Canary Islands

The Four-Island trail

trail part 4: Gran Canaria

David Crachon, two-times Trail Bike World Champion and MTB globe-trotting adventurer, describes Gran Canaria as “a MTB paradise. An island made for exploring on two wheels”.


The trail

It’s well known that you can go to the Canary Islands in winter and enjoy no less than 128 beaches with an average temperature of 24º. But very few people know about the island’s mountainous areas, which are absolutely perfect for mountain biking. The feel is very Jurassic Park. Splendid mountains rise in the middle of the island, surrounded by extensive pine forests. Countless barrancos cut deep into the island, flanked by towering cliffs and precariously-perched buildings. Within one hour you can swap the sea for high, silent mountains that ascend over 2000 metres above the sandy beaches. In the blink of an eye, you can replace the ocean with a vast network of trails surrounded by pine forests, where you can spend a whole day riding. Many bike areas have been protected as natural parks. Gran Canaria was awarded a Biosphere Reserve label by UNESCO for its natural diversity.

Your two-day ride goes from east to south and covers Gran Canaria’s most amazing places, starting with the island’s most spectacular road – Andén Verde – a coastal strip of cliffs and ravines. It will lead you to the most remote and best preserved pine forests on the island: the Tamadaba Natural Park. Situated on top of a massif, around 1000 metres above sea level, you will be the only ones up there, where the silence and beauty of the forest will simply enchant you. More magnificent scenery unfolds as you ride inland, surrounded by the towering barrancos, where you ride through looming cliffs and deep gorges. You will pass the dramatically-positioned Artenara, the highest village in Gran Canaria, to reach Tejeda at the very heart of the island. Tejeda is a charismatic and traditional village with panoramic views over the Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga – the natural landmarks of Gran Canaria.

The last bike day is one big adventure, with sea and mountains in one ride. You won’t miss the climb to Pico de las Nieves, the highest place on the island at 1970 meters above sea level. From this point, more than four trails – some rocky, some really hardcore and everything inbetween –descend down to every corner of the island right down to sea level. An exciting descent on the La Plata Trail and further down the Barranco of Fataga (known as the Grand Canyon of the Canary Islands), will bring you right on the dunes of Maspalomas. The very skilled can head to Barranco de Guayadeque, possibly the most fertile valley that Gran Canaria has to offer. It promises a thrilling end to your holiday.

Riding surface

Gran Canaria has one of the best mountain bike trail networks in the world, offering an enormous variety of routes whether one is a novice or an expert. You will find soft forest trails, but also rocky and bumpy trails challenging the most ambitious riders. The mountains are high and the trails are long.

Average mileage

The first stage is a real challange. From one of the most pristine beaches in Gran Canaria, El Risco beach, the only way is up…1800 metres up and nearly 48km to the mountainous central area of the island. On the last day you will climb to Pico de las Nieves at 1970m, followed by some thrilling descents all the way to the sea.


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