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Tour of Gran Canaria

Road Cycling Holidays in the Canary Islands

  • Six days of incredible cycling around this stunning island: all the must-do climbs of the south and hidden gems of the less-visited north
  • Flexible pace tour with multiple daily route options including a manageable Classic route plus optional extra loops and climbs to test your grit!
  • Opportunity to ride all three ascents of the Pico de las Nieves (1950m) and conquer the spectacular ‘Valley of the Tears’ climb
  • Exceptional support from two of our super-skilled, attentive, proactive (and fun!) guides with support vans
  • Half-board basis in superb, cyclist-friendly 4* hotels with amazing food, stunning views, beautiful pools and spa facilities
  • Airport transfers from/to Gran Canaria (LPA) airport
  • Many flight options from UK regional airports, and beyond

Days on the bike

6 days

Thanks to the Marmot team for a great trip to Gran Canaria. Extremely well planned and fantastic support.

T Watkins

Introduction

Gran Canaria has earned its reputation as a top winter road cycling destination for professionals and amateurs alike. Its fantastic climate, quality roads, challenging climbs, and striking landscape make it the perfect location to escape the winter and build your physical strength at the start of the cycling season. This superb road cycling holiday follows our Classic flexible pace format with route options daily, offering plenty of miles and elevation, but you choose the intensity! Every day there are ‘easier’ routes that allow you to skip some of the steeper climbs – perfect for those wanting a more relaxed winter cycling experience, whilst still making the most of the fantastic terrain. For those wanting to push themselves further, there are tougher routes each day that will really test your mettle!

This itinerary encompasses the whole island, which isn’t possible on most other tours on offer that only cover routes in the south. You’ll experience wonderful cycling through lush valleys filled with banana plantations, through remote villages, rugged massifs and canyons, and stunning coastal cliffs. The ‘Valley of The Tears’, Pico de las Nieves, and the nature reserve of Roque Nublo are just a few of the climbs and rides you can explore. During this fabulous, fully supported cycling tour you’ll stay in superb 4* hotels, all of them exceptional and which offer a level of luxury not common on most of our tours. The Parador, for example, is well-known as the pros’ base while training on Gran Canaria. All four hotels have excellent facilities so at the end of the day, you have the opportunity to fully relax after a tough day in the saddle.

Due to local regulations, our Canarian cycling tours operate slightly differently from our other European road cycling holidays. We hire the support vehicles locally and then kit them out with all the Marmot essentials to provide you with the unique level of support we offer. We’re unable to take our fleet of hire bikes to the island so instead we arrange hire bikes locally if you don’t want to bring your own. You will, of course, receive the same exceptional support from two super-skilled, encouraging (and fun!) Marmot guides on the road, there to support YOU and to help you have an incredible cycling holiday.

For more detailed information, you can read our comprehensive Trip Notes by clicking the button below. For the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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. The cycling on our Tour of Gran Canaria is slightly more challenging.

Departure Dates & Prices

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Mar
7th Mar - 14th Mar
£1980.00
Single Room Sup. £490.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts off the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% early bookers discount
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 7.5% group discount and, as the group organiser, receive a £150 voucher for your next holiday
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday (15% for a non-cycling companion).

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival day

We offer included transfers from Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) to our start hotel in San Agustín at several times throughout the day, with a journey time of just 30 minutes.

The 4* Gloria Palace San Agustín is a wonderful hotel to spend the first two nights of your cycling holiday. It is within walking distance of the beach and boasts two beautiful swimming pools, and a spa (extra charges apply). The hotel even hosts a hire bike centre, with an excellent range of bikes to suit all budgets. This is a great additional service if you don’t want to bring your own bike, but we advise booking in advance.

You’ll have time to assemble your bikes before we gather in the early evening. Our two guides will brief you on the week ahead and how the holiday will work. This will also give you a chance to meet your fellow riders, before enjoying a fantastic dinner.

Day 1: Day ride from San Agustín to San Bartolome de Tirajana and the southeast

You’ll start your week of cycling on the CG-60 climb out of Maspalomas, the most cycled road on the island. It’s a beautiful ride through an ever-changing landscape on gloriously smooth tarmac. After 27km of generally uphill pedaling over the Alto de Fataga (927m), you reach the town of San Bartolome de Tirajana – the perfect time for a coffee, some cake, and a decision!

Those wanting more can tackle the extra climb to the viewpoint at Cruz Grande (1236m). All routes then descend back to the coast on a spectacular road cut into the side of the Barranco (canyon) de Tirajana.

Part way down the descent, the Challenge route detours on a fabulous loop, taking in the Alto de Cañadillas (824m) via Agüimes.

All routes finish with a relatively flat 20km ride to the sumptuous surroundings of the Gloria Palace for a second night. Time for a dip in the pool, maybe?

Classic route: 68km with 1300m ascent [ride profile]

Harder route: 80km with 1860m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 118km with 2550m ascent [ride profile]

Day 2: Barranco de Ayagaures, Passo Taro to Puerto de Morgán

You start today by cycling along the coast to Santa Agueda, where we head inland and climb gently up the Barranco de Arguinequin. This is a wide and arid valley, apart from a narrow strip where you’ll see citrus trees and prickly pear cacti thriving. The cycling gets more challenging after Las Filipinas, so the detour to the cafe/restaurant in Soria is a good pitstop.

Next up is the Risco Grande / Paso de Tauro (911m) climb, with a few short, sharp sections. Rest assured that this single-lane road has glorious views to distract you from the challenge!

Our destination is the luxurious Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa which is located in the idyllic seaside town of Port Mogán. Those wanting to relax and appreciate the facilities can head straight to the hotel but there are extra cycling options available for those wanting more of a challenge.

The first detours north from the coast and takes you on a classic loop up the Ayagaures Valley and over Alto de Pedro Gonzalez (489m).

The second option is near the end of the day, when you can head up the GC605 climb to the cafe in Ayacata (1317m). We know you’ll love the mind-blowing descent to the coast from here!

Classic route: 64km with 1190m ascent [ride profile]

Harder route: 89km with 1610m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 119km with 2210m ascent [ride profile]

Day 3: The canyons and rugged west coast to Puerto de las Nieves

The west of Gran Canaria is strikingly different from the rest of the island. Its volcanic landscape has been sculpted by erosion, leaving some deep valleys and imposing cliffs. This is a magnificent place to explore on two wheels, given the impressive roads that are cut into the mountainside and which connect remote communities.

You’ll start the day by climbing to Degollada de la Aldea / Mirador de San Nicolás (673m) where you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view. This is followed by a descent to the unspoilt coastal village of Los Caserones for lunch on the beach. This is the start of the well-known GC200 clifftop road that partially collapsed into the sea a few years ago. An amazing cycle-friendly tunnel has replaced most of it, but you can still ride up to the Mirador del Balcón (350m) for a taste of what the road used to be like. 

From here our Classic route heads to our destination for the night, the spectacular 4* Hotel Roca Negra in Agaete. This is another wonderful hotel with a sizeable pool, spa facilities, and a black-sand beach, so there’s plenty to appreciate if you’re in need of relaxation. 

As always there are a few options today. From La Aldea de San Nicolás, head inland up the spectacular narrow gorge of the ‘Valley of the Reservoirs’ to the Mirador del Molino (510m). From here, you can catch a glimpse of the ‘Valley of the Tears’ to mentally prepare yourself for day 6!

The other option can be tagged on to the end of the day. It is a beautiful ride up the remote Valley of Agaete through orange groves, coffee plantations, and vineyards to El Sao (516m) at the foot of the impressive cliffs of Tamadaba.

The Hotel Roca Negra will be a fantastic respite, whichever route you choose. 

Easier route: 65km with 1460m ascent [ride profile]

Classic route: 71km with 1670m ascent [ride profile]

Harder route: 90km with 2220m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 123km with 2930m ascent [ride profile]

Day 4: The lush northwest and sea-to-summit challenge to Cruz de Tejeda

The north of Gran Canaria is lush and verdant. The lower flanks of the mountains are covered in banana plantations, but these give way to terraced fields and villages, and then pine forests clinging on to the cinder-covered mountainsides. Our destination today is the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda hotel, at 1560m, and it’s a truly fabulous place to spend two nights, with wonderful facilities.

There are many infamous ‘leg-breaking’ roads of the ‘Medianias’ in the north of the island, but we’ve chosen the gentlest way to gain altitude, and your ride can always be punctuated by stopping at any of the many local tavernas. En route to the summit, we pass through Cruz de Tejeda, so you may wish to retire to the hotel’s hydrothermal pool – with a spectacular view!

However, the Pico de las Nieves (1930m) is a truly magical place with extensive views of the island and beyond to Tenerife, so it is well worth the effort.

The Challenge route adds a classic loop down to Ayacata, then over El Aserrador (1345m) before climbing back up to the Cruz de Tejeda (1560m) from the southeast.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll be rewarded with superb accommodation and facilities at the Parador when you finish pedalling for the day. How about a well-deserved dip in the pool?

Classic route: 41km with 1820m ascent [ride profile]

Harder route: 58km with 2340m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 83km with 2910m ascent [ride profile]

Day 5: Day ride of Pico de las Nieves and the challenging climbs of the northeast

The Pico de las Nieves (1930m) from Ingenio is arguably the toughest road cycling climb on Gran Canaria. It’s 26km long and gains 1730m, which is hard enough, but it also includes a brutal 5km 11% section, with some bits ramping up to 20%! This certainly makes for an epic Challenge route! The base of the climb is reached by a wonderful descent via San Mateo and Telde, so it’s not all bad!

We appreciate that this type of ‘fun’ is not for everyone, so we’ve made sure the other routes on offer are especially pleasant and explore the picturesque mountainous heartland of the island (included on the day 4 Challenge route). Both routes start by descending to Tejeda over El Aserrador (1345m) to the delightful cafe in Ayacata. From here, you take on the Pico de las Nieves (1930m) on the popular GC-600, passing through the Nature Reserve of Roque Nublo – a massive volcanic rock chimney that is the symbol of Gran Canaria. 

After enjoying the view, you can head directly back to the Parador to chill out for a second night, cycling via the Mirador Degollada de Becerra. Alternatively, explore a bit more of the north of the island and take on the upper part of the CG-15 climb.

Easier route: 42km with 1090m ascent [ride profile]

Classic route: 50km with 1370m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 80km with 2190m ascent [ride profile]

Day 6: Valley of the Tears, Cruz Grande and the GC-60 descent to San Agustín

It’s your final day of cycling and today is an absolute corker! Whichever route you choose, you’re sure to arrive back at the fabulous Gloria Palace San Agustín having had an unforgettable day!

You’ll start with a fast descent, before picking up a balcony road past Artenara, which has constant views of the rugged volcanic landscape. You’ll then enjoy a thrilling descent into the Aldea canyon. Wow – what a ride! This takes you to the base of the aptly named ‘Valley of The Tears’ (VOTT). This wild and remote climb is renowned for its punishing gradients (averaging 12%, with some sections over 20%) and ranks highly in the list of must-do cycling climbs in Europe. Rest assured that if you find it too much, you can always catch a lift in one of our support vehicles. 

You will eventually head over El Aserrador (1345m) back to Ayacata for a hearty lunch. Here, those on the Challenge route have a decision to make, as there is still one ascent of the Pico de las Nieves (1930m) that needs to be tackled – the GC-600 past Roque Nublo.

For those who don’t fancy the VOTT, our (unsupported) easier route takes you via the Cruz de Los Llanos (1723m) to Ayacata.

From Ayacata, all routes head to Cruz Grande (1236m) and back to San Bartolome de Tirajana. Here, you’ll pick up the GC-60 and enjoy descending the wonderful road you first climbed six glorious days ago. 

Once back at the Gloria Palace, you can relax, enjoy the facilities, and partake in the obligatory post-mortem of the day’s ride, while celebrating a fantastic week’s cycling!

Easier route: 52km with 570m ascent [ride profile]

Classic route: 80km with 1550m ascent [ride profile]

Challenge route: 103km with 2220m ascent [ride profile]

Day 7: Departure day

After a wonderful cycling experience, we transfer you to Gran Canaria Airport (LPA) for your return flight. Transfer time: around 30 minutes. Your memories of cycling on this wonderful island will last a lifetime!