Definitely one of the most known buildings on the island is with no doubts the House of Columbus. But did Christopher Columbus really own this house?Read more
When you became bored on the beach of Las Canteras or possibly just too much sun burnt, maybe you could cool yourself down in an interesting historical site you can find in a walk distance from the beach. Yes, we have an important historical site even in our modern beach city! Read more
The village of Valsequillo is situated in the eastern midlands of the island in the approximate height of 600m. The numerous water springs make the diverse surrounding countryside green all year round and contribute to the prosperity of local traditional agriculture. Read more
When visiting the mountains of Gran Canaria from the northern side, this misterious rock will always be visible on your pictures. With its height of 1414 meters above the sea level Roque Bentayga could be considered a little sister of Roque Nublo (1813 m), but it definitely does not mean that it is less important.
I recommend you to start at the Interpretation Center close to its base. It is usually opened Tue-Sun 9:30-16:30. In this interesting small museum with a free of charge entrance you will undestand a little bit better to the prehispanic inhabitants of the island. On the modern explicative panels your will find a lot of information and pictures and you shall certainly take your time to see the approximately 10 minutes long video in multiple languages to be able to imagine the appearance, tools and life of these indigenous people.
After absorbing all the necessary theory here comes the time to explore on your own. A 10-15 minutes hike similar to a typical “goats trail” you will take you up to a place called “almogarén” – a sanctuary of the aboriginal people. You will find small basins and chanels where the sacred liquids such as honey, butter or milk used to flow during the magical rituals to call the rains or fertility. The importance of the fertility is underlined by the paintings on the walls – mostly pubic triangles.
The archaeological site of Roque Bentayga disposes of caves of all kinds. The prehispanic culture have been divided in 2 classes. The leading class of the nobles – owners of the lands and cattle, soldiers and religious leaders and the productive poor class. Obviously there is a difference in the caves that used to be habited by the nobles and caves that served for the plebeians.
Another kind of caves used to serve as graineries to store the barley and other products for the times of recessions and others were used for burials.
Thanks to the hight location of Roque Bentayga it probably used to have also an astronomical importance to be able to establish the agricultural cycles.
At the moment we don´t organize any excursion to Roque Bentayga, but if you come for our Tuesday´s Gran Tour, you will definitely have amazing views of this Rock when visiting the mountain village of Tejeda.
When visiting the beautiful medieval city of Agüimes, why not to learn more about the local history? Only the beautiful building itself of the museum will impress you by its historical background. It was built in the mid 18th century and it used to be the the Bishop´s Palace.
Shortly after you pay the entrance fee of 3€, you will enter the first room that will help you to understand some of the details of the conquest of the island and how the lands had been divided between the conquerors, soldiers and new inhabitants of the area.
As Agüimes used to have the status of an episcopal lordship since the conquest untill the middle of the 19th century, part of the museum is dedicated to the religious matters. You will also learn about how the region is divided in various parts such as Agüimes, Ingenio, Carrizal, Guayadeque and Temisas and how the population grew from 500 inhabitants in the 16th century up to incredible 50.000 in the 20th century.
The following room describes the hard times when the island was affected by the famine, plague and rebellions and a lot of inhabitants emigrated to places such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Venezuela or USA and how the island suffered depopulation of the middlands and mountains.
You will also learn about the position of the woman in the society, about the local births, matrimony, death and there is a lot of examples of local superstitions and witchcraft.
Finally you will end up several rooms whose exhibition will help you to understand the local economy. You will start by the domestic, kitchen and garden tools and you will find out that more then 12% of the households used to have a weaving loom so that the poor women could earn a bit of money.
You will learn that meanwhile in the 16th centrury the sugar cane that used to form even 50% of the local agriculture, later on it had been replaced by cereals, corn, fruits, vegetables and olives to be the tomato the most important product in the 20th century by its 35% quotient. Somehow it seems like the goats and sheeps have always been breeded here in a range of 30-40% each.
Apart of the agriculture there are also explanation boards of other sectors of the local economy such as lime kilns, salt pans, fishing, milling, oil presses and winemaking. What I founded really interesting was the restoration of the typical oil and vinegar shop. These stores from the mid 19th century replaced the work of peddlers who used to sell the products wandering on their mules, camels or simply walking.
The museum is opened Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 – 17:00 and Sundays 9:00 – 14:00. In the summer time the opening hours are usually more limited.
We can proudly call Agüimes a pearl Gran Canarian cities. Walking its narrow streets and admiring the beautiful facades of the old houses, you will breathe the medieval atmosphere of the town.
Agüimes history started shortly after the conquest of the island have been finished and for long time it was getting special privileges. Since 1487 the town received a status of an “episcopal lordship” which means that it was controled by bishops, 45 in total.
The bishops used to be the complete owners of the lands and the their products and could rent them and enjoy the benefits entirely. As a curiosity you shall know that the bishops also used to select the mayor and there was also another mayor selected by the government which leaded to many administrative troubles. Even though the episcopal lordship were cancelled in 1811, somehow in Agüimes this kind of administration survived untill almost 20 years later.
The favourable conditions of the area enabled its population even in the prehispanic times especially the upper valley of Guyadeque, where the settlements were naturally protected from the possible enemies. The water sources allowed the agriculture to grow. At the beginning of the 16th centrury the village was profiting especially from the sugar cane, meanwhile in the 20th century the main product were the tomatoes, cereals, olives, vegetables and fruits. Nowadays economy is surprisingly not based on the tourism, but the flat areas where the tomatoes used to be produced once changed into a large industrial park that atracted new habitants to the city which now hosts more then 30.000.
The city may not depend on tourism, but it offers a great experience on a day visit, or if you like, you can stay in a couple of cozy little rural hotels located directly in the historical center itself. The renovated streets and facades will make you feel like in the old times. Your artistic bone will get a special feed admiring the interesting statues decorating the streets and maybe you will learn a bit of Spanish reading the short poems written on the walls of the houses.
The indispensable Church of Saint Sebastian was built in rather a long time period since 1787 till 1940 which helped to mix it to gothic, baroque and neoclassical style and replaced the old one from the late 15th century.
Don´t forget to have a look inside the Information Center located in a 17th century house where you will understand more about the local history and even get a bit of archaeology (free entrance). And if you long for more information, there is also an interesting museum of the history of Agüimes created from an interesting mid 18th century property that used to serve as a Bishop´s Palace (entrance 3€).
There are 2 buses from Las Palmas to Agüimes every hour, bus number 11 and 21 and there is a lot of lovely coffee shops and restaurants in the historical center to taste a bit of the local cuisine.
August is here and that is the time when Gran Canaria loves to celebrate la Fiesta de la Rama. I believe everyone knows, what the Spanish word “fiesta” means, but what would you imagine beneath the expression “Branch Party”? Lets start from the begining.
The 4th and 5th of August a sleepy little place of Agaete wakes up to celebrate one of the islands biggest fiestas that thousands of people from all over the island comes to commemorate. Nowadays we can consider this feast as a sublime combination of pagan and religion ceremony, but where is the origin of this event and why the branches?
The celebrations start early in the morning (around 5 o´clock) at the 4th of August. According to the tradition the participants should take a long and difficult path from the village, through the Valley of Agaete up to the mountains of Tamadaba to bring the branches of the trees. Why would they do it? Take it as a promise to the local Virgin. At the moment not everyone is ready to do such a pilgrimage in so far that the majority of the visitants start the ceremony way later (around 11 o´clock) waiting in the upper part of the village of Agaete for the arrival of the branches.
When the branches are distributed between all the pilgrims, the procession starts to move slowly throught the narrow streets of the village towards the picturesque port of Puerto de las Nieves. The pilgrims dance all the way down holding the branches above their heads, accompanied by sound of the local music band. The procession stops in front of the chapel of the Virgin where the last dances are performed and branches placed in front of the church to be an aromatic offer to the Virgin.
The habit of bringing the branches was given long time ago already in the prehispanic times when the indigenous priestesses used to call the rain taking the butter and milk up to the mountains of Tamadaba, bringing back branches of the trees to hit the waters of the ocean by them.
Afterwards the festivities continue the next day – 5th of August when another procession takes the painting of the Virgen to the church of the main village of Agaete where it stays untill the day 17th, when her excursion is being finished returning her in another fiesta´s procession back to the port´s chappel.
Excited to visit? There is a bus nr. 103 from Las Palmas to Agaete once an hour eventhough during the days of the event it is usually more frequent then normally. All over the year we can take you to visit the picturesque port of Puerto de las Nieves on our Tuesday´s Gran Tour.
Are you nature lovers and anxious to know who were these mysterious aboriginal inhabitants of Gran Canaria? Your way should definitely lead to the ravine of Guayadeque.
There are 2 ways to arrive, one through Ingenio, another one from Aguimes. Both will take you breath when arriving and you will soon understand how can this place be so close and so isolated.
Your first steps should certainly carry you to the interpretation center. Maybe that is why it was build by the entrance to the valley. From the outside it will give you an impression of a small thing, but shouldn´t we never judge the things according to its exterior? The entrance fee of approximately 3 euros will be your price to understand to the aboriginal culture in the valley and actually generally to the prehispanic inhabitants of the island. The building itself is very interesting as it was smoothly integrated and created from the settings that cannot be more traditional – inside a large cave.
Here you will learn about how did the indigenous people look like, where did they come from, what tools did they use, what outfits they weared, what animals they used to farm, agriculture products they used to cultivate. There is even a mummy to see and what I found really interesting – the mummifying process explicative videos.
Well now you shall abandon the agreable temprature of the museums cave and go to apply your new knowing into practice. If you are a hiker than it is a great oportunity to leave your car at the interpretation centers parking and go walking. The ravine is full of cave complexes. After visiting the museum you will be able, with a bit of fantasy, to see how was the life in the cave settlements.
The presence of many eucalyptus trees is a proof of water souces in the valley that arrive from its upper zones. After the conquest the people moved to the lower areas of Ingenio and Aguimes and the valley became rather uninhabited. But since the beginning of the 19th century people returned and transformated the lower located caves into the cave houses and dedicated themselves to farming. The typical products of the valley are potatoes, corn, wheat, barley, rye, almonds, lentils, peas, beans or pumpking; from animals goats, sheep, cows, pigs and donkeys.
From 90ties the number of inhabitants lowered again to approximately 170 persons. You will see some of their interesting cave houses and cave church farther in the valley. Nowadays not everyone works in the agriculture as there is also another interesting business to run – the tourism. Maybe after your hike you would like to get your well-deserved pint of beer or lunch in one of the unique CAVE RESTAURANTS? Cheers!
Maybe you didn´t know that more than 500 years ago most of the north of Gran Canaria used to be covered by a large jungle. Only 1% of this original forest survived untill now and in this article we are going to invite you to explore it together with the neighbouring picturesque village of Moya situated on a breathtaking cliff.
The village of Moya with its 8600 inhabitants is situated in 490 metres above the sea level approximately 25 kms far from the capital of Las Palmas. The village is literally sitting on the edge of the ravine of the same name, from where you can have impressive views of the ocean and of the bottom of the gorge. In the history all the area of Moya used to be covered with the huge Jungle of Doramas, that used to ocuppy the mayor part of the north of the island. Streight after the conquest of the island the sugar cane had been introduced here which meant that a significant part of the Jungle of Doramas had been cut down and the initial boom of the sugar cane caused the multiplication of the local population.
Thanks to the global florescence and prosperity the local bishop Arce decided to built a chappel here dedicated to Our Lady of Candlemas. The church and the parish flourished untill the end of the 16th century when all the area suffered a hard crisis because of the fall of the sugar cane. The church was deteriorating until the 20th century when the local offices decided about its demolition and they a new one was built in the eclectic style, that combinates the elements of neogotism and neoromanticism together with the tradicional neocanarism. The interior hosts several peaces of arts of unmeasurable historical value, for example the statues restaurated by local artist Luján Peréz.
In front of the church there is a house where used to live a famous native of Moya, the poet Tomás Moráles, whose house had been converted into a museum, where you can admire the interior of the traditional canarian house, the original paintings and portraits, artists library and his cabinet and another objects connected with his life.
Approximately 2 kms far from the centre of Moya there is the entrance into the protected natural reserve of Tilos de Moya, named acording to the abundant tils in the area. Another important and very numerous trees here are the laurels. The reserve is only a tiny part of the formerly huge Jungle of Doramas that used to cover the mayor part of the north of Gran Canaria. During the 2kms long easy path you will learn about many endemic plants and if you are lucky and patient, you could also see some birds as chaffinch, atlantic canary, blackbird, European robin or grey wagtail, also the giant lizard, Tenerife gecko or different types of frogs. Suprisingly the place have usually very small amount of visitors and mostly they are botanists and zoologists, the entrance is for free and most possibly you will enjoy this unspoild peace of world almost on your own.
September is the month when all the island of Gran Canaria celebrates the festivities of Our Lady of the Pine Tree. According to the legend the 8th September 1481 a the figure of the Virgin Mary appeared on the top of a pine tree in Teror. Later on there was a storm and the pine tree fell down and the same place was enjoyed to build a hermitage of the Virgin in 1514. The Virgin converted into the patron of Gran Canaria and Teror became an important place of pilgrimage.
Eventhough the festivities are more then 1 month long, the main fiestas are celebrated the day 7 and 8th September. The day 7th is the day dedicated mainly to the promises to the Virgen. Thousands of islanders do the pilgrimage, mostly from the city of Arucas to accomplish their promises to the Virgen or to ask her help with their troubles.
The day 8th is the day of the official acts, especially the procession with the virgin. The virgin is dressed in a beautiful dress and loaded on a lovely decorated carriage that passes through the well known balcony street. The event is assisted by the soldiers parade, there are many stalls with traditional products and handicrafts all over the center and you would also see some traditional dances in the typical costumes.
Our special tip is to visit Teror the evening of the day of Marías. This eyear it happened to be the Sunday 10th September. It is not as busy as the day 7 and 8th, and there is an evening procession followed by amazing fireworks. At the end the Virgin returns back to the church and a worship with the beautiful aroma of incence is celebrated.
Apart of the festivities Teror is a lovely peaceful place with picturesque historical center and you can visit it any time of the year on our fantastic Tuesdays (Wednesdays) Gran Tour.
Gran Canaria could proudly be called an archaeologists paradise. The witnesses of prehispanic culture are visible literally on each corner. Today we will speak about Cuatro Puertas, which would mean Four Doors in Spanish. As soon as you are aproaching to the monument you will discover why it has been given this descriptive name.
The archaelogical site si very easy to be found driving from the city of Telde towards Ingenio. Shortly you will see a hill on your left side with four “doors” outstanding from the rock. This is a sign for you to drive closer and discover this interesting monument.
The site is situated on a mountain called Bermeja and it is formed by a complex of zones that probably served to cult. It consists of Cuatro Puertas, Almogarén, Cueva de los Papelos y Los Pilares. The “Bermeja” name is for the reddish color of the rock which is crumbly and granular and this allowed the indigenout people to excavate cave structures that you will contemplate. In 1972 the place was declared a cultural heritage.
The unexeptionably most dominant part of the site is the Four Door Cave (Cuatro Puertas). A spacious cave with four entrances was crafted by the aboriginal Canarian people as well as lines of holes in the walls whose purpose remains unknown, as well as the real usage of the chamber. It possibly used to serve as a residence of the Faycan (spiritual and religious leader), place of virgins or priestesses, a shelter for the cattle, grainery, astronomical observatory or even a burial place.
Almogarén is a circular shaped area that served as a ritual place. It is on the open air and the walls are decorated by spiritual symbols. There is a channel on the floor where probably the milk or other liquids were poured during the ritual acts.
Another cave is called the Paper Cave (Cueva de los Papeles). The origin of this name is unknown. In this cave we can see an example of how some of the prehispanic caves were re-used by the hispanic shepherds, usually painting the walls and puting concrete on the floor. On one of the walls you will see the aboriginal paintings of triangles – probably a symbol of fertility.
Another small complex of caves on the Bermejo mountain is called The Pillars. These caves are situated to the south, one next to each other, some of them in higher floors accesable by stoney steps. These caves were probably habited by the indigenous people, meanwhile the nearby Audience Cave (Cueva de la Audiencia) was used as a grainery. In 1954 a part of spanish-italian movie “Tirma” was shot in these caves.
The best thing about it is that it is rarely visited and you won´t have to pay any entrance, because there is no guard. The site is freely accesible at any time, so why not visit it early in the morning or when the sun goes down to give your visit a special flavour!?
Perhaps you didn´t know that long time before Las Palmas have been founded, it used to be Gáldar that holded the position of the capital of Gran Canaria. Eventhough the island was divided into 2 parts in the prehispanic times – the kingdoms of Gáldar and Telde, it was here where the island council consisting of 12 leaders (guaires) used to meet.
The name of the city comes from the aboriginal language. The antient inhabitants used to call it “Agáldar”, which acording to one of the possible explications used to mean “The place where the kings live”.
It was also here in Gáldar, where the last indigenous king (guanarteme) Tenesor Semidán came from. After being captured, taken to Spain and christianized he accepted the name of Fernando Guanarteme and signed a document called the “Pact of Calatayud” that promised certain “liberty” to the indigenous Canarians and helped to finish the conquest of Gran Canaria.
After reading all this you won´t be surprised that history breaths here all around you. If you belong to archeology lovers, than you should know that in Gáldar you can visit one of the most important sites of the island – the Painted Cave (Cueva Pintada). Antient painting on the wall that possibly once used to be the calendar of the the indigenous people is surrounded by remaings of their stoney houses. The museum is very interactive and you will also see a collection of prehispanic objects such as ceramics, seals and other tools. The entrance fee is aproximately 6€, but it is definitely worth to visit.
The city also has a beautiful historical center dominated by the church of St. James (Iglesia de Santiago) situated where else, in St. James square. The neoclassical temple from the end of the 18th/beginning 19th century belongs to one of the largest in Gran Canaria. Apart of apreciated sculptures, paintings and decoration you fill admire a very valuable baptismal font that was used to baptize the first christians descending from the aboriginal inhabitants of the region.
Another thing you shouldn´t miss in St. James square is the town hall from 18th century. In the indoor patio you should have a look at the oldest dragon tree (drago) on the island. Next year it will be 300 years old. The town hall neighbours with a historical theatre from the 19th century.
Last but not least thing you should visit in Gáldar, especially if you are keen on arts, is the House Museum of Antonio Padrón. This Galdar painter is one the most important contemporary artist of the archipielago. The museum hosts most of his works.
Surrounded by banana plantations Gáldar is located in the north coast of Gran Canaria. The distance from the actual capital of Las Palmas is approximately 20 km and you can reach it in only 20 minutes by the northern motorway. Maybe on the way back you would enjoy to refresh yourself on one of small local beaches or natural swimming pools.
Next time when sipping your irresistible cup of coffee, imagine there is a small hidden valley in the north of Gran Canaria, where we will take you now, in your thoughts. Here in the shade of mangos, oranges, guayabos, wine, bananas or avocados grows a coffee of an extraordinery quality.
The variety of arabica typica is one of the best ones in the world but for the demandingness of its production many countries had already stopped its plantation. Here in the special microclimate of the Valley of Agaete it had found the perfect condition to be cultivated.
But lets start from the beginning, with a brief history of coffee. According to a legend from the 12th century from Ethyopiopia, a shephard told the monks about strange behaviour of his animals who do not sleep at night and instead of that all the night they jump from side to side in the stable.
The monks discovered this conduct was caused by eating a plant that we know nowadays as a coffee. Since than they could pray all the night in the monastery drinking a kind of tea made by cooking the coffee fuits.
Despite of that, coffee was originally planted in Yemen already between the 11th and 14th century, and the Arabs distributed it all over the world. In the Western Europe we first saw coffee in 1576 and it was thanks to the German botanist Rauwolf who brought it from his travels to the Orient.
In the 18th century it was very usual to find the coffee plants in the botanical gardens and for example from the one in Amsterdam it was sent to many colonies in Latin America.
But how did the coffee arrive to Agaete?
Before the road from Agaete to Las Palmas have been constructed, the main mean of transport used to be the maritime. And being situated on the western coast of Gran Canaria, Agaete had a lot of business with the island of Tenerife. And this is where the coffee came from – from the botanical garden of Orotava.
The coffee was spread out over Agaete during the 19th century and already the famous british traveller Olivia Stone mentiones it in her book when she visited the region.
The coffee was cultivated in several areas but the best results it obtains in the special microclima of the Valley of Agaete. Fertile volcanic lands, sufficient water sources and stable temperature all year round enabled the plantation of one of the best varieties of coffee – arabica typica.
The coffee from Agaete is considered to be the best from Gran Canaria. Learn more about how the coffe is planted, collected, peeled, dried and roasted and join our Tuesdays Gran Tour. On the last stop you will visit a coffee plantation that could be proudly called a “small paradise” and after learning more about the coffee, you will enjoy a hot cup of this delicious drink. After your visit your morning mugs of coffee will never be the same.
By the way, did you know, why do we call the coffee Java? It is because the coffee from he indonesian island of Java used to be so widely exported so that it became a slang expression for coffee. The first coffee that came to Holland in 1719 proceeded from where else? from Java!
To know the local people of any place means to know their traditions. Spice up your stay in Gran Canaria and visit some of our tradinal fiestas called romerías. If you come from April till October, you will have plenty of them to choose.
A romería is a religious pilgrimage and originally the word was derivated from the word “Rome”. Nowadays we understand romería (pilgrimage) mostly as a short trip of peregrination that finishes at a church, hermitage or sanctuary followed by festive celebrations.
Locals singing and dancing in traditional costumes, and something delicious to eat and drink cannot be missing, of course. Find here our complete list of Romerías in Gran Canaria for 2017.
- Saturday 6.5.2017
- El Sequero (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- El Calero (Telde)
- El Faro de Teror
- Saturday 13.5.2017
- Tablero de Maspalomas
- Cardones (Arucas)
- Saturday 20.5.2017
- Motor Grande (Puerto Rico)
- San Fernando (Maspalomas)
- Gavia (Telde)
- Tuesday 30.5.2017 – The Day of the Canary Islands
- Fiestas in many places over all the island
- Saturday 3.6.2017
- Saturday 10.6.2017
- Casas Blancas (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Valsequillo – Tenteniguada
- Friday 16.6.2017 – Los Corralillos (Aguimes)
- Saturday 17.6.2017
- Los Arbejales (Teror)
- Valle de Agaete
- La Atalaya de Guía
- Saturday 24.6.2017
- Cercados de Araña
- El Juncal (Tejeda)
- Saturday 1.7.2017
- San Isidro (Teror)
- Saturday 8.7.2017
- La Milagrosa (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Las Huesas (Telde)
- Risco Blanco (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Marpequeña (Telde)
- La Dehesa (Guía)
- El Goro (Telde)
- Friday 14.7.2017 – La Banda (Aguimes)
- Saturday 15.7.2017
- La Isleta (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Tunte, San Bartolomé de Tirajana
- Sunday 16.7.2017 – maritime pilgrimage from Arguineguin to Mogan and back
- Saturday 22.7.2017
- Las Bachilleras (Telde)
- Hornos del Rey (Telde)
- Punto Fielato (Telde)
- Friday 4.8.2017
- Lomo Magullo (Telde)
- Saturday 5.8.2017
- San Lorenzo (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- La Solana (Tejeda)
- El Palmar (Teror)
- Lomo Juan (Ingenio)
- Taidía (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Sunday 6.8.2017
- Santa Brígida
- Lomo Magullo (Telde)
- Aldea Blanca (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Saturday 12.8.2017
- Ayacata (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Sunday 13.8.2017 – Carrizal (Ingenio)
- Saturday 19.8.2017
- Soria (Mogán)
- Fontanales (Moya)
- Tunte (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
- Santa Brígida
- Sunday 20.8.2017 – Artenara
- Friday 25.8.2017 – Playa de Arinaga
- Saturday 26.8.2017 – Siete Puertas (Tamaraceite)
- Thursday 7.9.2017 – Teror
- Saturday 9.9.2017
- Sardina del Norte
- La Garita (Telde)
- Sunday 10.9.2017 – Aldea de San Nicolás
- Saturday 16.9.2017
- Shamann (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Sardina (Gáldar)
- Sunday 17.9.2017 – Santa María de Guía
- Wednesday 20.9.2017 – Vega de San Mateo
- Saturday 23.9.2017 – La Goleta (Arucas)
- Sunday 24.9.2017 – Vegueta (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Saturday 30.9.2017 – Aguimes
- Saturday 7.10.2017
- Sunday 8.10.2017 – Guanarteme (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Saturday 14.10.2017
- Lomo Galeón (Maspalomas)
- La Isleta (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)
- Sunday 15.10.2017 – Teror
- Saturday 28.10.2017 – Vecindario
- Saturday 18.11.2017 – Arucas
- Saturday 2.12.2017 – Jinamar (Telde)
- Sunday 17.12.2017 – Santa Lucía de Tirajana
Sand Dunes of Maspalomas are undoubtedly the most captivating phenomenon that you can admire in the southern coast of Gran Canaria. The natural beach created where the dunes touch the shore is a MUST visit for most of the island´s visitors BUT can you imagine, that noone really knows how and when they were created?
According to the experts who effectuated a deep subterranean analysis the dunes were possibly created between 1720 and 1870. Sounds unbeliveable that we don´t have any written reference about the dunes until then.
In the 17 and 18th century several naturalists and cartographers explored the Canary Islands and noone mentioned the dunes in their documents. We could see an indirect proove at 1599 when the dutch pirate Peter Van der Does after unsuccesfull atacks of Las Palmas landed in Maspalomas to bury his dead men and to get water and wood. This would mean there was a beach to desembark on.
However the first weighty reference we can see in 1838 when the waste beach of sand was painted into the atlas of P. B. Webb and S. Berthelot. Also according to the anylysis the creation of the dunes was rather sudden which helps to support the theory that the dunes were formed in 1755 during the huge earthquake of Lisbon that managed to kill 100.000 people. Luckily the cataclysm was productive also in another way and possibly could have given the origin to the sand dunes of Maspalomas.
Until 60ties the dunes were a real paradise for those who managed to see them before the touristic plan in 1962 have been approved and first hotels built. Proyect that originally counted with “only” 15.000 tourist beds finally resulted in a construcion of a seaside resort with 100.000 people capacity (seems like 100.000 is a magic number in the history of the sand dunes) and became one of the leading tourist resorts in all Spain. The reason is simple: almost 6km long golden sand beach and sunny weather invite to enjoy almost any day of the year.
Eventhought some of the proyects counted with the construction on the dunes themselves, luckily they were not approved and to protect the dunes for the future generations they were declared a Nature Reserve in 1987. At the moment the dunes occupy the area of 4 square kilometers and represent an important ecosystem. Among other indigenous plants the surface is dominated by local tabaibas and suculent cardons.
The desert like impression is completed by the fact, that the sand dunes of Maspalomas also have a proper oasis with a lagoon surrounded by vast palm groove. The lagoon is an important asylum for the migratory birds on their long way from Europe and probably has longer history than the dunes themselves, because we have earlier references about it and possibly already the aboriginal inhabitants used to fish in its waters.
It doesn´t matter whether you are young, old, handsome, ugly, nudist, gay or not, sand dunes of Maspalomas is a MUST SEE in Gran Canaria eventhought sometimes when rambling through its sands you can happen to see more than you really wanted! If you prefer to do it in a lazy way, for 12 euros you can also join a real camel caravan.
What is the best plan for a rainy day? Museum day! Well, we don´t have many really rainy days on Gran Canaria all over the year, but you should still find some time to find out more about our interesting history. Did you know that the largest collection of Cro-Magnon skulls in the world can be found in the Canarian Museum in Las Palmas?
Today we will speak about 2 of our most known museums in Las Palmas and also about 1 small in the mountains that is quiet hidden and forgotten, but it will surprise you by its interesting testamony.
CANARIAN MUSEUM – located in the historial quarter of Vegueta in Las Palmas, it is easy to visit when you explore the medieval part of our capital. It was founded in 1879 and treats to explain to its visitors about the way of life of the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of Gran Canaria. On your walk through the museum you will admire ceramic vessels, idols, seals, models of the aboriginal settlements, instruments and tools that these people used to in their everyday life and clothing they used to wear.
However, the most captivating for you will probably be the part of the museum dedicated to the conservation of the corpse – fascinating “mummies” or “embalmed” corpses of the nobles together with another interesting anthropological remains that still represent a big mystery in the origin of the aboriginal people of the Canary islands – craneas of cro-magnoid features as well as other craneas of mediterranoid features.
Our secret tip: on Mondays and Wednesdays afternoons 17:00 – 20:00 the entrance is for free (otherwise 4 €)
HOUSE MUSEUM OF COLUMBUS – architectonic complex of medieval houses straight behind our Cathedral of Santa Ana. One of the houses used to be the residence of the governor and that is why it was possibly visited by Christopher Columbus during his first trip to America in 1492. The unique reconstruction of the complex made it one of the most emblematic and known buildings of our island. In contrast to the Canarian Museum, the house of Columbus museum displays the cartography and instruments for the navigation, and the evolution of Las Palmas after the conquest and its relationship with America. Apart of all that you will find here for example a reconstruction of a part of one of the columbus ships or archaeological collections of pre-Colombian ceramics.
Another reason to visit the House of Columbus is that you will be taken back in time as you will visit a beautiful traditional house whose history dates back to the end of the 15th centrury and your eyes will admire some of very appreciated paintings from 16th till the beginning of 20th centrury. A bit of funny touch will provide you 2 big cute exotic parrots in one of the patios of the house. Entrance fee to the museum is 4 €.
CAVE HOUSES MUSEUM IN ARTENARA – this museum is definitelly not one of the most visited and due to its location you would probably miss it but isn´t there something about searching for those small hidden secrets? People allways used to live in the caves in Gran Canaria. You may have heard or read that the aboriginal people and the first colonizers used to live in the caves and even nowadays people still enjoy their perfect isothermic qualities as a part of their modern houses. But have someone invited you in to really see it?
Here in the mountain village of Artenara, you will find a small hidden museum where you can visit several real old cave houses and see how the living in the caves is possible. Apart of this cave experience, you can make your wish in a cave church or have a lunch in a cave restaurant here, allways accompanied by amazing mountain views. Entrance to the cave museum is for free.
There are many more interesting museums and museum houses in Gran Canaria and some of them even with no entrance fee so we will probably return back to this topic in the future. Keep coming back for more!
Following our favourite cliché of „continent in miniature“, today we will try to persuade you, that Gran Canaria have something to offer even for the archeology lovers. To be honest, now we can leave all the modesty apart, because Gran Canaria could be proudly considered a small archaeological paradise. In this article, we will introduce you some of our most known archaeological sites as well as some less known spots that definitely deserve your visit.
CUEVA PINTADA (Painted Cave in Spanish) – a recently discovered cave in the city of Gáldar with painted signs that have been interpreted as the aboriginal calendar, or maybe signs of fertility. The cave is now conserved, air-conditioned and opened for public as a part of a great interactive museum. You can find here also samples of the typical prehispanic houses, ceramics and other objects found during the excavations and you can see 3D videos of aboriginal history. It is probably the most important archaeological site of the island, entrance fee 6€/person. More info here.
CENOBIO DE VALERÓN – system of approximately 300 of caves. There are many theories and interpretations of their function, but most probably they were an aboriginal grainery. Entrance 2-3 euros. More info here.
ROQUE BENTAYGA – Rocky formation in the heart of the island that is believed to be the worshipping place to the Gods of the aboriginal islanders. In the altitude of more than 1400 meters you can observe spectacular views of the island. Free entrance, includes a small museum. More info here.
NECROPOLIS OF ARTEARA – the largest aboriginal necropolis of t he island with more than 800 tombs. It probably used to be also an astronomical observatory. Entrance 2-4 euros. More: http://www.grancanaria.com/patronato_turismo/52134.0.html
NECROPOLIS OF MAIPES – the antient cemetery where the aboriginal people used to burn their dead with more than 700 tombs discovered. Located in the beautiful area of the green valley of Agaete. After the colonization the area was covered by soil to enjoy the fertil area for farming. Includes open air interpretation center. More www.spain-holiday.com/Aga-ete/articles/necropolis-de-maipes-the-buried-treasure-of-agaetes-badlands
BARRANCO DE GUAYADEQUE – impressive valley have been proclaimed a natural protected area with a great density of archaeological sites spread along both slopes of the ravine among which troglodyte habitats abound and all this in a stunning natural scenery. There is an interpretation center with indications about the sites in the area. There is also a small village in the area where people still live in cave-houses, there is a cave-church and a cave-restaurant.
LA FORTALEZA (The Fortress in Spanish) – aboriginal cave city with a small museum. Fortaleza was probably the last place resisting to the hispanic conquerors. After defeating Fortaleza the colonization of Gran Canaria had been finished. More info here.
CAÑADA DE LOS GATOS – an example of a pre-hispanic coastal population more than 1300 years old. It is situated in the ravine of Mogán. With examples of aboriginal stone houses, burial pits, tombs and burial caves. Entrance fee: 2-4€. More info here.
CUATRO PUERTAS – a sacred site presided over by faycanes (highest priests) was called according to the four doors leading to the capacious chamber. There is a small settlement in the proximity. Free entrance, great views. Area of Telde. More info here.
CUEVAS DE CABALLERO – Group of seven caves with spectacular views over the Tejeda ravine. For the female pubis signs associated with the fertility rites the place is believed to be a ceremonial site of religious significance and probably also associated with the practice of witchcraft.
THE SETTLEMENT OF BERBIQUE: When you will be descending the slopes of the valley of Agaete, suddenly a complex of approximately 30 caves will appear in front of you. Some of them are accessible. One of them in the basement is called “The cave of bones” that served for funeral purposes and many carbonized bones and funeral objects have been found inside. The complex had its own grainery for the cereals produced in the flat areas below the caves. The settlement had a perfect location with good views for their protection, proximity of wooden resources and water and the good climate of the valley.
To speak about historical Las Palmas means to speak especially about its historical quarters of Vegueta and Triana. So lets us introduce you some of the monuments you definitely shouldn´t miss when visiting our cosmopolitan capital city.
The history of Las Palmas dates back to 1478 when a Spanish conqueror Juan Rejón landed on the island and established a military camp of “Real Las Palmas at the bottom of Guiniguada Valley. Afterwards Pedro de Vera managed to confirm the Spanish dominance over the island in 1483, Vegueta and Triana started to fulfil the administrative and commercial tasks of the archipielago and thanks to its strategic position its port became one of the principal ports in the Atlantic ocean.
Cathedral of Santa Ana – its construction started in the year 1497 and to finish it as we know it today lasted 350 years. It was built by several architects and presents several architectonic styles such as neoclassic fasade with neogothic interior. An interesting collection of liturgical objects can be found in the neighbouring Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art (entrance 3€). An interesting experience is a visit to the tower of the Cathedral fromwhere you will observe great views of the historical city (entrance 1.5€).
House of Christopher Columbus – a yellow building of typical Spanish architecture straight behind the Cathedral presents one of the most known monuments of the city. Being built at the end of the 15th century it used to be a residence of the governor of the island. Thanks to that, Christopher Columbus probably stayed overnight before he set up to discover Americas. That is why the museum house presents a fascinating documentation of his sails. Entrance 4€.
Church of San Antonio Abad – being situated next door to the House of Columbus, it was probably here, in this small church from the end of the 15th century, where Christopher Columbus prayed before he departed to discover America.
Canarian Museum – the main museum of the island that introduces its visitors to the prehispanic Gran Canaria. It hosts and incredible collection of Cro-Magnon skulls, possibly the largest in the world. You will be fascinated by the mummies of the aboriginal people, as well as by the collections of their ceramics, seals, mills and other tools and objects that they used to use in their everyday life. Entrance 4€.
There is much more to see in the medieval Vegueta and Triana. Here you will absorbe the history by all pores and afterwards you can go shopping to the famous street of Calle Mayor de Triana, or try our delicious gastronomy in some of the good local restaurants, especially if you come on Thursdays – the nights of tapas. Lets come and discover it yourself!
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!
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.
Today 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.
To 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.
There 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.
- 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
- Castillo del Romeral – San Bartolomé de Tirajana
- Charca los Pérez – Telde
- Charca de Taliarte – Telde
- Zoco del Negro – Arinaga
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.
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!
There 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.
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!
Since 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”!
When in Gran Canaria, you can often proudly hear from the locals, that we have the best climate in the world. The international meteorological experts do confirm. But how it really is with the weather in Gran Canaria?
The influence of the Elysian winds and Gulf stream warm the Canary islands in the winter and cool them down in the summer so that any day of the year you´d visit Gran Canaria, you would probable experience the agreedable temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius on the coast level.
However the temperature and weather conditions can easily change depending on the altitude and part of the island you are at the moment. We have a lot of microclimates. It is not impossible, that sometimes in the winter months it can occure, that you can enjoy a sunny day on the beach and within 1 hour of drive, you can organize a snow balls war in the mountains, in the same day.
Higher you are, the difference between the winter and summer will be more noticeable.
Generally the north of Gran Canaria is pretty green with possible rainfalls especially in the winter months, meanwhile the south of the island is dry with desert-like canyons where rains are very improbable.
What is the reason? We have almost 2000 meters hight mountains in the heart of the island. Most of the clouds come from the north and sometimes they are stopped by the peaks of these mountains. That is why the clouds usually stay only in the northern half of Gran Canaria. Phenomenon called by the locals as “panza de burro” – the donkeys belly, for the excess of grey colour that you can observe when wathing the sky.
That is why our island is so diverse. The occasional rainfals, water resources and fertile lands allowed the colonisation of the northern part of the island, meanwhile the rough south and west of Gran Canaria haven´t been very populated in the past times.
Universally, we can recommend the northern part of Gran Canaria for those who like to explore the peaceful countryside and green valleys. The weather here is perfect for walking tours and another outdoor activities, whilst the lovers of always sunny weather and swimming should head down to the south.
But this really doesn´t want to say that it is always cloudy in the north, we have many many beautiful days even in the winter and swimming is also possible and sometimes it also happens that it can rain in the south.
The good thing is, that anywhere you stay in Gran Canaria, it will never take you more than 1 and half hour to drive from one side of the island to the other one and you can actually regulate what temperature/sky you´d wish to have.
So isn´t it the best weather in the world?
Searching for the best way to start our blog about Gran Canaria we thought it would be the best to motivate you to hit your favourit search engines for the flights and accommodation and set up for a brand new adventure.
Here we go, our 28 best reasons to visit Gran Canaria. Later on we shall possibly write more on each one of them.
1) Climate – the influence of the Gulf Stream causes that you will have mild temperatures at any time of the year you visit us.
2) “Small Continent” denomination – it may sound cliché, but during your stay, you will really experience so many different styles of countryside, microclimas, views, beaches, cities, villages, forests, jungles, high mountains, that you will really start using this cliché frase as well.
3) Beautiful countryside – especially in the “winter” months you will be impressed by the green beauty of the hidden valleys and you will never forget the impressive mountain views in the centre of the island.
5) Sandy Beaches – you can enjoy some of the long sandy beaches especially in the south of the island where the weather is sunny most of the days of the year.
6) Sand Dunes – ride a camel caravana over the large sand dunes in the southern most place of Gran Canaria. It is an important eco-system with a water pond that hosts some of the migratory birds comming from Europe.
7) Wild Beaches – if you prefer to be alone on natural or “virgen” beaches we will recommend you some really cool ones in the western part of the island.
8) Natural Swimming Pools – some villages in the north coast offer swimming in natural pools created on the rocks that may enable swimming even when the ocean is rough. The entrance is for free.
9) Protected Areas – to preserve our amazing countryside also for the next generations, almost 43% of the island has been declared protected areas such as nature reserves, natural parks, natural monuments, rural parks, protected landscapes etc.
10) Virgin Places – there are still some places that could be considered virgin. If you ask for a proof, set up for the challenging walk to the Gui-Gui beach.
11) Botanical Gardens – on Gran Canaria you can find the largest botanical garden of Spain – Jardín Canario. It conserves hundrets of the Canarian endemic plants and you will be impressed for example by its waste collection of cactuses.
12) Picturesque Villages – the northern part of the island and its middlands hide many romantic villages with its cozy centers and small churges and so much history to narrate.
13) Historical Las Palmas – walking through the medieval Vegueta in our capital city will take you back in time. Afterwards you can spend some money shopping in Triana or swim on our beloved beach of Las Canteras.
14) Arqueological Parks – the old aboriginal culture left us an important testamony that we try to dissolve in numerous arqueological parks and interpretation centers on the islands. They once used to be antient cave cities, graineries, santuaries or necropolis.
15) Museums – you will find many museums to learn more both about the prehispanic times and the times after the conquist. There are also many museum-houses where important islanders used to live, some of them are for free.
16) Culture – all year round Gran Canaria and its capital city hosts many cultural events, festivals and concerts. You can also reserve tickets to our unique ocean side Auditorium Alfredo Kraus.
17) Friendly Inhabitants – the Canarian people are so warm and welcoming that you will forgive us that our English is not so perfect.
18) Delicious Cuisine – you must definitelly try our “papas arrugadas con mojo” (wrikled potatoes in spicy sauce), “la ropa vieja” (literally “old clothes”), gazpacho (cold vegetable soup) or fresh fish in the northern fishing villages.
19) Cheese – the semi-wild living goats and sheeps give us a high quality milk that we can use to produce for example our famous “flower cheese”. The Canarian cheeses are often highly ranked in the international competitions.
20) Wine – if you have ever tried the volcanic wines you will admit that they are really special. You will not believe, that even William Shakespeare used to write about the wine from Gran Canaria.
21) Coffee – the favourable microclima of the Valley of Agaete enables us to produce one of the best coffees. Join us on our Gran Tour or Coffee, Wine & Cheese excursions to flavour the tastes of Gran Canaria.
22) Carnival – if you are planning you trip for Febreary, don’t forget to pack your carnival costume. Las Palmas Carnival is almost 1 month loooooong and most of the shows are for free. Read more about the Carnival here.
23) Surfing – you already know 1 cliché (“Small Continent”), now you will learn another one: “The Hawaii of Europe”. Gran Canaria is for its good waves very popular amongs the European surfers. If you are not a surfer yet, we can reserve a place for you in a local Surf School.
24) Rally – give your trip an adrenalin touch watching the challenging and literally “breath-taking” montainous stages of Rally Islas Canarias. We cooperate with the organizors and offer Rally Excursions.
25) Sports – Gran Canaria is a great place to practice any kind of sports, water sports, adrenalin sports or horse riding any time of the year. You can get more inspiration here.
26) Political Environment – eventhough we are geografically so close to Africa, we are a part of Spain and the European Union, so you will enjoy the safety of the European political system and travelling rules.
27) No Dangerous Animals – surprisingly you shouldn´t find any poisonous snakes, spiders or large wildlife over the island. Well, if it doesn´t escape from someone´s personal collection, of course 🙂
28) Gay Friendly – last, but definitelly not least point of our list. We do not discriminate anyone!! Gran Canaria is one of the most gay (and lesbian) friendly places in the world. We have a wide selection of gay hotels and twice a year we host the great Gay Prides.
Walking Tour San Bartolomé Fataga will take you from the picturesque mountain village of San Bartolomé de Tirajana to the most enchanting place and palm oasis on the island – Fataga.
Start: San Bartolomé de Tirajana 888 m
Finish: Fataga 600 m
Height difference: 400 m
Distance: 7 km (2 hours)
Don’t forget: good shoes, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protection, water, lunch
Before you will start the trekking you can do a little bit of sightseeing in the beautiful village of San Bartolomé. It is very interesting to visit the interesting ethnographic museum – House of The Yanez (free entrance, opened all working days). In this village you also have a chance to have a coffee or something to eat before you set up for the walking.
At the beginning of our walk, you will ascend approximately 100 meters higher, from where you will have nice views of the settlement. The first 2 km of your way, you will follow a small abandoned asphalt road that will take you between sporadic small ranches with nice views of the countryside and of the ocean on the horizon. You won´t have much shade on our path, that is why its highly recommendable to have a good sun protector with you.
Later on you will take an old aboriginal path and with amazing panoramic views you will descend the valley towards your goal. You will pass an old water mill and finish your wandering in the charming village of Fataga. Here you can enjoy a nice lunch in the traditional Canarian tavernas and to explore the village and its art shops or wine cellar.
Walking Tour San Bartolomé Fortaleza connect the beautiful historical center of San Bartolomé de Tirajana with the important archaeological site and fortress of the ancient aboriginal inhabitants – La Fortaleza
Start: San Bartolomé de Tirajana 888 m
Finish: La Fortaleza 480 m
Height difference: 450 m
Distance: 10 km (3 hours)
Don’t forget: good shoes, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protection, water, lunch
The walking tour San Bartolomé Fortaleza starts in the historical center of a picturesque mountain village of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Here you will have an opportunity to visit a unique House Museum of The Yanez – an old traditional Canarian house of a well positioned family (free entrance). There is also a possibility of having a coffee or something to eat in the village and afterwards you can start your way.
All the trip to La Fortaleza have a descending tendency. The first half of the trek will take you through the small villages of Hoya de Tunte, Rosiana and Ingenio de Santa Lucía and will be mostly cemented road with a lot of shade stages.
The second half until you reach the village of Sorrueda and La Fortaleza Fortress will be mostly a trekking path and it will get quiet sunny.
Finally you will finish your wandering by the new interpretation center (museum) of a very interesting archaeological site La Fortaleza. According to the legend, this was the last defeated place in Gran Canaria during the conquest. Here you will have a chance to visit the museum (3 €/person) or to have a nice lunch in a traditional Canarian taverna.
Walking Tour Charco Azul – Guayedra will take you to the beautiful pond hidden between the rocks of the valley of El Risco. You can jump into its blue water and let yourself refresh by a fresh cascade of water. Later on you will have a possibility to swim on the charming and lonely beach of Guayedra.
Start: El Risco 110 m
Finish: El Risco 110 m
Height difference: 200 m
Distance: 6 km (2 hours)
Take with you: good shoes, sun protector, swimsuit, swimming shoes (if you have), water, lunch
Walking tour Charco Azul Guayedra is a very easy trek suitable for beginners, for families with children or as a relaxing day during your walking holidays. First you will arrive to the village of El Risco on the western coast of Gran Canaria. You will start the walk from the center of the village.
The way is mostly flat, easy and sunny. The stream that brings water in the form of a cascade into the pond usually flows all year round. However in the warm summer months it may happen that there is not enough water to refresh yourself in the pond.
Charco Azul means “Blue Pond” in the Spanish language. Its name is given by blue colour that you can observe when the sun shines into its clear water.
After visiting Charco Azul you can relax on the beautiful volcanic beach of Guayedra. Because it is not possible to reach the beach by car, you will have to do another short walk of approximately 800 meters with approximately 70 meters of height difference.
Safe swimming on Guayedra beach is possible only when the tide is low. In case you wouldn´t be able to reach the beach during the low tide hours, you can still do some swimming in the natural sea water pools in Puerto de las Nieves instead.
Walking Tour Santa Brígida Jardín Canario starts in the beautiful historical center of Santa Brígida and goes through the valley of Guiniguada to the biggest botanical garden of Spain, where you will have a chance to enjoy the large collection of endemic and other plants.
Start: Santa Brígida 510 m
Finish: Jardín Canario 260 m
Height difference: 250 m
Distance: 10 km (3 hours)
Don’t forget: good shoes, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protector, water, lunch
Walking Tour Santa Brígida Jardín Canario starts in Santa Brígida. This village was for its water sources and fertile soil one of the first colonized places on the island. Until nowadays it is well known for its unique wines planted on the volcanic soil. If you are interested you can visit a wine museum here. The tour finishes in the largest botanical gardens of Spain with great number of endemic plants and a singular cactus garden. Entrance is for free.
You will start your walking tour to Teror by the “Cathedral” in the historical center of Arucas and with spectacular views you will climb up to the top of Pico de Osorio mountain (968m) and then throught the ranch of Osorio you will descend down to the mysterious basilic in the beautiful center of the village of Teror.
Start: Arucas 240 m
Finish: Teror 589 m
Height difference: 1107 m
Distance: 15 km (5 hours)
Don’t forget: good shoes, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protector, water, lunch
Walking Tour Arucas Teror connects 2 historical centers of Gran Canaria of great interest. You will start in Arucas, the local base of artistic stone-cutters. Since the past they have decorated a great number of buildings by basaltic stone and have constructed an imposing “cathedral style” church in the main square. Later on you will finish in Teror, the most important religious center of the Canary islands with its temple dedicated to Our Lady of the Pine.
Walking Tour Tejeda Roque Nublo is a trail to the mythical symbol of Gran Canaria – Roque Nublo. You will start your way in the historical center of Tejeda and finish on the same place.
Start: Tejeda 1050 m
Finish: Roque Nublo 1813 m (one way path)
Height difference: 1800 m
Distance: 18 km (8 hours)
Don’t forget: good shoes, nordic walking sticks recomended, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protector, water, lunch
Roque Nublo was often mentioned already in the old aboriginal mythology. The locals believed that the guardians of the gods used to live there. That is why they used to bring their offers as milk and honey to another mystical rock called Roque Bentayga. You will be watching Roque Bentayga most of your way from Tejeda to Roque Nublo. The Gods themselves used to live a bit higher – on the highest mountain of the Canary Islands, and nowadays also the highest mountain of Spain – Pico de Teide in the island of Tenerife.
Roque Nublo has converted into a symbol of Gran Canaria for everyone. And that is the reason why you should do this trek. Most of the visitors of Roque Nublo take the “lazy way” that starts on the parking space below the mountain. If you are in a good condition, make something for your ego, and defeat Roque Nublo from Tejeda. Walking Tour Tejeda Roque Nublo starts in a beautiful almond village in the height of 1050 meters. Your experience of visiting Roque Nublo will be way different.
Walking Tour Barranco de los Cernícalos is an easy forest walk along the stream with a lot of small cascades. Includes the possibility of sightseeing in the historical center of Telde.
Start: Lomo Magullo 400 m
Finish: Lomo Magullo 400 m (one way path)
Height difference: 600 m
Distance: 10 km (3 hours)
Take with you: good shoes, warm clothing, raincoat, water, lunch
Walking Tour Barranco de los Cernícalos is mildly climbing up along the nice stream of water and from time to time it is necessary to hop from one side to another one which makes all the way more funny. It is suitable for all levels of walkers, because the advantage of this tour is that you will return back by the same way that you will take to go up. During the working days the path is quiet abandoned but it is not recommendable to walk it on the weekends, as it is very popular by the local families.
Walking Tour GuiGui Beach is trekking through the wild and untouched valley to one of the last virgin beaches of Gran Canaria. Good physical condition needed – very significant height difference.
Start: Tasartico 190 m
Finish: Tasartico 190 m (one way path)
Height difference: 1900 m
Distance: 10 km (7 hours)
Take with you: good shoes, nordic walking sticks recomended, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protector, swimsuit, water, lunch
Walking tour GuiGui Beach will take you to one of the last virgen beaches in Gran Canaria. The reason of its loneliness is simple. It is quiet difficult to reach it. Occasionally the beach is a goal of sporadic boat trips, but most of the visitors are hikers searching for peace and hidden secrets. There are two beaches of GuiGui. One of them you will reach any time from the path, second one is reachable only when the tide is low. Please be sure you are in good physical condition if thinking about this tour.
Walking Tour Tamadaba Agaete is a trekking path of the old aboriginal Guanche. Starts in the pine forests of Tamadaba and with amazing views when descending through the green Valley of Agaete to the picturesque village of Agaete. Good physical condition needed.
Start: Tamadaba 1350 m
Finish: Agaete 30 m
Height difference: 1320 m
Distance: 15 km (5 hours)
Take with you: good shoes, nordic walings sticks recomended, warm clothing, raincoat, water, lunch
Walking Tour Tamadaba Agaete used to be walked originally by the aboriginal women and served as an important commercial road. The women of Artenara where the cereals were produced needed to change some of the cereals for the fish caught by the fishermen in Agaete and vice versa the women of Agaete wandering up the hill to exchange their fish for the cereals.
After visiting the mountain village of Tejeda you will continue to Cruz de Tejeda, where your walking tour Cruz de Tejeda Artenara starts. As the path leads along the ridge of the mountain, you will often enjoy magnific views both of the Northern and Western coast. You will finish in the highest located village on the island – Artenara where you can enjoy a nice lunch with the views.
Start: Cruz de Tejeda 1560 m.n.m.
Finish: Artenara 1270 m.n.m.
Height difference: 700 m
Distance: 8 km (3 hours)
Take with you: good shoes, nordic walking sticks recomended, warm clothing, raincoat, sun protector, swimsuit, water, lunch
Before you start the trekking from Cruz de Tejeda to Artenara, you can make a short visit to the beautiful mountain village of Tejeda that is definitely worth it. Afterwards you will continue driving to Cruz de Tejeda where you will start trekking.
You will finish in Artenara – one of the highest located villages in Gran Canaria. It was inhabited already in the prehispanic times as the area was suitable for the production of cereals and stock raising. This feature survived until nowadays, the same as the unique form of local habitats – cave houses. The thermic qualities of the caves keep the same temperature all year round. That is why you can find so many cave houses all over the island.
Walking tour Cruz de Tejeda Artenara is not very difficult and is suitable also for those not used to long and hard walking tours.