Tour of Gran Canaria’s West

Gran Canaria has so much more to offer than just beaches. To experience it all, it's really worth renting a car and exploring the interior of the island. It is very easy to forget that you are actually on an island there. Many places you have all to yourself. Tours or excursions like this are the ideal way to experience the island.

To see all the sights of this part of Gran Canaria, I've put together an itinerary for a sightseeing trip. The tour starts in Maspalomas. Through barren canyons it goes up to the mountainous country of Gran Canaria. The route of the tour then goes as far north as the sea and then goes back to the touristy south via the western road through desolate landscapes.

Although it's not far as the crow flies, the tour on the small roads with endless twists and turns takes quite a long time. If you want to take a little more time you can divide the tour in two stages and drive the first day through the interior to the north and the second day along the west coast.

Map of the tour

Here is an overview on google maps of the tour:

(Unfortunately the map of google maps changes every now and then). The side trip to Arteanara I did not intend to do this way. I actually meant only the place from which the detour leaves. I have described the route in more detail below.)

Route description of the tour

Duration: 1 day

We start in Maspalomas. You drive through the center of the village following the signs to San Bartolome. I found this relatively easy to find. Quickly one comes here into the lonely landscape of the south. The first village you pass through is Arteara. Here you can already make a small stop. Or only in the next village, which is a bit bigger and gave its name to the whole valley: Fataga. The old village center is characterized by old whitewashed houses and is very picturesque.

Further it goes on the winding road up to San Bartolome. The higher you get the more pine trees you can see. San Bartolome de Tirajana is a beautiful, peaceful mountain village, at the foot of the highest mountain of Gran Canaria (the Pozo de las Nieves, 1.949 m).

Now follow the signs to Tejeda. Quickly one comes into the real mountainous country of Gran Canaria.

Here, if the weather is good, you can see the Teide (the highest mountain of the Canary Islands), 100km away. A majestic sight! You have an even better view from Roque de Bentaiga. You can reach it by following the turnoff to the "Roque Bentayga". There you can park the car, walk around the cliff and enjoy a magnificent view over the west of Gran Canaria.

Next you can make a small detour to Cruz de Tejeda, the highest pass on Gran Canaria. Near here is also the Roque Nublo, the landmark of Gran Canaria.

Now it goes back to Tejeda, but at the entrance of the village further in the direction of Artenara. At this point you should definitely make a detour to the "Caldera Pinos de Galdar", where you have a beautiful view of the northern part of Gran Canaria and an extinct volcanic crater.

The next point on the route is Fontanales. Here, on the main road, there are two restaurants where you can have a good lunch break.

Moya is the next destination. It is a quiet town in the north of the island. If you have enough time, you can now make a small stop in Galdar. The town with the characteristic volcanic cone.

Definitely worth seeing is the next village: Agaete. It is a small, tranquil village. If you want to see the sea and the harbor, you should go to the harbor, the district Puerto de las Nieves. Here you can eat good fish and enjoy the view of the western cliffs of the island.

Now we go south on the road to Saint Nicholas along the spectacular west coast. This section is very remote, but also very beautiful. In good weather you can see the Teide.

From Saint Nicholas you drive over a pass to Mogan. Here, with the help of artificial irrigation, the valley has been transformed into a fertile garden with many fruit trees and fields.

The last part goes past the paradise for water sports, Puerto Rico, until you get back to Maspalomas.

Details of the tour: Sights and travel tips

So that you can get an exact picture of the places and everything worth seeing, I have put together a separate page for each waypoint of the tour with lots of photos and information about everything worth seeing and a few activities:


The road from Maspalomas winds in many narrow curves up the mountain. This section is dominated by a large canyon, which you follow. The climate here is desert-like and the views of the canyon are always very spectacular. You always pass small villages with whitewashed houses.

San Bartolome

A beautiful, remote mountain village in the center of the island, very close to the highest point of the island. With its narrow streets and a touch of mountain feeling I really liked the place. It is very relaxed and perfect for a break.

The inner mountain country

Picturesque mountain villages and a breathtaking mountain landscape let you completely forget that you are on an island in the Canaries. In the inner mountain area there are also some reservoirs, to which excursions are very worthwhile. Tours to a reservoir are a real insider tip and often you have the whole lake to yourself.

In the inner mountain country also again and again small Barrancos, small valleys, lead down to the sea. The landscape here is very spectacular!

Artenara and the extinct volcano "Montanon Negro

Artenara is a beautiful small mountain village. When I was there, the atmosphere was like in another world above the clouds. Not far away there is an extinct volcano crater, from which you have a good view over the northern part of the island.

Fontanales – Moya – Galdar

Our tour leads us further and further north, down into the northern lowlands. With every meter we go further north, the vegetation becomes greener and greener. In this area there are also many plantations with bananas and other fruits. Fontanales is a nice little mountain village, where tourists come only rarely. In Moya there is an old church. From the square in front of it you have a nice panoramic view from the sea up to the mountainous area. Galdar looks very spectacular from a distance. Here is a small volcano crater that looks like a sugar loaf.


A beautiful fishing village in the northwest of the island. I really liked it here. The white houses give you a little feeling of being in Greece. Playa de las Nieves is the small suburb with a harbor and a beach. From here you have a great view of the western cliff that starts right behind the village:

Gran Canaria's wild west coast

The west coast of Gran Canaria has a wild beauty. On the slopes of the cliffs a single road leads from the north to the south. Here there are not so many big classical sights, like buildings etc., But there are still many things worth seeing. The steep cliffs and the view of the blue sea alone are worth the trip. There are also some deserted beaches here, though not all of them have a sandy beach either.


A small and quiet village in the southwest of the island: I found the atmosphere in Mogan very peaceful and relaxed. Here Gran Canaria is still as it was everywhere a few decades ago, before mass tourism reached the island.

Puerto Rico

The water sports center of Gran Canaria: Narrow valleys and high hotel castles dominate Puerto Rico.