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City guides

Best places to visit in Gran Canaria

Artenara in Gran Canaria

Best villages and towns to visit in Gran Canaria

In this short guide, we will present our favorite villages, towns, and cities in Gran Canaria. Our list goes from South to North, east to west. You will find here a good mix of coastal villages and ports, mid-sized towns, and small hidden villages that ensure a perfect way to spend your time in Gran Canaria in case you are not planning to just relax on the beach!

Best places in Gran Canaria

Puerto de Mogan


Puerto de Mogan is one of Gran Canaria holiday resorts. It has been developed with care and it does not provide the impression of being over-developed. The best time to enjoy Mogan are early morning or in the evening when most visitors have gone. In the morning, the harbour recovers its charm and you can enjoy fishermen returning home. The narrow and white streets around the harbour are charming, and will be especially delightful for bougainvillea lovers.
There are regular boats that connect Puerto de Mogan with Puerto Rico and Arguineguin and you will have the chance to enjoy the presence of dolphins en route.

Puerto de Mogan flowers
maspalomas beach gran canaria

Maspalomas beach, Gran Canaria

Sandy dunes in the south of Gran Canaria Maspalomas is located in the south of Gran Canaria, in the heart of one of the most visited coastlines in Europe. The beaches of Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés, and Meloneras are home to a large number of hotels, tourist apartments, many leisure options to enjoy during the day, and a vibrant nightlife around the beaches.  Maspalomas not only has a spectacular beach and unparalleled weather, but it

Ingenio


The word ingenio in Spanish means inventiveness, and probably this defined this small town at a time when handicrafts developed in the island. The name, in reality, is derived from the machines used to process sugar during the XVIII century.
In any case, Ingenio is the best place in Gran Canaria to purchase ceramics and the very famous embroidered tablecloths. A first glimpse at Ingenio would not consider worth stopping, but if you head to the Casco historico (Barrio de Sequero) you will surprised to find a beautiful plaza (Plaza de la Candelaria), where the white church of Nuestra señora de la Candelaria stands.
For those who enjoy trekking, the famous Barranco de Guadayeque is located less than 5 kilometers from Ingenio and it is one of Gran Canaria´s best ravines. You will also find there the cave dwellings of Cueva Bermeja.

Church of Ingenio in Gran Canaria

Agüimes


Located 3,5 kilometers south of Ingenio, Agúimes welcomes the visitor from the distance with the imposing sight of its temple of San Sebastian. The town was founded in 1487 and it offers a good number of surprises if you drive direct to the historic district. Smll squares, cobbled streets and colourful façades, and many statues are part of the charms of this interesting town. The temple of San Sebastian was declared a national monument in 1981.
A great time of the year to visit Agúimes is the last Saturday of September when locals pay tribute to the gofio meal, a favorite in the Canary Islands. The party is called the Traída del Agua and locals get dressed in traditional costumes and descend from a mill to the town square to thank for rain and a good harvest.

Views of Agüimes in Gran Canaria

Telde


Located 14 kilometers south of Las Palmas, Telde is the second largest town in Gran Canaria and it has largely preserved its old Spanish character. Before the conquest, Telde was the most important seat of the Guarteme, the chiefs of the Guanches in Gran Canaria. Disregarded by many and not visited, Telde can surprise its visitor’s thanks to its charming historic district, which is probably as appealing as Vegueta in Las Palmas: labyrinth of narrow alleys and cobbled streets where you will find good examples of traditional architecture and the excellent Basilica de San Juan Bautista. It is a late 15th-century church built with lava of various colors and with a modern façade from the 18th century. The 15th-century altarpiece is probably the island´s most valuable work of art. The Parque Urbano de San Juan is also worth a visit, whilst the rest of the town does not hold particular tourist interest.

Square and church in Telde, Gran Canaria
las palmas city guide

Las Palmas city guide

Las Palmas is the capital and largest city of Gran Canaria, and the co-capital of the Canary Islands. Las Palmas is the perfect combination of natural beauty, history and modern amenities.

Teror


An architecturally enchanting town located 21 kilometers east of Las Palmas. The Virgin Mary is supposed to have appeared here in the branches of a pine tree in 1480.
Church of Nuestra señora del Pino. What remains of the original building is the 1740 tower and the classical façade. The interiors is from the 18th century. It has a nave and two aisles and a shrine with a 15th-century painting which is said to have miraculous properties. The treasure inside the church is worth visiting.
The Casa Manrique de Lara dates from the 16th and 17th century and it has been a local museum for culture and local history since 1970.

Main street in Teror, Gran Canaria

Arucas


Located 12 kilometers north-west of Las Palmas, Arucas is famous for two things: rum and its church, “almost a cathedral”.
Most people have heard the name of Arucas thanks to the local rum, branded as Arehucas, the old name of the town prior to the conquest. Arucas fonud fortune thanks to the production and commerce of sugarcane. The neo-gothic church of San Juan is probably the most imposing church in Gran Canarias and the best example of early XXth century religious architecture (it was completed in 1917). The church has the size of a basilic or even a cathedral! And any visitor will well wonder why there is such a massive church in such a small town.
Arucas boasts also some interesting streets and colourful houses. Head to Calle León y Castillo to enjoy the best examples and also a good park (great option if travelling with children) Next to the park you will find the colourful Casa de la Cultura. The museum of Arehucas rum can be visited.

The church in Arucas, Gran Canaria

Frigas


Located very close to Arucas, Frigas is worth visiting to enjoy its beautiful main avenue (Avenida de Gran Canarias) which has fountains and scale models of al seven islands. Water was very important in the history of this small town and there is actually a acequia real and a water spring.

Fountains in Frigas, Gran Canaria

Galdar

 

Located 40 kilometers west of Las Palmas, Galdar is a small town located on the feet of the volcano with the same name. Galdar was an important center for the Guanches before the conquest and they dug caves in this area. The cave Cueva pintada) is open to the public and it is probably the best-preserved archaeological find in the Canary Islands.
The baroque church of Santiago de los Caballeros has an interesting dome and a lavish interior. The local market is one of the most interesting markets in the Canary Islands.

Galdar and vulcano in Gran Canaria

Puerto de las Nieves


Located on the north-west coast of the island, Puerto de las Nieves is probably the most charming coastal towns in the Canary Islands. White and blue houses and a colourful harbour, Puerto de las Nieves is nested among cliffs in a spectacular natural setting. Ferries to Tenerife departure from here and despite the areas has developed in recent years it still holds an important part of its charm.

Harbour in Puerto de las Nieves in Gran Canaria

Artenara


Artenara is one of our favorite visits to Gran Canaria. It is the island´s highest village (watch out for your clothes if you plan to visit in winter and it boasts a fantastic cave church (the Cueva Iglesia) dedicated to the patron saint of travelers.
Located at 1270 meters above sea level, Artenara has mainly be known thanks to the cave houses, where locals still dwell today. The best way to enjoy one of the caves is to pay a visit to the tourist information center, which is located inside one (another option is to sleep at a cave hotel).
There is an ethnographic museum and top views where you will also enjoy the sculpture of Miguel de Unamuno (one of Spain´s most famous writers). The viewpoint is called Mirador de Unamuno who visited the area in 1910 and got seduced by the beauty of this place and the views over Roque Bentayga and Roque Nublo.

Artenara in Gran Canaria

Tejeda


It could be argued if Tejeda is worth the inclusion in this list since the village is such is not too special. However, the views it offers of Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria’s most famous peak are excellent and attract many tourists every day

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Besides tourism. Tejeda has an industry around almonds. The best time to visit Tejeda is in February when almond trees are in full bloom and when the village celebrates the almond in Bloom festival (La Fiesta del almendron en flor). A locally produced almond sweet called bienmesabe is worth trying.
Tejeda sits above 1,000 meters, so bring warm clothes if you visit in winter. Roque Nublo, the imposing peak at 1813 meters above sea level can be best enjoyed from Tejeda.

Views of the Roque Nublo from Tejeda

Top places to visit in the Canary islands