Isla de Gran Canaria Off The Beaten Path Tips by Maria_75 Top 5 Page for this destination
Isla de Gran Canaria Off The Beaten Path: 49 reviews and 131 photos
La Isleta, with Las Canteras in front
This used to be a little island outside Las Palmas, but is today a part of the city. As the city has grown they have filled up the beach and the sea with asphalt and buildings, untill it finally reached La Isleta.
The beachpromenade of Las Canteras is now extended in to La Isleta, and areas that used to be old and ugly before are now modern and beautiful. A big part of this place is also protected so that they can't build any more there.
Some of the most dangerous parts of Las Palmas can be found in the streets of La Isleta, so be a bit careful about walking around in dark streets there at night.
See photos from Las Palmas
Los Pinos de Gáldar
From this place you have an incredible view to the north of the island, and a big volcanic crater situated right below.
There are lots of pine trees in this area, and when you follow the road down to Las Palmas you feel like you are miles away from the Canary Islands. Some of the trees looks almost magical, and the landscape and views here are fantastic.
See photos from Pinos de Galdar
View to Maspalomas
This name means 'well of snow', and in the old days people used to gather snow, collect it in a well and use it as some kind of refrigerator.
This place is situated close to Pico de las Nieves that with it's 1949m is the highest mountain on Gran Canaria.
It's not so often that it snows here, but when it did the people came from many of the nearby areas to put the snow in the well. There is a sign here that says the people used to eat a special kind of diet for the low temperatures, and they also drank lots of wine to keep warm... :)
There is also an amazing view to the south of the island from here. It's incredible to stand in snow and look down at the beach of Maspalomas!
See photos from Pico de las Nieves
View from Artenara
Artenara is a small city situated high up in the mountains. From here you have an incredible view to the highest peeks of the island, plus Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga.
See photos from Artenara
The church in Puerto de las Nieves
In the northwest corner of the island you find the small and charming city of Puerto de las Nieves. The city is famous for its rockformation in the water called 'Dedo de Dios' (God's finger). This is also the place where you can find ferries that will take you to the other canarian islands.
On the beach is a very nice restaurant where you can sit down, look at the sea and the rockformation. The food here is very good, quite cheap and the staff is nice and friendly.
Right next to the ferry-place is a promenade where you can walk along the sea. It's a beautiful walk, but it can be very windy so bring a sweater or a jacket. The wind blows drops from the sea over the land. When the water vapores it leaves behind the salt, and makes it almost look like snow, that's why the city is called 'The snow harbour'.
UPDATE - TROPICAL STORM DELTA
November 28 2005 the Canary Islands was hit by the tropical storm Delta. A lot of damage was done to the islands, and during the storm the popular 'Dedo de Dios/Gods finger' got broken. So if you go there now you will no longer see the rock forming the popular finger. But a group of geologists will get together and see if its possible to restore or reconstruct the famous landmark.
See photos from Puerto de las Nieves
Cueva de los Cuatro Puertas
Near the airport and the city of Telde lies the old historical ruins of Cueva de los Cuatro Puertas. The guanches have build many caves in to the mountain, and on the top is a place that was used for sacrifices. There are many signs here telling you about the place and the guanches both in english and spanish, and with illustrations to give additonal information.
The site is not so big and you can see all of it in an hour or so, which makes it a great place to stop if you have hired a car and is going to Las Palmas. It can be a bit warm and windy walking around the mountain, so be sure to bring something to drink. After your visit here you can make a stop in Playa de Melenara for a swim before you continue to Las Palmas.
See photos from Cueva Cuatro Puertas
In the north, about 15 min from Las Palmas, lies the beautiful city of Santa Brigida. It is known for its spas and the great nature, and the locals that live here are more wealthy then in other cities. Here you can find big villas and amazing gardens, and also the famous botanical garden where you can see the big variation in plants on the island.
Near Santa Brigida is a great place for golfing, Golf de Bandama. It was actually made in the beginning of the 1900's and was the first golf-resort in Spain. You will also find Caldera de Bandama here. From the top, 569 m, is a great view to the eastside of the island, Las Palmas and the volcanocrater below, 1 km wide and 200 m deep.
See photos from Santa Brigida
A sculpture in the sea on Playa de Melenara
About half an hour from Playa del Ingles, on the way to Las Palmas, lies the beautiful beach in Melenara. And the best of all is that there is almost no one here, so you have the beach to yourself.
The beach is big and beautiful, the sea is calm and there is a sculpture of King Neptun out in the sea. Around the beach is a beautiful promenade with cafes. If you hire a car for travelling around the island, this is a great place to stop for a swim.
See photos from Meleara
See my travelogue for more beaches.
Catedral de San Juan Bautista
Surrounded by hills producing bananas and sugarcanes. The big romfactory produces more than 50.000 bottles of rom every day, and is one of the most famous roms on the islands.
The city is dominated by the big church San Juan Bautista, built of the local and very expencive stone that is also used in many of the other historical buildings on the island. Not far from the church is a quiet and beautiful park with many interesting tropical plants.
The guanches that used to live here was called Arehucas, and the hill north of the city is where the guancheking Doramas was finally killed after long and hard battles against the spanish.
From the hill in the city, Montaña de Arucas, you have a great view of the north of the island, and on good days you can even see the mountain Teide on the neighboring island of Tenerife.
See photos from Arucas
The desert in Maspalomas
Instead of cramming together with all the other tourists on the beach in Playa del Ingles, you can walk a few minutes and find a hidden spot all for yourself in the desert. Or you can just go for a walk along the sea from Playa del Ingles to Maspalomas. Definetly worth the trip.
There are great waves for bodyboarding here! But the desert is also the area for the nudes, so don't be shocked if you see some naked people walking around :)
See photos from Maspalomas
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