While the majority of tourists from Blighty are content to relax by the pool, take trips to the beach, and maybe take in a water park, the rest of Gran Canaria is left woefully under explored.
Those who have a good chat with a customer service representative from the likes of Co-op Travel, however, can soon find their eyes opened to many new and exciting things to do, such as the various organised tours. One of these can take participants from Santa María de Guía, through Gáldar and on to Agaete.
Taking the main road in the north of the island, groups travel first along the Silva Ravinel Bridge, Spain’s highest bridge, which is in itself well worth a visit. Shortly after this, having past primitive sites of cultural import, and another spectacular bridge, they arrive in Santa Maria de Guía.
Just 23 miles from Las Palmas, the real showcase sight is the church. A wonderful example of period architecture in its own right, it is home to many artworks from Luján Pérez, A sculptor from Guía, his style is seen across this archipelago.
Another great thing about Guía is the quesos de flor, or flower cheese, which is made from local ewes’ milk and wild thistle flowers.
The next stop on the journey is Gáldar. Widely accepted as the place where Gran Canaria’s original settlement was, it is surprising to see the levels of sophistication and population. The town square with its church and the palace are highlights here.
However, the real showstopper is the painted cave, from which stone was hewn for building with little more than hands and simple hand tools. Other pre-Hispanic sites nearby, including burial grounds, are also poignant visits to make.
From here, attention turns to Agaete, and its working fisher port of Puerto de Las Nieves. Fish and seafood lovers will adore the whole of the Canaries of course, but here it is something truly special.
The location of Agaete is stunning, with a pine forest backdrop, cliffs sheer-dropping to the sea, and the distinctive needle-like rock, Dedo de Dios. The Finger of God, as it is in English, essentially protects the port from the worst of the Atlantic weather storms.
The attractions here do not stop either; from the Huerto de las Flores garden, to the local fish soup.
There are festivals through the year too, but exploration of your own making is far better than retold tales.