Picturesque Villages of Gran Canaria

Picturesque Villages of Gran Canaria

Picturesque Villages of Gran Canaria

Until now we have written in our blog mostly about the natural heritage of the island. But is there something more romantic than to breathe the old fashion atmosphere in the small and cozy villages? To know the real Canarian people you should visit their traditional villages. Today, we will introduce you 3 willages of Gran Canaria, that we consider the most emblematic and inspiring.

Teror – situated in northern midlands of the island you will find it green and fresh all over the year thanks to the numerous water springs  that are conducted to the local countryside. The historical center of the village itself had been declared a historical-artistic heritage to keep its beauty for the next generations. Due to the apparition of the Virgin on a pine tree more than 500 years ago, the basilica of Our Lady of the Pine became the goal of many pilgrims. After rambling the cozy streets of Teror, you should visit also the nearby Osorio Farm and have your picnic on fresh air. Afterwards you can defeat the highest peak of the area – the mountain of Osorio (968m) and enjoy the views. You can read more about Teror here.

Tejeda – mountain village in the heart of the island is officially considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of Spain. Its charm consist in the fascinating views that you will admire from any corner. After making the photographs of the typical houses with traditional Canarian balconies, you should definitely treat yourself in the almond sweets shop or have a coffee with breathtaking views of Roque Bentayga and Roque Nublo dominating the countryside. Tejeda is also a crossroad of several trekking tours, so don´t forget your walking shoes if you belong to its lovers. You would find more about Tejeda here.

Agaete – this village inspired many painters, poets and writers. Lets visit the small botanical garden in its center where the artists used to meet to find out if it would inspire yourself too! You should definitely visit Agaete´s small port of Puerto de las Nieves. Inviting fish tavernas with ocean veiw, small volcanic beach and natural pools are the goal of many locals to visit on their days off. Did you know that the Valley of Agaete is the only place in Europe, where coffee is produced in a traditional way? Read more about Agaete here.

There are many more lovely villages in Gran Canaria and each of them has its own beauty for those who visit them. If you happen to be on Gran Canaria on Tuesdays, maybe you would like to join our Gran Tour to visit Teror, Tejeda and Agaete and learn more about their stories and legends. See you soon!

Botanical Garden of Gran Canaria

Botanical Garden of Gran Canaria

Botanical Gardens of Gran Canaria

All the lovers of flowers, plants and trees will definitelly find their small paradise in Jardín Canario. The largest botanical garden of Spain covers an area of 10 hectares and surprisingly, the entrance is still for FREE. On the Canary islands you would find approximately 2000 kinds of plants, 500 of them are endemic. Jardín Canario displays to its visitors the samples of most of them.

A bit of historical facts: The garden was founded the year 1952 by a Sweedish botanist Eric Ragnor Sventenius who was in charge of its direction until the year 1973. The complete name of the garden is “Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo in honour of a local naturalist from the 18th century and a pioneer of nature sciences in the Canary islands.

The main purpose of the garden is the collection, cultivation, study and conservation of the unique Canarian flora. In one of its parts called the Garden of the Islands you would find endemic plants of all the Canary islands divided into sections according to its relevancy to represent all the 7 islands: Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Apart of them, you can also appreciate plants from another Macaranesian islands such as Madeira, Azore Islands and Cape Verdes.

Possibly the most interesting part of the garden for you will be tha fascinating Cactus Garden. There is approximately 10 thousands of suculent plants in the world and in Jardín Canario, you would find a representation of 2000 of them. Most appreciated are for example those from Madagascar or a large selection of many different kinds of local Aloe Vera or agaves from Mexico and Caribian, that were imported to the Canarian islands in the 17th century and since then they complement the caracter of the local countryside.

Palms from all over the world can be admired in the Worlds Palm Grove that also host a very endangered kind brought from Hawaii, that was preserved from extinction for future generations only thanks to our botanical garden. More trees you would find in the Pine or Laurel forests.

Water Lily Square sometimes hosts different social events such as small concerts of classical music, folclore dances or special awards events. A romantic touch of your visit you will get by the water pond with birds and cascades.

Jardín Canario is situated approximately 7 kilometers far from the capital of Las Palmas and you would find it on the way to Santa Brígida. It is possible to visit it easily even without a car, by bus number 301 proceeding from Santa Catalina or San Telmo bus station. Opening hours are usually between 9:00-18:00 or 10:00-17:00.

 

 

Virgin places of Gran Canaria

Virgin places of Gran Canaria

Virgen places of Gran CanariaToday we have something for real nature lovers. It is incredible to see, that in the world, that is still getting more and more globalized and transformed by the human being, we can still find places that we can consider virgen. As we have already written 1001 times, Gran Canaria is often called a small continent, so there is no surprise you can find some virgin places here also. Of course these spots are not easy to access and you will have to sacrifice your comfort in order to explore them but that is why they are worth the visit, aren´t they?

A synonym for a virgin place in Gran Canaria is undoubtedly the area of Gui-Gui, that had been declared a special natural reserve in order to protect its virgin beauty. It is situated in the west of the island and to drive to its beginning from Las Palmas will take you approximately 2 hours. The road will be quiet curvy, but at the end you will find a small wooden sign showing you fromwhere you have to continue walking.

As you will be rising up, your views will be better and better and slowly as you will become more distant from the civilisation, you will understand, why is this place called virgin. Suddenly you will arrive to the top of the slope and an impressive world with the ocean on the horizon will open to you.

Comming to Gui-Gui means to learn about the island to its basics. You will definitely learn about its geology and unique flora even without books and if you are lucky you may also meet some representatives of local fauna. You will see the incredible game of mother nature in shape of amazing geological creations that have been formed here. Gran Canaria hosts infinite number of endemic plants and you will observe many of them such as almacigos, bejeques, cardónes, cerrajónes, canarian palms and pines, bitter and sweet tabaibas, canarian sage or tajinastes. Many birds find here their hideaways, as well as butterflies, lizards and giant Canarian lizards.

At the end of your wandering a compensation in the form of a beautiful virgin beach will reward your difficult access to the place. On your way you will find only few more independent travellers who will have the same adventurous caracter as you, but on the beach you may find a small group of visitors who will come to visit the beach by boat. As soon as you see them, you will know that they didn´t understand anything. The goal is not the beach. The goal is all Gui-Gui itself!!! Find more inspiration about Gui-Gui here.

 

Protected areas of Gran Canaria

Protected areas of Gran Canaria

Protected areas of Gran CanariaTo protect the beautiful countryside of our amazing island and to conserve it for the next generations, almost 43% of the island had been declared the protected natural areas, such as nature parks, rural parks, fully protected nature reserves, special nature reserves, natural monuments, protected landscapes and areas of scientific interest.

Today, we will speak about  3 amazing protected areas that you can visit on our exploring tours. We always like to add small trekking tours to all of our excursions, so that you get in direct touch with the Canarian countryside and to make your tours really memorable.

Roque Nublo – this natural monument in the heart of the island represents one of its most known symbols and the hike towards its spike became a must for all the visitors who like to explore the island and do not mind to sweat a little when defeating its top. The hike takes approximately 35 min (one way) and on its way you will observe how the flora changes according to your altitude. You will start the trek in stages with canarian pine trees and as you climb up, they will change for shrubs until the vegetation disappears completely in the final stage in the height of approximately 1800m, from where you will have unforgetable views. To visit the natural monument of Roque Nublo, you can join our Gran Tour on Tuesdays or if you are more fit, you can a book private long way Tejeda – Roque Nublo.

Valley of Azuaje  – is a special natural reserve in a valley full of lush vegetation. A trekking tour of 3-4 hours will take you along a small river with water cascades and you will observe many local endemic plants on your way. The path is approximately 8 kilometers long and you will have a lot of fun jumping over the stream, make your way through the jungle areas or climb the small rocks with the help of installed ropes. Set up for a small adventure and join our Thursdays Walking tour Valley of Azuaje.

Tilos de Moya – another special natural reserve that conserves what once used to be the huge “jungle of Doramas”. The 2 km long walk is suitable even for those who are not ready for a proper trekking tour. You will breathe the fresh air produced by the laurels and tils and you will find even more endemic plants and trees. The circular tour takes aproximately 40 minutes. You will listen to the lovely birds singing and if you are lucky, you may meet also some lizards, geckos or frogs. To visit Tilos de Moya, don´t forget to book our Lazy Sunday Morning Tour.

 

Natural pools in Gran Canaria

Natural pools in Gran Canaria

Natural swimming pools in Gran CanariaThere is nothing unusual on bathing on the beach. But have you ever swum in a natural pool? The huge waves are breaking over the rocks and you are observing this natural theatre of flying drops and dancing foam from the safety of your sunbed area.

The ocean can be pretty rough in the north of Gran Canaria. That is why it became a popular place for lovers of surfing. Those who cannot surf can enjoy the pools created partly by the nature and partly by the human being. The basaltic rocks polished by the never-ending power of the ocean have been transformed into amazing shapes and some of them were suitable for the creation of those natural spas.

Swimming is possible even if you are not a skilled swimmer, bacause the natural walls usually protect the pools from the rough waves. They are also equipped by stairs for more comfortable entrance. As the surroundings of the pools are obviously quiet rocky, it is recommendable to bring with you your own sunbeds or sunchairs or at least something soft to relax on.

If you are a lover of snorkeling, do not forget your equipment. The tranquil waters of the pools will permit you to observe the small fishes trapped inside. Do not worry about them, when the tide goes high, they will be able to escape back to the ocean again and the water in the pool will be changed for fresh one.

The most scenic pools you would find in Puerto de las Nieves on the north-west coast. It is a complex of 3 interconnected pools that you would find after a nice walk by the ocean side promenade. There is a small palm grove close to them a view point from where you can get fantastic photos of the pools and surrounding rocks. Then, after the swimming you can have a fresh fish in the local tavernas. You can even spend all your holidays here, accommodated in a comfortable Agaete Beach House with the ocean and pools wiew.

There are 8 natural pools in the north of the island and 4 pools in the south-east part.

Northern pools:

  • Las Salinas – Puerto de las Nieves (Agaete)
  • Los Dos Roques – Gáldar
  • El Agujero – Gáldar
  • La Furnia – Gáldar
  • Roque Prieto – Santa María de Guía
  • Charco de San Lorenzo – Moya
  • Los Charcones – Arucas
  • La Laja – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

South-east pools:

  • Castillo del Romeral – San Bartolomé de Tirajana
  • Charca los Pérez – Telde
  • Charca de Taliarte – Telde
  • Zoco del Negro – Arinaga

Wild beaches of Gran Canaria

Wild beaches of Gran Canaria

Wild beaches of Gran Canaria

Long sandy beaches are good for lazy sunny days, but if you are a real explorer, than you will be searching for something more cool! Get away from the crowds and find something only for you! The uninhabited western coast of Gran Canaria hides real treasures that are waiting for you to be discovered.

The beaches on the western coast are wild, some of them we can call even virgin, they are difficult to access, but there is something about being on the beach alone, isn´t it? We will now share with you our secret and invite you to 2 beautiful beaches. Relax and enjoy!

Before the trip we recommend you to check the prediction of tides, for example on this link. To visit them, please choose the part of the day when the tide is low or close to low. During the low tide you will find them as beautiful sandy beaches, but when the tide gets high the sand disappears and the beaches convert in stoney. It is good to wear swimming shoes and visits are advisable from Monday to Friday as on weekends and bank holidays the locals want to enjoy them as well.

GUAYEDRA BEACH – You will find it driving from the village of Agaete towards Aldea de San Nikolas. It is necesarry to walk approximately 20 minutes from the place where you will leave your car. There is a small stream of water leading to the ocean in the winter months and you will see a small farm before reaching the beach. From the beach itself you will have views of the port of Puerto de las Nieves. According to the historians, the last guanarteme (king) of the aboriginal people used to live here as this place have been granted to him by the Spanish king. You can also visit this beach on our private walking tour Charco Azul – Guayedra.

GUIGUI BEACH – This “virgen” beach is a real jewel for lovers of “something else”. But don´t forget to get the muscles of your legs ready as you will not get this jewel for free! To reach the beach, you will have to walk quiet a difficult trek of 2 hours and defeat a considerable hight difference. But it is definitely worth it as this tour will be absolutely unforgettable and not only for the musle pain! If you are afraid that you could get lost, you can reserve our private walking tour to GuiGui Beach.

There are many more wild beaches on the island. Book our peaceful destinations on Gran Canaria and we will tell you more about them!


 

Warning: Be careful if swimming, because there could be considerable currents in the water and the waves could be high. Generally swimming on these beaches could be dangerous and is only suitable for good swimmers. But even without swimming we are sure you will be amazed by their natural and wild beauty.

Sandy beaches of Gran Canaria

Sandy beaches of Gran Canaria

Sandy Beaches of Gran Canaria

Beautiful beaches are one of the most important reason why so many tourists visit our island every year. In affort to comply with its popular nickname “continent in miniature” Gran Canaria offers beaches for everyones taste. Sandy beaches, stony beaches, pebble beaches, busy urban or quiet virgin beaches, beaches with safe waters and rough surfing beaches, beaches with yellow, white or black sand, natural pools and so on.

Together with the warm climate all year round it makes the island a perfect tourist destination. Speaking in numbers, from the total lenght of Gran Canaria´s coastine of 236 km, approximately 60 km is taken by the beaches. There are 87 beaches on the island and now we will speak about some of the most popular.

Beach of Las Canteras – one of the most beautiful urban beaches in the world and very beloved by all the inhabitants of surrounding capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The beach is 3 km long and approximately 2 thirds are protected by a natural reef. That is why it is suitable even for kids and unskilled swimmers. The beach is recommedable also for the lovers of snorkling who can explore along the reef, especially during the low tide. There is a waterfront promenade along all its lengt with innumerable coffee shops, tavernas and canarian and international restaurants and especially during the night time it is a place of meeting both for locals and for the tourists.

Beach of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés – speaking about these 2 beaches, we practically speak about one long sandy beach of approximately 6 km of lenght created on the border of large sand dunes in the southern most place of the island. The eastern half of the beach is called Playa del Inglés and the western is the beach of Maspalomas. This denomination is according to the 2 busy seaside resorts that are neighbouring the sand dunes. Playa del Inglés is perfect for those looking for a bustling night life meanwhile Maspalomas is more quiet and elegant. In the middle, you would find nude and gay zones.

Beach of San Agustín y Las Burras – these 2 proximate beaches with a total length of approximately 800m will be appreciated by those who look for something more quiet but still in the sunny south of the island. There is everything you may need to spend lovely beach holidays and if you are still missing more company, you can walk along the oceanside promenade that would take you to the busy resort of Playa del Inglés. You can get inspirated by our comfortable beach apartments and villas here.

Beach of Amadores – is a very popular beach of the lengt of 500 m for those who look for the most stable weather on the south-western coast. It has been created artificially, hosts some of the best hotels and beach club on the island and is good also for those who like to play golf during their holidays. Check our luxurios holiday Villa Tauro Beach and Golf.

Beach of Puerto de Mogán – with its length of only 200m is know especially for the beautiful neighbouring port with water channels crossed by several small bridges, very picturesque and often called the Venetia of Gran Canaria. Every morning the fisherman bring their catch, that is why it is perfect to come if you like the seafood as there are the best fish tavernas on the island.

Beach of Meloneras – a beach of 400 m is surrounded by the most exclusive seaside resort of Gran Canaria. Whether you like expensive shopping, good hotels and restaurants, casino or golf, this is a place for you. Even though if you are a modest person, you could enjoy the local nice and quiet beach and you can stay in our affordable bungalows Meloneras Beach Bahía.

Pasito Blanco – is a private marina with luxurious yachts embarked in the small port and a beautiful quiet sandy beach of 400m of lenght. It is perfect for holidays for those who would like to relax in a complete tranquility. Here you will be in the sunny south of the island but away from the crowds. If you play golf, even better, there is a sea view course within a short walking distance. Check our Bungalow Marina and Villa Marina Delux.

Still didn´t choose your favourate beach? Wait for our next post! It is going to be about the tranquil wild beaches!

Walking Tours in Gran Canaria

Walking Tours in Gran Canaria

Walking Tours in Gran CanariaThere is no better way to learn more about Gran Canaria than trekking. You will feel the island by all yours sences, your eyes will observe the fascinating views and countryside, your nose will smell the fresh air enriched by the scents of eucalyptus, sage or flowers, your years will hear the lovable birds singing, your hands will touch the volcanic stones or palm and birch trees on your way and your mouth will savour the exquisite taste of freshly picked oranges, opuntias, almonds or another local fruits.

The aboriginal people called Guanche, that used to live on the Canary islands more than 500 years ago, left us a plentiful heritage of uncountable trekking paths. The island is literally interwoxen by the old aboriginal trails that used to connect the old settlements. Nowadays we use modern roads and highways and these treks have been left abandoned for those who love the walking tours.

It is not important whether you are an experienced regular walker or just a beginner. Gran Canaria has walking tours of all difficulties and levels.

If you are looking for something more challenging, you should set up for the walking tour to the GuiGui beach, towards Roque Nublo or for the Royal Path of Tamadaba. On the contrary the beginners would opt for Cruz de Tejeda – Artenara or Santa Brígida – Jardín Canario.

The trekking tours in Gran Canaria are as wide-ranging as the island itself. Some of them go throught the mountains, some of them through the forests, some of them along the streamlet full of lovely water cascades, some of them green and full of abundant vegetation anothers are as dry and desert as the Gran Canyon.

Walking tours are also perfect to learn more about the local flora as the Canary Islands hide more than 2000 endemic plants and for example the mentioned walk from Santa Brígida – Jardín Canario will bring you to the largest botanical garden of Spain, where you can admire many of them.

Lovers of birds watching should set up for example to the natural reserve of Tilos de Moya and if you are lucky, maybe you will see a Giant Lizard on your rambling in the dry low altitudes.

Check our complete offer of walking tours and come to explore the island yourself!!

 

 

Beautiful countryside of Gran Canaria

Beautiful countryside of Gran Canaria

Beautiful countryside of Gran Canaria

Most of the visitors of Gran Canaria are interested especially in the long sandy beaches and sunny weather of the southern part of the island. But even if you are a real “beach potato”, at least for 1 day you should leave your swimming wear at home and set up to the charming interior of the island. Who knows, maybe you will find a secret virgen beach or lagoon where you won´t need it!

Gran Canarias countryside is as mutifarious as the island itself. The volcanic origin is so obvious. Millions of years ago a high cone of the height of approximately 2500 meters have been created after multiple lava eruptions. Nowadays millions of years later, we can observe the results of such a long wind and water erosion.

Today the highest point of Pico de Las Nieves is 1949 meters high. It is situated in the heart of the island fromwhere the impressive valleys are thrown down untill they reach the shore of the Atlantic ocean. Try to follow some of them on some of our walking tours and you will find out that in each part of the island your passage will be completely different.

The southern valleys with their deep canyons will remind you of Arizonas countryside. The reason for that is a lack of rainfalls in this part of the island as the clouds are usually stopped by the mountains in the north. Western valleys will lead you to fantastic virgin areas with scattered palm trees and the northern ones will be always fresh and green.

On your altitude and position will also depend what type of plants and trees you will contemplate. On the coast level you will start in the palm groves and as you rise up, the trees will change for eucalyptuses, laurels and tills, pine trees even higher and small shrubs as you are approaching the highest peaks.

We have few small streams that you can follow all year round with small cascades and another streams and cascades you can observe in the winter after the rains. When there is enough rain in the winter, our water reservoirs are full of water and they look like beautiful mountain lakes.

Still in doubt whether to visit Gran Canaria? Check our hand picked accommodations surrounded by nature and come to see it yourself!

 

Small continent of Gran Canaria

Small continent of Gran Canaria

Small continent of Gran CanariaSince you´ll have landed in Gran Canaria, you will hear it 1000 and 1 more times. Gran Canaria is a “small continent”, because us – Canariones (local denomination for the inhabitants of Gran Canaria) are so proud about our extraordinery island.

Each of the Canary island is unique for something. Lanzarote has volcanic lava fields, Fuerteventura beautiful beaches, Tenerife the highest “snow” mountain, La Gomera large laurel forests, El Hierro its untouched countryside and La Palma is the greenest island. But Gran Canaria has it all!

You can come here any day of the year and you will always have something to do. You can visit us 100 times, and there will always be something new to discover. It may be swimming on a virgin beach you haven´t known before, visiting a new village that you didn´t find the last time, hike a new trekking path for you or just visit some of our newly opened archaeological parks.

You can start your day having a coffee on the sea side promenade in the bustling capital city of Las Palmas, drive up to some of the middlands traditional villages, apreciate the unforgettable views in the mountains in the centre of the island and in the afternoon relax on the sun in the sand dunes of Maspalomas.

On a trip like that you will observe so many different types of countryside. You will start between the palm grooves of the sea level, change them for eucaliptuses and pine trees when climbing up the mountains and as you will drive down to the south the fresh and green areas will be changed for the dry canyons and steep rocky cliffs of the southern part of the island.

And of course, not only the countryside will be changing when travelling around. Every part of the island has its specific microclima, so don´t forget something warm and maybe even an umbrella in the winter months. If you get wet in rain on one side of the island, you can just drive to the other one and within 1 hour you will probably get dry on the sun again.

Sometimes in the winter, but not often, we even have some snow on the highest mountains. Have you ever buit a snowman and swam on the beach in the same day?

This is what we mean when we say “small continent”!