Gran Canaria is a volcanic island in the Canary Islands, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Northwest Africa. 

This Spanish island is furrowed with deep ravines, some barren and others fertile. 

In the northwest and center, the island’s mountains are carpeted with groves of fire-resistant Canary Pines. Their pom-pom-like branches dance in the wind, a welcome sight amidst stark, almost brutal landscapes.

The south coast is graced with huge sweeps of golden sand while the west harbors dramatic black sand beaches. 

Like all the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria suffers from a mixed reputation. Mainland Europeans flock to Gran Canaria for winter sun. Many never leave their beach resort. 

That’s entirely ok! But, that’s not the best way to experience Gran Canaria’s wild and varied landscapes.

We spent three weeks on the island exploring every road, trail, village and beach we possibly could. 

This one week Gran Canaria itinerary only features the best places to stay, the most exciting hiking trails, and the most dramatic beaches. 


Gran Canaria Road Trip Itinerary

San Pedro, Agaete Valley, Gran Canaria

1 Week Gran Canaria Itinerary


  • Day 1: Arrive in Gran Canaria, Puerto de las Nieves, Agaete, Guayedra Beach
  • Day 2: Agaete Valley Hike, Agaete Piscina Natural
  • Day 3: GC-200 Road, Playa de Güigüí, South Gran Canaria Resorts 
  • Day 4: Fataga Ravine, Pico de las Nieves, Ventana del Nublo, Roque Nublo, Tejeda
  • Day 5: Cruz de Tejeda Hike
  • Day 6: Tamadaba Nature Park, Teror, Arucas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 
  • Day 7: Barranco de Guayadeque, Depart Gran Canaria

  • 2 Nights in Agaete
  • 1 Night in South Gran Canaria
  • 2 Nights in Tejeda
  • 1 Night in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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Gran Canaria Road Trip Map


Gran Canaria Itinerary Overview

Tejeda Road, Gran Canaria
Tejeda

This Gran Canaria road trip starts in the fishing village of Puerto de las Nieves, Agaete, in the northwest. Here, you’ll bathe in natural rock pools, visit Guayedra Beach, and hike in the fertile Valle de Agaete.

The route continues along the GC-200 road to Tasartico, the starting point of the Gui Gui beach hike. End your day at the beach in one of Gran Canaria’s south beach resorts.

On day 4, drive up the Fataga Ravine to the mountainous heart of Gran Canaria. You’ll spend the next few days exploring the hiking trails around the Tejeda Basin

On day 6, visit Gran Canaria’s historic villages, Teror and Arucas, and stay the night in Las Palmas, the capital city. 

On your final day, you can visit Barranco de Guayadeque, before departing the island. 


When to Visit Gran Canaria

We recommend following this itinerary anytime between mid-late November and April.


Driving in Gran Canaria

The roads across the island are in excellent condition. Driving is relatively straightforward.

However, when driving in the interior, expect mostly serpentine mountain roads.

Typically, locals drive significantly faster than tourists. They will alert you that they want to pass, by lightly honking their horns. When it’s safe, let them pass.

This Gran Canaria itinerary purposefully avoids the hair-raising GC-210, which connects Artenara with La Aldea. It’s a stunning road, but far too narrow.


Renting a Car in Gran Canaria

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.

Check car rental rates here


Day 1: Agaete and Guayedra Beach 

Guayedra Beach Hike, Gran Canaria
Guayedra Beach Hike

Your Gran Canaria itinerary starts off with a drive to the northwest corner of the island. Stay in Agaete or the port of Agaete (Puerto de las Nieves) for your first 2 nights. 

We highly recommend finding an accommodation in Puerto de las Nieves, because of the ocean access, dining options, and overall atmosphere. The white-washed town of Agaete is located 1.3 km inland from the coast.

Though it’s only a 20-minute walk between Agaete and Puerto de las Nieves, we think it’s better to stay in the fishing village, close to the ocean. 


Arrive in Gran Canaria 

There’s only one airport in Gran Canaria. It’s located on the east coast, about halfway between Las Palmas and Maspalomas. 

Collect your rental car and hit the road. 


Drive to Puerto de las Nieves, Agaete 

It’s a 45 minutes drive from the Gran Canaria Airport to Agaete. Drive north in the direction of Las Palmas and then continue west, passing Gáldar, to Agaete. 

Hike to Guayedra Beach 

  • Trailhead: GC-172 / GC-200 crossroads in Agaete. Exact Location: Google Maps.
  • Distance: 4.6 km out-and-back
  • Time needed: 2 hours out-and-back
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 279 meters ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

After parking and checking-in, it’s time to stretch your legs. It’s a one-hour hike to Playa de Guayedra.

Guayedra Beach is a volcanic sand beach located at the end of the Guayedra Ravine within Tamadaba Natural Park. It’s one of the few wild beaches on Gran Canaria that is accessible by foot. 

Read our Playa de Guayedra Hiking Guide for a full description on how to get to the beach. 


Dinner in Puerto de las Nieves 

Eat dinner in one of the harbor-side restaurants of Puerto de las Nieves.


Ragù 

The best place we ate was Ragù, a Canary-Italian fusion seafood restaurant. The plating is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the portions are very generous. 

Indoor and outdoor seating available. 

Address | Ragú Agaete Paseo de los Poetas 10 35489 Puerto de las Nieves, Las Palmas GC

Opening Times |

  • Monday: 12:30 pm  – 4:00 pm / 7 pm – 9 pm 
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday – Friday: 12:30 – 4:00 pm / 7 pm – 9 pm 
  • Saturday – Sunday: 12:30 pm – 9 pm 

La Pizzeria Ristorante Dibe

The popular La Pizzeria Ristorante Dibe serves excellent pizzas in Puerto de las Nieves. The terrace overlooks the harbor. We ate here twice and it was excellent both times. 

Address | Av. de los Poetas, n 1, 35489 Puerto de las Nieves, Las Palmas, Spain

Opening Times | 

  • Monday – Tuesday: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm / 8 pm – 10:30 pm 
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday – Friday: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm / 8 pm – 10:30 pm 
  • Saturday: 4 pm – 11 pm
  • Sunday: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm / 8 pm – 10:30 pm

Stay in Puerto de las Nieves

Midrange | Hotel Puerto de Las Nieves is centrally located in Puerto de las Nieves, a short walk to the port restaurants, Playa de las Nieves beach, and Agaete Piscina Natural pools. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Hotel features include indoor swimming pool, indoor whirlpool, and a free private underground parking garage.

Luxury | Hotel & Spa Cordial Roca Negra is the finest accommodation in Puerto de las Nieves, Agaete, featuring a swimming pool, whirlpool, sky rooftop bar, on-site restaurant, and spa (extra charge). The hotel occupies an elevated position on a cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It’s connected to the coastal promenade and the Agaete natural pools by a pedestrian stairway path (4 minute walk).

Rooms are modern, spacious and very comfortable. Breakfast is included in the rate, and half board is optional. The staff is attentive and eager to please. Guests can park along the street for free, or park in the hotel’s paid parking garage.


Or, Stay in Agaete 

Budget | Casa Calma Yoga Guesthouse is a cheerful and social hostel in Agaete, offering double rooms as well as dormitory beds. All rooms have a shared bathroom and shower. Guests have access to a shared kitchen and lounge. Stay here if you want to connect with other travelers.

More accommodations in Agaete: Casa Luna (guesthouse) and Harizan (apartment)

Look for accommodation in Agaete.


Day 2: Agaete Valley

Agaete Valley, Gran Canaria
Agaete Valley

Tucked away from all major hubs, the Eden-like valley of Agaete is perhaps the most beautiful place on the island.

The most memorable way to experience the lush, fertile valley of Agaete is by foot. We have two excellent hiking options for you. 

After a successful hike in Agaete, take a refreshing dip in the natural rock pools of Puerto de las Nieves. 


Agaete Valley Day Hike 

There are two excellent hikes starting in the hamlet of San Pedro in Agaete Valley. 

Pack snacks and sufficient water. 


Option 1: Agaete Valley to Puerto de las Nieves 

  • Starting Point: San Pedro, Valle de Agaete. Exact Location: Google Maps
  • Ending Point: Puerto de las Nieves or Agaete
  • Distance: 8.3 km point-to-point
  • Time needed: 3:45 – 4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 647 meters
  • Elevation Loss: 809 meters
  • Difficulty: Moderate

A highly-gratifying point-to-point hike leads from San Pedro up to Era de Berbique, an old threshing floor, and then down to Agaete and/or Puerto de las Nieves.

This trail is signed and in excellent condition. Overall, it’s a moderate hike with excellent views of Agaete Valley, the Riscos de Tamadaba, Roque Faneque cliffs, and the northwest coast of Gran Canaria. 

Because this is a point-to-point hike, it’s best to take Global Bus 102 from Puerto de las Nieves to San Pedro.

Learn More: San Pedro – Era de Berbique – Agaete Hike


Option 2: Agaete Valley to Tamadaba Circuit 

  • Trailhead: San Pedro, Valle de Agaete. Exact Location: Google Maps
  • Distance: 16.7 km circuit
  • Time needed: 7:00 – 7:30 hours
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1230 meters ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Difficult

This demanding circuit hike provides a thorough introduction to Agaete Valley and the Tamadaba pine forest. 

From the hamlet of San Pedro (200 m), the trail ascends Agaete Valley to the isolated hamlet of El Sao (487 m) and then onwards to El Hornillo (750 m).

Next, the trail leads to the Presa de los Pérez dam (832 m) and then enters the pinewood forest of Tamadaba. 

The hike continues up to the Siete Pinos (1309 m) trail intersection and then down to the Tamadaba picnic table area. From here, it’s a long, but rewarding downhill journey to the Era de Bermique threshing floor and ultimately down to San Pedro.

Learn More: Agaete Valley to Tamadaba Pine Forest Circuit Hike 


Bathe in Agaete Piscina Natural 

Agaete Piscina Natural are natural swimming pools in Puerto de las Nieves.

Sheltered from the open ocean, visitors can safely swim in seawater and sunbathe on the rocks. 

To find the pools, simply walk to the harbor and continue north along the promenade. 

Entrance Fee | None 

Exact Location | Google Maps


Stay a Second Night in Puerto de las Nieves or Agaete 

Look for accommodation in Agaete.


Day 3: Playa de Güigüí and Maspalomas Beach 

Gui Gui Beach Hike, Gran Canaria
Güi Güi Beach

On Day 3 of your Gran Canaria itinerary, you will journey to the infamous South Coast.

Keen walkers can hike to the wild Güigüí beach (Playa Güi Güi), before continuing the drive to Mogan, Playa de Mogan, Puerto Rico, and/or Maspalomas. 


Drive the GC-200 Road 

The GC-200 road connects Agaete with La Aldea de San Nicolás. You will likely drive the GC-200 initially and the continue along the faster GC-2 road.

Don’t miss the Mirador del Balcón viewpoint arching over the west coast, along the GC-200, a quick detour from the GC-2.

You can also stop in La Aldea, but there’s not a whole lot here to see other than the rocky Playa de la Aldea beach. 


Hike to Güi Güi Beach

  • Trailhead: Tasartico. Exact Location: Google Maps
  • Distance: 9.3 km out-and-back
  • Time needed: 4:00 – 4:30 hours out-and-back
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1100 meters ascending/descending
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Playa Güi Güi is a pristine, virgin beach on the west coast of Gran Canaria in the municipality of La Aldea de San Nicolás. This isolated sandy beach, backed by high vertiginous cliffs, can only be reached by foot, or by boat.

This is a tough hike, because of the significant elevation gain/loss. 

Read our in-depth trail guide: Playa Güi Güi Hiking Guide


Drive to the South Coast 

Your Gran Canaria road trip continues south along the serpentine GC-200 road and ultimately along the GC-1 highway. You get to decide where you want to stay the night. 

Our Top Picks:

Extend this itinerary: Feel free to add another night or two to the south coast, if you want more beach time, or you want to go snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving. Check out these guided tours.


Maspalomas Beach & Sand Dunes 

  • Facilities: Most of the facilities are concentrated along the western-end of the beach, near the lighthouse. There are some snack stands at intervals along the beach. However, these stands will be closed in the event of strong winds. 
  • Parking: There’s a paid parking garage near the Faro de Maspalomas bus station. Street parking is possible, but limited. 
  • Public Transit: The closest bus station to the beach is Estación Faro De Maspalomas. 
  • Nudity: Yes. There are nudist zones in the middle of Maspalomas Beach. 

Maspalomas Beach is a long golden beach in the south of Gran Canaria. 

The beach is flanked by the rolling windswept Maspalomas sand dunes. This unique desert landscape is a nature reserve, protected by the Gran Canaria government. Stay on marked pathways to protect the fragile ecosystem. 

Maspalomas Beach stretches from the Faro de Maspalomas lighthouse to Playa del Inglés.

You can access the beach from either the Maspalomas lighthouse, Playa del Inglés, or the Mirador de las Dunas de Maspalomas viewpoint.  

We parked on Avenida de Alemania near Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas and followed the walkway between the hotel and the Bungalows Sáhara Beach Club to the viewpoint (see map). 

An official pathway, lined by poles, leads across the Dunes to the beach. It takes 30-minutes to walk across the Dunes to the beach along this trail. It’s another 30 minutes to reach Punta de Maspalomas, the southern tip of Gran Canaria.

From this point, you can continue all the way to Playa del Inglés and then return to the Mirador de las Dunas de Maspalomas via the Paseo Costa Canaria pedestrian pathway.


Stay in South Gran Canaria 

Find the place place to stay for your budget in Puerto de Mogán, Taurito, Playa del Cura, Puerto Rico, La Playa de Arguineguín, or Maspalomas. 

If you want to add more beach time to your Gran Canaria trip, consider extending your stay another night or two.

Those looking for a special retreat, removed from the coast, check out Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity.


Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán is the beach resort of Mogán. Guests who stay here have easy access to the golden sand Playa de Mogán beach, the cute Puerto de Mogán fishing village and harbor, and a plethora of restaurants and accommodations. 

Midrange-Luxury | Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria Mogan is a sleek, family-friendly holiday resort in Puerto de Mogán, a 10-minute walk to the beach. Guests love the spacious layout of the hotel, the rooms (especially the beds), and the breakfast buffets (included).

The hotel features a swimming pool with plentiful seating and sun loungers, a children’s splash pool, a gym, and several on-site restaurants and bars. A welcome extra is the free indoor parking.

More top-rated accommodations in Playa de Mogan: Cordial Mogán Solaz (luxury) and Cordial Muelle Viejo (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Puerto de Mogán.


Maspalomas 

In Gran Canaria, all roads seem to lead to Maspalomas – arguably the island’s most famous and unabashedly touristic beach resort. With its windswept dunes, long sandy beach, and colossal resorts, Maspalomas will give you a taste of holiday resort life. 

Luxury | Hotel Faro, a Lopesan Collection Hotel (Adults Only) occupies an enviable location directly on Maspalomas Beach, near the lighthouse. With its standout design concept, three swimming pools, rooftop terrace and snack bar, this modern beachfront hotel is the very best that Maspalomas has to offer. You can book breakfast-only or half board. Breakfast is included.

More accommodations in Maspalomas:

Look for accommodation in Maspalomas.


More South Coast Accommodations


Day 4: Barranco Fataga to Tejeda 

Tejeda, Gran Canaria
Tejeda Village

Today, you’ll drive north through the Fataga ravine to the rugged center of the island. Stop at the Mirador Astronómico de la Degollada de las Yeguas viewpoint and the white-washed village of Fataga for the views. 


Hike in Central Gran Canaria 

As you drive north, there are many trailheads along the GC-60, GC-600, and GC-150 roads. 

Here are a few hiking options:


Explore Tejeda 

Situated on the eastern edge of the caldera de Tejeda (volcanic crater of Tejeda), the white-washed village of Tejeda (1050 m) is arguably the most dramatic dwelling 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. 


Stay in Tejeda

Tejeda is the most swoon-worthy mountain village in Gran Canaria. At an elevation of 1050 meters, it can feel a lot colder here than other places on the island. Bring layers. 

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.

Look for accommodation in Tejeda.


Or, Stay in Cruz de Tejeda 

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. 


Day 5: Tejeda Basin 

S-90 Hiking Trail, Gran Canaria
Cuevas de Caballero Hike

The mountains surrounding Tejeda are crisscrossed with well-signed, easy-to-follow hiking trails. 

In addition to the trails mentioned on day 4, you can also embark on these two routes, both starting at Cruz de Tejeda. 


Stay a Second Night in Tejeda, or Cruz de Tejeda 

Look for accommodation in Tejeda.


Day 6: Terror, Arucas, and Las Palmas 

Montaña de Altavista Hike, Gran Canaria
Montaña de Altavista Hike

Your Gran Canaria road trip continues to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital city.

Las Palmas is humming with both happy vacationers and locals. We loved the vibe of the city and think it’s an ideal place to end your trip. 

On your way to Las Palmas, you can check out the pretty villages of Teror and Arucas

And, if you want to squeeze in one more hike, we recommend driving to Tamadaba Nature Park. You can hike to the Roque Faneque viewpoint, or Montaña de Altavista (described in Best Hikes in Gran Canaria). 


Visit Playa de Las Canteras in Las Palmas 

  • Facilities: Numerous restaurants, bakeries, cafés, express supermarkets along the beach. 
  • Parking: We don’t recommend driving to the beach, as parking is nearly impossible. However, there is an underground parking lot – Parking La Puntilla – at the northern end of the beach. 
  • Public Transit: The closest bus station is ​​Estación Santa Catalina. Google Maps. If you’re staying in Vegueta, the historic part of Las Palmas, you can take a bus to Santa Catalina and then walk to Playa de las Canteras. 
  • Map: Google Maps

Playa de las Canteras is a 3 km stretch of golden sand in Las Palmas, the capital city of Gran Canaria. A long promenade runs the length of the beach, which is always busy with a parade of tourists, locals, street entertainers, and the occasional street vendor.  

Given its location and accessibility, Canteras beach is completely integrated into daily life in Las Palmas. 

The beach is lined by hotels and apartments as well as numerous cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating. Ice cream, coffee, and seafood choices are plentiful. We loved eating at:

Along the northern end, there are several volleyball net poles, though players must bring their own nets. 

The northern tip of the beach is studded with old wooden fishing boats. If you continue north, you’ll reach the old fisherman’s quarter of La Isleta.

The coastal walkway continues all the way to another beach, Playa del Confital, and then onwards 1.6 km along a dusty trail to a dead end, which is fenced off. This Playa de las Canteras to Playa del Confital is a wonderful coastal walk, with several viewpoints. 

If you want to go snorkeling, or scuba diving, check out these guided tours:


Stay in Las Palmas 


Canteras Beach 

If you decide to stay close to Canteras Beach, parking is difficult. Reach out to your accommodation for instructions on where to park in advance of your stay. 

Budget | La Ventana Azul Surf Hostel is a friendly, social hostel close to the beach perfect for solo-travelers. Double rooms and dormitory rooms available. 

Budget | Aguita House is a top-rated beachfront hostel offering beds in mixed dormitories. 

Budget – Midrange | Maresía Canteras Urban Hotel is a centrally-located 3-star hotel with bright, sparkling clean modern rooms. 

Midrange – Luxury | Chez Abel is a modern, beautifully-designed aparthotel just 300 meters from Canteras Beach. Breakfast included in the rate. 

Luxury | Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel is a classy hotel surrounded by beautiful grounds, located between Las Canteras Beach and Vegueta. This unparalleled hotel features an outdoor pool, three restaurants, a rooftop bar and piano bar, a wellness center, and on-site parking (20 EUR/day). 


Vegueta, the Historic District of Las Palmas 

Vegueta is the most charming and sophisticated area of Las Palmas. The streets are lined with historic colonial and art-nouveau buildings, which house a myriad of museums, shops, cafés, and restaurants. 

To get to Las Canteras Beach, take the bus (stop: Santa Catalina). 

Budget | Santa Ana Suite & Rooms is a darling B&B with a rooftop terrace, shared lounge, and easy self-check-in. 

Midrange – Luxury | VEINTIUNO Emblematic Hotels (Adults Only) is a stunning, tastefully-decorated hotel with lovely rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and terrace, and bar. Breakfast included. Parking is available in a nearby garage (with hotel discount).

Luxury | Suites 1478 is a top-rated hotel featuring a rooftop terrace, private parking (15 EUR/Day), bar, and the best breakfast in the city.


Day 7: Barranco de Guayadeque

Canteras Beach, Gran Canaria
Canteras Beach

There are a few things you can do today, depending on when your flight departs. 

If you don’t have a lot of time, head to Las Canteras Beach and enjoy a coffee and pastry along the promenade. You can walk along the coast to Playa del Confital and La Isleta (see map). 

If you have a few hours, you can drive to Barranco de Guayadeque and visit the Vacas Cave (overrated). 


Drive to Barranco de Guayadeque

Barranco de Guayadeque is a dramatic ravine, harboring historic cave dwellings. Some of these caves are in use today and function as restaurants.  

For a short visit, drive the GC-103 road through the ravine to the car park below Bar-Restaurante Tagoror.

Walk up the road and follow the short circuit trail around the cave dwellings and various cave restaurants (see map). 

End your visit with a cave lunch in Restaurante Vega or Bar-Restaurante Tagoror.


Depart Las Palmas

We hope this Gran Canaria itinerary inspires you to get off the beaten track and to experience the island’s most lovely areas. 



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