La Via del Vino Gran Canaria in bicicletta

The Wine Route of Gran Canaria by bicycle.

If you’re a fan of cycling, wine tasting, and gastronomy, Spain offers several wine cycling routes through some of the country’s most notable wine regions, a formula that will allow you to pedal through the tranquil landscapes of vineyards before stopping at the best wineries to taste the wines of the area.

The Wine Route of Gran Canaria by bicycle

Spain has many regions famous for their wines – La Rioja, Catalonia, Andalusia, and La Mancha – and all are perfect for combining splendid bike routes with an engaging wine experience. On the same Iberian Peninsula, bordering Portugal, are the wines of Ribera del Duero, the perfect connection to reach Oporto, the birthplace of a wine that has a name of its own.

“We make wine and bottle landscapes” – The Wine Route of Gran Canaria

Few, however, are familiar with the wines of the Canary Islands, particularly those of Gran Canaria, which, with more than forty different grape varieties, the peculiarities of the terrain and climate, offer an extraordinary viticultural richness. Names like Listán negro, Marmajuelo, Breval, Moscatel de Alejandría or Malvasía volcánica are already part of a unique wine heritage in the world.

Hillside vineyards of Santa Brigida
Hillside vineyards of Santa Brigida

The Wine Route of Gran Canaria, with its slogan “We make wine and bottle landscapes,” invites you to discover the territories through the production of this sweet nectar. Here, the wines are truly unique thanks to the environmental factors that influence the vineyards: climate, soil, and altitude. Each wine captures the volcanic essence of the island, whether produced with grapes from vineyards on steep slopes of lava stone blessed by the trade winds, or from vineyards on the southwestern slope, on hard and basaltic soils typical of the island’s geologically oldest part.

The diversity of places and the different agricultural practices, combining tradition and innovation, translate into a variety of vineyard landscapes to discover, if desired, also by bicycle. Agricultural practices are predominantly manual, and harvests can extend up to four months due to the island’s microclimates and the disparity in ripening of different grape varieties.

Vineyards and winemakers

The Wine Route of Gran Canaria

The vineyards, cultivated uniquely with ungrafted vines, without rootstocks, allow the varieties to make the most of the soil minerals, giving them unique properties. This practice makes the archipelago’s viticulture unique, as the Canary Islands are one of the four regions in the world that have not suffered from phylloxera devastation, allowing the survival and preservation of varieties that have become extinct elsewhere.

Local winemakers have perfected the art of harnessing these natural elements, creating wines that reflect the unique essence of our territory. Each sip takes you on a sensory journey through different terroirs and microclimates, giving rise to varied wines like the island itself.

wine and gastronomy in Gran Canaria

Additionally, in recent years, an exciting endeavor to recover native varieties that had fallen into disuse has been undertaken. Thanks to this effort, these oenological gems have emerged strongly and have asserted themselves in the wine scene, shining with their own light and making us proud of their distinction and authentic character.

Gran Canaria wines have an Atlantic soul, which translates into a pronounced salty sensation on the palate. White wines stand out for their aromas of white flowers and fruits, citrus and tropical fruits, with notes of anise, resulting in fresh, light, and aromatic wines. As for reds, young wines with great personality predominate, with aromas of red and black fruits, blue flowers like lavender and violet, and spices.

By bicycle

Gran Canaria bike - Route of Wines

The Wine Route of Gran Canaria invites the cyclist on a journey through the landscapes and ways of life in the heart of the island, in a unique wine tourism experience that will allow you to taste the wines of Gran Canaria and learn about part of its history in a spectacular natural setting,where wineries, vineyards, and crops are found.

Whether it’s an independent journey or one of the guided walking and cycling tours, the Wine Route association also offers accommodation in hotels at various points on the island. Furthermore, since the distances are not insurmountable, you can divide the route through the wine-producing municipalities of the Wine Route of Gran Canaria, which are currently five: Agüimes, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Tejeda, Santa Brígida, and Santa María de Guía.

For those who prefer to rely on specialized guides, the association offers both guides and specific and thematic tours and tastings in the caves. In any case, the important thing is, if you pedal, to do so moderately so that at the end of the route, what remains is an excellent taste in the mouth and a cycling vacation made of unforgettable days.

Gran Canaria by bike, The Wine Route

The Gran Canaria Wine Route Association (RVGC)

The Gran Canaria Wine Route Association (RVGC) is a territorial and multisectoral initiative dedicated to the promotion and development of wine tourism and wine culture in Gran Canaria, as well as the promotion of its viticultural landscape within the area of the Denomination of Origin of Gran Canaria Wines.

Its mission is to create a unique and enriching experience for all who visit, thanks also to the collaboration with various tourism stakeholders, such as local businesses, business associations, and the private sector, including wineries, restaurants, accommodations, shops, wine shops, specialized guides, and tourist intermediaries. Together, joint actions are coordinated to promote tourism through wine culture and its landscape, contributing to the socio-economic development of the region.

As members of the Club de Rutas del Vino de España (ACEVIN), since 2021, it is a certified Route, the only one outside the peninsular territory to obtain this distinction.

by Silvia Donatiello
www.grancanaria.com

The Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria, on foot or by bicycle

Gran Canaria contains mysteries that can only be discovered on foot or by bicycle. Getting in touch with its purest nature through the trails and paths is an excellent opportunity to discover it and be captivated by the beauty of its impressive landscapes.

One of the most interesting routes is the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria, the only non-continental one, officially recognized by the Vatican since 1993. It consists of 67 kilometers of route in which as many as four ecosystems with landscapes so diverse that they justify why Gran Canaria is known as the “Continent in Miniature.” The itinerary is proposed as a journey into the interior of the island, highlighting the landscape, food and wine, historical and ethnographic heritage and the rich island network of trails, through which the true essence of Gran Canaria can be experienced.

The Trail begins in the south of the island, in the dunes of Maspalomas, and reaches the center through the Caldera of Tirajana, meandering its walls until it reaches the caldera of Tejeda and descends through the agro-pastoral landscapes of the north from Gran Canaria, alongside the island’s newest volcanoes. Another volcanic cone emerges as a reference for the destination of the route, the Montaña de Gáldar, visible from the center of the island and from the entire northern coast of the continent in miniature, so in addition to the Camino itself, it is possible to consider the stages as an authentic “Pathway between Volcanoes“.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI signed a papal bull granting the pilgrims of Gáldar the same privileges as those of Santiago de Compostela. The bull was renewed in 1971 and in 1976 and 1982. Pope John Paul II, in 1992, granted jubilee graces “In Perpetuum” to Gáldar since the Jacobean Holy Year of 1993. Those who walk the Camino are entitled to receive the Pilgrim’s Credential, which is stamped at the end of each stage. Those who have completed and sealed all routes will be able to obtain the official Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria certificate.

Gran Canaria Camino de Santiago panorama
Gran Canaria Camino de Santiago – panorama

The four paths constitute a unique experience. A journey that is sometimes strenuous, but whose natural beauty will not leave those who embark on this wonderful adventure indifferent.

The island’s mountains and particularly steep morphological conformation favor the existence of a multitude of different microclimates and habitats, especially in the western part of Gran Canaria, which has still maintained its natural landscape for centuries.

The stages

MASPALOMAS LIGHTHOUSE – ARTEARA – TUNTE

The first stage of the Camino de Santiago begins at the emblematic Maspalomas Lighthouse located on the southern coast of the island, in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. We continue to the Charca de Maspalomas, a small coastal lagoon and protected natural space, from where we can observe the impressive Maspalomas Dunes. After skirting the Charca, continue for 5 km along the canal-side promenade through the interior of this southern enclave
.
Reaching the end of the channel, we enter the Fataga canyon, known as the “Valley of a Thousand Palms“, beginning an uphill stretch toward Arteara via a forest track that drives through the vegetation and arid landscapes characteristic of the southern part of the island.

Continuing on, we arrive in Arteara through its necropolis, one of the largest in Gran Canaria, thus ending, after 17 km, the first hamlet in the Palmeral de Arteara.

Gran Canaria Lighthouse of Maspalomas
Gran Canaria Lighthouse of Maspalomas

In the shadow of the “Palmeral de Arteara” begins the second part along this route, which concludes the first stage of the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria. A small climb that leads from this small village to Fataga, via a path that offers views of the imposing Amurga massif and the cliffs of Tirajana. We pass through the center of the village along a small stretch of asphalt that allows us to get to know this charming village with its traditional architecture. Past the enclave of Fataga, a steep climb reaches the lookout, and from there it continues until it reaches the town of Tunte. The Church of Tunte is, along with the Church of Gáldar, one of two places in Gran Canaria where Santiago the Apostle is worshipped.

During the tour one appreciates the change in vegetation that begins to become evident as one leaves the southern side of the island behind, where the Arteara Palm Grove gives way to the majesty of the Canary Island pines and Mediterranean scrub..

TUNTE – CRUZ DE TEJEDA

We begin the walk with a small climb accompanied by the characteristic pine forest of the caldera until we enter the traditional and famous “silver climb,” which shares beauty and harshness in equal measure. This third route corresponds entirely to the second stage of the Camino de Santiago, in which the hiker is invited to enjoy the island’s peaks and, more specifically, the Cultural Landscape of Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria., a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Once past this emblematic pass, we continue along a more comfortable and easy path that guides us to the Cruz de Tejeda for 8 km.

Gran Canaria Roque Nublo
Gran Canaria Roque Nublo

Before reaching the Cruz de Tejeda, we visit the Ventana del Nublo, located just after the Pargana plane, from where we can admire the western part of the island, as well as a new perspective of the symbol of this paradise, the Roque Nublo, a volcanic monolith about seventy meters high, worshipped by the pre-Hispanic population and considered the geostatic center of Gran Canaria.

CRUZ DE TEJEDA – GÁLDAR

From Cruz de Tejeda we enter the pine forest of the Caldera of Los Pinos de Gáldar, in a landscape of green and volcanic contrasts, until reaching several localities that precede the arrival in Gáldar, the final stage of the Camino de Santiago.

The route starts at Cruz de Tejeda, for a short but very intense climb to the highest area of Los Moriscos. From there begins a descent of more than 18 kilometers through the pine forest of the Caldera of Los Pinos de Gáldar, the El Montañón Negro Natural Monument area, descending through Lomo del Palo and the area known as “Little Ireland,” which owes its name to the striking green hills that characterize the place.

After a stop at the Monte Pavón Recreation Area, we continue the walk along a path that changes completely, covering many kilometers along the road that connects the Saucillo area with Hoya de Pineda. Here we pick up a small section of trail about 2.5 km until we reach the bottom of the Barranco de Anzo.

Once there, the paved road leads through the streets of Gáldar to end at the church of Santiago de Los Caballeros de Gáldar. This third itinerary concludes the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria.

Now all that’s left is to get your bike or hiking shoes and poles ready!

Here is the link to ride the path by bicycle

For all outdoor adventures in Gran Canaria click here