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Top destinations in Gran Canaria
Popular things to do in Gran Canaria
Las Palmas Hop-on and Hop-off City Tour
Las Palmas Hop-on and Hop-off City Tour 1 day
Explore the largest city in Canary Islands, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, via Hop-on and Hop-off Tour! Ride the open-top double-decker bus and experience 360-degree panoramic view of the city’s landmarks.
Price from: €18.00More Info
Water sports combo packs
Water sports combo packs 30 minutes
Jet ski, Parasailing, Banana Boat, Donut, Fly Board, Crazy Shark or Jet Boat? Can’t decide or simply want to do many of them? We have 4 value combo packs that will help you decide and save you bucks!
Price from: €72.00More Info
30 minutes helicopter tour: Roque Nublo, valleys and canyons
30 minutes helicopter tour: Roque Nublo, valleys and canyons 30 minutes
Venture inland towards the center for stunning mountains, valleys and gorges. View the most iconic landmark - Roque Nuble - from different perspective before heading towards the pretty Puerto Mogán, Amadores beach and Puerto Rico.
Price from: €198.00More Info
Discover Scuba Diving in Playa del Inglés
Discover Scuba Diving in Playa del Inglés 7 hours
Have you always wanted to try out diving? Join us a fun discovery scuba diving at Playa del Ingles, you will have a lot of joy and perhaps it will whet your appetite for more (sea)?
Price from: €80.00More Info
Horse Riding trip near Maspalomas (1-3 hours)
Horse Riding trip near Maspalomas (1-3 hours) 1 hour
An unforgettable horse riding trip exploring the beautiful volcanic landscapes with amazing views over the Maspalomas sand dunes. Experienced and knowledgable guide. Suits all levels. Free pick up from hotels in the south.
Price from: €36.00More Info
Camel Safari with BBQ, show and transfer
Camel Safari with BBQ, show and transfer 4 hours
Camel Safari fun through the beautiful “Oasis of Thousand Palms” with yummy BBQ, the “Kissing Camel” show and much more. 4 hours of awesome fun with friends and family. Free transfer at selected resorts.
Price from: €35.00More Info
Jetski safari in Gran Canaria
Jetski safari in Gran Canaria 1 hour
Explore the beautiful west coast of Gran Canaria on a jet ski safari adventure. Massive vertical cliff faces, sea caves and remote beaches are some of the stunning landscapes you will witness. Tours of 1 and 2 hours available.
Price from: €65.00More Info
Tailor-made Spanish Private Lessons
Tailor-made Spanish Private Lessons 1 hour
For those wanting flexibility to their Spanish learning, the tailor-made Spanish private lesson is ideal. Learn by the hours or save more by getting a 10 or 20 hours Spanish lesson package.
Price from: €14.00More Info
Tour and activity categories in Gran Canaria
Travel Inspirations - Gran Canaria
The third largest island in the archipelago, Gran Canaria is sometimes referred to by the soubriquet of “the miniature continent.” Its ever-shifting terrain, which covers roughly 1560 km2, ranges from the arid and desert-like south to the verdant and lush ravine-peppered valleys of its northern hinterland; the interior is also dominated by a mountainous landscape filled with volcanic basins. Your first port of call will most probably be its capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , a heady melting pot of lively shopping streets, hip bars and great restaurants serving anything from tapas to authentic Indian cuisine. Las Palmas has a metropolitan energy and vibrancy more commonly associated with mainland Spain than that of the typical, languid Canarian town. As Spain’s seventh largest city, there are plenty of historical and architectural sights, including an imposing cathedral dating back to the 15th century, whilst the area around Santa Catalina Beach is the place to be seen if planning to make a night of it. If the hustle and bustle of Las Palmas isn’t your thing, it’s worth heading further into the island’s interior. Vega de San Mateo, situated only 22km south from Las Palmas, is a quaint hilltop town surrounded by stunning ravines such as the Barranco de la Mina, and well worth a visit. Further south,Agüimes is the definition of pretty. This charming town has been tastefully restored to resemble a 15th century village complete with a dazzling warren of streets lined with traditional pastel-painted buildings. Heading west from Las Palmas along the coastal route will also bring you to some of the island’s other resplendent towns such as Arucas, famed not only for its lush municipal gardens and majestic parish church, but also for the famous Arehucas rum— make sure to visit the local distillery for a free tipple or two. Situated close by, Parque Rural de Doramas cannot be matched for its abundance of flora which includes a heavy smattering of dragon trees. The park also has a number of excellent hiking routes which take you through forests, ravines and mountains, so don’t forget your walking boots. Gran Canaria’s historic patrimony is most evident within its interior. Perhaps best witnessed at Barranco de Guayadeque, a majestic ravine rising between Ingenio and Agüimes, it contains a number of fascinating burial mounds and caves etched into the crags and mountains that were once inhabited by the island’s original troglodytes. Unsurprisingly, the allure of sun and sand still remains a huge draw for the droves of tourists that visit Gran Canaria each year. Mass tourism is a big business here with the south coast being home to popular holiday resorts like Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and Puerto de Mogán. Whilst the region’s seemingly never-ending cluster of high-rise apartment blocks isn’t the most becoming sight in the world, the fine white sandy beaches are some of the best in the Canaries; its waters are perfect for swimming, diving and other water sports.
Overview Upon reaching the periphery of Gran Canaria ’s second city, your first impression probably won’t be a favourable one. Coated by a stratum of uninspiring industrial outlets, Telde, at first glance, appears to be a rather drab affair. However, if you choose to delve a little deeper towards the nucleus of its historic centre, you will be rewarded by cobbled streets, gardens pervaded by lush geraniums, grand old houses and a magnificent church that dates back to the 15 th century. Telde's close proximity to the blue flag beach of Melenara also makes it a good location for sun seekers, whilst the town has an adequate smattering of restaurants and bars for those planning to make a night of it. History Prior to the Spanish conquest, Telde was the principal settlement in the east of the island and home to a significant number of Doramas dwellings. The town was officially founded by papal decree in 1351 by a group of monks from Mallorca, seeking to set up a Bishopric in the Fortunate Isles. Not long after the conquest, a social divide began to emerge between the conquistadors, that based themselves within the opulent surroundings of the San Juan district of the town, and the local peasants who worked on the numerous sugar plantations in the area. Even up until the late 1970s, much of Telde was still subjected to poverty with official figures at the time suggesting that only 20% of its population had access to mains electricity whilst, shockingly, 15% of children attended school. Thankfully, this has changed considerably over the last 30 years due to the concentrated efforts of municipal authorities and a burgeoning commercial economy. Culture Like many Hispanic towns, Telde is deeply Catholic with the churches of San Juan and San Francisco (see Sights) often packed to the rafters come Mass. This devoutness is also evident in the religious fiestas and events hosted throughout the year (see Fiestas and Events). Economy Due to being situated in the Gran Canaria 's most fertile area, for many centuries Telde’s economy was driven by agriculture, its main produce comprising of sugar, bananas and tomatoes. However, since the 1980s, mass real estate and more commercial industries have driven the Telde's wealth- seemingly with little empathy for its surrounding area, which is now punctuated by a number of unprepossessing factories and warehouses. How to get there By Bus: Buses 12 and 80 run frequently to/from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (every 30 minutes). Journeys take 20 minutes. There are also a number of services to the neighbouring towns of Ingenio and Agüimes. For more information on bus schedules, visit www.globalsu.net . By Car: If driving from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , take the GC-1 out of town which runs directly along the coast to Telde. Sights If you choose to look beyond Telde's gloomy exterior, you will be pleasantly surprised by the town’s cobblestoned historic centre which constitutes two distinct quarters- the adjacent barrios of San Juan and San Francisco. Iglesia de San Juan Bautista Situated in the heart of the San Juan barrio’s resplendent whitewashed colonial buildings, this 15 th century church is notable for its interior which contains a gilt altarpiece, supporting a statue of Christ constructed from corn dough by Tarasco Mexican Indians. Where: Plaza San Juan, s/n, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 690 285 Iglesia de San Francisco A short walk from Plaza San Juan, amongst the lush gardens and orange and banana groves of the San Francisco barrio, sits another comely church which houses three polychrome altars and an ornate coffered ceiling. Parroquia de San Gregorio de Telde Situated in the San Gregorio district of town, home to several businesses and craft shops, this church includes neoclassical altarpieces and a carving of the Virgen de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows). Where: Calle Calderín López 17, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 690 202 Tourist information office If seeking any further information, the town has a tourist office, situated just off Plaza de San Juan. Where: Calle León y Castillo 2, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Opening hours: Monday- Friday 08:00 - 15:00 Museums Museo León y Castillo Perhaps a little too esoteric for some, this museum is devoted to the town’s most famous inhabitant, Fernando León y Castillo, the 19 th century politician and diplomat. The building, Castillo’s former home, is absolutely lovely and well worth the visit, even if Spanish politics may not be your thing. Where: Calle León y Castillo 43, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Opening hours: Monday to Friday 08:00 - 14:00 Admission: Free Beaches Playa de Melenara Located a short three kilometres from the town centre, Melenara is a blue-flag beach consisting of fine white sands. If seeking a spot of sunbathing in peace, it’s the perfect place as the stretch is rarely busy. The calm seas also make for favourable swimming conditions- make sure to look out for the sculpture of King Neptune that stands proudly amidst the waves. If you fancy a bite to eat, the adjacent promenade has a host of cafes and bars. You can reach the beach by taking the GC-102 road out of town. Other Beaches Amongst the other contenders for the municipality’s finest stretches, Gando beach has a lovely sandy bay and holds historical pertinence as purportedly being Gran Canaria ’s first port. Just north of Gando beach, you will also find the beaches of Salinetas and Tufia which remain popular with bathers and also offer a range of bars and restaurants along their seafronts. You can reach the beach by taking the GC-102 road out of town. Festivals Here are some other significant fiestas that take place throughout the year: July - Festival in honour of Nuestra Señora del Carmen August - Festival of Traída de Agua September - Bajada del Santísimo Cristo October - Festival in honour of San Francisco de Asís November - Festival in honour of San Gregorio Tramaturgo Festival of Traída de Agua Literally meaning ‘water fetching’- dating back to the desperate days when islanders would scour for water to subsist their crops- this popular event is simply one huge street water fight. Taking place in nearby Lomo Magullo in August, make sure to stock up on water balloons beforehand! Restaurants La Panacota A carnivorous heaven, this steakhouse serves the best rump in town and is complemented by excellent and attentive staff. Make sure you have a large appetite before visiting as the T-bone steaks are often bigger than your plate. Meals, including a drink, usually amount to €15-20 per head. Where: Calle Deán Pedro Jiménez 6, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 692 123 Ristorante La Pizza Aside from serving authentic thin-crust Italian pizzas, you can also choose from a broad selection of fish, pasta and salad dishes, topped off by tasty homemade desserts. With its cosy decor, the restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic vis-a-vis meal. Where: Avenida del Cabildo Insular 66, 35200 Telde, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 682 834 Opening hours: Closed on Tuesdays Nightlife Although nowhere near as raucous as a night out in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Telde has a few lively bars and nightclubs and can become quite animated on a Friday night. La Alameda A noted nightspot amongst locals, this rather plush bar/club is found in the heart of the San Juan neighbourhood. A converted 17 th century building, it has been tastefully restored mixing the aestheticism of its ancient stone walls and earthenware floors with modern art deco and wrought iron furniture. Especially popular on Fridays, it’s a pleasant venue for a drink and a jive. Where: 12 Plaza de San Juan, 35210 Telde, Gran Canaria .
Overview Often identified as one of the Gran Canaria ’s prettiest towns, Agüimes’ charm undoubtedly lies in its unpretentious traditionalism, divested of the noise and chaos that permeates the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria . Here in Agüimes you will find narrow streets lined with traditional terracotta-tinged houses which surround the its large shady square, Plaza del Rosario. Also, make sure to take in the nearby church, Iglesia de San Sebastián, which stands as a byword of Canarian neoclassicism. An example of faultless preservation, Agüimes’ historic centre is a source of pride to its residents who seize any opportunity to converge upon it, whether it be for a stroll and a chat, or for lively celebrations such as the Festival of Nuestra Señora del Rosario which takes place each September. History Although having previously existed as a noteworthy aboriginal settlement, Agüimes was officially founded in 1487 in the wake of the Spanish conquest. Akin to several of its contiguous neighbours, the town’s economy initially derived from sugar cane production before transmuting into agricultural activities in the 17th century. During this period, Agüimes’ infrastructure began to mushroom around the nucleus of Plaza de San Sebastián as it developed into the region’s most prominent township. Culture As is evident from the lovingly restored historic centre, the locals of Agüimes take enormous pride in their town. Throughout its labyrinthine streets and plazas, you are likely to witness residents, young and old, engaged in conversation or languidly conducting a paseo. Come mid-afternoon, the town also quite literally closes its shutters for the welcome siesta. Agüimes is also noted for its appreciation of the arts, hosting a number of folk music festivals and theatrical workshops throughout the year. Economy Traditionally, the economy of Agüimes has always been supported by the export of local agricultural produce, particularly tomatoes. The tasteful restoration of the town’s historic kernel, alongside the sensitive cultivation of the magnificent Guayadeque Ravine, has also generated large numbers of tourists looking for a slice of rustic Canarian culture. How to get there By Bus: From Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , take either Global bus number 21 (hourly service from 07:20 -19:20) or Global bus number 11 (seventeen daily from 05:50 to 21:20). Both journeys cost €3.25. Global bus number 35 also runs a frequent service from Telde to Agüimes (eight daily, from 07:00 to 20:45), costing €1.30. If seeking the coast, Global bus number 22 provides a connection to the popular swimming spot Arinaga (hourly service from 06:00 to 21:00). By Car: Driving from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Agüimes is accessed by taking the GC-1 motorway southwards before turning onto the GC-191 at exit 18. Sights Tourist information office With friendly staff, it has a wealth of information on local sites. Where: Plaza de San Antón 1, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 124 183 Opening hours: Monday-Friday 08:00 -15:00. Iglesia de San Sebastián (Church) Located just off Agüimes’s main square, Plaza del Rosario, this glorious church exemplifies Canarian neoclassical architecture in all its glory. Declared an artistic monument in 1981, its standout feature is without doubt the white dome which contains 12 large windows representing the 12 apostles. Where: Plaza del Rosario, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria . Opening hours: 09:30 - 12:30 and 17:00 - 19:00 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Barranco de Guayadeque (ravine) Rising majestically between Agüimes and neighbouring town Ingenio, this winsome expanse is lush and green all year round. It’s particularly resplendent during early spring when its almond trees are in blossom. The ravine is also home to some of the island’s most noteworthy pre-Hispanic burial mounds (see Museums section). Within the surrounding calcified caves there is also a bar and a couple of atmospheric restaurants (see Restaurants section). Montaña de Agüimes Another must for archaeology enthusiasts, the site contains various remains of aboriginal cave dwellings and drawings. Make sure to visit its Morro del Cuervo, home to an unique collection of petroglyphs. Cocodrilo Park (Crocodile Park) Situated in nearby Los Corralillos, the park was originally a family-run hospice for injured crocodiles. Today, it is the biggest crocodile park in Europe, housing over 300 snappers. They are also joined by vast colonies of monkeys, chimpanzees and birds which are brought to the park for protection and rehabilitation. Where: Cocodrilo Park, Carretera General, Los Corralillos, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 784 725 Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00 Casa Rurales If looking to kick back in true rural Canarian style, make sure to visit one of the area’s many charmingly restored farmhouses. Although a little dearer than your run-of-the-mill hotel, prices are, more often than not, validated by breathtaking views and delicious home cooking. Museums Museo y Centro de Interpretación de Guayadeque (museum) Found at the entrance of the Guayadeque Ravine, the centre is built into a cave and provides fascinating explanations into the area’s erstwhile aboriginal inhabitants. There are also several exhibits, including a ghoulish mummy found in the 19th century. Where: Barranco de Guayadeque, s/n, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 172 026 Opening hours: 09:00-17.00 Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-18:00. Closed on Monday. Activities Diving El Cabrón Marine Reserve with its warm subtropical water offers divers a diverse and exciting underwater experience. Just a stone’s throw away from Arinaga, the diving conditions here are considered to be some of the best in the Canaries. Under its waters you will find various corals and volcanic reefs whilst marine life includes seahorses and angel sharks (not dangerous!). 'Punta de la Sal' 'El Cabrón Bay', or the 'Table Top' are some of the popular dive sites. Davy Jones Diving Only 5 minutes away from dive sites in El Cabrón Marine Reserve, Davy Jones offers various dive excursions and PADI courses to suit all levels. For dive enthusiasts looking at venturing into the underwater world of the south, free transfer to resorts in the south is offered. Address: Calle Luis Velasco 39, Playa de Arinaga, 35118 Agüimes, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 900 460 147 free phone, +0034 699 721 584 (calling from mobiles/ outside of Spain) Wind and Kite Surfing The beach of Playa de Vargas attracts wave-riders throughout the year, culminating in the PWA Wave Classic Grand Prix, held each July/ August. Also known as the Beach Festival, it is celebrated with drawings, food, songs and dance. Pantai Surf Shop Where: Calle Granados Las Rosas (carretera general), 35269 Agüimes Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 606 329 069 Hiking The breathtakingly beautiful Barranco Guayadeque offers some pleasant walking routes which are also manageable for those that don’t don walking boots on a frequent basis. The most common route is found on the outskirts of the town, “Orilla de Ingenio”. Approximately 4km long, the trail includes the Los Marteles caldera and will take you 45-60 minutes to complete. Beaches Playa del Cabrón (beach) A stone’s throw away from Arinaga, the diving conditions here are considered to be some of the best in the Canaries. Under its waters you will find various corals and volcanic reefs whilst marine life includes seahorses and angel sharks (not dangerous!). Global bus number 22 provides a connection to Arinaga (hourly service from 06:00 - 21:00). Playa de Vargas (beach) A hotbed for windsurfing, this beach attracts wave-riders throughout the year, culminating in the PWA Wave Classic Grand Prix, held each July/ August - a long weekend of wind and kite surfing competition, songs, dance and food. There is also a campsite handily located nearby. Festivals Festival of Nuestra Señora del Rosario Held on the last Saturday of September, this traditional event attracts throngs of visitors each year. Highlights include the Traída del Agua y del Gofio, a nostalgic re-enactment of the carrying of gofio (ground, roasted grain, particularly popular in Canarian cuisine) to the mill, in homage to the ancient custom of the town’s forebears. Encuentro en el Casco Literally meaning “Meeting in the Old Quarter,” this event, held in September, sees the streets come alive with live folk music and sweet wafts of local gastronomy. Other festivals February - Carnaval May - Festival of San José Obrero September - La Vará del Pescao Restaurants Restaurant El Populacho Found on the corner of Plaza de Rosario, this brightly coloured tapas bar is the pick of the bunch with regards to both ambience and cuisine. Plates cost around €2.50 each. Where: Plaza de Rosario 17, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria . Telephone: +34 928 784 151 Restaurante El Centro For a truly unique dining experience, head over to Barranco de Guayadeque where you will find this cosy and cavernous restaurant nestled into the rock face. Comprised of a warren of rooms and alcoves, take a seat and make sure to try its speciality- fried pork accompanied by garlic mayonnaise. Mains range from an incredibly cheap €4-9. Where: Calle Cueva Bermeja, 25, 35260 Agüimes, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 172 145 Nightlife None to speak of; your best bet is to head over to nearby Telde .
Overview Sitting handsomely on a mountainside, Arucas is nicknamed the ‘pearl of Gran Canaria ’—with good reason too. Just a short walk around its historic centre provides you with a number of memorable sights including a majestic parish church, lush gardens and famed rum distillery. In many ways, the namesake municipality surrounding the town could be described as a microcosm of the entire island. Here, you will find verdant expanses (sustained by natural water resources), mountains and a number of beaches on the north coast. And what’s more, it’s only 12km from the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria . History Originally known as Arehucas by the island’s original settlers, the town was already an established settlement before falling to the Spanish conquest at the end of the 15th century. However, the locals didn’t go down without a fight. Despite much of the town’s population being severely decimated during the first incursion of conquistadors in 1479, further battles raged during the next two years including the Battle of Arucas which saw native leader Doramas slain at the hands of Pedro de Vera, the recently appointed commander of the Castilian forces. Officially subjugated in 1483, the area’s rich and diverse landscape was split between the conquistadors. Fertile lands and rich water resources enabled profitable sugar cane production whilst the town’s name was changed to Arucas in 1503. Throughout the 16th century, many of the town’s wealthy landowners inhabited plush colonial houses, which still stand today. Employing a type of feudal system, it experienced great prosperity, firstly through the production of sugar cane, and subsequently from cochineal and bananas. The 19th century saw Arucas’ infrastructure mushroom substantially, in juxtaposition with the construction of various canals and reservoirs throughout the surrounding region. In 1894, Arucas was officially recognised as a municipality. Culture As demonstrated through its abundance of craft shops and an open air market, Arucas is still in touch with tradition. Unsurprisingly, Catholicism is a big noise here, best witnessed during its perennial calendar of religious fiestas (see Festivals section). Economy Whilst tertiary industries have proliferated in recent years, agriculture is still a big player within the Arucas’ economy. Today, it is one of the island’s leading suppliers of bananas with tourism also lending a substantial fiscal hand. How to get there By Bus: There are a number of buses that run from Las Palmas throughout the day. The most common are the Glocal bus 205 (every 30 minutes from 06:15-20:45) and 206 (hourly from 06:55-22:10). The Global bus 210 service, running via Cardones, also connects the capital with Arucas (31 buses from 06:30-22:15). By Car: If driving from Las Palmas, take the GC-2 motorway along the north coast before turning onto the GC-20 at Hoya Alta which leads to Arucas. Sights Historical town of Arucas Despite a few urban offshoots sprouting up here and there, the town is still quintessentially Canarian in its feel and architecture, especially in its historic centre, recently declared a site of historic-artistic interest. Suggested walking route: Starting from Plaza de San Juan, home to the Iglesia de San Juan and semi-constructed neoclassical theatre, continue down Calle León y Castillo, a charming street lined with colourful colonial buildings. Turning right at the end of the street, you come to Plaza Constitución, home to the 19th century modernist town hall and other buildings of significant architectural beauty and heritage. If you’re not tempted by some of the town’s steeper inclines, you can see it in style aboard the Platano Express, a mini-train which weaves its way through winding streets incorporating the best sights. Starting from Iglesia de San Juan, the round trip takes approximately one hour and runs from 10:00-17:00. For more info, visit the Tourist office, situated in the Municipal Gardens (+34 928 623 136, open 08:00-16:00 Monday- Friday). Iglesia de San Juan Bautista Standing magnificently above the town’s vibrant houses, this church is a glorious example of Canarian neo-Gothicism. Finished in 1909, its wealth of carved columns and heads was artfully constructed from Arucas stone by local masons. Within, you will find a 16th century Italian Crucifixion hanging above its altar, complimented by three outstanding stained glass windows designed by local painter, Cristobal Hernandez de Quintana. Where: Calle Párroco Cardenes 2, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 605 622 Opening hours: 09:30-12:30 and 16:30-19:15 Municipal Gardens and Museum Located opposite the town hall, these gardens feel more Gallic than Hispanic due to their abundance of French-style pavilions and fountains. Amidst its dragon palm trees, you will also come across the Municipal Museum, known as the Gourié House— an old dwelling dating back to Arucas’ feudal days. Today, it houses exhibitions and displays by Canarian painters and sculptors. Where: Plaza de la Constitución 3, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 628 158 Museum opening hours: 10:00-13:00 and 17:00-20:00 Monday- Friday, 10:00-13:00 Saturday and Sunday Jardín de las Hespérides (botanical garden) Heading northwest out of town, you will find this verdant paradise owned by the Marquésa de Arucas (Marchioness of Arucas). In addition to over 2500 species of plants, trees and cacti, this botanical garden has a number of ponds, greenhouses and benches. The admission fee includes a free detailed guide to help identify the various flora. Where: Jardín de la Marquésa, Lugar Hoyes 2, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 604 486 Opening hours: 09:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00 Monday- Saturday Admission: €6 for adults, €3 for under-18s. Museums Museo La Cantera (Stone quarry museum) Given the glowing examples of masonry on offer throughout the town, it seems only right to visit one of municipality’s 16th century quarries- El Cerrillo, which now also function as a museum. There are information panels with information and photos detailing the history, tradition and trade of stone art. Traditional blacksmith tools are also used to recreate the old quarry scene. Famous for its wealth of blue stone, you can witness local masons at work, whilst there are also a number of souvenirs on sale. Address: Camino Los Callejones 4, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 623 510 Activities La Montaña de Arucas (Mountain of Arucas) Situated 2.5km north of the Arucas, this mountain can be climbed without too much difficulty. Upon reaching its summit, you are greeted by a vast panorama that includes Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , the north coast, and the lush undergrowth of palm trees and banana groves surrounding its base. The mountain is best accessed using a 4X4 as the route, despite being short, can be steep in places. Heading north from the town centre, it is well signposted. Destilerías Arehucas (Arehucas Rum Distillery) A must for anyone with even the slightest predilection for sweet molasses, this distillery dates back to 1884. In addition to a free guided tour, visitors are permitted to sample a tipple or two. Where: Era de San Pedro 2, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 624 900 Opening hours: 10:00-14:00, Monday- Friday Beaches Playa de Bañaderos-El Puertillo (beach) Located on the north coast, this beach comprises of golden sands dotted with rocks. Although the waves can be formidable at times, its clear waters make for excellent diving conditions. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants along its promenade. The beach is 5km from Arucas and can be accessed by the GC-813. If coming from Las Palmas by bus, the 206 service drops you off close to the beach (18 buses from 06:55-22:10). Playa de San Andrés (beach) Another rocky golden-sanded beach with clear waters, it is connected by the GC-810. There are also other inlets and coves along the region’s coastline but they tend to be less popular due to their ruggedness and awkward access points. Festivals Las Fiestas de San Juan Bautista Celebrated during the third week of June in honour of its patron saint, Arucas’ streets come alive with a serpentine pilgrimage, sound-tracked by traditional Canarian folk music. Other festivities include a large livestock fair and the traditional San Juan bonfire. Other festivals Las Fiestas de San Sebastian- January 20th Carnaval- February/ March Las Fiestas de Santa Lucia- December 13th Restaurants Due to its close proximity to both the coast and the interior, Arucas’ local cuisine is diverse, offering both seafood and heartier meat-based dishes; vegetable stews are also popular. Needless to say, the favourite tipple amongst locals is Arehucas rum, brewed in the town’s distillery (see Activities). La Bodega de Arucas This chic restaurant-cum-cocktail bar is one of the classiest places in town. Spacious and tastefully furbished, its menu comprises of local dishes including a salubrious range of salads. Mains start at €6. Where: Calle Párroco Cárdenes 5, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 601 769 El Meson de la Montaña Serving a winning platter of glorious views and tasty food, this mountain- top restaurant is sure to leave a lasting impression. On the weekend, the plat du jour is usually a local speciality such as sancocho canario (a traditional Canarian dish comprising of fish and potatoes accompanied by a sauce) and puchero canario, a kind of vegetarian stew. Where: Lugar Montaña de Arucas, s/n, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 600 844 Nightlife Arucas is perfectly fine for a laid-back drink at the end of the day; if looking to shake your glow stick, head for the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria . Shopping A visit to the town’s historic centre, particularly along Calle León y Castillo and Calle Francisco Gourie, will leave you spoilt for choice. If you’re a foodie seeking local produce, make sure to visit on Saturday morning when the open air market is held. Many of the town’s craft shops are perfect for souvenirs, including stone sculptures and the perennial favourite— a bottle of local rum.
Overview This pretty little spa town is perhaps best known as the island’s most eminent mineral water producer, its plant shifting more than 200,000 bottles a day. The historic centre is well worth a visit, particularly for the Paseo de Gran Canaria and the Paseo de Canaria, an exquisite 30m fountain that cascades down to a pedestrian passage below. A saunter to the main square, Plaza de San Roque, is also recommended; here you will be greeted by an early 16th century church and breathtaking views of northern Gran Canaria . History The town’s name derives from the aboriginal word Afurgad, which has a double meaning— “high place” or “crossroads”. Founded in 1488, the Castilian conquistadors soon set to work on profiting from the area’s abundance of natural water resources and fertile soils. Under the custodianship of landowner Tomás Rodríguez de Palenzuela, Firgas soon began to play a vital role in the sugar industry boom of the 16 th century. During this period, Rodríguez de Palenzuela, aware of the utmost importance of the town’s natural water supply, constructed one of the first irrigation ditches on the island. Despite the slump of the sugar industry at the beginning of the 17 th century, the town’s agricultural stock was highly valued, particularly the cultivation of potatoes and corn. The resulting growth of the town’s population and importance within the island saw it achieve independence from Arucas in 1835. Economy With its impressive wealth of springs and ravines, it doesn’t come as shock to learn that much of the town’s economy derives from water. The easily identifiable Firgas Water is bottled at a nearby plant and supports the largest number of employees within the entire municipality. The 19th and 20th centuries also saw Firgas become an important producer of cochineal and bananas respectively. How to get there By Bus: From Las Palmas, you can take either Global bus 201 (five daily from 06:15-19:00) or 202 (one daily, 09:15), both of which terminate at Firgas. The Glocal bus 204 Las Palmas-Casablanca service also stops at Firgas en route (five daily from 07:00-20:15). By Car: If driving from Las Palmas take the GC-2 motorway along the north coast before turning onto the GC-20 at Hoya Alta, heading for Arucas . At Arucas , take the GC-300 inland road which has signposts for Firgas. Sights Iglesia Parroquial de San Roque (Church of San Roque) Standing at the heart of the town’s historic centre, this parish church was built in 1502 on the site of the original San Juan Ortega hermitage. The church still contains remnants of its forebear, including its front door and the coffered central nave. Where: Plaza San Roque, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Plaza de San Roque Across from the church, this square is worth a perusal for its monument of the town’s original patron saint, Juan de Ortega. Also, don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars, as the square’s natural elevation allows for great views of northern Gran Canaria . On a clear day, you might be able to see Tenerife and Fuerteventura on the horizon. Where: Calle Dieciocho de Julio, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Commemorative Fountain Located next to the Church of San Roque, this fountain was built in 1988 to commemorate the town’s 500 th anniversary. Whilst its water displays and lights are pleasant, the light background music may be a little kitsch for some. Where: Plaza San Roque, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Paseo de Gran Canaria and Paseo de Canaria (fountain) This stunning 30m fountain was built from the area’s supply of blue stone, and uses the town’s natural water resources. Mounted on a natural inclination, it stands an emblem of the island, its side depicting the 22 heraldic shields of Gran Canaria . It also contains seven sculptures representing the seven islands within the archipelago, carved in accordance with their relative shapes. Where: Plaza de San Roque, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Casa de la Cultura (House of culture) Unquestionably the town’s most impressive edifice, it now houses various exhibitions and local theatre productions. Address: Plaza de San Roque 3, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 616 120 Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) This blue stone building is a great example of 1940s neo-Canarian architecture. Its elegant balconies, constructed from local pine wood, are particularly impressive. Where: Plaza de San Roque 1, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 625 236 Molino del Conde (Gofio Mill) Perched on the road from Firgas to Valleseco, this 16th century gofio mill is a quaint example of yesteryear. Within, there is an old grain roasting oven and craft shop. Gofio is still produced here; visitors are allowed a free sample. Where: Carretera El Molido, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Opening hours: 11:00-15:00 and 17:00-19:00 Monday-Friday (closed on Tuesday), 11:00-15:00 Saturday and Sunday. Festivals San Roque Festival Celebrated in August, in honour of the town’s patron saint, this festival lasts for almost a month. Highlights include a large cattle fair, the ‘Traída del Palo’ (the Bringing of the Pole), a tradition in which locals carry a heavy log (often weighing over 200 kilos) from the mountain of Firgas to the town centre, and the procession of San Roque which is accompanied by traditional folk music. Other festivals San Luis and Fatima- May San Luís Gonzaga- June The Sacred Heart- June Santiago- July San Isidro Labrador- August The Sacred Cross- September Our Lady of the Pillar - October Santa Cecilia Big Band Music Festival- November Restaurants Aside from Canarian staple dishes such as papas arrugadas (wrinkly potatoes) and gofio (dough made of ground, roasted grain), restaurants in Firgas serve regional specialities including a vegetable stew, comprised mainly of watercress. Unsurprisingly, most meals are accompanied by a decanter of chilled Firgas Water. Restaurante Las Brasas A carnivore’s heaven, notable dishes include roast chicken, ribs, cutlets, and blood sausages. Popular with locals, you may need to book in advance, especially on weekends. Where: Avenida Cruz 36, 35432 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 625 250 Restaurante La Fuente This tiny eatery serving traditional Canarian cuisine; main courses cost around €8. Where: José Santos 2, 35430 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. La Caldera Grill House Not one for the thigh-conscious, most dishes consist of grilled and roasted meats, including steaks. Make sure to get a window seat for unforgettable views of the valleys below. It’s closed on Mondays. Where: Calle la Caldera, 14, 35432 Firgas, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 616 140 Shopping Firgas’ main commercial area can be found on Calle 18 de Julio, within its centre. If looking to pick up something a little more traditional, the town also has a wealth of craft shops selling everything from timples (a small string instrument resembling a ukulele, and a musical symbol of the entire archipelago) to espadrilles.
Overview Bordered by the verdant ridges of the Barranco de Guayadeque, Ingenio is often, if rather unfairly, snubbed by tourists in favour of its neighbour, Agüimes . Although not as popular, this small town- also a hotbed of arts and crafts- has a few interesting sites to hold your interest, including a quaint old church and a museum dedicated to stones and local artisanship. The International Folklore Festival is also held here every summer. History Ingenio’s history can be traced back to the island’s mass colonisation in wake of the Spanish conquest. Initially, the settlement and its surrounding fertile lands were exploited by settlers who cultivated sugar cane production and built the town’s first sugar mill. Unfortunately, due to the inexorable sugar boom in the Americas at the beginning of the 17 th century, demands for local produce soon declined dramatically leading many to set sail for the New World in hope of riches and a better life. However, in the 19 th century, Ingenio saw something of a renaissance, winning independence from the neighbouring town of Agüimes - of which it had hitherto been classed as an estate- in 1815, the same year its La Candelaria chapel was declared an independent parish church by ecclesiastical authorities. Culture Religion plays an important part in this small town and pace of life here is relaxing. The locals take pride in their handmade arts and crafts like embroidery, pottery, ceramic and stone work, live demonstrations of these can be observed at the Museum of Stones and Canary Island Crafts (see Museums section). Ingenio also play host to the annual International Folklore Festival where musically groups from various countries gather to embrace diversity. Economy Despite sugar cane production dying out in the 17th century, Ingenio has sustained itself over the intervening centuries through utilising its contiguous arable soils for agricultural purposes. The town is also a harbinger of ceramics and houses several charming handicraft shops. How to get there By Bus: From Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , take either Global bus number 21 (hourly service from 07:20-19:20) or Global bus 11 (21 daily from 05:50-21:50). Both journeys cost €2.95. Global bus number 35 also runs a frequent service from Telde to Agüimes , stopping at Ingenio en route (eight daily, from 07:00- 20:45). Journey cost €1.35 By Car: If driving from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , take the GC-1 motorway southwards along the coast before turning onto the GC-191 at exit 18. The journey takes approximately 35 minutes. Sights Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria (church) Situated in the central Plaza de la Candelaria by the town hall, the church officially dates back to 1901, despite being built on the remains of the original 19 th century chapel. The interior has a gothic altarpiece- its enormous bells were donated to the previous edifice by returning Cuban migrants in 1820. Where: Plaza de Ntra. Sra. de la Candelaria , 35250 Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Casa del Reloj (Clock House) A symbol of the town’s agricultural patrimony, yesteryear’s farmers would adjust their clocks in line with its Association clock so as to know what time to buy water to irrigate their fields. The present clock-face dates back to 1922. Where: Calle Sebastiana Espino Sánchez, 35259 Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Parque de Néstor Álamo (park) This leisure park with a huge grass area was created in 1996 to celebrate the International Folklore Festival (and still is today). Stood proudly in the park is one of the highest palm tree in Gran Canaria , it is so tall that it is almost impossible to take a full length picture of it! Where: near Plazoleta del Puente, 35259 Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Barranco de Guayadeque (ravine) Rising majestically between Ingenio and neighbouring town Agüimes , this winsome expanse is lush and green all year round. It’s particularly resplendent during early spring when its almond trees are in blossom. The ravine is also home to some of the island’s most noteworthy pre-Hispanic burial mounds (see Museum section). Within the surrounding calcified caves there is also a bar and a couple of atmospheric restaurants (see restaurants). Barranco del Draguillo (ravine) Running alongside the north of the municipality, this ravine contains further examples of aboriginal life, including engravings, silos, burial mounds and caves. Museums Museo y Centro de Interpretación de Guayadeque (museum) Found at the entrance of the Guayadeque Ravine, the centre is built into a cave and provides fascinating explanations into the area’s erstwhile aboriginal inhabitants. There are also several exhibits, including a ghoulish mummy found in the 19th century. Where: Barranco de Guayadeque, s/n, 35260 Agüimes , Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 172 026 Opening hours: 09:00-17.00 Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-18:00. Closed on Monday. Museo de Piedras y Artesanía Canaria (Museum of Stones and Canary Island Crafts) Situated on the outskirts of the town is this interesting museum which houses a substantial collection of minerals and local displays of artisanship. In addition to live demonstrations by local craftsmen, you can also purchase pottery. Where: Camino Real de Gando, 1, 35259 Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 781 124 Opening hours: 09:00-18:30 Monday-Saturday, 09:00-20:00 Sundays. Casa de Postas Dating back to the 19th century, this magnificent building used to serve as a coach house to all kinds of itinerant folk passing through the region. In its revamped capacity as a museum, its several rooms contain displays of local openwork, art and embroidery. It is also houses the tourist information centre. Where: Calle Pascual Richard, 2, 35259 Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 783 799 Activities Hiking The breathtakingly beautiful Barranco Guayadeque offers some pleasant walking routes which are also manageable for those that don’t don walking boots on a frequent basis. The most common route is found on the outskirts of the town, “Orilla de Ingenio”. Approximately 4km long, the trail includes the Los Marteles caldera and will take you 45-60 minutes to complete. Beaches Playa del Burrero (beach) Of the municipality’s two beaches, this is the most frequented; it is especially popular with youngsters during the summer holidays. The small stretch is only 500m long with pebbled sands and waters that are particularly favourable to windsurfing and sailing. Playa de San Agustín (beach) This small sand cove with pebbles is not the easiest to access. Festivals Fiesta of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria A red letter day in the town’s calendar, this fiesta, in honour of its patron saint, is celebrated in the first week of February. Celebrations entail a gathering in the town centre for a pilgrimage-offering to the Virgin, followed by folklore shows and livestock fairs. The pilgrimage is consecrated by the Taifas Ball which includes live music from local folk groups. When: 1st week of February Where: Villa de Ingenio International Folklore Festival Ingenio is a proud host to the annual International Folklore Festival where musically groups from various countries gather to embrace diversity. This 2 week-long festival includes performances, guided tours, parade, workshops, traditional games and so much more! When: Last 2 weeks of July (please note that dates might vary slightly each year) Where: Villa de Ingenio Restaurants Restaurante El Lechón With a generous selection of meat dishes, this friendly and reasonably priced restaurant is especially well-liked by families. Average meals cost €15 per head. Where: Avenida Valencia, 35250, Ingenio, Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 782 084 Restaurante El Centro For a truly unique dining experience, head over to Barranco de Guayadeque where you will find this cosy and cavernous restaurant nestled into the rock face. Comprised of a warren of rooms and alcoves, take a seat and make sure to try its speciality- fried pork accompanied by garlic mayonnaise. Mains range from an incredibly cheap €4-9. Where: Calle Cueva Bermeja, 25, 35260 Agüimes , Gran Canaria island. Telephone: (+34) 928 172 145 Nightlife If looking for a shindig, head to nearby Telde , Friday being the best night. Your best bet would be the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria however. Shopping If wishing to pick up a small souvenir, look no further than Ingenio’s wealth of craft shops. The town is particularly famed for its use of lace work, whilst it is also possible to purchase ceramics and pintadera- ancient aboriginal painted symbols. If looking to find something to lend a soupcon of Canarian charm to your home, take your pick from a number of shops selling colourful rugs, blankets, bedspreads and curtains. It’s also worth visiting the Museum of Stones and Canary Island Crafts (see Museum section), which sells pottery and other trinkets.