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