Gran Canaria has so much more to offer than sandy beaches, beautiful resorts, and midnight margaritas. If you venture beyond the busy tourist magnets and off the beaten path, a whole new side to the island appears before you. Are you ready to awaken your adventurous soul and discover the hidden gems? Then read on and be prepared to be amazed.
Sleep in caves
The truly adventurous will do as the natives in Gran Canaria once used to do: Sleep in caves. Yes, I said caves, and no, I don’t mean man-caves. Don’t think for a second that you will be casting aside comfort. Today’s caves are magnificent with green gardens, clean and well-designed rooms, hot-tubs, and all the necessities you might need. Some even have patios where you can pick lemons while breathing in the fresh mountain air.
The best way to grab yourself a cave is to book through Airbnb. You can choose from several different types of caves, depending on where on the island you wish to stay and how big of a cave you need.
Buckle up for a road trip
The best way to explore the wild mountains of Gran Canaria is by renting a car, packing a pair of hiking boots and loads of water. I would particularly like to stress the latter. Believe me: it was a bummer to find the perfect path for hiking, only to realize that we had no way near enough water supplies to make it in the heat.
The trip is not for the faint-hearted, or should I say upset tummies. The winding roads and sharp turns will make you long for motion sickness tablets, so bring some if you know this is going to be a challenge.
You will find some quaint villages along the way. I recommend wandering through the cobbled streets and amidst whitewashed houses, decorated with beautiful pink flowers. I recommend Tejeda, a perfect base if you are going to attempt some of the following hikes I am about to suggest.
There are many different hikes to choose from, depending on if you want wilderness or you want to see the most famous nature-sights. I strongly recommend El Barranco de Los Cernícalos to lose yourself in a magical fairytale. Green, thick woods, spectacular waterfalls, serene ponds, and gorgeous paths winding through the landscape will keep you busy for the day – or even several if you don’t want to leave.
The path to the infamous Roque Nublo is one of the more busier tourist magnets we were going to avoid; however, you can combine it with a hike to El Pinar de Tamadaba. The pine forest is amazingly quiet, and the view when you reach the top at 1440 meters is breathtaking.
Discover an untouched paradise
It is difficult not to mention a beach at all when writing about Gran Canaria. However, I want to introduce you to a hidden treasure you might not have heard off: La Playa de Güi-Güi. You start by taking a boat from Mogan to a little village called Tasartico. Now you have to hike for about 1,5 hours through dramatic volcanic scenery and lush, green valleys before you arrive.
Trust me, the hike is worth it all on its own, though you need to be in reasonably good shape. Once you hit the beach, you are rewarded by swimming in crystal clear water and a spectacular view over to Teide. Why are you waiting? Grab your hiking boots and discover a whole new Gran Canaria!