Top 5 routes to visit Gran Canaria

You have just arrived in Gran Canaria, have already settled into your accommodation, and the sun is tenderly caressing your face. Only, spending your entire stay doing nothing at the beach is out of the question! There is an island full of treasures to discover!!

Difficult to know where to start and where to start, for that, I have prepared 5 routes for you to discover the island as a whole. In my opinion, these are the must-sees in Gran Canaria, but this is only an overview.

Do not hesitate to share your experiences with me on other places by using the contact form .

And in between 2 visits, you’ll be able to indulge in the various activities I have to offer, such as dolphin trips, buggies, diving, jetskiing and much more…. Click here to find out what you can do.

Plan a full day per itinerary, especially if you like to take the time to discover each place listed below.

1) The Southeast, journey from the Sahara to Arizona.

A first immersion in the Guanches and Canarian culture


  1. Dunes of Maspalomas: It’s simply incredible to see it here, because only in this very particular place, stands a huge field of dunes of about 4km2. The resemblance to the Sahara desert is such that several shoots have already been made there, because it looks like it. A geological curiosity not to be missed, and a great opportunity to find yourself in a unique atmosphere in the Canary Islands.

2. Mundo Aborigen: I who am very curious to know more about the Guanches, I was delighted to discover this village reconstituted in real size, showing us through several scenes of everyday life, how the first inhabitants of Gran Canaria lived and even of the Canary Islands in general. On top of that, the managers are really friendly and welcoming. Allow 1 to 2 hours for the walk.

*Crazy Canary tip: 5min by car further north, there is a watchtower that offers us a great view of a canyon, which lets us think that we are in Arizona

  1. Ingenio: In itself the historic town center is pretty, but it was not a favorite, on the other hand there is a very nice museum where several pieces of craftsmanship from the Canary Islands are exhibited, ranging from ceramics, to knives, through carpentry and weaving.

*Crazy Canary tip: if you are looking for original souvenir gift ideas, visit the shop next to the tourist office, there are some things you will only find there.

4. Aigüimes: If you have not yet noticed that the municipalities of Gran Canaria like to dot their streets with statues, well in Aigüimes you cannot escape it. From the central square which is magnificent, walk through the streets of this city and discover the works that are there…. There is even a camel statue somewhere, will you be able to find it?

  1. Barranco de las Vacas: a small geological curiosity, simple but effective, where you can take sublime photos in an exceptional setting. The visit is very short, but this place seems to come straight out of a science fiction movie. Only 2 small parking spaces are next to the site to park, but otherwise continue just a bit past the barranco and you will find more. A short walk to get there, and another to visit and you’re done!

6. Barranco de Guayadeque: Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted, because the views in this barranco are absolutely splendid. And if you don’t want to walk, admiring the landscapes and the architecture of the small traditional houses will be enough to convince even the most reluctant that Gran Canaria is an absolutely magnificent and varied island.

2) Las Palmas, like an air of Latin America

A small capital that has everything of a big one!!


  1. Botanical garden: to sum up the botanical garden of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 3 words, I would say: wow, wow, wow!!

Although I’m not particularly a fan of gardening, I couldn’t be insensitive to the sight of all these species of plants, trees, cacti, etc., and we can be sure that some are several centuries old. The walks, accompanied by the ambient calm, are very pleasant there, and you will be protected from the sun in the middle of all this greenery.

The park is really huge, you could spend the day there, but you will see that after a while, the areas become a little less maintained and less varied, there is however the possibility of strolling in the alleys easily for 1 hour or 2 without getting bored.

Pay attention to the opening hours which are:

Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Weekends and public holidays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  1. Vegueta Market: located in one of the most beautiful areas of the capital, the Vegueta market is a covered market offering all kinds of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, did not go there to do your shopping for the week, because unfortunately some traders take the opportunity to give fairly high prices, but look a bit like the products are well presented, it’s full of color, you immediately feel that everything has grown under the magnificent sun of the Canary Islands.

And after taking a trip to the market, take a short stroll through the streets of Vegueta to get to the next must-see place to visit in Gran canaria, which is right next door, and which is called…..

  1. Casa de Colon : another nice surprise when you discover this place. Do not hesitate to visit this very large house with magnificent architecture, each room of which has been fitted out in order to immerse you more and more in what the great voyages to India were like at the time. Me who appreciates old nautical charts, with their inaccuracies and their particular design, I was served. You will also find old objects, statues…, dating from the pre-Columbian era, enough to get you into the mood.

And as if that weren’t enough, to finish, the souvenir shop is full of pretty objects.

4. Museo Canario: another good way to find out a little more about who the Guanches were, many things still remain mysterious about them. You will learn more about their habitats and way of life, and discover a whole bunch of fascinating little objects that have been found during excavations at the archaeological sites of Gran Canaria, and you will end up in the most glaucous room, the one where a collection of human skulls and mummies of this extinct people.

  1. Triana: the second historic district of Las Palmas, this one was very bourgeois at the time, then has now become, thanks to its main street now pedestrianized, a commercial area very popular with shops of all kinds. You will find the big classic brands, which unfortunately can be found everywhere, but also more typical and artisanal shops.

*Crazy Canary tip: feeling peckish? The Coki Triana restaurant offers excellent original dishes, with unusual combinations of flavors, the restaurant has vegetarian and vegan dishes, and the chef is a Frenchwoman who has been living here for more than 15 years.

3) The North, abundant vegetation.

Stroll between culture, greenery, and altitude!


  1. Cueva Pintada: another preserved treasure that helps us know a little more about who the Guanches were. A bit like the Lascaux cave in the Canary Islands, this one is located in the very center of the town of Galdar, which is very pretty and deserves a quick look, you will discover in addition to the painted cave, the remains of a village of more than 50 houses and caves around it. Don’t arrive too late to be able to take advantage of a guided tour that turns out to be very interesting. For those who appreciate jewelry, the souvenir shop has a nice panoply. Try to park as close as possible to the museum, because otherwise you will see that there is a nice climb to do on foot to get there.

  1. Cenobio de Valeron: a real gruyère carved in the rock, only with stone tools, because the use of metal arrived late on the Canary Islands, but the Guanches were not lacking in ingenuity when they chose to create this immense collective granary, strategically located so as not to be seen from the outside.

The car park doesn’t have a lot of spaces, but the visit is done rather quickly, so you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding parking.

The view from the Cenobio is magnificent.

3.Firgas: a small village that it would be a shame to miss when you visit Gran Canaria, slightly elevated, from the church square, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Atlantic, but above all, you can also admire the magnificent artificial waterfall that flows 30 meters long and its magnificent tiles that run along it.

  1. Arucas: a town center of historical-artistic interest, a parish church made of Arucas stone which, let’s face it, is splendid (we often tend to call it a cathedral, because of its large dimensions, but it is is indeed a church).

Without forgetting the distillery which exists since 1884, which produces the most popular rum of the Canary Islands and which has one of the most beautiful and oldest rum cellars in Europe. You can visit it from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

5. Teror: one of the oldest towns in the Canary Islands, and one of my favorites because it really gives us a unique atmosphere. We begin to feel that we are arriving at altitude, the temperature has dropped, and the vegetation is beginning to change.

Its houses have an architecture specific to Gran Canaria, and the city is known for its typical pastries, but also very much for its basilica surrounded by century-old trees.

4) The center, like a high mountain air

Put your head in the clouds…


*Crazy Canary Tip:

-Remember to take warm clothes, because there can be a very big difference in temperature between the seaside and the heights.

-Do not go there if the weather is too cloudy, because in addition to the cold, you will not enjoy the wonderful landscapes that this route offers you.

  1. Artenara: let’s start right away to get into the bath, with the highest village in Gran Canaria, which necessarily offers splendid views of the surrounding pine forests, Roque Nublo and Bentayga, and all these steep slopes . The bravest can also go to the foot of the statue of Jesus which dominates the city…. It almost feels like Rio de Janeiro.
  1. Tejeda: considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain, you will be far from the stress and noise more present towards the coast. The village specializes in the manufacture of almond-based products, you will find something to delight your taste buds in the main street, with obviously a breathtaking view, and if you are lucky enough to be there in February , the almond trees will be in bloom, the contrast between the white, the pink, and the green of the vegetation is incredible.

  1. Las Nieves: the highest peak in Gran Canaria, it is at 1950m, and you can reach it by car for those who do not feel like a high mountain hiker! Needless to remind you that the question of landscapes does not arise…. They are magnificent ! And if you are lucky enough to have clear visibility, you will even see Tenerife and its Mount Teide, 3718m high with sometimes snow at the top.

  1. Roque Nublo: former place of worship for Aborigines, it is considered one of the largest natural rocks in the world. A small walk of about 30min will be necessary to get there, there is certainly a drop, but if you have time, go there because you would miss a completely crazy point of view, from the most emblematic place of the city. island of Gran Canaria.

  1. Presa de las Niñas: if anyone thought Gran Canaria was all about beaches and hotels…. Well, he was completely wrong, because you can also find yourself in peace, on the edge of a lake, surrounded by the forest.

Many facilities have been provided (barbecues, tables, toilets) so that you can spend a pleasant time there, and relax, all with a slightly cooler temperature than by the sea, which can be very pleasant on days strong heat.

5) The West, the forgotten coast of Gran Canaria.

Fishing villages and banana plantations….


  1. Puerto Mogan: 50 years ago it was a small isolated village living only from fishing, it has now become one of the most visited places in Gran Canaria. Just wander the streets around the marina, the traditional facades are very well maintained, and there are flowers all over the streets. The view of the valley behind is magnificent, and it is precisely there that we will go for the rest of our itinerary.

*Crazy Canary tip: Friday morning Mogan market is very crowded, if you arrive late you may find it difficult to park. This market is not essential for my taste …. It doesn’t offer traditional crafts or fruits and vegetables, in short I haven’t seen anything that stands out.

2. Mirador de Veneguera: and off we go to swallow the kilometers of mountain roads that run along the western part of the island. And what could be better than sometimes taking a little break, just to get some fresh air and admire the view. The Veneguera viewpoint is there for that!

  1. Fuente de Los Azulejos: a process of erosion and oxidation has caused this cliff to end up with different layers of different colors, which creates a unique geological curiosity on the island of Gran Canaria. You can admire the show from the bottom, the bravest can indulge in a 45min hike to get to the top of the cliffs and enjoy a magnificent view.

*Crazy Canary tip: a photo taken at the end of this hike, has been relayed a lot on social networks, we see a girl bathing in a kind of natural swimming pool which is at the top, with a splendid landscape. Know that there is only in period of strong rains that this swimming pool is filled with water to bathe…. And it happens that it is dry for several years given the low rainfall in this area of the island.

*Crazy Canary Tip: Hungry? Stop at La Gañania which is on the road… it’s a unique restaurant, with a cactus garden that you can visit, goats that roam freely, not to mention the pig!!

4. Los Caserones: a quiet little fishing village where it’s nice to stop to listen to the sound of the waves and enjoy the beaches far from the seaside resorts in the south of the island.

5. Mirador del Balcon: another nice little viewpoint, which allows us to take a break to get some fresh air after all these mountain roads.

6. Puerto de las Nieves: the port of Las Nieves, its small beaches and its church, are the last stop for this itinerary dedicated to the West of the island. This area, little developed for tourism, on the other hand offers authentic landscapes specific to this part of Gran Canaria. Once arrived here, you can still visit the natural pools of Agaete, or its valley, which is the only place in Europe where coffee is grown.

To conclude :

  • These itineraries have been written to help you plan your visit to Gran Canaria, but there are still plenty of other treasures to discover, this is just a sample…. Do not hesitate, if you feel like it because you saw something that caught your eye on the road for example, to stop, discover for yourself, and share it with me via the contact form if you feel like it, I may not have discovered everything about this little corner of paradise in the Canary Islands yet!
  • Moreover, visits like this are great, but do not hesitate to discover Gran Canaria in different ways, by boat, underwater or on the hiking trails, I offer a whole bunch of activities carried out by my partners, with whom we try to stay away from massive and low quality tourism. Do not hesitate to look at my catalog of activities and the rest of my travel blog here .

Thanks for reading and enjoy your stay in Gran Canaria.