongside, if only for the briefest of moments, some of the most illustrious names in modern professional cycling.

Road Cycling Routes in Gran Canaria

Ok now you know you can do it, here is how: For road cycling, the best start point for a day or week of riding is nearly always the south of the island. This is because the north generally has more traffic and is very built up, meaning a lot of dual carriage way and tunnel work before you get into clear air, basically not recommended. In the south especially at Playa del Ingles, you will be riding on quiet sunny roads heading into the mountains within minutes of the beach.

A straight forward ride and a good one to start with is to take the GC60 road to Fataga from Playa del Ingles and on to Mirador de San Bartolome. This is a ride up to 955 metres above sea level and will take a reasonable cyclist about 3 hours there and back to do the 50 odd kms. From there with your map you can see the variety of routes going on and up, that will take you back to that point. For example you can continue on to ride up to the summit of the island – Pico de las Nieves at 1951 metres and add another 50km to your day.

It is highly recommended even if you are reasonably fit to have a triple chainset on your road bike, this is because the gradients can get very steep and the effort can drain you before you get even half way. There is no shortage of stopping points or villages to get a boost and nearly every hamlet will have a road side restaurant to take the strain. The best located one for the summit ride is at Ayacata, called the Candelilla Bar.

The weather in the higher parts especially above 1500m has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character, as has the whole island. So is it advisable to always have a wind cape with you to keep the cool wind from cooling you down too much.

From the summit, there are 2 or 3 different routes to take down and back to Playa del Ingles, you can head east down the GC130 to Ingenio and pick up the GC500 from there, or you can head west on the GC605 down to Arguinguin or further to Mogan and come back that way.

Every cyclist also wants a good cyclist shop, and if you are a cycling tourist here, then the best all round shop is Free Motion. Free Motion is a bike and outdoor centre specialising in cycling tours. So any information about routes, excursions, weather, road 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.


Cycling in Gran Canaria

Gran Canarian Pedal Power

Gran Canaria is a great island for those who love their cycling. Whether on or off road, the island offers the great climate and terrain to suit all tastes. 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.

The cycling section is split into city bike toursRoad and Mountain. The section includes some decent routes to take if you are on the island with your own bike and looking for where to go.


Car Hire in Gran Canaria

Car Hire in Gran Canaria

The cheapest we have found is Holiday Autos who will generally get you on the road for about €100 a week.

Book below and pay exactly the same as you would on their website

(in the destination box put Spain / Las Palmas airport)


Climbing in Gran Canaria

Climbing

If clambering up vertical walls in a pair of shorts and tiny ballet shoes is your thing then you are in the right place. The tough volcanic rock and 360 days a year without rain make it an ideal destination to don your flourescent lycra trousers and hang upside down using only your fingernails.

Gran Canaria is a fantastic sports climbing destination, with quite a few clubs and climbers on the island. There are also a few classic routes and a number of places to do bouldering. If you really want to get into climbing here, go to your local climbing wall where the instructors will point you in the right direction. There are climbing walls in Las Palmas, Telde and in Maspalomas. The website for climbing in Gran Canaria is Topatras.org, here you’ll find latest news, topos and how to get in contact with the climbing clubs. If you are interested in classic climbing you will need to go to Ayacata. In the centre of the village, next to the road is a climbing cafe/bar, they have a book with all the routes in the centre of the island. You will need to speak Spanish or be very good at gesturing with your hands as it is unlikely they will speak the Queen’s English!

Buying stuff

The two places with the biggest selection are of course Decathlon and El Corte Inglés. Decathlon is probably a bit cheaper and the staff a bit more knowledgeable.

Routes

Sports Climbing routes

Bouldering Routes

Classic routes

Sports climbing routes

La Sorrueda Beautiful gorge with running water all year round, a waterfall and rockpools big enough to swim in, with routes from 5 to 7a there is plenty of choice. Although it is not strictly allowed there is camping here with fresh water from a spring next to the place where most people pitch their tents.
To get there: head towards Arinaga and then head inland to Santa Lucia. Just before you get to Santa Lucia you will pass La Presa de Sorrueda (Lake) on your left, take the next turning to La Sorrueda. After the cemetery on your right take the sharp next turning right. Keep going through the tiny village, past the hostel with balconies and onto the dirt track. If you have a 4×4 you can keep going to the bottom of the path, if not I would recommend that you stop about 200m after the hostel and walk 1km down to the bottom. When you get to the end of the path head right and you’ll find all the routes. For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Fataga Presa Another good climbing destination with over 50 climbs from level 4 to 8.
To get there: From Maspalomas / Playa del Inglés take the GC40 to the centre of the island. At Km11 take a road to the left signposted to Presa de Ayagaures and Travasur. When you get to a bridge take the road to the right and continue until you get to a small hut. There you can park the car, it is a short two minute walk to the crag.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Fataga Piconera A smaller climbing location with only 24 routes, not as good as La Sorrueda or Fataga Presa but a bit closer to the south and the motorway.
To get there: from Maspalomas take the road to Fatiga. Once you have passed the restaurant La Casa Vieja take the left turning at the next roundabout. Continue down the road and keep going after the tarmac stops for a bout 1km. You will see the routes on your left.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Ayagaures Picturesque location with 25 routes of varying difficulty, some up to 30m in height.
To get there: From San Fernando de Maspalomas, head towards the Centro de Salud. Once you have passed Aquasur take the turning to the right (GC504) towards Ayagaures. After 11km you will arrive at the village of Ayagaures. At the dam wall take the road to the left and after 1.3km you will arrive at the presa de Gambuesa. Leave your car next to the quarry, next to a small hut (with agua writtn on the side).Walk for about 15mins to the end of the reservoir (presa), keep going for a bit and you’llsee the routes on the left and right.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Tamadaba Massive climbing destination with over 350 routes. It is set in the beautiful pine forests of the north of the island. The only disadvantage is that it will probably take you 2 hours to get there from wherever you leave from. However it is well worth the trip. In winter, it can get quite cold so always bring trousers and a jumper.
To get there: head towards Artenara and then follow the signs to Tamadaba. Once in the forest you will see all the barbeques and camping areas. Use the map on the link below to work out where you want to park, however for most of the routes you will have to descend a little bit.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Moya Small climbing location with a few short routes, not worth the trip up from the south but nice and close to Las Palmas if you want a quick climb after work one evening.
To get there: on the northern highway which goes from Las Palmas to Agaete at Km15, after Bañaderos and before the Silva bridge there is a road off to the right to “Barranco de Moya”. After about 1km after going past the huge supports of the bridge, you park on the left on a flat bit of ground on a corner which bends round to the right. Walk about 5 mins up the valley until you reach the climbs. At points you will be walking along a thin water channel with a unnerving 3m drop.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Bouldering Routes

There are two places to go bouldering:

El Berriel A beautiful little valley with running water, waterfalls and huge rock pools in the winter. In the summer it tends to be very dry and dusty. Over 200 boulders to keep you busy.
To get there: from GC1 take the turning to Tarajalillo (Aeroclub y karting), just north of Playa Del Inglés and take the GC 500 towards Maspalomas/ Mogán. At the first bus stop on the right, opposite Bahia Feliz take the dirt track which goes underneath the motorway. Continue 1300m until you pass a small hut where you bear off to the left passing in front of the dam wall. After 1400m you pass a water station . Continue another 800m until the end of the track where you can park. Walk for 3.8km along the broken road to the boulders.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Chira A beautiful lake, however I haven’t yet found out how to get to the boulders. If anyone knows please email us. Beware it is quite a long drive to get there and apparently quite a long hike to the boulders.

Classic routes

Ayacata This is a beautiful part of the island and worth a trip just for the views. I personally haven’t climbed there so can’t comment on it.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.

Roque Nublo The most emblematic landmark on the island and a must for any climber. There are classic and sports routes with breath taking views. To get there just head towards the centre of the island and follow the signs to Roque Nublo.
For a detailed map of the routes see here.


Cheap Flight Guide

Cheap flights to and from Gran Canaria

We pride ourselves here at Grancanariaguru at always being able to find cheap flights, whatever the time of year. If you want to find out how just check out our comprehensive, very, very well researched flight guide below.

Getting a cheap flight to the UK is an artform. It is not easy but
it is usually possible and with a bit of research and flexibility it is
very possible to get a return ticket for 100-140€. However if you are
planning to fly via the mainland make sure you have your resident’s
(DNI) number. Unless you book way in advance flying home in the Summer
is expensive, however any other time is pretty cheap especially
Christmas where you can easily find flights for around 120€.

The ultimate flight finders guide

This guide has taken over 4 years to perfect and is
tried and tested. It always works but you have to have patience and a
little bit of flexibility. Here we go …

  1. Go to Sky Scanner and select your departure and arrival airport (the more flexibility the
    better) and select your month – do not select the date and click
    search. These results will give you the cheapest flights from the major
    charter airlines. Usually the best.
  2. Search the charter airlines directly. The best ones are:
  3. Check out flying via the mainland – if you book well in advance you
    can get really cheap flights and a day in a nice Spanish city if you
    want. Usual cost is 70€ return with your resident discount. The best
    and cheapest cities to go to are Madrid and Barcelona.

    Once you’ve found the cheapest way to and from the mainland, trawl through the British budget airlines

    • Ryan Air
    • Easyjet
    • Flightchecker – this is an excellent search form provided by the moneysavingexpert and trawls all the budget airlines except Ryanair.

    If you book early enough it is very easy to get return flights for under 40€ (taxes included)

  4. You can sometimes get very cheap flights from Tenerife, Lanzarote and
    Fuerteventura. Try skyscanner to get the prices to the UK and then use Binter to get your inter island flight or if you’re going to Tenerife try the ferry Fred Olsen.
  5. Using the phone. An often underrated way of finding a cheap flight but usually very effective.
    • Firstchoice (Playa del Inglés) 928 721 181
    • Flightline (Playa del Inglés) 928 778 278
  6. Going to a travel agent – usually they are more expensive but if
    you are planning to go home at Christmas they will often have very good
    deals.

Other options to consider: Flying to Ireland I
am from the UK, so this is not my speciality however Ryanair fly to
Tenerife, Madrid and Barcelona, so if you can’t get a cheap direct
flight, linking up with them would probably be your best bet. Use the
Spanish airlines to get to the mainland and Binter to get to Tenerife. Flying to Germany This can be done really cheaply. Try:

And that’s it – it’s not rocket science but it will involve a good
hour or so of serious Internet usage to compare all the sites. Last bit
of advice – write everything down, there are so many flights you won’t
remember them all. Good Luck. Subscribe to the websites and they will
send you cheap deals. If you know of any other ways to get cheap
flights, please let us know by making a comment on this article.