Together we’ll explore the most beautiful valleys of Gran Canaria, we start our journey along the east coast untill we reach Arucas where we visit the unique “Neo-gothic” church of Saint John, and the rum distillery with the largest rum cellar in Europe (tasting included!). Climbing up through the center of the island with magnificent views of the north and Las Palmas. Once in Teror, the pilgrimage village, we find the typical architecture of the island: Canarian balconies and the basilica. Hidden away, we discover the green core of the island, deep valleys and stunning mountain views including the majestic Roque Nublo and Teide. Once over the peak, we carry on past the almond trees of Ayacata and continue passing by the villages of San Bartolomé Fataga. Finally, we visit an Aloe Vera plantation where you can try on your own skin its magnificent properties. (Full day)
This excursion begins when we leave behind the tourist resorts of South Gran Canaria and we head North-East towards Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (capital of the province which bears the same name: “Las Palmas”). We’ll see something of the city and on leaving it behind, we’ll enjoy magnificent views of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium and a panoramic view of the city. We continue on to the town of Arucas, home to Gran Canarian Rum and the banana capital of Gran Canaria.
After we arrive in Arucas, we visit two of its most important attractions: the astounding neogothic church of San Juan Bautista, which although a 20th century monument reminds one of a medieval church; and the Arehucas rum factory which dates from 1884, with the biggest rum cellars of all Europe. Rum was a Canarian invention which the Conquistadors exported to the Americas. In the distillery, we’ll not only see the thousands of American oak barrels where the Rum matures over time, but see the steps it goes through before finally arriving into the bottles dearly loved by the locals. The Rum production in the Canaries is absolutely traditional.
Our route continues towards Teror, the religious capital and destination of the pilgrimages of the island. On arrival, you can see the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pine and discover its squares and historic corners, as well as stroll through its romantic streets with their post-colonial architecture and look at its beautiful balconies carved from Canarian pine. To sum up, a village which allows us
During the route, we break to have lunch. Although lunch is not included in the price, you can choose to supply your own, or take advantage of a varied and typical table d’hote menu which includes drinks (water and wine or soft drinks) . We continue our ascent and the center of the island offers us contrasting landscapes: deep ravines, many of which are populated by locals who live inside these mountains, in cave-houses either drilled out of these rocks or to this day in natural caves.
As we climb, you’ll notice that the island becomes greener, which surprises the visitor who doesn’t expect such an extraordinary diversity of landscapes. The peak envelops us with its pine and chestnut woods by the roadside. You’ll begin to understand why this island is known as the “Continent in Miniature”. Not just the scenery but also the climate may surprise you, as the north is much cooler and damp than the south where you are staying.
The heart of the island surprises us with its impressive landscapes; we leave the “Parador” of the Cruz de Tejeda behind us at no less than 1.450 meters high, to continue on our way to stop at the viewpoint of Becerra (1.550 meters high) from where we can view the “Roque Nublo”, the natural monument which is emblematic of Gran Canaria, together with two other magnificent natural monoliths (pillars) “the Rock of Bentayga” and the “Predicador”. Don’t forget your camera; if the weather is kind you can see Tenerife clearly and with it Spain’s highest peak, Teide, at 3.718 meters.
After we hit the peak, we begin to descend via the center of Gran Canaria towards the south, through forests of canarian pine and dams which store the water which is partially brought on the trade winds. In the village of Ayacata you can see the almond trees (in flower in winter) and nature offers us rocks of a thousand forms, which our guides will help you discover. We continue descending and the landscape becomes drier but nonetheless impressive; that’s why Unamuno described it as a “petrified tempest”.
In the village of “Tunte” in the county of San Bartolomé we enter a large crater of around 10 km in diameter and we stop to take photos and have a coffee. Suddenly you realise you’re in an enormous hole and you feel really tiny against the impressive mountains which surround you. A camera is obligatory, for the wonderful views over the villages of Temisas and Santa Lucia.
The vegetation has been changing and suddenly you could be in a faraway corner of Arizona or Nevada; the plants are different and the vegetation belongs to the succulent family (cactus, aloes, agaves and many more) which is greatly admired by our visitors. It’s a flora which is perfectly adapted to the scarce rainfall of the region. Fataga, the valley of the thousand palms, refuge of artists and bohemians, welcomes us: a beautiful valley filled with palms at the bottom of a pretty and fertile valley.
Finally we arrive at the viewpoint of “Degollada de la Yegua”, from which you can see three different views: the impressive central mountains of the island, deep valleys filled with palms and finally, awaiting your return, Playa del Ingles with the landscape of the Maspalomas Dunes and the Atlantic Ocean as background.
Allow our tourist guides to be the Ambassadors of Excellence of this land with which they identify fully. Discover the green heart of Gran Canaria with its huge contrasts and end your day in love with an island which everyone calls “Gran Canaria: the Miniature Continent”.
This excursion will get you to discover the Green heart of this beautiful island and you´ll understand why Gran Canaria is called “Miniature Continent”
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