12 most beautiful towns in Gran Canaria

Tourists visiting Gran Canaria seek to take advantage of the island's pleasant climate and escape from the chilly winters of northern Europe. During your stay, do not miss out on the opportunity to explore the gems of Gran Canaria. Take a look at my guide featuring the most picturesque towns of Gran Canaria and nearby points of interest. We will start our adventure in the north of the island before moving on to explore other areas.24 firgas thesanetravel.comP1275794


One reason to visit

Painted Cave Museum and Archaeological Park15 galdar thesanetravel.comP134879814 galdar thesanetravel.comP1348791

What to see in Galdar

Galdar is known for its rich historical and cultural significance, having been the capital of the Guanche kingdom of Agaldar before the Spanish took over in the 15th century. The town has preserved much of its historical appeal and is home to several notable landmarks. Among these landmarks is the Church of Santiago de los Caballeros, a 16th-century church that boasts a blend of Gothic and Mudejar architectural styles.90 galdar thesanetravel.com20231214 101654 11 galdar thesanetravel.com20231214 120720The town also showcases its ancestral roots through the Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park, which features rock drawings depicting geometric and anthropomorphic designs that offer insight into the pre-Hispanic culture of the Canary Islands. Additionally, Galdar is home to one of the oldest examples of the Dragon tree in Gran Canaria, which has been documented since 1718 and can be found near the tourist office in the main square. 13 galdar thesanetravel.com20231214 101329Visitors who come to Galdar in late December can enjoy Flower Week, where the town is adorned with 10,000 plants and decorative elements along Calle Captain Quesada and the area surrounding Plaza de Santiago de Los Caballeros.11 galdar thesanetravel.comP1348746

What is nearby

Boca Barranco Beach is about 2 kilometres from the city centre.

Puerto de las Nieves

One reason to visit

The natural swimming pools of Agaete are a great place to visit; the pools are more easily accessible from Puerto de las Nieves than from the town of Agaete.

16 Nieves thesanetravel.com20231211 15300917 Nieves thesanetravel.com20231211 160056

What to see in Puerto de las Nieves

Puerto de las Nieves, located just one kilometre from Agaete, serves as a vital communication hub between Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The port maintains its traditional seafaring charm with picturesque whitewashed cottages and a pleasant waterfront promenade, Paseo de los Poetas, where visitors can buy fresh fish or watch fishermen at work. 18 Nieves thesanetravel.com20231211 160325Additionally, there are several affordable and high-quality restaurants near the pier. The port is also home to the beautiful 16th-century neoclassical church, Nuestra Senora de las Nieves.

Natural swimming pools of Agaete

The natural pools of Agaete are three volcanic rock pools where you can take a refreshing dip and have fun. They are sheltered from the open ocean by concrete protective columns.


One reason to visit

Walking Gran Canaria and Canarias walkways with water cascade.24 firgas thesanetravel.comP1275794

What to see in Firgas

Firgas is located 25 kilometres from the island's capital and sits at an elevation of 465 metres above sea level. It is commonly referred to as the Water Village as the famous Firgas water is being bottled in the area. The historic centre of Firgas is centred around the San Roque church and square, offering panoramic views of the north Gran Canaria landscape extending to the Atlantic Ocean.21 firgas thesanetravel.comP1275763 The Plaza de San Roque features the Parish Church of San Roque and is home to the Gran Canaria Walkway and the Canarias Walkway. Both walkways have a natural incline that was utilised to create a stunning 30-metre-long quarry stone water cascade. Additionally, the walkway displays 22 coats of arms representing all the municipalities of Gran Canaria and the island itself.25 firgas thesanetravel.comP127578323 firgas thesanetravel.comP1275787

What is nearby

Firgas is a compact town that can be explored in about an hour or two. Consider combining the visit to nearby Arucas town for a more comprehensive experience.


One reason to visit

I reckon that the one place a visitor to Arucas must visit is the Arehucas rum factory.28 arucas thesanetravel.comP1275813

What to see in Arucas

Arucas, one of the municipalities of Gran Canaria, is the third largest town on the island and is conveniently located just a 15-minute drive from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Surrounded by banana plantations, it boasts a charming old town. Some recommended sights to visit include the San Juan Bautista Church, the old town of Arucas, Arucas Park and Jardin de la Marquesa.26 arucas church thesanetravel.com20221209 13520527 arucas town hall thesanetravel.com20221209 140337 For more information, you can read my article about Arucas.

What is nearby

The Rekompensa Banana Museum provides a chance to explore the history of this unique fruit through guided tours and tastings.29 bananas thesanetravel.comP1348660


One reason to visit

Walking through the historic town streets and seeing rows of charming houses with stunning colours and impressive wooden balconies dating back to the 15th century.31 teror thesanetravel.comP1275621

What to see in Teror

Located 20 kilometres from the capital Las Palmas, Teror is one of the oldest towns in the Canary Islands. It was established following the Virgin's appearance in 1481 and was designated as a pilgrimage site in the late 15th century. Teror is known for its rich religious history, highlighted by its church, convents and historic homes of noble families.32 teror thesanetravel.comP127562433 teror thesanetravel.comP127562934 teror thesanetravel.comP1275640 The town's charm is further enhanced by its tranquil streets lined with colourful houses featuring stunning 15th-century wooden balconies.

What is nearby

You can choose from several walking trails starting from the outskirts of the town.35 teror thesanetravel.comP1275683

Vega de San Mateo

One reason to visit

Local cemetery37 san mateo thesanetravel.comP1286668

What to see in San Mateo

The town of Vega de San Mateo, also known as San Mateo, is situated in a lush valley at an elevation of around 800 metres. The Parish Church, constructed in the 19th century, is conveniently located on High Street, just a short walk from the bus station. 36 san mateo thesanetravel.comP1286624Adjacent to the church is Alameda de Santa Ana Square, which was established in 1943. This square, along with the town hall and the church, forms an attractive architectural complex of neo-Canarian style.36 san mateo thesanetravel.comP1286633 I found the local cemetery particularly intriguing due to its unique layout of burial plots stacked on five levels. I recommend visiting this cemetery, which is only a short walk from the church. San Mateo is well-known for its bustling cattle and agricultural markets that take place every weekend.


One reason to visit

Seeing Roque Bentayga from a distance. 44 tejeda thesanetravel.comP1286751

What to see in Tejeda

Tejeda, situated at an elevation of approximately 1,000 metres, is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain. The town's historic centre is compact and can be explored on foot in about 20 minutes. 43 tejeda thesanetravel.comP1286758A visit to the Church of Nuestra Senora del Socorro, located near the Tejeda Town Hall, and a stroll along its cobblestone pedestrian streets are recommended. Surrounded by mountains, the scenery in Tejeda is breathtaking, with the prominent Roque Bentayga visible in the landscape. Roque Bentayga is part of the only UNESCO Heritage site in Gran Canaria. Take a short five-minute downhill walk from the town to the basket of Tejeda. This metal basket, created by Portuguese artist Rita Loureiro, represents the traditional practice of collecting almonds and potatoes in Tejeda. 41 tejeda thesanetravel.comP1286716The area surrounding Tejeda is ideal for hikers and climbers, offering a variety of trails suitable for all experience levels. One of the most popular routes leads from Tejeda to the Roque Nublo, providing stunning views of the Caldera of Tejeda and the Pozo de las Nieves. Read more about the day trip to Tejeda by clicking this link

What is nearby

The Parador de Cruz de Tejeda is the sole Parador in Gran Canaria. Guests and visitors can enjoy views of the mountains and the volcanic Caldera of Tejeda from the hotel's grounds.

Santa Brigida

One reason to visit

Tour of Casa del Vino. 51 san brigida thesanetravel.com20221214 162153

What to see in Santa Brigida

I just took a brief walk through the town and caught a glimpse of Casa del Vino from the exterior. The establishment is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. However, visitors can still admire a captivating mural, courtyard and statue at any time. Do not miss out on the opportunity to indulge in delicious food and beverages at the restaurant located within Casa del Vino, which also features a charming terrace.

What is nearby

The Caldera of Bandama is a unique natural landmark in Gran Canaria, often overlooked by tourists. It is the biggest volcanic caldera on the island and is situated next to the peak of Bandama, together forming the Bandama Natural Monument.52 san brigida thesanetravel.comP1286838


One reason to visit

The Leon y Castillo House Museum honours the siblings Fernando and Juan León y Castillo. Fernando was a diplomat and the inaugural Marquis of Muni, while his brother Juan was the engineer behind the design of La Luz Port.56 telde thesanetravel.comP128694357 telde thesanetravel.comP1286950

What to see in Telde

Telde, located 13 kilometres from Las Palmas, offers a variety of attractions for visitors. The Mother Church of San Juan Bautista, located near the new Welcome Centre, showcases impressive Sevillian-Portuguese Gothic architecture. Exploring the streets of the San Juan neighbourhood allows visitors to enjoy tree-lined promenades, gardens, noble houses, house museums, churches and squares at their own pace. 58 telde thesanetravel.comP128696859 telde thesanetravel.comP1286987The Leon y Castillo House Museum pays tribute to the brothers Fernando and Juan Leon y Castillo, featuring traditional Canarian architecture from the mid-19th century. The museum's two floors and courtyard display rooms are preserved in their original state, featuring antique furniture and artefacts, a library with historical books and the family's private living quarters. Additionally, the museum houses a collection of photographs, paintings and other artefacts related to the family's history.

What is nearby

Telde municipality extends to the coast, featuring stunning ground-lava beaches and cliffs. The coastline is home to beaches such as La Garita, Melenara, Salinetas, Ojos de Garza and Tufia. South of La Garita Beach in Gran Canaria lies the renowned El Bufadero blowhole. This natural wonder is a large underwater rock arch with a deep, circular pool behind it. The rhythmic filling and emptying of the pool by the sea rushing in and out creates a mesmerising sight and sound resembling the heartbeat of the ocean.60 telde thesanetravel.comP128704761 telde thesanetravel.comP1287052


One reason to visit

Maspalomas Dunes.

What to see in Maspalomas

The Maspalomas Dunes, located in the south of Gran Canaria, are a unique and tranquil natural reserve that can be easily accessed from the resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles. Walking through the dunes will transport you to a different continent, allowing you to experience the beauty of the landscape. Visiting the Special Natural Reserve of Maspalomas is a must-do activity, but make sure to wear appropriate footwear as the sand can get very hot during the day. 61 maspalomas thesanetravel.comP127613262 maspalomas thesanetravel.comP127613363 maspalomas thesanetravel.comP127614065 maspalomas thesanetravel.comP1276163Another popular tourist attraction in Maspalomas is the historic lighthouse, situated near the dunes and dating back to the area's pre-tourism days.

Puerto Rico

One reason to visit

Going on dolphin and whale spotting trip.

What to see in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, located in the southwest corner of Gran Canaria, is a popular holiday destination known for its great weather, beaches, friendly locals and year-round parties. 66 puertorico thesanetravel.comP128635467 puertorico thesanetravel.comP1286360The main attractions in Puerto Rico are Amadores Beach and Puerto Rico Beach. Visitors can also enjoy dolphin and pilot whale spotting excursions in the Atlantic Ocean. During the tour, organised by Multiacuatic and Spirit of the Sea, you will have the opportunity to see dolphins jumping out of the water. The author has been on the Spirit of the Sea cruises twice, but only on one trip did the author manage to see the dolphins.70 puertorico thesanetravel.com20231212 09493468 puertorico thesanetravel.comP1286423

Puerto de Mogan

One reason to visit

The beauty of the place.

What to see in Puerto de Mogan

Puerto de Mogan is a popular town in Gran Canaria known for its vibrant bougainvillaea, colonial architecture, canals and beautiful beach. It is often referred to as the 'Little Venice' due to its picturesque surroundings. 71 mogan thesanetravel.comP128645472 mogan thesanetravel.comP1286487The village is a hub for fishing boats and sailboats, with a small beach that offers various amenities such as showers and rental services for sun beds and umbrellas. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the marina and harbour from a viewpoint, which can be accessed by climbing 257 steps. While the viewpoint provides excellent panoramic views, it is necessary to note that the sunset cannot be seen from this location as it sets behind the mountain.

What is nearby

Los Azulejos, renowned for its vibrant colours, is a popular destination in Gran Canaria. The drive to this site offers stunning views of the landscape. Named after the Spanish word for tiles, Los Azulejos is a unique and enchanting place in Gran Canaria. The rock formations at this site display natural bands of colours resembling those found on tiles. These bands are layers of different coloured minerals altered by hydrothermal fluids and volcanic eruptions. Over time, wind and rain have exposed the green, red, blue and ochre hues of these minerals, known as ignimbrites or burning stones.73 mogan thesanetravel.comP128654674 mogan thesanetravel.comP1286553

 Remember to explore Las Palmas, a large city that offers more than just beaches. It has a rich culture, charming areas for walking, and various leisure activities to enjoy.81 vegueta las palmas thesanetravel.comP1275328 My practical guide for visiting Las Palmas might be handy for this.

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What did you think? Have you been to Gran Canaria? I would love to hear from you, so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on March 01, 2024
  • Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    Ah this was a really interesting post! loved it! I really want to visit gran-canaria
    Linda (LD Holland)
    We had only one day in Gran Canaria on a cruise. But it looked like a spot we would like to re-visit. These small towns all look charming and are well worth spending some time. And each seems to have more than just one reason to visit. Some great reasons to plan a week stay in Gran Canaria.
    I recently returned from Tenerife, but haven't had a chance to visit Gran Canaria. I like the look of the historic small towns such as Teror.
    Wow Gran Canria looks amazing! That Dragon Tree is incredible! I bet it was jaw-dropping to see it in person! Thanks for the great read!
    Wow. What an interesting place. Being a bit of a history buff I'd love to see the Cave Museum and Archaeological Park.
    So many interesting places to visit. Teror appealed the most to me though. Such a lovely old town.
    I haven't been to Gran Canaria, but I have been to Lanzarote and my mother visits Tenerife frequently. I loved Lanzarote, the wonderful climate Year round, and not too busy, and I would love to explore other Canary Islands.

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