for lovers of nature,walks,beach,tranquility
Picturesque townlet of Agaete is situated in the north-west part of the island and it is a place adored by all the inhabitants of Gran Canaria. The townlet with white houses surrounded by a fertile vegetation is small, but you can never call it sleepy. A lot of artists and art lovers found their home here, fact that explains why there is such a big concentration of art galleries.
Eventhough in 1981 Agaete celebrated its 500th anniversary, you won’t find here a lot of historical sites. The oldes building is the church Iglesia de la Concepción from the year 1874. You can find it in front of the square Plaza de la Constitución surrounded also by aristocratic houses with wooden carved balconies. Nearby there is also a small botanic garden Huerto de las Flores with a lot of kinds of canarian and subtropic plants.
The base of the local economy is mainly fishing. Every morning the fishermen depart from the port of Puerto de las Nieves and return back in the afternoon usually with boats full of fish. The local waters are quiet rich in sea fauna. The fish is bought both by the local people and by the local restaurants. That´s why they are proud of serving the fish very fresh, since the fish goes literally from the sea to table. During the last years also a little bit of tourism found its way to the place and became another important part of the local economy.
A great visitor´s atractivity presents the neighbouring Tamadaba Natural Park, where in the height of 1000 metres above the sea level one can admire the most beautiful island´s pine forests, important pride of the local inhabitants. Also thanks to this Agaete area is a very good starting point for several walking tours.
The local beaches are smaller and sometimes well hidden, some of them with stones and pebbles, some of them with little bit of sand. In the port of Puerto de las Nieves there are two beaches, both of them approximately 100 meters wide, one of them protected from the big wawes by the port´s wharf. Nearby there is also a beautiful beach of Guayedra, hidden between the rocks, reachable walking in 45 minutes.
The most important feast day is undoubtedly la Fiesta de la Rama, alias the Feast of Branches, celebrated the 4th of August, a day when an enormous amount of the local population comes to the port and everyone is dancing while holding a branch of eucalyptus or birch in their hands. This is how they pray to Saint Nieves, the patron of the city to bring some rain after the long summer.
Puerto de las Nieves
Approximately in 1 km distance from Agaete, by the sea shore, there is a port of Agaete, called Puerto de las Nieves. A picturesque fisherman village became popular especially after the introduction of a regular ferry connection with the capital of the neighbouring island of Tenerife. The catamarans are provided by a company Fred Olsen which is proud to run the fastest connection between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Their boats are there just in one hour.
The ferry connection was the reason why the local townhall financed the ports explotation and thanks to this you can now enjoy a brand new sea front promenade Paseo de los Poetas, that starts in the village center and finishes after 1 km by the natural swimming pools constructed in the rocky shore, where you can have a bath even when the ocean is inquiet.
The rich history of the port is reflected in a chapel known as Ermita de las Nieves. A real treasure is hidden inside – a picture with the virgen and the baby, painted by famous flemish painter Joose Van Cleve. During the feast day of Fiesta de la Rama, a copy of this masterpiece is carried in a long procession to the church in Agaete.
In the south end of the village there is formerly the most photographed atractivity of the place, el Dedo de Dios, alias the “god´s finger” presented by a 30 metres high basaltic column runing out of the sea as a real god´s finger. Unfortunately in 2005 a part of the finger has been broken down by a tropical storm Delta.
In several tavernas with a beautiful sea view don´t forget to taste some of the local specialities, or the products of the sea, or something really canarian, such as papas arrugadas con mojo (wrinkled potatoes with a piquant sauce).
Valle de Agaete
Within a short distance behind the townlet of Agaete there is a very impresive valley called the Valle de Agaete. It is quiet hidden, so that you really have to know that it is there, to look for it in that place. The only entrance is threw the centre of Agaete, where you have to follow the signs to “El Valle” or “Berrazales”. Just one kilometer behind the city you will enter one of the most beautiful valleys of Gran Canaria, full of palm oasis, coffee plantations, orange trees, avocados, mangos and grape-vine.
The road finishes 9 km far from Agaete in the settlement El Sae (500-700 metres above sea level). Little bit higher there is El Hornillo, but from the valley it is reachable only walking. By car you would have to follow a long round-about threw the city of Guía.
The valley is an ideal starting point for several walking tours. You can wander to Tamadaba National Park (2-3 hours walk one way), to the gorge of Juncal (1,5 hours), to a beautiful beach of Guayedra (approx 1 hour) or to the settlement of El Hornillo (2-3 hours).