for lovers of mountains, great views, walking tours and tranquility
Located in 1270 meters above the sea level, Artenara is the highest located village in Gran Canaria. Almost 80% of the surface of the region of Artenara is formed by various protected areas. That is why the place is perfect for those, who wish to spend their holidays in connection with the nature and full of interesting walking tours.
The history of Artenara dates back to the prehispanic times when it used to be probably an important district of the kingdom (guanartemato) of Agáldar. Surprisingly Artenara is full of testimonies of the prehispanic times until nowadays. The typical example are the cave houses – a type of accommodation so common in the old aboriginal times. The great isotherm properties of the caves manage to keep the same temperature (approximately 19 degrees Celsius) all year round.
In the height of Artenara the temperature extremes are more apparent than on the coast. The summers are warmer and the winters colder. That is why in Artenara many people take advantage of the isotherm characteristics of the caves until today. Most probably if someone in Artenara invites you to his house, you will find out, that a part of his house (for example bedrooms) are the original caves.
If you didn´t have such a good luck to be invited to the house of the typical Artenara´s family, than do not worry and visit the museum of cave houses in Artenara. You will find if you´d walk from the church to the Restaurante de Esquina and then taking the road with breathtaking views. It is opened for free and you would learn here how the common people in Artenara used to live in the past times.
In the square of Artenara you would find a beautiful church of St. Matthias the Apostle. The original one was built at the beginning of the 17th century, but the actual building is from 1870 and the towers from the middle of the 20th century.
There is not only one religious building in Artenara. Another, and way more interesting one, is the shrine of the Virgin of the Cave – a sanctuary excavated in the 17th century out of the rock that hosts the mysterious icon of the Virgin (see photo-gallery).
Even though you will have amazing views in Artenara from everywhere, there are several view points that will allow you to enjoy the views even more. One of them is dedicated to the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno and another one – Mirador de Cristo (View point of the Christ) will remind you of the one in Rio de Janeiro a bit.
Artenara is the walkers paradise. In the tourist information center (in the museum of the cave houses) you will be given a map of 9 footpath in the area. We have tried these two: Cruz de Tejeda – Artenara and Artenara (Tamadaba) – Agaete.
In Artenara you would find several restaurants/coffee shops, cave restaurant, supermarket, petrol station, tourist info-center and a bus stop (approx. 2 buses/day connection Artenara – Teror – Las Palmas).