The hike from Cruz de Tejeda to Cuevas del Caballero is an outstanding half-day outing with sweeping views of the cliffs and ravines of the collapsed volcanic crater of Tejeda.
If you only have time for one short hike in Gran Canaria, choose this one.
Cruz de Tejeda, the geographical center of Gran Canaria, is located at the crossroads of the GC-15 and GC-150, high above Tejeda village. At Cruz de Tejeda, there’s a bar, restaurant, tourist office, the Parador hotel, and two large parking lots.
This route follows a high trail to the Mirador Degollada de las Palomas viewpoint and then onwards to the fertility caves of Cuevas del Caballero.
This hike traces one of Gran Canaria’s restored royal pathways (Los caminos reales de Gran Canaria). Royal paths are ancient pathways, which were used by the indigenous inhabitants to move and transport goods across the island. These paths connected the island’s various centers, before roads existed.
Cruz de Tejeda – Cuevas del Caballero Hike
- Trailhead: Cruz de Tejeda. Exact Location: Google Maps
- Distance: 7 km lollipop-circuit
- Time Needed: 3 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 360 meters ascending/descending
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum Elevation: 1512 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 1752 meters
- When to Hike: all-year-round, ideally between November and May.
- Where to Stay in Cruz de Tejeda: Parador de Cruz de Tejeda
- Where to Stay in Tejeda: Calma Suites Tejeda (modern apartments), Hotel Rural Fonda De La Tea (B&B) or Vivienda Vacacional La Portada (apartment)
- Recommended Hiking Map: Freytag & Berndt WKE 5 Gran Canaria
- Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Rother: Gran Canaria
- Recommended Itinerary: 7-Day Gran Canaria Road Trip
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Cuevas del Caballero Caves Hiking Map
How to Get to Cruz de Tejeda
Cruz de Tejeda is located at the intersection of the GC-15 and GC-150 roads, high above Tejeda village, in the interior of Gran Canaria.
- Las Palmas to Cruz de Tejeda | 50 minutes, 31.8 km, Google Maps
- Maspalomas to Cruz de Tejeda | 1:15 hours, 75.5 km, Google Maps
There are two large parking lots in Cruz de Tejeda along the GC-150 road. Parking is free.
Cruz de Tejeda is accessible by bus. Use the Global Bus website or Google Maps to plan your journey.
If you’re visiting from Las Palmas, Maspalomas, or other coastal destinations, a bus journey to Cruz de Tejeda will involve several transfers.
Cruz de Tejeda to Cuevas del Caballero Trail Description
Cruz de Tejeda to Mirador Degollada de las Palomas (30 minutes)
The Cuevas del Caballero trail starts at the parking lot next to the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda Hotel. At the back of the parking lot, there’s a large hiking board and trail signs. Head left, in the direction of Artenara (S-90).
The path ascends quickly above the Parador Hotel. A yellow-painted arrow guides you left around a fenced-off concrete water tank.
From the onset, the views of Roque Nublo, Roque Bentayga, and the Tejeda Basin are impressive.
The trail continues to ascend, more steeply now, towards a line of pine trees.
After a few minutes, the steep uphill track levels out and cruises along an utterly spellbinding balcony trail. The path steers you in the direction of the Moriscos mountain, which you’ll circuit later on.
The trail dips down to the road at Mirador Degollada de las Palomas (1622 m). The viewpoint is marked by a yellow, covered lookout point, overlooking the village of Tejeda set in the depression of the crater.
Mirador Degollada de las Palomas to Cuevas del Caballero (45 minutes)
Continue following S-90 in the direction of Artenara towards the forest.
After about 280 meters, the path divides. Take the left, upper footpath.
We missed the left trail and continued on the obvious, wide forest trail. After about 420 meters (7 minutes), there’s a track which cuts through the forest to the upper track, which runs parallel to the cliff edge.
Follow this scenic footpath, with the edge of the cliff on your left, and the forest on you right.
The upper track skirts Montaña de Los Moriscos, passing in and out of pockets of forest.
This trail affords bird’s-eye views of the GC-210 road twisting around white-washed hamlets and terraced fields.
Continue following this easy, undulating trail until you reach the crags of Risco Chapin. The views of the deeply etched Tejeda ravine and the folded ridges and layers of the mountains impress throughout.
A rock outcrop indicates the location of the cave. Don’t miss the rock window which frames Roque Nublo.
The cave openings face the basin. Pick your way down to the caves and enjoy the panoramic view.
Cuevas del Caballero Caves
Cuevas del Caballero are a group of seven caves, six of which are man-made. It’s believed that these cave dwellings were used by the indigenous inhabitants for fertility rites.
Throughout the cave system there are etchings of the female vulva as well as channels and basins on the floor, used for summoning rain, a symbol for fertility.
The ceremonial caves are gated off, though you can peer into them.
Cuevas del Caballero to Cruz de Tejeda (1 hour)
Follow the wide forest track in the direction of Cruz de Tejeda.
This path completes the circuit around Montaña de Los Moriscos. Stick to the main path.
At the Los Moriscos trail junction, turn right in the direction of Cruz de Tejeda.
Continue hiking through this beautiful Canary pine forest. Soon, you’ll retrace your steps back to the Mirador Degollada de las Palomas viewpoint and then to Cruz de Tejeda.
Where to Stay in Central Gran Canaria
Cruz de Tejeda
Cruz de Tejeda (1514 m) is a small hamlet situated on the crossroads of GC-150 and GC-15, high above the town center of Tejeda. Cruz de Tejeda serves as a viewpoint, pit stop, and trailhead.
Multiple hiking trails start here, including the Cuevas del Caballero Caves hike, Cruz de Tejeda to La Culata Circuit, and the Cruz de Tejeda to Tejeda hike. With its advantageous location and close proximity to other trailheads (Degollada de Becerra, Llano de la Pez, Degollada de la Goleta, and even Cruz Grande), Cruz de Tejeda is an ideal base for hiking. More hikes: Pico de las Nieves and Ventana del Nublo viewpoint.
Luxury | Parador de Cruz de Tejeda is an iconic mountainside hotel overlooking the Tejeda basin. Stay here for the sweeping views of the Tejeda basin and the comfortable rooms with balconies. The cherry on top is the on-site spa and the infinity pool spilling out towards the caldera. If you stay here, make a reservation for the spa in advance.
Situated on the eastern edge of the caldera de Tejeda (volcanic crater of Tejeda), the white-washed town of Tejeda (1050 m) is arguably the most beautiful town on the island. The town center is home to a famous bakery, Dulcería Nublo, an artisan gelateria, Heladería LaLexe, the upscale canary restaurant and brewery Texeda, as well as a number of other eateries.
Best Choice – Midrange | The modern and stylish apartments of Calma Suites Tejeda are outfitted with fully equipped kitchens and parquet floors. There’s free on-site parking.
Midrange | Hotel Rural Fonda De La Tea is a welcoming bed and breakfast in the town center of Tejeda. Guests love the mountain views, the friendly service, overall cleanliness, and the private terrace.
Budget-Midrange | Vivienda Vacacional La Portada is a top-rated, spotless apartment in the heart of Tejeda with a well-equipped kitchen and terrace facing Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga.
Gran Canaria Hiking & Travel Essentials
The most efficient way to travel between hiking destinations in Gran Canaria is with your own car. To access the best hiking areas on the island, follow this 7-Day Gran Canaria Road Trip.
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Gran Canaria Guidebooks
- Travel Guidebook: DK Eyewitness Top 10 Gran Canaria
- Travel Guidebook: Gran Canaria Marco Polo Pocket Guide
- Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone: Walking on Gran Canaria
- Hiking Guidebook: Rother: Gran Canaria
Guided Adventures in Gran Canaria
South Gran Canaria:
- From Bahía Feliz, close to Maspalomas: Cliff Climbing Via Ferrata Trip
- From Playa del Inglés: Surfing Class for Beginners
- From Puerto de Mogan: Boat and Snorkeling Trip
- From Puerto Rico: Scuba Diving for Beginners
- From Puerto Rico: Dolphin Watching & Güi Güi Beach by Boat
- From Playa del Inglés to Mogan: Scuba Diving for Beginners
Las Palmas and North Gran Canaria:
- From Telde: Canyoning Trip
- From Las Palmas: Las Canteras Beach 3-Hour Snorkeling Trip
- From Las Palmas: Canteras Beach: Scuba Diving Discovery Tour
Hiking Gear Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Hiking Backpack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B or B/C Hiking Boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- Hiking Poles (Optional): Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion 1 Litre Water Bottle
Travel Photography Gear
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More Gran Canaria and Spain Travel Guides
Tejeda is one of the best places to stay if you want to explore the rugged mountains of the interior. Check out these hiking trails around Tejeda:
- Pico de las Nieves Hike
- Ventana del Nublo Viewpoint Hike
- Cruz de Tejeda – La Culata Circuit Hike
- Roque Nublo Hike
Agaete in Northwest Gran Canaria is a the best base for exploring Agaete Valley and Tamadaba Natural Park. Check out these trail guides:
- Playa de Guayedra
- San Pedro to Puerto de las Nieves Hike
- Agaete Valley to Tamadaba Natural Park Circuit Hike
Gran Canaria Trip Planning: Read all our articles about Gran Canaria.
Tenerife: Plan a trip to Tenerife using this Tenerife Road Trip Itinerary and these guides:
- Hiking Tenerife: Best Hikes in the Tenerife Mountains
- Where to Stay in Tenerife for Hiking
- Tenerife in January
- How to Visit Anaga Rural Park
- How to Visit Teide National Park
Mallorca Trip Planning: Read Where to Stay in Mallorca for a summary of the most scenic destinations and best accommodations on the island. If you’re eager to see the best parts of the island, we suggest following this 7-Day Mallorca Road Trip.
Hiking in Mallorca: For tips on hiking in Mallorca, read Best Hikes in Mallorca.