Fantastic! …great routes, wonderful hotels, excellent support from the Marmot crew, inclement weather, sunshine, marvellous company and blood, sweat and the Valley of Tears. Another first class holiday from Marmot.
Gran Canaria has earned its reputation as one of the top winter road cycling destinations for both pros and amateurs. Its reliable warm weather, quality roads, challenging climbs and varied geology makes it the perfect place to escape the winter blues. Build your physical and mental strength at the start of the cycling season in the sun rather than on the turbo trainer.
Using ‘inside information’ from Marmot Guide Pedro Mireles, who hails from Gran Canaria, we have designed an epic cycling holiday that traverses the island’s remote valleys, isolated villages, rugged massifs and canyons, stunning coastal cliffs and beaches. It will take you to the top of the island at Pico de las Nieves (1950 m) by all 3 different routes available. A flexible itinerary with optional extras will offer you plenty of miles and elevation in the sun, but you choose the intensity which is perfect for the time of year! The Valley of The Tears, Pico de las Nieves, Pinos de Galdar, Roque Nublo, El Anden Verde, Cazadores, Cueva Grande, Barranco de Guayadeque; these are just a few of the climbs that you can explore and will come home raving about.
The holiday works across just 2 excellent 4* hotels located away from the crowded tourist resorts, in the peaceful havens of San Bartolome de Tirajanas and Puerto de Las Nieves. They offer you the perfect base for exploring this “continent in miniature” to all four points of the compass, revelling in the variety of scenery and climbs. For more information do read our Trip Notes and and for the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Please note that we also run winter cycling holidays in Tenerife at similar times of year to this holiday.
Departure Dates & Prices
Day 0: Travel Day (Optional rides: 1. 45km with 1000m ascent OR 2. 20km with 700m ascent)
We offer included airport transfers from Gran Canaria Airport to our 4* start hotel with swimming pool in San Bartolome de Tirajana (Tunte), less than 1 hour away.
Meet your guides, assemble bikes and have a welcome briefing and great dinner.
Alternatively, depending on your eagerness to get on the bike, and the arrival time of your flight, assemble your bike at the airport and cycle to the hotel while we take your bags (45km & over 1000m ascent through mountains).
Another option; transfer to hotel & then take a circular ride (20km & 700m ascent) to ‘stretch the legs’.
For full travel information, please consult the Trip Notes
Day 1: Explore the Barrancos & Oasis
Descend into Fataga, a beautiful palm oasis, before a short climb to the breathtaking canyon. Swoop down to the Southern coastal road and ride towards Barranco de Arguineguin. Appreciate the gentle climb to Cercados de Espino – next up is the 9km climb to Risco Grande (Paso de Tauro, 911m) with some seriously steep sections up to 14%! Undulate (up!) to arrive at the picturesque town of Ayacata (1310 m) for lunch. It’s then just a gentle ‘up & down’ ride back to the hotel at San Bartolome.
The challenge route today includes a 25 km loop with a short punchy climb to Monteleon (Cima Pedro Gonzalez, 490 m) followed by a beautiful gentle descent in the Barranco de Ayagaures to an area of reservoirs and palm tree islands.
Classic route: Risco Grande + Ayacata (85km, 2000m ascent)
Challenge route: Monteleon/Ayagaures + Risco Grande + Ayacata (110 km, 2500m ascent)
Day 2: Ingenio to Pico de las Nieves
The climb to Pico de las Nieves from its toughest side is a highlight today: a summit finish in La Vuelta España 2017, its 23kms long with 1675m altitude gain (including a brutal 5km 11% section between La Pasadilla and Cazadores). Eek!
Descend through Los Llanos de la Pez and the Nature Reserve of Roque Nublo, a massive volcano chimney rock that is the symbol of Gran Canaria, before continuing your loop back to the hotel.
The Challenge Route features the 9km climb to Barranco de Guayadeque (955m) with some seriously cheeky gradients (10% and more) as well as the Prehispanic troglodite cave dwellings and restaurants!
Day 3: San Bartolome de Tirajana to Puerto de las Nieves
Leave San Bartolome de Tirajana & head towards the NW coastal town of Puerto de las Nieves. Conquer the mountain passes of Cruz Grande (1236m) & the Paso de la Herradura (1425m) before continuing around the Caldera de Tejeda (from where our optional extra loop starts) to arrive in Artenara. The route takes you to the ancient pine forest of Tamadaba (1320m) from where you descend on the greener Northern slopes of the island to reach sea level at Puerto de las Nieves. Enjoy a beautiful sunset & views from the hotel pool.
The Challenge Route is a circular loop exploring the different microclimates of the heart of the island, over the mountain ridges of Cruz de Tejeda (1560m) & Los Pechos (1725m) before re-joining the classic route at Artenara.
Classic route: Cruz Grande/Paso de la Herradura + Pinar de Tamadaba (85km, 1700m ascent)
Challenge route: Cruz Grande/Paso de la Herradura + Cruz de Tejeda + Los Pechos + Pinos de Galdar + Tamadaba (116km, 2700m ascent)
Day 4: The Green North: Las Medianias, Cueva Corcho & Pinos de Galdar
Discover the green lush valleys, terraces and the infamous ‘leg-breaking’ roads of the ‘Medianias’ in the North of Gran Canaria. Rising up from its surroundings is the highlight of the day; the climb to the pitch black volcano of Montañon Negro (1517m) and the viewpoint of Pinos de Galdar. A technical descent takes you all the way back to sea level & your hotel in Puerto de las Nieves.
The optional extra on the Challenge Route takes you to further explore valleys and barrancos on this lesser known area of the island. It includes the climbs of San Isidro (959m) and Risco Prieto (1450m) before joining the classic route at the junction of Cueva Corcho (1340m).
The ‘gentle day option’ is a short ride up the remote Valley of Agaete to explore the orange orchards, a coffee plantation or a local wine cellar at the foot of the impressive cliffs of Tamadaba. The road finishes at El Sao (516m) and leaves you plenty of time to return for some wallowing in the hotel pool.
Easy route: Valle de Agaete and El Sao (20km, 640m ascent)
Classic route: Laguna de Valleseco + Cueva Corcho + Montañon Negro (95km, 2500m ascent)
Challenge route: Laguna de Valleseco + San Isidro + Risco Prieto + Cueva Corcho + Montañon Negro (132km, 3500m ascent)
Day 5: Puerto de las Nieves to San Bartolome de Tirajana
You have a big day ahead starting on the impressive coastal road clinging to the sheer cliffs of Tamadaba. From the top of the Andén Verde (551m) it’s a quick descent back to sea level at La Playa de la Aldea. Ahead of you lies The Valley of The Tears; wild, remote and renowned for its punishing gradients – 10.8km with an average 9%! From the top at El Aserrador (1350m) the road flattens for a bit. Its perfect for a lunch stop in Ayacata. The classic route takes you from here to the familiar and welcoming hotel in San Bartolome de Tirajana.
The optional challenge ride today means climbing all the way from the sea to the top of the island at Pico de las Nieves (1950m) using the road from Ayacata to the Natural Monument of Roque Nublo. It’s an extra 11km climb with the tough hairpin bends and ramps soon after leaving Ayacata.
Classic route: Anden Verde + El Aserrador (75km, 2800m ascent)
Challenge route: Anden Verde + El Aserrador + Pico de las Nieves (97km, 3500m ascent)
Day 6: Explore the SW: Barranco de Mogan & the climb to San Bartolome
Today you head into the rugged and almost uninhabited landscapes of the South West. Climb Cruz Grande (1236m) and Paso de la Herradura (1425m) before a 23km descent to arrive at the Barranco de Mogan. Heave a sigh of relief that we haven’t sent you up the hairpin bends of Pie de la Cuesta!
Another 10km down and you reach the coastal road from Puerto de Mogan to Maspalomas, where your final climb to San Bartolome starts. ‘Enjoy’ the punchy climb to the viewpoint of Degollada de las Yeguas (478m), then the canyon and oasis of Fataga and back to the hotel to celebrate the end of an epic holiday!
The optional ride today is a longer loop descending the Valley of The Tears to La Aldea de San Nicolas from where you climb up to the Degollada de La Aldea (682m) before joining the classic route at the top of the Barranco de Mogan.
Classic route: Cruz Grande + Ayacata + San Bartolome de Tirajana (99km, 2300m ascent)
Challenge route: Cruz Grande + Ayacata + Degollada de La Aldea + San Bartolome de Tirajana (125km, 3300m ascent)
Day 7: Travel Home
After a fabulous holiday in the sun we drop you back to Gran Canaria airport for your return flight. Transfer under 1 hour.
For detailed travel information, please refer to the Trip Notes.