• Distance 88 km
  • Elevation gain 2060m
  • Difficulty
  • Epic rating

This is one of the classic Gran Canaria bike routes.

It takes you inland from Maspalomas up the GC60 to Fataga and San Bartolomé de Tirajana, before descending back towards the coast via Santa Lucia de Tirajana.

It’s a great introduction to the island. It’s a good work out and gives a fantastic taste for what cycling on Gran Canaria has to offer, with good road surfaces and some spectacular mountain and coastline scenery.

Note: We refer to San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Santa Lucia de Tirajana as just San Bartolomé and Santa Lucia in our guides.

All metrics in this article are approximate.

Highlights

The spectacular view on the GC60, both from Mirador Degollada de la Yegua (after about 9km) and then as you see the 180 degree switchback.

We also loved the splendid isolation of the GC552. The views to the coast are deeply impressive and the feeling of being alone on such a fantastically long and swooping descent was very special indeed.

GC50 road towards Fataga cycling route from Maspalomas Gran CanariaThe jawdropping sight of the GC-60 just after Mirador Degollada de la Yegua!
Views from classic Gran Canaria cycling routeView from the GC-60
Cyclist against mountainscapeJust before San Bartolomé

Route notes

1. Maspalomas to Mirador Degollada de la Yegua: 0-9 kilometres

The GC60 quickly whisks you away from the coastline’s endless hotels and shops. You ride up into the hills, passing the town’s cemetery and continue upwards, through barren rock fields. The barriers on the switchbacks gleam in the sunshine above you.

There’s an arid, barren, moonscape-like feeling to the landscape. You pass huge rocky outcrops as the road snakes upwards.

After about 8km you pass a replica aboriginal settlement and, climbing through a few switchbacks, you come to Mirador Degollada de la Yegua, with incredible views over the valley below.

Leaving Maspalomas on GC60 cycling route Gran CanariaLeaving Maspalomas on the GC-60
GC50 towards Fataga, Gran CanariaYou’re swiftly into countryside
View from Mirador Degollada de la Yegua Gran CanariaView from Mirador Degollada de la Yegua

2. Mirador Degollada de la Yegua to San Bartolomé: 9-25 kilometres

Turn the corner to the right and the road descends dramatically downwards, with a 180 degree switchback hanging off the edge of the cliff and then twisting down the valley for around 4 kilometres. It’s a jaw-dropping sight!

From the valley bottom, you pass the camel park as the road continues gently upwards for 5 kilometres to the whitewashed village of Fataga, and then up again for another 6 kilometres or so to the Mirador de Fataga lookout at around 23 kilometres into the ride. There’s a café here and spectacular views over the mountainscape.

After this you descend to the turn to San Bartolomé and can make a quick diversion left, into the village itself, if you want to refuel.

San Bartolomé is a small village – as you come into the village, continue around the corner to the right and you come to some outside seating on the right and a couple of bars opposite. We enjoyed a delicious Zumo de Naranja (orange juice) here. There’s also a great bakery that sells huge, fresh pastries that you can either eat on their terrace or take away.

Switchback after Mirador Degollada de la Yegua Gran CanariaAfter the Mirador Degollada de la Yegua, you descend down this incredible road!
Fataga signpost on GC50 Gran Canaria cycling climbThe village of Fataga on the way up to the Mirador
View from Mirador de Fataga Gran CanariaView from Mirador de Fataga

3. San Bartolomé to GC500 coast road Maspalomas: 25-67 kilometres

Head back to where the GC60 meets the GC65 and you’re descending back to the coast.

There’s a short climb into Santa Lucia and you then have two options:

1. GC550 and GC551

Follow our GPS route above. Just after Santa Lucia, there’s a left hand turn that sees you climb up onto the GC550, which bends around the cliff. We found smooth, perfect tarmac and hardly a soul on the road. It’s seriously rural – barely a house or building for mile upon mile, just wide open rocky vistas and views down to the busy coastline.

When you look at the map, you’ll see you’re doing two sides of a triangle, but it’s two amazing sides of a triangle you won’t regret! Staying on the GC65 will get you home quicker, but we absolutely loved the GC552.

The fun continues as you rejoin the GC65 – but it comes to an abrupt end as you hit the coast road, the GC500.

2. GC65

If you want a more direct route home, do as the Epic Gran Canaria granfondo route does, and simply follow the GC65 all the way down to the sea (it’s a great descent!).

Note: if you want to do this, this GPS route takes the GC65.

GC550 Gran Canaria cycling routeOn the super quiet GC550
Views over Gran Canaria from GC550 Splendid isolation on the GC550…
View from GC551 Gran Canaria…and on the GC551!

4. GC500 coast road to Maspalomas (67-88 kilometres)

Whether you take the GC65 all the way or not, the ride ends on a slight downer – 20 kilometers on the GC500 back to Maspalomas.

Yes it’s pretty flat, but you grind through urban sprawl. To make matters worse, we were into a headwind. There’s the odd bike lane through the towns but there’s plenty of traffic to contend with.

Yet despite this unprepossessing end to the ride, the inland sections more than make up for it. This is a great option if you want a good work out but you’re looking for something slightly easier than our other Gran Canaria odysseys.

Café stops

Maspalomas obviously has lots of options at the start and end of the road. In between times, there are only a few villages and small towns so the options are quite limited.

Fataga has a few restaurants, there’s the cafe at Mirador de Fataga, just before San Bartolomé, as well as options mention in San Bartolomé itself.

On the descent, there are restaurants in Santa Lucia and if you divert into Agüimes. Alternatively you need to wait until you’re back on the coast.

Here are some suggestions, but if you plan on visiting them, make sure they’re still operating and will be open at the time you want to visit, before you leave home! It’s also worth noting that there are probably other options besides these, but these are ones we noticed while riding:

  • Restaurante El Labrador, Calle Nestor Alamo, 23, Fataga
  • Bar Restaurante La Cueva, Calle Tamaran, 15, San Bartolomé
  • La Panera de Tunte, Calle Reyes Catolicos, 12, San Bartolomé
  • Panaderia Dulceria La Hornada de Pan, Calle Tomas Arroyo Cardoso, 11, Santa Lucia

If you take the GC552 route and need to resupply, divert into Agüimes where you’ll find a couple of places:

  • Bar Terraza San Anton, Plaza San Antonio Abad, 2, Agüimes
  • Bar El Populacho, Plaza del Rosario 17, Agüimes

 

Cafe at Mirador de Fataga Gran CanariaCafe at Mirador de Fataga
Cafe in San Bartolome, Gran CanariaRestaurant in San Bartolomé
Cyclist eating a large cake in Gran CanariaIn San Bartolomé! This is what you’ll be like after that climb too!

Accommodation

We stayed in Maspalomas, but it’s a tricky question and depends what kind of holiday you’re after. The ideal answer would probably be to stay in a couple of different places.

Check our in-depth guide to where to stay in Gran Canaria for more information.

Tips

Don’t miss our tips for riding in Gran Canaria and loads of other information in our ultimate guide to Gran Canaria.

The GC60 was noticeably covered in tyre skid marks when we rode it. Looks like somewhere the locals come with their cars?!

There’s a potentially useful petrol station in Santa Lucia.

You could also ride this route in reverse. We rode it clockwise because the descent of the GC65 is fantastic.

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

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