In and around Santa Brigida you can find a lot of great villas and buildings. Like this one on the picture. It's an old abandoned house, completely surrounded by the forest.
One day I will buy this house and renovate it. And just like Colombus I will use Gran Canaria as a base for my travels around the world.
Most tourists stay in some of the touristresorts in the south, so exploring other parts of the south might be the only option for many people. Especially if you don't want to hire a car, as most of these places can be reached by bus. Here are some examples of places you can visit in the south.
PUERTO DE MOGAN
Originally just a small fishing village, but is today one of the most charming touristresorts in the south with beautiful houses and canals. Absolutely a must see!
The original village of Puerto de Mogán. Charming little village a few km from the coast.
PLAYA DE AMADORES
A small manmade beach about 30 min walk from Puerto Rico. The sand is brought from the carribean, but the beach can be too crowded sometimes.
Has some of the best weather in the south, and lots of activites like sailing, windsurfing, diving, deepseafishing and many different boattrips.
The touristic part doesn't have so much to offer, but the original fishingvillage nearby can be worth a visit. Especially on tuesdays when they have the weekly market.
Walk through the dunes and escape all of the tourists in this crowded and popular touristresort. They also have camelrides here.
Has a promenade along the coast which is nice to go walking along.
In the east you can find many beautiful places to visit. They are easy to reach if you rent a car, but can be a bit more difficult to see by bus. Most people drive by all of these places on their way to the north, but they are worth a stop if you have the chance.
An archeological site with caves and paintings by the guances, close to Telde. Signs gives you good info in english and spanish.
BARRANCO DE GUAYADEQUE
The valley lies between Aguïmes and Ingenio. It drops from 1500m down to the east coast with many steep cliffs and ends at Cuatro Puertas.
CALDERA DE TIRAJANA
This is an impressive crater that lies within a very varied nature reserve.
A small city by the sea. Not so much to see here, but the beach is very beautiful. There are not so many people here and you can have it almost to yourself.
It's the second largest city in Gran Canaria, and it is very beautiful. Visit the Cathedral, the narrow streets of San Francisco and the large park.
Calls itself the 'artisan village' of Gran Canaria and also has a famous museum called 'Museo del Piedra'.
The climate on the island is like it is spring all year round. In winter (december / january) the average temperature is 21degrees centigrade and in summer it is about 25 degrees centigrade.
The climate is dry and sunny almost all year in the southern coastal regions. More inland, the mountains retain the clouds, and the sea has not so much influence. It is possible there is snow in the mountains, but you can still be sunbathing on the beach an hour drive from there.
When there is rain on the island, it usually carries a lot of sand from the african dessert. In the picture you can see how your beautifull car looks like after such a day.
The western part of the island consists mainly of steep cliffs falling down to the sea. But there are also many places worth to see here.
PUERTO DE LAS NIEVES
A beautiful and charming fishingvillage. Famous for the rockformation 'Dedo de Dios' (God's finger). Many great restaurants with seafood here. Ferries to the other islands also departs from here.
Lies in the end of Barranco de Agaete, and is the most fertile area on the island. Some of the things that are grown here are papaya, coffee, mango and avocado.
LOS PINOS DE GALDAR
Lies high up in the mountains and has an excellent view to the north and Tenerife, plus the crater below. Has many hundred pine trees that are centuries old.
There are very many archeological sites in this area, and it is believed that many of the guanches lived here, including the 'Guanartemes' - the guanche kings.
PUERTO DE ALDEA
A small fishing village on the west coast. Has a promende with many restaurants serving seafood.
A beautiful nature park with many pine trees, different bird species and a large variety of flowers.
This is the capitol of Gran Canaria, and is absolutely worth a visit. Easily reached with both bus and car. Here are some examples of places to visit.
CASA DE COLON
Christopher Colombus lived in this house when he stayed at the island and prepared his journey to 'the new world'. Today a museum dedicated to his travels and explorations.
The most important collection of guanche-items on the Canary Islands are gathered here. Also has many old maps and drawings of the islands. Try to visit if you have the chance.
A beautiful beach that stretches out almost 3 km. Protected by a barrier reef that keeps the water warm and calm. Has a beachpromenade that is perfect for a walk.
The old district of the city. Many old and beautiful buildings, plus museums here.
Popular shoppingstreet close to Vegueta. Also has many beautiful buildings, and it's nice to sit down and relax on one of the many streetside cafées.
PARQUE DORAMAS and PUEBLO CANARIO
A beautiful park between Las Canteras and Triana. Has a copy of a typical canarian village made by a canarian painter named Néstor de la Torre.
ERMITA DE SAN ANTONIO ABAD
Beautiful little baroque church in Vegueta. The streets around here give a very good impression of how it used to look like in the colonial times.
El Muelle and Las Arenas are two of the most popular shoppingcentres. Has a wide range of shops, bars, restaurants, discos and cinemas.
Read more on my page about Las Palmas.
The north of the island is totally different from the south. Because of the tradewinds this area is much more fertile and green. There are many beautiful villages here, and they are most easily reached by car.
The third largest city on the island. Visit the Cathedral and Montaña de Arucas where you have an excellent view of the north of the island. On clear days you can also see Tenerife.
A very beautiful and charming village. Has many typical canarian buildings, and a famous church. The market on sundays are one of the most popular on the island, and absolutely worth a visit.
A small and charming village with beautiful wood carvings.
CENOBIO DE VALERON
About 500 caves that were made and used by the guanches. It is believed that this was an important storage place for them.
CALDERA DE BANDAMA
A large crater not too far from Las Palmas. From the nearby Pico de Bandama there is an excellent view to Las Palmas and the north of the island.
Has an open-air museum called 'Mundo aborigen' where you can see how the aboriginals of the island used to live. Also has a famous laurisilva forest, and a beautiful church.
Beatiful chestnut tree forest around the fresh water lake; Laguna de Valleseco. The name means 'dry valley' even though the tradewinds bring much rain to the city, and the lake is made of rainwater.
The island is almost a perfect sircle, and the highest point Pico de las Nieves (1949m) is situated almost in the middle. There are many beautiful places situated up in the mountains and they are worth a visit.
Even if you are very afraid of heights (like me...) it won't be too much of a problem to drive around in the mountains. A few times you have to drive high up on the outside of steep cliffs, but normally you won't even notice that you are very high up in the mountains.
A beautiful little city in the middle of the mountains. White houses with red roofs clings on to the hillsides. Great view to Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga.
CRUZ DE TEJEDA
Higher up in the mountains from Tejeda, and has an excellent view to the mountaintops of the island.
A charming little village situated high up in the mountains. Has a church inside a cave, and also a fantastic view to the mountaintops.
POZO DE LAS NIEVES
Close to the highest mountain Pico de las Nieves, and almost in the middle of the island. Right before you reach the top you have a great view to the north of the island, and just a few minutes later you have an equally beautiful view towards the south and especially the dunes of Maspalomas.
Perfect view towards the rockformations Roque Nublo, Fraile and La Rana. It's also a good base for walking to these rocks.
San Augustin, Playa de Ingles and Maspalomas is the largest concentration of tourist industry in the south of Gran Canaria.
Two million visitors a year !!
Maspalomas has the most quiet atmosphere of these three.
The lighthouse is a important landmark between the oasis and dunes of Maspalomas at the east side and the many new huge hotelcomplexes with large green parks and gardens at the western side.
We saw still many new developments going on in this area. At some places it looked like one large building trench.
West from the lighthouse of Maspalomas is a long boulevard of several KMs.
Early in the morning I walked from our hotel near the lighthouse to the western end of the boulevard for some exercise after a minor operation at my leg. At that time there were only joggers and walking people at the quiet boulevard.
Near the lighthouse are some fancy boutiques and some nice terraces at the boulevard.
the guanches inhabited the canary islands when the spainsh arrived to the islands.
it's not exactly known who they decend from.
phoenicians, berbers, vikings.
lot's of things has been guessed, but the scientists are still not sure.
they lived in a stoneage culture, mostly in caves and went hunting for a living.
there is a very good museum in las palmas giving you lot's of insight to these mysterious people who lived in the canaries for centuries before the spanish armadas arrived.
Gran Canaria is the island of sun, sea and beach. The area between Playa de Ingles and Maspalomas is one long beach of several KMs. There are very and less crowded places. So, there is something for everybody's choice.
North of the beach lays the protected area of the Dunas the Maspalomas. A lot of people go there for walking (there are some tracks) or for sunbathing. The area is so huge, that you hardly see back any sunbather between the dunes.
Be aware of the siesta... Most shops close for a few hours in the middle of the day. Even if they say they are supposed to open at 16.00, they might not open untill 17.00 or even 17.30... ;)
Many of the shops in the big touristcities don´t close for the siesta, but most of the other shops on the island will close for a few hours after lunchtime.
the canary islands did not get their names from the canary birds like most people think but from dogs as the islands were inhabitet by thousands of wild dogs when the spanish arrived to the islands.
canary islands come from the word cannis, which means dog in latin and that is how the islands got the name.
las palmas is full of dogstatues for the same reason.
Water coming from the tap is drinkable, but it is not recommended because of its taste. The water tastes saline and the chlorine level is high. Better buy water in bottles. There are several brands availlable. Some are from Gran Canaria like Firgas, named after the small town it is bottled in.
Firgas, the town, is nice to visit too....