The island of Gran Canaria is third in size in the archipelago,
after Tenerife and Fuerteventura. It has a surface area of
1,532m2 and its most outstanding features are the ravines which
come down from the central peaks - which are over 2,000m high
- to the shore.
There is no other place with such an eloquent variety of little
known scenery. There are desert and sandy areas as well as
mountains with lush, tropical vegetation. In Gran Canaria,
the steep cliffs of El Puerto de la Nieves and de la Aldea
together with the rugged ravines of Tirajana, Moya and Azuaje
alternate with pleasant valleys where thousands of banana-trees
grow and which - like the Arucas - gently descend towards the
sea. Gran Canaria has not in vain been called a continent in
miniature, because beginning by La Cumbre (a 2,000m peak) with
its granite masses of El Roque Nublo, nature has provided for
all kinds of scenery, where plants from Europe, Africa and
America grow (the Tamadaba pine forests, Los Tilos - lime-trees
-, the El Monte vineyards, the coffee plantations at Agaete,
palm forests, banana-trees, almond-trees, sugar cane and tomato
Las Plamas, the capital of the province, is the largest city
of the archipelago, a prosperous, beautiful place with 370,000
inhabitants and the largest port in GRT in Spain. Its airport
receives the most important airlines, with flights from Europe,
Africa and America. The capital has the attractions of a large
city, with excellent hotel and catering facilities, night clubs,
international shows, an intense social life and an ample calendar
of festive occasions and celebrations throughout the year.
A must in this modern, active city is the noble, peaceful old
area of Vegueta, where one finds stately old houses with impressive,
private inner courts and with artistically worked balconies
facing onto narrow streets and sheltered squares. The Old city
has the most important sights; the Gothic-neo-Classical cathedral,
which was begun in 1497, Columbus House, the residence of the
first governors of the island, which is a lovely building housing
an interesting museum about the times of Columbus, the Canary
Museum, which has the most complete collections of the traces
left by the Guanches, the pre-Spanish inhabitans of the islands.
Interesting churches include San Francisco's and the Hermitage
of San Telmo, which has a Mudéjar coffered ceiling.
The Provincial Fine Arts Museum, the House cum-Museum of Pérez
Galdós and the Néstor Museum round off the treasure
of art, architecture and history in the city. In the splendid
Doramas Park there is an area called the Canary Village, a
creation of the artists Néstor. It is an expressive
sight of Canary architecture. Against this exceptionally beautiful
background, popular dances and songs are performed on Thursdays
Las Canteras is magnificent, 2,600m long beach with a pleasant
temperature throughout the year.
Places of interest
It lies surrounded by excellent orchard lands. Noteworthy
are El Santo Cristo Basilica and the Parish Churches of San
Juan Bautista - which has an exceptionally valuable Flemish
retable -, San Gregorio and San Francisco.
There are splendid beach and a harbour at Melenara. In the
surroundings, Tara preserves marvelous caves of the original
inhabitants of the island, and Cuatro Puertas has the most
interesting native sight of the island, dating from the palaeolithic
period: the holy mountain the Guanches.
After 45km on the road from Telde to Valsequillo and Vega
de San Mateo, there is Tejeda, the centre and highest point
of the island, in the vicinity of which the majestic silhouettes
of Roque Nublo and Bentayga reach skyward: two enormous basalt
rocks. La Cruz del Tejeda also comes into view there with its
Parador. The scenery - a petrified storm in the words of Unamuno
- is very beautiful, with almond trees, kitchen gardens and
powerful summits, towering over a splendid panorama.
It is one of the oldest villages of the island, famous today
for its crafts, especially openwork and embroidery.
San Bartolomé de Tirajana
23km from Aguimes, after negotiating a winding road, there
is San Bartolomé de Tirajana in the mouth of a huge
crater at the foot of the central massif. There are the highest
points of the island: Pozo de las Nieves (1,965m) and Los Pechos
(1,961m), from where there is a marvelous view of the scenery
of La Galdera de Tirajana, the valleys of Ayacata and Fataga
with their villages and the Guanche necropolis of Artenara.
A summer resort with beaches nearby. Agriculturally very rich.
In Temisas, a lovely village amongst prickly pear and olive
groves, there are traces of the historical Guanches.
A beautiful, typical harbour next to the promenade of the
same name, from where there is a wide view.
A splendid beach in an area of perpetual calm. A magnificent
housing development with many gardens, hotels, bungalows swimming
pools and a recreational centre.
Playa del Inglés
With a length of 2,700m. A broad fringe of very fine, golden
sand, gently leading to an always blue, peaceful sea. A large
housing development with hotels, apartments, bungalows, etc.
A 6,000m long beach, an extension of the previous one, and
one of the most beautiful on the island. Nearby there is a
large oasis with dense vegetation consisting of palm trees
and salt marsh brushwood. Next to the oasis there is a small
lagoon. The housing developments include hotels, bungalows,
sports grounds, etc. and are very important. Two kilometres
west of the Maspalomas lighthouse, there is Pasito Blanco beach
with a yacht harbour and a tourist centre.
This little village lies near El Perchel Point. Patalavaca
beach has fine golden sand. It is the Best area for deep sea
fishing and there are the service facilities necessary for
this kind of sport.
A modern housing development with apartments, hotels, villas
and bungalows, tennis, a bowling alley, horses and a yacht
harbour for over 55 boats.
A beautiful valley where tropical fruit is grown. Lovely scenery
all along the 12km stretch. A modern yacht harbour with numerous
moorings, hotels and other accommodation.
It lies in the middle of an extremely fertile plain where
the largest and most important banana- growing area is found.
It is a clean village with beautiful gardens, such as the Municipal
Park, a collection of exotic flowers and plants. It has an
interesting parish church in pure Gothic. Close to the village
lies the volcanic cone called La Montaña de Arucas,
from the top of which there is a wide, panoramic view, including
El Puerto de la Luz and the mountains of La Isleta. The beautiful
Bañaderos coast lies at a distance of six kilometres.
The whole coast of this township is full of beautiful scenery
with cliffs, lovely coves and a breath-taking panorama.
This is an inland summer resort 11km fro Arucas. The Countryside
in the surroundings is bounded only by the impressive mountain
massifs where a large hamlet with scattered houses lies. The
village is most famous for the Sanctuary of La Virgen del Pino,
the patron saint of the island, which attracts many worshippers.
It is a prosperous village in the north near Point Guanarteme.
There are interesting cavings of the Canary image maker Luján
in the parish church. In the vicinity, the Cenobio de Valerón
consists of a series of caves under a huge eave-like projection
A place of special interest from the point of view of history
and archaeology. Traces of the Guanche culture, mainly in the
cave, the Cueva Pintada, where geometric paintings in different
colours are found. Interesting sights are the Town Hall with
its age-old dragon tree in the courtyard, the parish church
and Mayor Sq. the Plaza Mayor. It has sheltered pebble beaches.
Sardina del Norte
This small fishing village lies in picturesque surroundings.
It has a small pebble and coarse sand beach.
It is a beautiful village with a long sea-faring tradition
near Agaete valley. There is a long zigzagging canyon where
bananas, coffee, papayas, avocado pear, maize, etc. are grown.
Note the archaeological excavation site of Malpais, a Sight
of National Interest. The Virgen of Las Nieves, depicted on
a valuable Flemish panel, is worshipped in a beautiful hermitage.
Las Nieves beach consists of pebbles and coarse sand, surrounded
by rugged basalt cliffs. Seven kilometres away there is the
health resort called Balneario de los Berrazales in the middle
of lush vegetation. It has a spring with ferruginous water
and there is a good hotel.
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