I finally managed to write this post about one of our favourite islands in Europe. For this itinerary you should know, that you’ll need a rental car and we moved once during the week. You can stay in one place for the entire week, but we decided to split our stay to the north and south (and we visited places around accordingly). At the end of the post you can find our VLOG from Gran Canaria, if you prefer watching over reading. I hope this itinerary will help you with you planning and give you an idea, what is manageable in a day and in a week.
Arrive, pick up your car, check in and go on a walk to explore the surroundings
After arriving at Gran Canaria airport, pick up your car (book ahead, we usually use Billiger Mietwagen) and drive to your accommodation. We decided to stay at Puerto Rico, which is in the south-west of the island. We booked a cozy apartment at Servatur Casablanca Suites & Spa, where we had a small kitchen, a pool and a rooftop jacuzzi. Although the parking is pretty limited, we were able to find parking spots. First we walked down to the Puerto Rico beach from where a nice beach promenade will lead you to one of the most beautiful bays on the island – Playa Amadores. Take a dip or just chill in the warm sun, then grab something to eat and soak in the energy of the drowning sun, because tomorrow is a big day 😉
Puerto de Mogan – Mulino de Viento (windmill) – Presa del Mulato – Presa de las Ninas – Sunset at Maspalomas
On our second day we drove to Puerto de Mogan, which was a huge surprise for us (Thank’s Nika and Pedro for the recommendation – you’ll get to know these guys later 😉). If you’re here in early summer, everything is probably going to bloom. The white houses have colorful edges, which match the endless sea of flowers. But it doesn’t stop here – the swimming bay and the marina are great and not too crowded.
Hop back into your car and let’s go inland. Take the mountain road GC-200 and you’ll stumble upon a lovely windmill on the left. If you want you can stop and take a look around. If not, proceed on this road. Once you reach “the top” or kind of a plateau, there will be a parking space on the left and a car selling local products on the right. Stop here, try what they’re offering and if you like something buy it. Then walk 10 min up the hill to the cross called Cruz de San Antonio for a beautiful view.
Back at the car, drive just a few hundred meters further and try to park again, if you want to take a look at the Presa del Mulato. Otherwise drive further to the Presa de las Ninas, where’s a big parking lot, a walking path around, grill opportunities and tables and benches to have a picnic.
By now it should be afternoon. Drive back down to the ocean, have a late lunch on the way or wait until you’ll have dinner. We decided to go for sunset to the Maspalomas lighthouse, which is just next to the sand dunes.
Roque Nublo – Pico las Nieves – Cruz de Tejeda – Tejeda – Roque Bentayga – Dunes of Maspalomas
Today you should start early and put on some comfy clothes and sports shoes as we’re going hiking 😉 Drive up to Roque Nublo admiring the winding roads, sharp curves and beautiful views around. At Roque Nublo it can get crowded as parking spots are limited, so try to be there early. Start walking – just follow the crowd – the first part is a paved path, then you’ll walk a little bit through the forest and at the end on rocky ground. It is not a difficult hike, if you walk relatively slow, you’ll be there in 30 min. From Roque Nublo you’ll get a breathtaking view, in right conditions you’ll be able to see all the way to Tenerife.
Walk back and drive to Pico las Nieves, which is the second highest point on Gran Canaria at 1949m. Good news: you can get here by car, no hiking needed. 😉 From here you’ll have a great view to the south shore, as well to the north of the island, and you can see Roque Nublo and Tenerife. Next to the viewing platform is a big round building. We think it’s a weather station.
Now let’s begin driving around Roque Nublo. First we briefly stopped at Cruz de Tejeda, with a lovely building in the center and you can walk around and take a few photos. Drive further to Tejeda, which is a mountain village dotted with white houses on different levels. The center is pedestrian friendly – walk around, have an ice cream, admire the church, sit down in a Cafe or restaurant, walk around the small park and not to forget – visit the Dulceria Nublo – a local bakery with delicious pastries.
From Tejeda you could see another big rock, right? No, this is not Roque Nublo, but Roque Bentayga. Drive closer, take a few pictures and enjoy the scenic ride back down to the coast. Today we decided to go to Maspalomas again , but this time to the other side of the Sand dunes. We parked our car near the Riu hotel. From here you’re kind of in the center entry point to the dunes. Play around in sand, let it glide through your fingers and toes and wait for the sunset here, you will not regret it 😉
After sunset we wanted to have a snack and some cocktails. Our friends from before Nika and Pedro recommended Atelier in Maspalomas, which was exactly what we were looking for – a cool rooftop bar with yummy cocktails and live music ❤
Mirador del Balcon – Anden Verde – scenic ride on the west coat to Coffee Plantation – Agaete and natural pools of Salinas – Arucas – dinner at Las palmas
Ok, today is moving day. Check out of your hotel, squeeze the luggage into the car and drive the west coast up. The first stop is Mirador de Balcon, which is indeed a balcony overlooking the wide ocean. Not far away is Anden Verde, where you can hike a 8km long cliff walk trail. We decided to drive further and marvel at the beautiful views on this west coast road.
First we drove to San Pedro, the only coffee plantation in Europe at Finca los Canstanos. As the opening hours are limited, we didn’t want to miss a tour and tasting, so we drove there first. In a beautiful garden coffee plants and other fruit bloom and strive. The tasting is good as well, especially if you’re an avid coffee drinker.
Ok, now it’s finally beach time. Drive back to the coast, park in Agaete, which is by the way a beautiful coastal town – the central church is beautiful, the flower garden small but impressive and not to forget the historical Bar El Perola, which has a minimalistic menu and is some kind of a museum. Walk the picturesque promenade to the natural pools of Salinas. Find a spot on the rocks and jump into the cold water, it’s super refreshing. Here you can also see black volcanic sand.
When you’re rejuvenated drive to the last stop today – Arucas. We didn’t expect a lot, but I don’t know if it was the golden light or the town is really as beautiful as we remember it. The cathedral in the center is breathtaking and walking around is really enjoyable.
Arrive in Las Palmas. We booked a small apartment Canteras Farray near the beach Las Canteras. Because here the parking is really limited, we parked the car in an underground garage, which was reduced because we stayed in this apartment. And now … food 😊 Our friends Nika and Pedro took us to a good restaurant which we can recommend as well: it’s called Allende – they have vegetarian and vegan options as well.
Las Palmas: old part and playa las Canteras
As the last 3 days were quite packed with a lot of driving, today we’ll let the car in the garage and we’ll walk, swim or take the bus. In the morning go to the old town of Las Palmas called Vegueta, where you can admire impressive buildings like Museo Canario or Casa Colon (Columbus house) while strolling through the cobbled stoned callas. The main cathedral of Santa Ana was the first church of the Canary Islands and is worth visiting, the entrance is around 2€, but from the bell towers you’ll have a magnificent view over the colorful old town and on the other side to the ocean. In front of the cathedral are 2 dog statues, have still to find out why 🙂 Also don’t miss the market Mercado de Vegueta.
The afternoon is reserved for the beach. Las Canteras is a looong stretch of golden sand. Just next to it on the promenade are numerous cafes, bars, shops. If you see a shop called “Ale Hop” take a look inside, I’m sure they have something you “need”. 😉
Teror, Bandama, Telde and relax at las Canteras
After our relaxing “only Las Palmas” day, let’s make use of our rental car, shall we? Today we’ll drive to the picturesque village Teror (scary name, I know, but don’t worry, it is far from being terrible). Park the car (there are designated parking lots) and walk to the old historic center. Colorful houses with beautiful typical canary balconies will guide you directly to the basilica. Take a look at the “bitter fountain” or La Feunte Agrila and walk around the narrow streets to get a feeling of the village and its atmosphere.
Then you choose – you can make a detour/circle and drive to the crater of Bandama and over Telde back to Las Palmas. If you don’t feel like exploring some more (and after all it’s your last entire day), just return to your apartment, put on your swimwear and catch some sun rays on Las Canteras.
Pack up, check out and be at the airport at the right time😉
I forgot to tell you one last important thing. Which food you HAVE TO try, as it’s the typical Canarian dish. This is Papas con Mojo Canario, which are cooked potatoes with a special local sauce (it can be green or red). And you know what?! It is delicious 😉
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