Gran Canaria should be on the bucket-list of every cyclist. The rides are sublime and the weather is perfect - little wonder that the majority of the professional peloton spend at least a few weeks here every winter.
Trust Thomson to deliver a camp that goes above and beyond. Gran Canaria has it all: Big mountains, endless sunshine, and 4-star resorts to rest and recharge at the end of each day. This cycling paradise, just a short flight from Barcelona or Madrid, reaches 2000 m in elevation (6,000ft). We put the island’s big climbs, Valley of the Tears and Pico de las Nieves, up there with the hardest climbs we’ve done in the Alps. The perfect temperatures guarantee you’ll return home with a killer cycling tan and superior fitness.
New in 2020: our Gran Canaria camp is even better than before. We’ve made a few enhancements to our routes and in 2020 we’ll be staying 2 nights in the Cordial Hotel in Agaete followed by 5 nights in the Cordial Hotel in Puerto de Mogan
GCN Rides Gran Canaria
If you need convincing further, take a look at this video from Global Cycling Network (GCN), and see what Dan Lloyd and Simon Richardson think about riding in Gran Canaria.
Welcome to Gran Canaria!
Our staff will welcome you at the airport before a short transfer to the Hote Cordial in Agaete. After check-in we’ll have our usual Orientation Meeting then our mechanics will be on hand to help with setting up the bikes. Following the bike build we’ll have lunch - then it’s time for our first ride on Gran Canaria.
Our warm-up ride takes us up the spectacular climb to El Sao. It’s a 10k climb and the road is a dead-end so we’ll have to do an out-and-back - but the road to El Sao is well worth it.
Meeting Time and Place
Our guides will meet you at 11:30am - at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Airport (LPA).
The Coast & La Ruta de las Presas
A beautiful ride today with a mix of coastal cliff scenery and high mountains on the Ruta de las Presas.
From Agaete we head south-west for 30km through the Tamadaba Natural Park along a spectauclar road that clings to the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll want to stop at every corner for another photo - the views are that stunning! La Aldea signals the end of the coastal road and the beginning of the long climb to the central part of the island. The top lies 26km ahead at an altitude of 1100m - through some of the most incredible scenery on the island. From the top enjoy 20km of rolling terrain through forests and green fields before the long descent back to our hotel.
The Infamous Valley of the Tears
This is one of the most spectacular, challenging days you will ever spend on a bike. The Valley of the Tears route is one of the hardest rides on the island. This is epic Thomson terrain!
From our hotel in Agaete we head inland to Fagajesto where we join yesterday’s ride (in the opposite direction). We follow the same route for 20km before arriving at the Paralillo Reservoir. A sharp left turn - and ramps of over 15% - signal the start of the Valley of the Tears climb. 10km of pure hurt lie ahead - but the views are amazing!
Just over the top of the climb you’ll be rewarded with a well deserved lunch stop in the cycling cafe in Ayacata - then a 35km descent to our next hotel in Puerto de Mogan.
Ayacata & Fataga
Remember that 35km descent we came down yesterday, well our ride today starts with the same 35km - but uphill. The climb is simply spectacular - switchbacks galore, a perfect road surface, no traffic and a forest of pine trees to ride through. The first top comes at just under 1000m in Cruz San Antonio, then it’s another 15km to the final summit at 1300m in Ayacata.
We’ll stop for a snack in Ayacata then descend through San Bartolome and Fataga to the coast. Beware of the few short, ambush climbs on the descent, especially the final climb to Degollada de las Yeguas. A final 30km along the coast to Taurito closes off the ride. We’d normally continue on to the hotel but a landslide has closed the road just 2km from the hotel so we’ll jump in the vans for a short 5-minute transfer to the hotel.
We’ll start the day off with a short van transfer (10 minutes) to get around the Taurito road closure and start the ride in Tauro. From Tauro we head along the coast for 10km then head inland on a false flat for another 15k. At the 25km point we start the climb to Baranquillo Andres and then continue on to the Tauropass. Keep your eyes open as this is the road most frequented by the many pros who train on the island. The climb itself is pretty steady until you reach Barranquillo where we take a narrow road with pitches between 10 and 15%. Our route continues with the great descent to Pie de la Cuesta then it’s out and back from La Aldea, over the Degollada de la Aldea climb. A tough day in the saddle with almost 3000m of elevation!
Cruz de Tejeda
Today’s ride takes us right into the centre of the island. The first 60km are just stunning with the climb to Cruz San Antonio followed by the climb to Ayacata. We’ll stop in Ayacata for a quick snack then continue climbing to the beautiful village of Tejeda which is classified in the list of “pueblos mas bonitos de Espana” (the most beautiful villages in Spain). From Tejeda we continue on our staff’s favourite climb in Gran Canaria, the climb to Cruz de Tejeda and on to Los Llanos. From Los Llanos enjoy the 40km descent back to the hotel!
Pico de las Nieves
What better way to end the trip than to conquer the infamous Pico de las Nieves from Ingenio. The highest point on Gran Canaria tops out at 1900m. It’s over 20 km of climbing with some exceptionally steep ramps. At the top, you are rewarded with a stunning view of Tenerife’s El Tiede in the distance. Keep your eyes open at the summit, we often meet pros training on this great climb.
This evening we’ll meet at the hotel bar where beers and mojitos are in order to toast a fantastic week of riding!
Note: we’ll have a shorter ride option today which will also climb Pico de las Nieves, but from the Ayacata side which is much easier than the climb from Ingenio. Ride distance = 94km with 2574m elevation gain.
Unfortunately, our Canary Island experience has come to an end.
Our shuttle will take you to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), arriving at approximately 8:00am.