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.