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Table of CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 6 GRAN CANARIA MAP

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ROUTES 12 Around the Island Las Palmas de Gran Canaria The Interior and the Summit

12 28 40

ACCOMMODATION 46 BEACHES 50 WATER SPORTS Sailing Deep Sea sports fishing Surf Windsurf Diving

54 55 57 58 59 63

DAYTIME LEISURE ACTIVITIES

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NIGHT TIME LEISURE ACTIVITIES

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GASTRONOMY

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CULTURAL LIFE

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MUSEUMS

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ARCHAEOLOGY

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CRAFTS

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SHOPPING / LOCAL MARKETS

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FIESTAS AND FESTIVALS

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RURAL TOURISM

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ACTIVE TOURISM

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OTHER SPORTS

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Golf

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HEALTH AND WELLBEING TOURISM 136 BUSINESS TOURISM

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USEFUL CONTACTS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MAP

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INTRODUCTION

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Gran Canaria is the round island, the one with the ever warm climate. It is the island of contrasts and golden sandy beaches. The island with its doors open wide, with a melting pot of cultures where local traditions are kept alive. It is a corner of the South Atlantic where you can find everything you could ever want to relax, have fun and enjoy great holidays… It is also one of the eight islands of the Canary Archipielago, located just 210 kilometers from the west coast of Africa and 1.250 kilometers from the Iberian Peninsula. It is a piece of Europe in the Atlantic area of Macaronesia which, along with the Canary Islands, is made up of the Portuguese islands of Madeira, Salvajes and Azores, Africa’s Cabo Verde and part of the Morrocan coast. Gran Canaria is the second most populated island, with nearly one hundred and eighty thousand inhabitants, highly cosmopolitan and bustling with economic activity, which is what makes its people open and culturally diverse; and, finally, where we find the Archipielago’s premier city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As with the rest of the Archipielago, it is of volcanic origin and is not without its mythical past; round in shape with a peninsula-like appendage sticking out at its northern tip. With a total surface area of 1560 sq kilometers, 43 percent of its territory is protected, while its nearly 60 kilometers of coastline are blessed with golden, sandy beaches. It has a coneshaped mountain top at its highest point, namely el Pico del Pozo de las Nieves (1949 metros), which casts an eye over the Roque Nublo, a natural and emblematic monument for all Grancanarians, located right in the middle of the island, standing some 1813 metres above sea level. A central mountain range splits the island in two across the middle, creating two contrasting areas in terms of climate and landscape, which for the islanders are simply known as north and south. Whilst in the latter the great sandy expanses of beach abound, such as Playa del Inglés or the Dunes of Maspalomas, the west and southwest are dominated by imposing cliffs, and the north is made up of a mixture of smaller beaches and coves.

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This geographical divide between north and south is also reflected in their respective climates. Each area offers microclimates which, in just a short time, allow you to get from the warm coastal areas to the cooler hilly areas, passing through subtropical valleys and woods or go as far as the colder, and at times, even snowy, summits. All these attributes have given the island the name of “a continent in miniature”. Throughout most of the year, temperatures don’t rise above 24 centigrade, while the sea temperature ranges from 18 to 22 degrees. This allows you to visit the whole of Gran Canaria any time of the year, thanks to the land’s terrain and good communications for getting around. You can go for pleasant days out starting at the sandy beaches all the way to the dense forests, and go from the heat on the coast to the cooler climes of the summits. Visitors to Gran Canaria will soon discover the locals’ hospitality, as they are used to the comings and goings of different peoples and cultures; indeed, the island constitutes a bridge between Europe, America and Africa. The islanders are a friendly, unassuming

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people, perhaps due to the spring-like climate and beautiful natural resources, and they enjoy good living standards, with a young population educated to levels on a par with the rest of Europe. Precisely this cultural melting pot gives the Canarians a wide linguistic berth within the castillian language, which doesn’t go unnoticed to those visiting. In their intonation, similarities are comparable to South American countries, along with the frequent friendly expression with the use of the diminutive “-ito”, saying Juanito for Juan, for example. Canarians also turn the letters c and z into an “s” sound. The arrival of people from all over the world started back in the first millennium before Christ, although for the development of the island as a tourist attraction, we would have to wait until the end of the 1950s. The origins of the Canary Islands are the subject of myths and legends, not just scientific theories. In classic ages there are already references made to Gran Canaria, and research into the first inhabitants shows a clear link to the northwest coast of Africa and the cultural environment of the Berbers who colonized the island

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around the middle of the first millennium BC. SInce then the arrival of many other different peoples has hardly let up. The Canaries’ incorporation into the Spanish Catholic Crown took place in the last third of the 15th century, after facing stiff resistance from the aborigine population. Following five years of battle, Pedro de Vera capped the conquest, firstly with the landing on the island and the construction of the Real de Las Palmas, now the island’s capital city, and later on with the total submission of the aborigines of the north and the peace campaign in the south. From that momento on, the Castillian Crown gradually introduced social, political and economic regimes, whilst the capital became the administrative centre for the planning and design of the Archipielago along with the Canary bishopric, Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition, Royal Canary Law Courts, among others. This flurry of activity then slows down in the 17th century after the brakes are put on agricultural exports to America and Europe until, midway through the 19th century, the Puertos Francos are established, an economic system which favours trade relations between the archipelago and the outside world, with tax exemptions and facilities for free trade, which turn the islands into an attractive area for trade. Around this time British shipping companies start settling on the islands, boosting trade with America and Europe that has kept a pace ever since. Today,

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with the addition of Spain and the Canary Islands to the European Union and with its status as islands, the archipelago has its own economic regime stipulated in the law of economic and fiscal regime. This economic resurgence in the 19th century, plus the continuous traffic of English ships in and out, are key to the development of the tourist industry, the current mainstay of the island’s economy. Gran Canaria begins to become popular among Europeans as a place of rest for tourists and the infirm, and shipping companies refurbish their ships to cater for travellers. These very British shipping companies drive forward the creation of hotels on the island, including the Hotel Santa Catalina (1890), in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which is still today, the most emblematic hotel in the capital. In the surrounding areas an urban architectural framework is also created that remains a timely reminder of the capital’s historic past. Ensuing European wars then hold back the development of tourism, which would have to wait until 1957 to see the first incoming flight of a packed Swedish company Transair AB 54 seater, this the first of a series of charter flights to Gran Canaria that gets organized tourism off to a start. Up to now the tourist activity has not looked back and today Gran Canaria is not only a continent in miniature for its climate and terrain, but because it offers those who come to visit endless possibilities to relax or to enjoy their pastimes. INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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ROUTES

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Practical Tips Gran Canaria is a round island where it is very difficult to find a point of the territory from which you cannot see the sea, and has a road system that allows you to get anywhere on the island in a short time, as well as change your planned route, without having to go back over areas already visited. Visitors can rest assured that any previously set itinerary can always be modified. The island’s layout and its internal road network help avoid wasting time after a change in plans. Another point to keep in mind during a visit to Gran Canaria is that its warm climate varies in just few miles. So if you want to go to the beach, but cloudy skies where you are won’t let you lie under the sun, just a few minutes along the coast you will find another area with beautiful sunny weather. The opposite is also true, if you prefer cooler temperatures, you only have to move inland towards the summit, or check out the weather situation elsewhere on the island. The maximum distance between any two major points should never exceed eighty kilometers, and Gran Canaria can be covered from south to north, or east to west in whatever combination of cardinal points you choose, in a really short time. If on the other hand, you would like to cut short a visit, and then come back another day to finish your route off, you can always come back via another route and avoid retracing your steps. With this in mind, and safe in the knowledge that the roads are in excellent condition and cater for all types of vehicles and preferences, visitors to Gran Canaria should know that everything they need for a perfect day out is completely catered for. You can choose between a typical restaurant, a simple snack bar, or if you prefer, set up your own picnic in beautiful natural surroundings, just off the main road.

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Trips around the island The majority of tourists visiting Gran Canaria stay in the southern part of the island, in the municipalities of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Mogán; or in the capital, located in the North. A trip around the island is one of the most typical excursions among visitors and Grancanarians themselves, are not averse to taking on this excursion, or part of it, at least once a year. Visitors are made aware that the route on offer is a real bird’s eye view for all those interested in learning about the island’s geography. If you want to delve further into each of the proposed routes coming up, we suggest you choose between one of these, or several parts of each, to the north or to the south. The actual route you take around the island will depend largely on where you are starting from. Remember that you are on a round island and may opt to begin at the north or the south, and can either set off from our suggested starting point, or start at a finishing point and go the other way round, it is up to you. In any case, always bear in mind that these marked out routes can be joined and left at any point, indeed you can take shorter excursions by doing just part of the routes on offer.

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A Tour around the island The Capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Inland and the Summit (Cumbre)

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From the Capital to the South If you are in the capital and want to get to Maspalomas or Playa del Inglés, you need only take the south-bound motorway (GC-1), and in little more than half an hour, the miles of yellow sand dunes will come into view. The journey down the eastern coastline features low coasts and sandy beaches, accompanied by a mild and sunny climate, where rain rarely appears, if at all. If you set off from the capital, before reaching the beaches and shortly after leaving Las Palmas de Gran Canaria behind you, you will come to the second largest city of the island, Telde. Telde was head of one of the two Aboriginal kingdoms that split the island - the other was Gáldar. Must-see is the neighbourhood of San Francisco, secluded and with beautiful gardens, churches, convents and old Canary-style mansions with quarry stonework and tea wood balconies; and San Juan, with one of the largest parks in the Canary Islands. In St. John’s Church there is a beautiful Flemish altarpiece, and an image of Christ made in the 16th century by Mexican Indians, from corn paste. Telde also has numerous archaeological sites, such as the Troglodyte settlement of Cuatro Puertas.

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Moving on from Telde and heading south to the airport, we find Ingenio. It is an eminently artesan, commercial and agricultural municipality and there you can visit its famous Stone Museum. This town takes its name from the existence, at different times, of a sugar cane mill, the ruins of which are still preserved Further down we find Agüimes. The village was the site of the only ecclesiastical Lordship on the island, and a visit to its historic town centre, where the so-called Bishop’s Palace is located, is well worth it. The parish church holds numerous works of Luján Pérez, as well as images by other anonymous authors. Between Agüimes and Ingenio the Guayadeque ravine opens up, providing a beautiful landscape, and it rises to about 1,500 meters of altitude before emptying out onto the eastern coast of the island. Judging by its settlements and inhabited caves, it is believed to have been an important Aboriginal village. Quite a unique attraction in Guayadeque would be a church etched out of the rock, as well as bars and restaurants built into the terrain.

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On the coast of Agüimes is the Playa de Vargas, where you can go windsurfing, and at El Cabrón beach, is one of the most beautiful spots for scuba diving. If you return to the motorway, you immediately come to the municipality of Santa Lucía with two distinct areas: inland ridge, and coastline. The inland area features the steep slopes of the Caldera de las Tirajanas with beautiful palm groves and farming areas, where the villages of Santa Lucia and San Bartolomé de Tirajana are located. On the coast is a large, open air shopping area, the largest in the Canary Islands, and the beach of Pozo Izquierdo, famous worldwide as one of the venues for the World Windsurfing Championships, held annually during the month of July.

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From the south to the east If we follow the inland route, from San Bartolomé de Tirajana we could then make our way down to the coast (tourist area) along the local road alternating from mountains to deep ravines such as Tirajana Ravine, and Arguineguín, the ravines of Fataga, Los Vicentes, La Pata or Chamoriscan that open out in Maspalomas. On the other hand, if we continue our route by road, we reach the tourist area starting with the Tarajalillo Beach, where the Aeroclub is and at which point San Augustin opens the doors to the beaches of Las Burras, el Inglés and Maspalomas, by now in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. There are 17 kilometres of coast, with numerous dunes that make up the landscape surrounding the so-called Maspalomas Oasis of palm trees around a pond of brackish water known as La Charca. This is all part of the Special Natural Reserve of the dunes of Maspalomas, declared a protected natural area, covering about 400 hectares. The set of dunes are also a peculiar habitat for rare species of plants - some endemic to Canary Islands - interesting invertebrates, and numerous birds.

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During the winter the pond provides food and shelter for different migratory birds coming over from Europe, who spend their winter on the African continent. The area’s focal point is the lighthouse of Maspalomas, which rises up 65 metres near the Oasis. We also find numerous leisure places, original and linked with the territory and history of Gran Canaria and its natural resources. These are predominantly botanical gardens, zoological parks and water parks. From here we get back on the road towards Mogán, but before you reach the village we recommend stopping off at Arguineguín to visit the Marina district and, from there, along the road passing through Puerto Rico, Tauro and Taurito. In any of these eminently tourist resorts you can enjoy a swim and cool off for the rest of the trip, although as we have already pointed out, the distances between all the points are very short. Continuing along the winding road we arrive at Mogán. Your first must-see is Puerto de Mogán where, as in Puerto Rico, you can go on boat trips to see the west coast of Gran Canaria. From the port we head inland and, within a few kilometers, reach the town centre, an area that was formerly a food distribution depot on the island and where the manga fruit, avocado and other tropical products in season are quite exquisite. In the town centre we can choose between carrying on with our planned route, (our trip all around the island), or taking a diversion past the reservoirs and reach the summit bang in the middle of Gran Canaria, and from there go on to the capital.

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If we opt to stay on our initial route, we will continue towards the municipality of La Aldea de San Nicolás. The road moves away from the coast and although we will see large ravines, the view of the cliffs is even more striking from a distance. We may decide to turn off the main road for a few minutes and delve into hamlets such as Veneguera, Tazartico, Tazarte or to the beach of Güigüi, a natural spot that can only be accessed on foot or from the sea. But this is an exclusive outing so today we must carry on until we reach La Aldea. Once in this far away town, which is one of the largest areas of tomato cultivation for export, serving the main European markets, we will have to take a break, either down on the beach or in town. In either place

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we can eat anything we like, although we strongly recommend the local fresh fish of the day. Before restarting our journey we again suggest you choose to either continue to the capital via the centre of the island, along the main road taking us past two of the most important reservoirs on the island until we reach the geographic centre, Artenara, or stick to our original plans. From La Aldea we carry on up the northwest side of Gran Canaria. A winding road and a number of spectacular cliffs will accompany us for a little over 20 kilometers. Agaete will gradually come into view several kilometers before we actually get there, as the road begins to leave behind its spectacular terrain. At Agaete, as in the previous municipalities, we also choose between first visiting the port or stopping off at the town centre.

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From the North The Puerto de Las Nieves, in addition to its noticeable change in atmospheric conditions, particularly by the sea, reveals the cliffs and rocky areas that will keep us company while up here in the north. To the right the Punta de Gáldar, to the left the Andén Verde we passed just a few minutes ago, and opposite, views out over the north Atlantic. The town centre of Agaete bears the traces left by dozens of the island’s artists, and houses the Huerto de las Flores botanical gardens that we must stop off at. Neither can we leave here without driving just a few kilometres towards El Valle, with its subtropical climate, perfect for crops such as coffee, guava, mangoes and avocado. The Hotel Los Berrazales and the source of thermal

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waters, which are also used as table water, make these places unique. Once we have left Agaete, we shall take the GC-2 road to Gáldar on our way back towards the capital. Here is where the residence of the Guanartemes, or Kings of the island, used to be, with a number of their settlements still evident. Must-see here is the town centre and the site of the Cueva Pintada museum, and sooner or later, we will have to leave the main road to get onto the road to Sardina or the archaeological area of El Agujero which is one of the largest concentrations of houses and Aboriginal mounds on the island. In the same settlement is a necropolis area in which some of the most significant burial mounds of the Canaries are preserved. Right next door to Gáldar is Santa María de Guía. We mustn’t forget to stop here and buy flower cheese made with sheep’s milk, curd mixed with wild thistle flower. And visit the Church, and marvel at some of the most valuable religious images of the island’s pictorial heritage. Although the day will now be coming to an end, we recommend you take a short route around the hills at these two municipalities. We cannot leave Guía without stopping off at the pre-Hispanic village of Cenobio of Valerón, and tourists must now choose between following our inland route or going along the coast. If the option is the latter, the 24


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road will take us across spectacular ravines and over one of the highest bridges in the country to a flatter area where you can enjoy another refreshing dip in the sea, although this time on a more rugged coast. For surf lovers this is a must.

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If on the other hand we want to reach the capital via the inland route, we must head towards Moya. We will drive around ravines for a few minutes where we can see laurel forests. At Moya we can enjoy views of banana plantations and, further on, views of the coast with the capital in the far background. Firgas will take us just a few more kilometers into some typical old streets and some great beauty spots such as the square and parroquial church of San Roque, townhall and cultural centre. From there we move on to Arucas where, on arrival, the stunning gothic church welcomes us in. The rum factory, the Marquesa gardens or mountain of Arucas are other places well worth a visit before we wind up back at the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. If we then have to make our way to the south, some 30 kilometers of straight motorway will get us back to our hotel or apartment.

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The Capital (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital of the island of Gran Canaria. It is a cosmopolitan city and where the first Spanish colonisers landed, making the most of the inlet protected from the winds by natural defences afforded by the three mountains of La Isleta peninsula. Located at the northwest of the island and on sea level, its surface area is just over one hundred square kilometers. The city’s pulsating heartbeat makes it the economic, political and social centre of the whole archipielago and the most populated area of all the Canary Islands. This puts it in the top eight provincial capitals of Spain, and, as part of its charm, a city made to live and be lived. The capital has two very differenciated areas: the historic old town, and the port area with the Canteras beach, not forgetting the upper part of town. In both areas, visits should be made on foot, leaving the car behind. The origins of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria date back to 1478, when an army led by Spanish commander Juan Rejón, landed on La Isleta. He brought with him his troops, going around the coastline down south, to a place located at the top of a hill on the right hand side where the Guiniguada Ravine opens out. At this spot, where today the Hermitage

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of San Antonio Abad stands, he set up camp, and consequently the capital of the province, known as Real de Las Palmas, was founded. The official name was given to the city some years later following the end of the conquest of Gran Canaria in 1515, from which moment the city was named as it is today. For nearly four hundred years, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was surrounded by a walled perimeter encompassing the old Vegueta-Triana part of town. In the middle of last century, the town started growing out northwards, stretching as far as the port joining other key areas such as the Santa Catalina park and the Canteras beach, which themselves had begun to spread. INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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For a visit to Vegueta, we would recommend using Plaza Santa Ana as a starting point, where to the west the Town Hall buildings proudly stand, the cathedral faces east, and with the Bishop’s Palace to the right. The cathedral, with its Gothic interior and neoclassical exterior, houses the Naranjos courtyard and the Museum of Sacred Art. The Regental Palace, residence of the President of the Area High Court, is also present in the Plaza de Santa Ana. Within walking distance, around the back of the Cathedral, we find 30


the Casa de Colón, in memory of the discoverer Christopher Columbus stopping off in the city on his way to America. In addition to being an art gallery, it houses a valuable archive and American historical collections, and puts on a variety of cultural activities, thus holding pride of place in the history of the Atlantic Ocean. The building is broad and has large courtyards, and boasts beautiful wooden coffered ceilings and stone ornaments, showing off many aspects of the island’s architecture. The Plaza INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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del Pilar Nuevo, which the main façade of the Casa de Colón faces out onto, leads to the street of Los Balcones which runs straight down to the sea front. Along this street there is a neoclassical building, hiding the sumptuous Atlantic Centre of Modern Art (CAAM), designed by architect Francisco Sainz of Oiza, where internationally-recognized avant-garde art exhibitions are regularly put on. Also close by to Santa Ana, in Doctor Chil St., is the Church of the former Augustinian convent, headquarters today for the High Court; the Baroque temple of San Francisco de Borja; the sobre old Seminary, gateway to the 18th century enlightment; and the Canarian Museum, dedicated mainly to the pre-hispanic culture on the island and which has the most complete collection of cromanoid remains in the world. A few yards away is the Plaza del Espíritu Santo, with a stonecarved tabernacle in the middle, and surrounded by several of the greatest stately mansions of Vegueta. The church and Plaza de Santo Domingo, where a highly popular local flower market is set up every Sunday, rounds off your journey of awakening through the ancient neighbourhood of Vegueta. Shortly after the city was founded, the district of Triana was born, on the other side of the Guiniguada

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ravine. Looking out over from Vegueta, the Plaza de Hurtado de Mendoza, popularly known as ‘The Frogs’, is right opposite, along with the Municipal Library. Nearby is the former Hotel Monopol which now houses the Gabinete Literario, and just a few meters beyond that is the Casa Museo Pérez Galdós, the first theatre on the island, named after the famous writer. This building leads to the busy commercial streets, with Triana being the most popular. Heading north along Triana we reach San Telmo Park with the hermitage of the same name, with its modernist kiosk and band stand, where concerts are held.

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The District of Triana finishes up at Bravo Murillo St. along which the now disappeared northern city wall ran from the sea, parallel to the harbour. This wall closed off the ancient and noble district of Vegueta-Triana and reached the top of the hillside, where its ruins can still be seen next to the Castillo de Mata. In Bravo Murillo street is the Insular Palace, headquarters of the island’s government Cabildo de Gran Canaria, a rationalist style building designed by Miguel Fernández Torre. Just off Bravo Murillo is Tomás Morales street which runs all the way to Doramas park, and along which the main secondary schools, university and book shops are located. Here too is the Plaza de la Constitution or Obelisk, featuring a monolith commemorating the introduction of the Spanish Constitution. Barely a few yards towards the sea we find the Plaza de la Feria. A bronze statue monument of Benito Pérez Galdós, by sculptor Pablo Serrano, stands in the centre of the square; and in the shade of leafy laurels from the Indies, are the headquarters of the Delegation of the Central Government in the Canary Islands, and the naval military command. The main administrative buildings in the autonomous community of the Canary Islands are located right here on land reclaimed from the sea in the 1950s. Further on, we find the Rafael O´Shanahan Plaza that house the headquarters of the Presidency of the Government of the Canary Islands. 34


Just as we come out of this square, we find ourselves in Ciudad Jardin, a district set up by the British colonies on the island at the end of the 19th century. The main highlight here is the Doramas Park in whose grounds the Hotel Santa Catalina and the Pueblo Canario lie, both of these inspired by traditional Canarian architecture, masterfully recreated by the multifaceted local artist Miguel Martín Fernández de la Torre. The gardens offer a fantastic array of insular flora, and in the courtyard of the Bodegón del Pueblo Canario, flanked by craft shops, there are various folk and dance performances held every Sunday morning. Special mention must also go to the Néstor Museum that brings together the work of celebrated artist Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre, brother of Miguel, the creator of this unique area. Following on from the expansion of the city to the Santa Catalina Park is the Avenida de Mesa y López, a large laurel tree-lined avenue. A hub of activity with department stores, specialist shops, banks, professional and business premises, restaurants and bar terraces. Avenida Mesa y López is closed off to the sea by the walls of the Naval Base which is integrated into the Port of La Luz. Along the Ramblas Juan Rodríguez Doreste we reach the Santa Catalina Park. Trade and catering lend this emblematic park a cosmopolitan air, and is a hive of

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activity for locals and foreigners alike, with its Elder and Miller buildings providing a timely reminder of its historic links with the port. The Miller building today is the site for the Museum of Science and Technology. The Parque de Santa Catalina and surrounding area emerged at the end of the 19th century, after the Puerto de La Luz started its operations, which at that time was a long way from the historical district of Vegueta, where the city was born. From here we make our way through the hustle and bustle of the most cosmopolitan shopping area of the Canary Islands, to the Playa de Las Canteras. This is one of the most

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beautiful urban beaches in the country. The locals consider it a gift from nature. It is made up of almost four kilometers of golden sand and waters bounded by La Barra, a reef that breaks the waves without isolating them from the open sea. The promenade, which runs along the beach, offers numerous bar terraces in which to spend some quiet moments. From any of these bars, overlooking the sea to the right, is El Confital right at the foot of La Isleta, where waves crash in making it ideal for surfing any time of the year. To the far left you can just make out the northern coast. And, right ahead, La Barra,

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a long stretch of lava from La Isleta, which plunged into the sea and hardened to create, as we have just mentioned, the natural barrier that forms part of the beach’s natural water pools. If we walk towards El Confital, keeping the port to our right, we reach the Castillo de la Luz. Built in the 16th century, it was one of the city’s main defences for centuries, and was coveted by pirates and privateers. From this castle, Drake, Morgan and many others were shot at, but they could not withstand the attack by Dutchman Pieter Van der Does, who took over, pillaged and burned the city in 1599. At the end of the port, and crowned by a series of volcanic mountains, is La Isleta. This area was built up to accommodate sailors and workers who were linked to the port. At the top of this small peninsula sits the neighbourhood of Las Coloradas, from where you can take in views all along Las Canteras beach. There are several specialist fish restaurants around here, again with lovely views over the “city of light”. Right at the northwest tip of Las Canteras stands the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium building, designed by the Catalan Architect Óscar Tusquets, that integrates a Congress Centre. It is a fine example of modern and avant-garde architectural art. Either by taking ring road, or going up Bravo Murillo St., we get to Ciudad Alta, at the top of town. In the 17th century the city began to expand up the 38


slopes along the ridge overlooking the coastline. The districts of San José and the steep “cliffs” of San Juan, San Nicolás and San Roque sprang up here above the District of Vegueta. In the mid-20th century the so-called upper town started growing with the construction of the Avenida Escaleritas which gave rise to the development of neighborhoods situated on each side; and the street of Pedro Infinito, right in the middle of the popular shopping area of Schamann. From there the city has continued to grow to Siete Palmas, a young residential and commercial area, and home to Las Palmas’ football stadium of Gran Canaria, which every other weekend echoes to the chants of “Pío-Pío”, as the fans cheer their team on.

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Inland and the Summit Going inland in Gran Canaria will make visitors think they have moved to a different island, which is precisely what makes it so charming. In just a few miles the landscape is transformed from the flat southern area or the rocky north, as you cross the island over gently rising mountain ranges, which take you up several hundred metres above sea level, with you hardly noticing the climb. The interior hides the historical charm and development of the island, especially in its population growth. The journey will take you through thick vegetation around the northern face and more rocky terrain on the west side. This route starts from the capital to the centre point of the island, at Tejeda or Artenara to then return back along a road parallel to the one we have come up on. We remind you again at this point that once you are at the summit, you can get back down to sea level via a number of different routes. In the capital we take the ring road towards Tafira,

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past the University campus, and little further on, the Jardín Canario botanical garden, the largest of its kind in Spain. The centre offers a wide range of canarian flora and the Macaronesia region. The Jardín Canario is a botanical research centre and develops reforestation programmes. Just over 4 kilometers on, we reach Monte Lentiscal. We take a quick turn off at this point, to go to the Caldera de Bandama, a huge volcanic crater with stunning views around the island. On the hillside of Bandama is the Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, over 100 years old and the oldest golf club in Spain. The town of Santa Brígida is our next stop, having got back onto the main road. Pleasant countryside, beautiful palm groves, Canary architecture and peaceful surroundings characterize this town. The Casa del Vino de Gran Canaria is situated here. This historic building is the perfect place to try out all kinds of wine varieties on offer in Gran Canaria. Under the official “Denominación de Origen Gran Canaria” banner, a wide range of wines have been classified: from young wines to red, white, fruity and aromatic wines, all of them excellent quality.

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In the nearby Caldera de Hoya Bravo, we come across a fine example of dragon tree, namely Dracanea Draco, a fully-fledged and solid tree. Onto the next central municipality at La Vega de San Mateo, the sense of the inland mountain region becomes even more evident. This a farming and cattle community which comes alive at the weekends as they hold their weekly local market, one of the most important on the island, and where the famous San Mateo cheese is sold. Before moving on in our journey we can visit Valsequillo, natural border for the middle level hills of Gran Canaria. Famous for its almond trees and a real spectacle if you catch them in bloom, the highlight of your visit here is the church of San Miguel, as well as the district of Tenteniguada. Its sharp cliffs and flat highlands with their flowers and 42


fruit trees can be made out from the Mirador del Helechal viewpoint. When we get back to San Mateo and still climbing, the surrounding landscapes start changing, reflecting the three main strata on the island, determined by height and orientation. The mountains become steeper, there are still the woods on the hillsides, among them pine trees at Tejeda, as we reach the Parador national hotel. The Parador is a crossroads: a few kilometers further up we get to the base of the Roque Nublo, the emblematic symbol of Gran Canaria. It rises majestically near to the Pico del Pozo de las Nieves at the highest point of the island (1.949 meters). From here we can see down the whole of the southern and eastern slopes of the island. Close by is

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the Degollada Becerra information centre from where you get spectacular views of the Caldera de Tejeda, the escarpments dividing it, and the numerous geomorphological and anthropic elements that make up this unique landscape. Back at the Parador we can go on to Tejeda, famous for its almond pastries. From there we can go along to the southwest face of the island or make our way to Artenara, our suggested route, and look around the highest town centre in the whole island. Not to be missed either is the Pinar de Tamadaba. Heading back to the capital we again arrive at the summit where most days we can make out the whole of the northern face of Gran Canaria, and from there take any of the roads to get down to the coast. We suggest following the main road to Teror, where Nuestra Señora del Pino Basílica is situated. But before we get there, just stop at the highest point and take in the magnificent views of centenary canarian pine trees, in the area known as the Pinos de Gáldar. These particularly beautiful examples grow along the western face of a recent volcanic formation called the “Caldera de los Pinos de Gáldar”, a volcanic crater in the shape of an inverted cone. Next stop on our route is Valleseco, which despite its name (literally “dry valley”), registers the highest yearly rainfall out of the whole island. In this municipality there is the Laguna de Valleseco, a seasonal lagoon which is visited by migratory birds,

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such as the common egret, every winter. Around this piece of water is a chestnut wood and a play area. The town of Teror is the centre for the island’s religious fervor of the Virgen del Pino, patron saint of Gran Canaria. The basilica was built back in the 17th century, although it conserves a 15th century Gothic style octagonal tower pertaining to the period immediately following the conquest. Inside is the revered image of the Virgen, a 15th century sculpture belonging to the Escuela Sevillana school. The patron festivals of the island are held on 8th September, celebrating Nuestra Seùora del Pino, in which thousands of pilgrims arrive on foot from all over the island bringing the best choice of products from the land as offerings to the Virgin. This is a massive pilgrimage. From Teror we can again reach the capital by two routes, either by the road that connects it directly or by the other one which leads first to Arucas and from there to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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ACCOMMODATION

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Gran Canaria is a destination chosen by thousands of holidaymakers each year. It is a fashionable place for many foreign visitors because of its climate, its proximity to anywhere in Europe, just over two hours away by plane, the ideal place to relax in the sun and enjoy what nature has to offer. Added to its natural charms, Gran Canaria provides a top class service for even the most demanding of visitors, making them feel right at home, in a warmer climate. Experience and attention to detail is reflected in the quality of this service. The range of accommodation is as wide as the visitors’ imagination. From large and modern beach or city hotels, to family-oriented bungalows and apartments, or for those who prefer a more quiet getaway, there are discrete private villas. All this in a

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modern tourist area catering for the most demanding tastes. The island also has a wide range of houses and rural hotels, along ravines and mountains in the northern and central municipalities. In short, the visitor makes his choice and can be sure of finding the best option he is looking for.

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BEACHES

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If the visitor comes in search of sun and beaches, there is no better destination. Gran Canaria has a naturally rich source of beaches, most of which are golden and sandy, making them unique for their beauty and the condition they are in. You also have all facilities on hand for a peaceful and quiet day by the sea, and can have full confidence in the quality of its waters. The island has more than 60 kilometres of beaches, from the impressive Maspalomas with 250 hectares of dunes by the sea, to the hidden away coves of the Grancanarian west coast such as G端ig端i; or, the lively and cosmopolitan Las Canteras beach in the capital. From one side of Gran Canaria to the other, beaches can be enjoyed all year round due to the great climate. The island also has some thirty or so nudist beaches. The main tourist area par excellence is where the highest concentration of hotels and apartments can

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be found, as well as all kinds of leisure facilities. It is also the area where you can find the best beaches from Tarajalillo to Mogรกn, enjoying a dry and sunny climate throughout the year. The effect of the trade winds is less around here as the mountains hold up the clouds in the north, allowing the south of the island to enjoy clear days practically every day of the year. In the north of the island the most outstanding beach is the one in the capital, Las Canteras. More than four kilometres of golden sands, protected by a natural reef known as La Barra, where residents and visitors intermingle freely. A hive of maritime leisure activity has sprung up all around the beaches from north to south. Its excellent infrastructure will allow visitors to choose between fishing, sailing, scuba diving or windsurfing. Rest assured you can make all your dreams come true here any day of the year.

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WATER SPORTS

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Gran Canaria is huge marine destination that opens its doors all year round. Untouched natural resources combined with its highly developed and continually updated infrastructures means satisfaction is guaranteed. Sea enthusiasts will find it an absolute paradise. The port and sports facilities are second to none, and conditions out at sea make for ideal sailing and are great for all other water sports. The marine currents bring with them large hordes of fish along its 236 kilometers of coastline, with a stunningly gorgeous sea-bed that attracts not only tourists but deep-sea diving professionals to Gran Canaria. Whatever your preferences, Gran Canaria provides top class water sports facilities for all. Sailing Sailing as a sport has become really widespread among the inhabitants of Gran Canaria. Sailors born here have excelled on the world stage and have been part of great sailing teams, even representing the Spanish Olympic team. In the capital especially, there are a number of sailing clubs at which hundreds of youngsters, from a very early age, have honed their navigating skills around the bay. This passion for sailing has led to the emergence of a water sport discipline called Vela Latina Canaria, to be found only on this island, consisting of boats with one mast, with a maximum length of 6.65 meters, a maximum width of 2.37, and a triangle-shaped sail of over 40 sq meters. The boats have crews of nine to eleven members, and compete over the race waters along the splendid coastline of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, from April to October. Most of the vessels represent different neighbourhoods of the city, providing healthy competition between rival areas. The exact origins of this sport are not known, although it is believed to be directly related to races between fishing vessels and others that worked around the ports at the BahĂ­a de La Luz. The official start date of this sport goes way INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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back to 1904, as part of the local festivities in the district of San Cristóbal, in the capital city. All together, the island has nearly ten sports harbours, with ambitious plans to significantly increase the number of berths in the next few years. Also, each year, hundreds of boats come together on the island from all over the world and set off across the Atlantic to ports on the American coast. Many of these concentrations constitute major sporting spectacles, highlighted by the great camaraderie among all the sailors

PUERTO DEPORTIVO DE LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA Tel: 928 234 960 Fax: 928 232 378 PUERTO DEPORTIVO DE MOGÁN Tel: 928 565 668 / 928 565 151 Fax: 928 565 024 PUERTO DEPORTIVO DE PUERTO RICO Tel: 928 561 141-3 Fax: 928 561 632 56


CLUB DE YATES PASITO BLANCO Tel: 928 142 194 Fax: 928 142 546 PUERTO DE ARGUINEGUÍN Tel: 928 736 441 Fax: 928 152 074 PUERTO DE LAS NIEVES Tel: 928 554 227 Fax: 928 554 227

Deep sea sports fishing The wealth of the islands waters make for a long sea-lovers’ tradition among the inhabitants of Gran Canaria. Species such as Blue Marlin, needle fish or pipe fish, the albacore, patudo, Atlantic tuna, barracuda and white tuna, among others, are captured each year along the coastline by both professional and amateur fishermen. Gran Canaria undoubtedly is a world class venue for excellent deep sea fishing. Dozens of boats set off daily from the base ports of the north east of the island and provide tourists with superb waters with a wide variety of species so they can enjoy a truly unique day out. INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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Surfing The north is for surfing, while the south and east are for windsurf enthusiasts. No less than 23 areas on the island are apt for the practice of these sports and also bodyboard. Most of these have all the facilities to give these sports people all they need for a comfortable, relaxing day on their boards and with their boards and sails. From El Confital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria itself, with Las Monjas wave, to Gรกldar and its Bocabarranco wave, the whole of the northern coast is great sea for surf and bodyboard lovers. The coast here is rocky and with stronger breakers you can get waves rising up to five meters in height.

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Windsurf As far as windsurfing is concerned, Gran Canaria is one of the major stop-offs along the world championship route. Together with Hawaii it is the world Meca for this sport with two beaches ideal for windsurfers nearly all year round. Pozo Izquierdo, besides being the venue for one of the world championship stages, is the home for many sportspeople who have excelled in this sport both nationally and internationally. The other one is Playa de Vargas which has also been a venue for some of the stages of the PWA world championship, as well as a training base for the top athletes and a “natural classroom” for those starting out. Further south is the point at which Playa del Inglés joins Maspalomas, or Arguineguín, where windsurf enthusiasts can also have a go at their favourite sport in perfect conditions.

GRAN CANARIA ESTACIÓN NÁUTICA Tel: 629 480 403 mogan@estacionesnauticas.info www.estacionesnauticas.info

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Diving Around ten diving schools are to be found in Gran Canaria for those are into the sport or others who want to find out more. Spread around the whole island, the number of schools ties in with the number of places available to check out some of the most attractive sea beds in the South Atlantic. The island’s volcanic origins reveal its ecological and biological wealth of sea life, that will captivate those who think they have seen all there is to see at the bottom of the sea. The variety of its beauty is unsurpassable. Outstanding examples in the capital are Bajas de La Isleta on the Playa de Las Canteras; in the southeast the beach at El Cabrón; in the south La Baja de Pasito Blanco, and to the north Sardina del Norte, and Caleta Baja in Gáldar would be our main recommendations.

WHAT’S NEXT: INTERACTIVE DIVING SCENARIOS explore some of the underwater scenarios gran canaria has to offer, using the interactive app to access wrenches models and rich diving videos.

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Opposite Montaña Arena Boat 20 m 23 m Medium Sheltered 40 min

Municipality Location Access Av. Depth Max Depth Difficulty Currents Est. time

Opposite the “Montaña Arena” beach at a depth of 23m on a sandy sea-bed, there are a large number of concrete structures that make up the artificial reef. There are 4 modules which together help promote the proliferation of all the different species. The artificial reef was created in 1991 by the Cana-ries government un-der the supervision and monitoring of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

You can’t go away without exploring every last corner, where you’ll find everything from moray eels and alfonsinos, to octopus and comber. Finally on the ascent to the surface, you can come face to face with the big barracudas.

The most surprising feature among the great amount of sealife to be found is the vast bank of grunts or roncadores as they are locally known. It is difficult not to want go through the curtain of fish over and over again. On the sandy bed in between the different modules divers can see the timid little sand-eels, and if they look closely following trails in the sand then they might find angel-sharks, rays and electric rays.

Mogán

Briefing

Arguineguín artificial reef


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Its main attraction is the chance for divers to safely explore the bridge and the holds. Taking a peek at the engine-room is always a curious experience, as is having a look in the narrow galley, always taking due care and the relevant precautions.

The fishing boat is a complete and very attractive wreck, lying on its side, at a depth of 20 metres on a mixed floor of sand and gravel.

Leaving from the port of Mogán, known locally as “little Venice”, sailing in a south-westerly direction for 5 minutes, we can find the “Cermona II”. It is a 32 m fishing vessel with a steel hull, which was sunk in May 2002.

Mogán wrecks · “Cermona II”

16 m

Av.Depth

Est. time

50 min

Currents Moderate

Difficulty Medium

21 m

Boat

Access

Max. Depth

In front of the marina

Location

Municipality Mogán

Briefing


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As throughout the zone, roncadore grunts shoal in huge banks around “Meteor II”. Stingrays and angelsharks accompany the other resident species helping make this a dive full of curiosities.

The wreck is almost intact and sits in its upright sailing position. It is surprising as much for its unusual “Star Wars” design, as for the vast amount of marine life that shelters in or around it. Divers can go in through the boarding door and visit almost everywhere from the seating area to the toilets, a privilege few wrecks can offer.

This is an accessible dive for people who do not need to be advanced divers; the small boat is 30m long and 8m wide and was sunk in 2003. It has become an attractive wreck and offers a very satisfying dive.

At no more than 10 minutes from the Pasito Blanco leisure port in the area known as “El Pajar”, lies the wreck of “Meteor II”, a Russian-built hydrofoil that had been used principally for tourism.

Pajar Russian wreck, “Meteor II”

Est. time

45 min

Currents Sheltered

Difficulty Low

22 m

17 m

Av. Depth Max Depth

Boat

El Pajar

Access

Location

Municipality San Bartolomé de Tirajana

Briefing


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Est time

50 min

Currents Medium

Difficulty Low

19 m

Max Depth

Access

15 m

Boat

Location

Av. Depth

Pasito Blanco

Municipality

This dive site can be found 5 minutes due south from the Pasito Blanco leisure port, this dive zone presents a rectangular platform just over 60m long and about 16m wide. On the sandy bed surrounding this basaltic table, it is not uncommon to find angel-sharks, rays and stingrays.

The tongue of rock is built up of many layers of lava and they gradually lose height as they progress northwards from the max height of 17m at its highest point.

San BartolomĂŠ de Tirajana

Briefing

Pasito Blanco


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All along the reef front it is common to see specimens of groupers and island-groupers. The numerous crevices are also the ideal home for moray eels. Nevertheless, the most spectacular sight by far can be seen in the middle of the water column where groups of barracuda and amber jacks can be seen.

At a depth of 12m a rocky platform marks a 23m drop-off which comprises the El Cabron reef front where the highest concentration of different species can be found. At the base of the reef front there are abundant caves and crevices which shelter drum, some brotula and big-eyes. In front of the reef face there is a large sandy plain where the red-mullet, striped sea bream and a popular zone for roncadores or barred grunts in huge banks of fish typical of El Cabrón.

In the rugged coastal zone of the Agüimes municipality one of the best dive sites on the Island can be found, right next to Playa de El Cabron. The richness of marine life in the area is so great that it has been nominated to be included in the future Arinaga Marine Reserve. It is a very attractive dive for those who love the world beneath the waves.

El Cabrón

19 m 22 m

Av. Depth Max Depth

Est time

45 min

Currents Frequent

Difficulty Average

Shore dive

Access

Playa de El Cabrón (Arinaga)

Location

Municipality Agüimes

Briefing


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The dive begins with a large cave that has a 10m siphon in its upper reaches. The outer walls of the cave drop to 45.50 metres.

Est time

45 min

Currents Sheltered

Difficulty Low

22 m

17 m

Av. Depth Max Depth

Boat

Location Access

La Isleta

Municipality

‘La Catedral’, and consists of a series of underwater caverns, arches and swim-throughs the size of a cathedral! This too is a challenging dive and requires divers with good experience and qualifications.

The dive is to be found at 20 minutes from the leisure port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, just in front of the “Peninsula del Nido”. This spectacular dive is renowned for its breathtaking scenery.

Las Palmas de G.C.

Briefing

The Cathedral


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The big cave with its host bank of grunts and the nearby deep cut are, amongst others, two key features for divers to visit. All of this, within the chains of sinuous canyons that disappear into the sandy bed, where white sand is incessantly pounded by the ocean and gently covers the basking angel sharks and rays.

The great diversity of marine life to be found is outstanding, as much for the variety as for the quantity. Depending on the time of year and the state of the sea, divers can experience things they will ever forget and that will be difficult to better such as waltzing with manta rays or being surprised by a shoal of horse mackerel.

Municipality Gรกldar

In the Caleta de Abajo beach, on the north-west coast of the island and very close to Sardina, divers can find one of the most spectacular dives on Gran Canaria, Caleta Baja. It is a very simple dive although a little dexterity is required on entry and exit.

12 m 18 m

Av. Depth Max Depth

Est time

50 min

Currents Sheltered

Difficulty Average

Shore dive

Access

Location Playa de Caleta de Abajo

Briefing

Caleta Baja


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Diving centers directory

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LAVY SUB Tel: 928 232 530 / 639 076 245 lavysub@lavysub.com www.lavysub.com BUCEO CANARIAS Tel: 928 232 085 / 649 893 653 buceo@buceocanarias.com www.buceocanarias.com AQUATREK DIVING CENTER Tel: 928 424 704 / 607 555 365 amo. aquatrek@hotmail.com www.aquatrek.net ATLANTIK DIVING Tel: 928 565 438 / 689 352 049 atdiving@clubdemar.com www.clubdemar.com BLUE EXPLORERS DIVE CENTER Tel: 928 565 795 / 699 125 604 infograncanaria@blue-explorers.com www.blue-explorers.com CALIPSO DIVE CENTER Tel: 928 769 464 / 630 024 671 / 649 222 625 info@divingcalypso.net www.divingcalypso.net CENTRO DE BUCEO DELPHINUS Tel:928 566 169 / 664 009 156 canaria@delphinus.eu www.delphinus.eu DAVY JONES DIVING Tel: 900 460 147 / 699 721 584 webinfo@davyjonesdiving.com www.davyjonesdiving.com

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DIVING CENTER SUN-SUB Tel: 928 778 165 / 696 083 582 webmaster@sunsub.com www.sunsub.com POZO SCUBA Tel: 686 372 893 / 609 590 157 info@ poszoscuba.com www.pozoscuba.com TOP DIVING PUERTO RICO Tel: 928 560 609 / 606 026 171 topdiving@terra.es www.topdiving.net CANARY DIVING ADVENTURES Tel: 928 565 428 / 610 810 619 info@canarydiving.com www.canarydiving.com EXTRADIVERS GRAN CANARIA Tel: 928 566 077 / 687 132 688 grancanaria@extradivers.info BUCEO SUR Tel: 928 564 870 / 696 477 861 buceosurnitrox@gmail.com www.buceosur.es AGĂœITA Tel: 928 777 628 / 653 615 655 info@aguita.es www.aguita.es Regulated diving centre list supplied by the Agricultural, Farming and Fishing Council of the Government of the Canary Islands, dated Septiember 2011

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DAYTIME LEISURE ACTIVITIES

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Being bored is not an option in Gran Canaria. The island is a huge theme park for the enjoyment of the entire family. Recreational opportunities are countless, both indoors and outdoors, and the island offers a multitude of choices, all in natural surroundings. These leisure spots are closely linked to the territory, from the botanical gardens such at the Jardín Canario or Los Palmitos Park zoo; aquatic parks, especially in the south of the island, or with a scientific background such as the Museum and Archaeological Park of the Cueva Pintada in Gáldar, a stronghold of Aboriginal paintings; plus the Museo Canario or the Science Museum. In addition there are large open spaces that bring together the island’s wildlife such as the estate of Osorio in Teror, the Tamadaba pine forest and the areas around Tirma at the island’s summit, not forgetting La Charca de Maspalomas which tourists can enjoy next to the beach of Maspalomas. VIERA Y CLAVIJO BOTANICAL GARDEN Created by the extraordinary Eric Sventenius, the muchloved “Jardin Canario” shows off the great wealth of wildlife in the Macaronesia region, highlighted by the 500 or so endemic species from the Canary Islands. Covering an area of 27 hectares, it is considered the largest botanical garden in Spain. Carretera del Centro Km7- Tafira Alta Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 219 580 / Fax: 928 219 581 jardincanario@grancanaria.com www.jardincanario.org Open from 10 to 17 hrs, every day. PALMITOS PARK Botanical and ornithological garden where you can see 51 different types of palm trees,1,500 exotic birds, and with birds of prey shows. It has a superb collection of cacti, orchids, butterflies and hummingbirds, 160 species of tropical fish, crocodiles and parrot shows. Carretera Palmitos Park - Maspalomas. Tel: 928 797 070 www.palmitospark.es Open from 10: 00 to 18: 00 every day.

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HOLIDAY WORLD Holiday World amusement park is at the heart of this leisure centre and the largest to be found in the Canary Islands Avda. Touroperador Tui s/n Tel: 928 730 498 parque@holidayworld-maspalomas.com www.holidayworld-maspalomas.com Winter Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday and public holidays, 17:00 to 23:00 hrs; Fridays, Saturdays and days before public holidays 17:00 a 24:00 hrs Summer Opening hours: 18:00 to 24:00 hrs. PARQUE DE COCODRILOS Zoological park with over 300 crocodiles, tropical fish, tarantulas and a treasure island. Los Corralillos km 5,5. Agüimes. Tel: 928 784 725 Opening hours: de 10:00 a 17:00 horas (last visit at 16:00hrs) Saturdays closed. MUNDO ABORIGEN Canary cultural park, with aboriginal village: history, customs and life style of the ancient inhabitants of Gran Canaria. Carretera de Playa del Inglés a Fataga. Km 6. Tel: 928 172 295 Opening hours: every day from 9:00 to 18:00 hrs. SIOUX CITY American wild west town. Horse, buffalo and cow show. Cañón del Aguila. San Agustín. Tel: 928 762 573 / Fax: 928 767 201 Opening hours: 10:00 t 17:00 hrs. Performances at 12:00, 12:45, 13:15, 14:00 and 15:00 hrs Open every day except Mondays. Fridays: Barbacue + Show (evenings), from 18:00 to 22:00 hrs. SUBMARINO AMARILLO Travel deep down to the bottom of the sea and discover its secrets. Puerto de Mogán. Mogán. Tel: 928 565 108 / Fax: 928 565 048 Trips: 10:00-11:00-12:00-13:00-14:0015:30-16:20-17:10 hrs 84


CAMELLO SAFARI - DUNAS Fun-filled camel rides around the famous Maspalomas Dunes. Maspalomas Tel: 928 760 781 / 609 520 233 Opening hours: from 9:00 to 16:00 hrs. DONKEY - SAFARI LAS TIRAJANAS Los Moricos, s/n (subida a Taidía) - Santa Lucía Tel: 928 180 587 / Móvil: 658 938 332 burrosafari@gmail.com www.burrosafari.com Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00 hrs. KARTING - GRAN KARTING CLUB The biggest track in the world. Toddlers, childrens and adults circuits. Carretera General del Sur, km 46. Tarajalillo. Tel: 928 157 190 / Fax: 928 293 671 Opening hours: from 10:00 to 21:00 horas in winter and from 11:00 to 22:00 hrs in summer. AQUALAND MASPALOMAS Water park with numerous slides, also minigolf. Ctra. Palmitos Park, km 3. Maspalomas. Tel: 928 140 525 / Fax: 928 140 277 Opening hours: Winter from 10:00 to 17:00 / Summer from 10:00 to 18:00

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NIGHT TIME LEISURE ACTIVITIES

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If being bored is not an option by day, fun is guaranteed in Gran Canaria by night. The spring-like climate which prevails day and night and the open friendly character of the Grancanarians offer tourists a wide-ranging and varied nightlife every night of the year. If you want to kick the evening off with dinner, in Gran Canaria your choice is endless and there is no time restriction. Although the official time for the residents is between nine and eleven, nobody is tied down to this timetable, and visitors can enjoy an exquisite dinner at almost any time, once ‘the sun is down’. Also the visitor can choose a variety of foods from all over the world as if it were in the country of origin. If you go for the local gastronomy, your choice goes from the bars if you choose tapas, to the restaurants for typical local food, either homemade or Canary haute-cuisine. The choice is up to the tourist as, from the capital to the summit and from the north to the resorts, the island has a wide list of places with a menu to cater for all preferences.

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After dinner, options to carry on into the night are almost as varied as there are tastes. Bar terraces in the historic centre of the capital or by the sea; bars with an inner courtyard where you can take in some live music or simply feel the coolness of the night in the villages of the interior; ballrooms, nightclubs, pubs, are spread all over the island, although the capital and the south have the greatest variety, with the added advantage of longer opening hours. If your choice is the casino, there is one in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and two

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others in San AgustĂ­n and Maspalomas; for show venues, although most are in the South and the capital, there are others in some municipalities with performances for tourists and residents throughout the year. But if it is local festivals you want to try out, each month at least one of the 21 municipalities on Gran Canaria hold fiestas and street parties showcasing local traditions, and these are a must-see for visitors to the island.

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GASTRONOMY

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Goat meat, pork, veal and not forgetting chicken and rabbit are the meats used in Gran Canaria cuisine. For fish, grouper, sea bass and old red “vieja”, as well as tuna, are the ones to look out for, as fresh fish will not be lacking on any good table at many coastal restaurants. Gran Canaria’s local popular gastronomy and the most avant-garde cuisine go side by side, always with a common local product base and always offering great variety. Visitors have an extensive menu to choose from when it comes to food. Goat compound in “tollos” sauce (de-salted shark meat ‘Dogfish’ flavoured with a sauce made with garlic, cumin, saffron, paprika, oil and vinegar); “carajacas” (veal liver with sauce, thyme and garlic among other ingredients); “ropa vieja” (chickpeas compound with beef and chicken, cooked with French fries and a sauce made with onions, tomatoes, white wine, saffron, laurel, thyme, parsley and black pepper grain). Roast leg of pork is a tasty choice at any time of the day. But the King of dishes on Canary Island tables is the “sancocho canario”: salty sea bass, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and “pella gofio” (corn paste) all seasoned with mojo sauce, are a delicacy.

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Most common starters are fish soup, chickpea and “rancho” stews as well as the fish stock sauce in all its varieties, and so typical in the island’s cooking. But in Gran Canaria visitors cannot go without trying out one of its most typical traditions: the “enyesque”, a wide range of appetizer snacks made with such foods as olives dipped in oil and vinegar, “papas arrugadas” boiled potatoes with their skins on with mojo Picón sauce (that accompany almost any dish) or the variety of grancanary cheeses that have given the island the label of “a small France” for their diversity and exquisite production. The ones to try are tender cheese, cured, semi-cured cheeses from the summit and cheese “de flor” (matured with thistle). 92


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CULTURAL LIFE

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Classical music, opera and zarzuela, theatre and dance, jazz, music from Africa and America, theatre, cinema or video: all these can be enjoyed almost every month of the year in Gran Canaria, through international festivals or events held on the island. The year starts in Gran Canaria with the Canary Music Festival that takes place between January and February. In successive editions, leading global figures in classical music have assembled here on the island, in which the Festival each year commissions a world premiere, as well as hosting works by new composers. Other highlights include the Opera and Zarzuela Festival, and for cinema lovers, the International Film Festival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with its special ‘Lady Harimaguada’ award, has become a regular fixture on the event calendar between March and April. The Canary International “Jazz and More” Festival hails the arrival of summer and has performers playing in main squares and theatres all over the island’s municipalities. The Autumn Theatre Festival, and Womad, which brings together stars of ethnic music in a great popular music fiesta, bring the yearly calendar to an end, a year which has brought together dozens of cultural events in nearly all municipalities, along with artists of all genres in theatres in the capital and other main cities on the island.

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MUSEUMS

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Much of Gran Canaria’s historical and cultural wealth is centred around the many museums scattered throughout the island. Most of them are, at the same time, permanent research centres which make them key centres in the subjects they specialize in. In different parts of the island we can go from its Aboriginal past right up to the present day; there are also buildings that are set up as museum houses in memory of illustrious sons of the island, or others housing the living history of its folk traditions and customs, which are also very common. Gran Canaria’s museums should not be missed for the sheer quality of content on show, and to enjoy the experience of the layout of the buildings themselves in which they are located. The value of these centres as historic-artistic buildings lies in the fact that they are fine examples of the varied and rich architecture in the Canary Islands over the last few centuries and where different people who in their day settled in Gran Canaria left their mark. Gran Canaria houses everything from museums of contemporary art, such as the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, along with the Canary Museum which exhibits the largest collection of the island’s Aboriginal past, to the Diocesan Museum of sacred art, and the Casa de Colón, which brings together an important collection of documents and objects linked to the passing through of the Canaries by famous navigator Christopher Columbus, and Canary’s relationship with America. To these museums, all within a one kilometer radius, we must add the Elder Museum of science and technology, in the Park of Santa Catalina, as well as other illustrious museum houses such as Benito Pérez Galdós, Tomás Morales, Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre, Fernando and Juan de León y Castillo or Antonio Padrón, among others.

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MUSEO CANARIO Etnographic museum about the island’s pre-hispanic aboriginal culture. Kept on show here is the most complete collection of cromanoid remains in the world. C/ Dr. Vernau, 2 - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 336 800 / Fax: 928 336 801 info@elmuseocanario.com www.elmuseocanario.com Opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. CENTRO ATLÁNTICO DE ARTE MODERNO - CAAM National and international exhibitions all year round. C/ Los Balcones, 9-11- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 311 800 / Fax: 928 321 629 info@caam.net www.caam.net Opening hours: from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00 hrs; Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. MUSEO DIOCESANO DE ARTE SACRO Valuable collections of paintings, works in gold, and sculptures. Also home to the important musical archive of the Cathedral of Canaries. C/ Espíritu Santo, 20 - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 314 989 / Fax: 928 314 989 museo@obispadocanariense.net www.diocesisdecanarias.es Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 16:30; Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:30 hrs.

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CASA DE COLÓN Specializing in the history of the discovery of America, recreating the environment of the time. An offshoot of the building is dedicated to the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts. C/ Colón, 1 - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 312 373 / Fax: 928 331 156 casacolon@grancanaria.com www.casadecolon.com Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 19:00; Saturdays from 10:00 to 18:00, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 15:00 hrs. CASA MUSEO DE PÉREZ GALDÓS The house where Benito Pérez Galdós was born in 1843. Houses a library of Spanish narrative works from the 19th and 20th centuries, and a documentary archive made up of Galdos’ manuscripts, his most important legacy. C/ Cano, 2 y 6 - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 366976 / 928 373 745 / Fax: 928 373 734 perezgaldos@grancanaria.com www.casamuseoperezgaldos.com Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00 – Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00 (last visit starts one hour before closing) MUSEO DE NÉSTOR Museum dedicated to the multifaceted local artist Néstor Martín Fernández de la Torre (1887-1938), with an exhibition of his paintings. Parque Doramas; Pueblo Canario - Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 245 135 - 928 246 265 / Fax: 928 243 576 museonestor@gmail.com www.museonestor.com Opening hours Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs; Sundays from 10:30 to 14:30 hrs. INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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CASA MUSEO LEÓN Y CASTILLO Museum dedicated to brothers Fernando and Juan de León y Castillo, politician and engineer respectively. The refuge of the Puerto de La Luz was down to these two. The Museum here consists of a library and archives. C/ León y Castillo, 43-45 -Telde. Tel: 928 691 377 / Fax: 928 696 653 leonycastillo@grancanaria.com www.fernandoleonycastillo.com Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturdays from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs and Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs MUSEO MUNICIPAL DE ARUCAS With library, municipal archives, several itinerant exhibition rooms, and two permanent rooms dedicated to painters Santiago Santana y Guillermo Sureda, and another to sculptor Abraham Cárdenes. Parque de Gourié - Arucas. • Tel: 928 628 165 museomunicipal@arucas.org www.www.arucas.org Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00 hrs. Public holidays: from 10:00 to 16:00 MUSEO DEL RON Rum museum situated in the Ron Arehucas distilleries. Era de San Pedro, 2 - Arucas. Tel: 928 624 900 / Fax: 928 603 913 destilerias@arehicas.com www.arehucas.es Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 14:00 hrs (July, August, September 09:00 to 13:00). For groups of more than 10 people, a prior appointment has to be made for your visit. 100


MUSEO DE PIEDRAS Y ARTESANÍA CANARIA Museum of lacework and embroidery from Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. Also has an exhibition of stones of Africa, hence the reference to “piedra” (stone) in its name. Camino Real de Gando, 1 - Ingenio. Tel: 928 781 124 Opening hours: Monday to Saturdays from 09:30 to 18:15 hrs. MUSEO CASA ANTONIO PADRÓN On show here are more than 150 items including oil paintings, sculptures, drawings and sketches by the artist. Drago, 2 - Gáldar. Tel: 928 551 858 cmapadron@grancanaria.com www.antoniopadron.com Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00 hrs. CUEVA MUSEO ETNOGRÁFICO DE BARRANCO HONDO DE ABAJO. An exhibition of pottery, linen, paintings, crockery, furniture and sacred art. Juncalillo de Gáldar. Tel: 928 555 120 By prior appointment only.

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MUSEO ELDER DE LA CIENCIA Y LA TECNOLOGÍA Made up of over twenty spaces dedicated to the reconstruction and reproduction of great scientific advancements of humanity. An interactive centre whose byword is “Please do touch”. Parque Santa Catalina s/n 35007- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 828 011 828 museoelder@museoelder.es www.museoelder.org Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs (Summer from 11:00 to 21:00). MUSEO DE HISTORIA DE AGÜIMES Here at the History Museum in Agüimes visitors can learn about the last five centuries of the history of the region, from the establishment of the episcopal order following the Castilian conquest of the island, through to the mid-20th century. C/. Juan Alvarado y Saz, 42. Agüimes. Tel: 928 785 453 museohistoria.aguimes@yahoo.es Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00 hrs. 102


MUSEOS VIVOS Three different routes along twelve areas located in the town centre, recreating traditional rural trades of the town. You are shown round by the elderly volunteer inhabitants of the municipality itself. Visits by prior arrangement. Tel: 928 892 485 / Móvil: 629 487 907 MUSEO DE LA ZAFRA C. Isla de la Graciosa, 33 Vecindario- Santa Lucía Tel: 928 759 706 museozafra@santaluciagc.com Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 a 17:00; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. MUSEO DE ESCULTURAS ABRAHAM CÁRDENES Space dedicated to part of the works by one of Tejeda’s most illustrious artists, as well as a leading Canarian sculptor of the 20th century. C/. Leocadio Cabrera s/n, Tejeda Tel: 928 666 189 / Fax: 928 666 252 turismo@tejeda.es www.tejeda.es Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a 15:30 hrs CENTRO DE PLANTAS MEDICINALES Medicinal Plant Centre C/. Párroco Rodríguez Vega nº 10 Tel: 928 666 096 / Fax: 928 666 252 (Ayuntamiento) turismo@tejeda.es www.plantasmedicinalescanarias.com MUSEO DE LAS TRADICIONES C/. Párroco Rodríguez Vega nº 6 Tel: 928 666 189 / Fax: 928 666 252 turismo@tejeda.es www.tejeda.es Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30 hrs MUSEO DE LA RAMA C. Párroco Alonso Luján, 5 (Agaete) Tel: 928 554 382 www.aytoagaete.es

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ARCHAEOLOGY

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The richest Aboriginal cultural and artistic collection in the whole archipielago is here in Gran Canaria. The most noteworthy of these are the settlements with rock paintings in caves such as the Painted Cave in Gáldar, an artificial cave dug out of the side of the volcano tuff rock and whose walls are decorated with friezes made up of geometric motifs, in square, triangular and circular shapes in red, ochre and white. These are similar to those regularly found in the island’s pottery and motifs displayed on their crafts. No less spectacular is the settlement that was discovered around the cave after more than twenty years of archaeological excavations. Visitors here can contemplate the remains of houses, the interiors of which are preserved with their contents that bear testament to the activities of the time. After a thorough restoration programme and conservation of these cave paintings, this archaeological site is now top of the list for those wishing to come and delve into the cultural and artistic heritage of Gran Canaria. Its actual discovery dates back to 1873, and its extraordinary historic value is now so great, that since 1970, the island’s institutions have supported and funded the conservation of their cave paintings. Another group of sites tourists must not miss on their travels around Gran Canaria are the granaries of the pre-Hispanic settlers. Not all have faired the same over the years, with Risco Pintado (Temisas) being, along with the Alamo (Acusa Seca) or on the South side of the Roque Bentayga (Tejeda), the finest examples of these fortified deposits, as is the Coenobium of Valerón, located in the municipality of Santa María de Guía, in the North of the island. The latter is a spectacular hole, protected by a natural wide covering flap. Inside, the ancient Canarians dug out 300 chambers or “silos”, which served as grain deposits, along with living areas. Following our route along the archaeological sites in the southeast of the island we come across a troglodytic site called Cuatro Puertas, some 300 meters above sea level. It is a settlement complex dug out of the tuff rock. Its actual function was

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far from clear, as it could have been the place of residence of a figure of certain nobility, or a place for common usage, perhaps either social or religious, but certainly not just an average house. Nearby, in addition to the cave, lies a curious “almogarén” (generally high up, comfortable and well conditioned, and a place for religious cult celebrations). As we follow our aboriginal settlements routes we should not miss the Barranco de Guayadeque, a natural ravine landscape which had a large Aboriginal population in its day, judging by its settlement and caves remains, or the Fortaleza de Ansite, a fine example of a fortified village. Its eastern side presents a number of refurbished natural caves, and others carved out artificially into cave homes, funeral parlours, and “silo” grain stores. The layout is on different levels, joined up with each other by steps and paths, just like the original tunnel that crosses the rock and connects the village on both its sides. It might have been the last Aboriginal stronghold to resist the Castilian troops prior to their conquest. The pre-Hispanic population of Gran Canaria settled mainly in large villages of semi-urban structure. Gáldar (the Painted Cave) Telde (Cuatro Puertas) or Arguineguín were the most densely populated. The caves were the most common form of housing, a tradition that lives on today in certain areas of the interior of the island, although important dwellings have been discovered dug into the ground itself, with a rounded exterior topped off with large dry-stone blocks and wooden roof. 106


The economy of the Aboriginal population was agriculture-based rather than fishing. From barley, a key food of the area, came gofio. “Silos”, as we have mentioned before, were cave deposits in which agricultural production was stored, and give them a longstanding characteristic identity that lives on today on the island. Its social structure was markedly hierarchical. On the one hand were the nobles with hereditary positions, with decisive power in the administration, economy, and were owners of lands and cattle; while on the other, the villagers to whom the nobles granted land and cattle, in exchange for spices and services. The community’s absolute leader was the Guanarteme, while the Faycán was the second figure in importance and responsible for the positions and religious rituals;

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the Harimaguada was the female figure of nobility who was nurtured from childhood to share the same tasks as the Faycán. The Supreme God of the Grancanary Aboriginals was Acorán, to whom they offered sacrifices and offerings. MUSEO Y PARQUE ARQUEOLÓGICO CUEVA PINTADA DE GÁLDAR C/ Audiencia nº 2, Gáldar Tel: 928 895 746 / Fax: 928 552 402 www.cuevapintada.com Visits can be made by individuals or in groups by guided tours, for which an appointment must be made, by calling: Tel 928 895 746 o 902 405 504 or online through ww.generaltickets.com/lacajadecanarias Opening hours From 16th Septembre to 14th June Tuesday to Saturday: from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. Sunday and public holidays from 11.00 to 18:00 hrs From 15th June to 15th September Tuesday to Saturday: from 10:30 to 19:30 Sundays and public holidays: from 11:00 to 19:00 Closed on Mondays and some public holidays 108


CENOBIO DE VALERÓN Cuesta de Silva s/n Santa María de Guía - Gran Canaria Tel: 928 895 537 / 618 607 896 / Fax: 928 895 451 www.cenobiodevaleron.com Winter timetable: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. Summer timetable:Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 hrs. YACIMIENTO DE CUATRO PUERTAS Montaña Bermeja, 3 Kms. outside Telde • Open area. For guided tours appointment on tel. 928 219 229 MUSEO DE GUAYADEQUE

(Archaeological Information Centre) Barranco de Guayadeque s/n Tel: 928 172 026 Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 17:00 hrs; Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 to 15:00 hrs. SALINAS DE TENEFE Exterior: information boards, individual visits. Interior: group visits by prior appointment: 928 759 706

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CRAFTS

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Craft activity in Gran Canaria goes back to pre-Hispanic times. The craft tradition of Aboriginal people has lasted to the present day as well as many of the materials they used. Clay was, and continues to be, one of the raw materials. Today in nearly every village there is one or more artisans who work with this material, although the outstanding places today are the Locero Centre and the Casa-Alfar Panchito Eco Museum, in La Atalaya de Santa Brigida, or the Fedac shops. The Aboriginals also used household utensils and icons such as the idol of Tara, small red clay figure, a representation of women which, along with its neck and distinct face, stand out for its exaggerated limbs. These small mud and stone figures found on the island have various purposes: from the celebration of fertility rites, to the cult of the dead. The Canarian motif is one of the characteristic elements of Aboriginal craft and they adorned craftwork with geometric patterns. Others materials to have survived have been baskets, metal knives, wood, yarn, and stonework with a very rich grain which has been used in roads, bridges, banks, mills, pools, fountains and a host of other applications.

FEDAC foundation craft shops Fundación para la Etnografía y el Desarrollo de la Artesanía Canaria TIENDA DE ARTESANÍA TRADICIONAL (Traditional Craft Shop) Domingo J. Navarro, 7. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 369 661 LA SALA Domingo J. Navarro, 7 bis. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 369 639 PLAYA DEL INGLÉS SHOP Centro Insular de Turismo Avda. de España esquina Avda. de los Estados Unidos Playa del Inglés. Tel: 928 767 848

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SHOPPING AND LOCAL MARKETS

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The low rate of tax on many of the products that can be purchased in the Canaries, and the presence on the Islands, especially in Gran Canaria, of all main national and international brands, together with an extensive network of centres where to buy typical products, make the island an ideal place to go shopping. The shopping areas are located in major urban centres such as the capital and the tourist south, as well as the cities of Telde or Santa Lucia. Shopping centres and department stores are interspersed with large streets and avenues, where you can buy literally everything. Half a dozen shopping malls and two large open areas are spread over the area of the island’s capital. On one side of the city, on the stately and historic street of Triana, and on the other, the modern and bustling Avenida de Mesa y López that gives way to the port area, bordering onto Las Canteras beach. A tip for you: don’t plan that special shopping day without making to effort to pop into the dozens of local craft shops all over the island. Neither should you miss some of the open air markets that are set up every day in one municipality or another. The variety of products here is on a par with the variety of people from all over the world who come to sell and buy. Flea markets and craft markets on Sundays in the capital, and the market at Teror, are places that should always be penciled into your diary.

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Local Markets LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA FLEA MARKET Every Sunday from 09:00 to 14:00 hrs, at Ramblas Alcalde Juan Rodríguez Doreste. MERCADO DE ARTESANÍA Y CULTURA (Craft and Culture Market) Plaza del Pilar Nuevo, every Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. AGÜIMES Thursdays from 08:00 to 13:00 hrs. ARUCAS Saturdays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. GÁLDAR Thursdays frome 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. SAN BARTOLOMÉ DE TIRAJANA SAN FERNANDO Every Wednesday and Saturday from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. PLAYA DEL INGLÉS Monday to Saturday from 19:30 to 23:30 hrs Avenida de Italia. SANTA LUCÍA VECINDARIO • at Avenida de Canarias every Wednesday from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. SANTA LUCÍA • Sundays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. SANTA BRÍGIDA Fridays from 15:00 to 20:00 hrs. Saturdays from 07:00 to 20:00 hrs and Sundays from 07:00 to 14:00 hrs. SANTA MARÍA DE GUÍA Tuesdays and Sundays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. SAN MATEO Saturdays from 08:00 to 20:00 hrs and Sundays from 08:00 to 15:00 hrs. 114


MOGÁN PUERTO DE MOGÁN Mondays and Fridays from 09:00 to 14:00 hrs. ARGUINEGUÍN Tuesdays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. MOYA Sundays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs. TELDE PLAZA SAN GREGORIO Saturdays from 07:00 to 15:00 hrs JINÁMAR Sundays from 07:00 to 15:00 hrs. TEROR Sundays from 08:00 to 15:00 hrs. VALSEQUILLO Sundays from 08:00 to 14:00 hrs.

PLEASE NOTE: The Gran Canary Tourist Board cannot be held responsible for any changes to this programme.

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FIESTAS AND FESTIVALS

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Gran Canary kicks off every year with Carnival. With Christmas celebrations still ringing in their ears, the Grancanarians turn their attention to the most popular of fiestas. The Carnival usually starts in the capital around mid-February, and people don’t take off their fancy dress masks until April. From then on, helped by glorious weather, nearly every month there is some kind of important festival going on somewhere on the island. Most of these revive the history and legacy of centuries gone by, while others are purely religious events, but all of them are marked with the indelible flavour of the Canaries.

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RURAL TOURISM

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Almost half of Gran Canaria’s territory is protected, which corresponds to some 1,000 sq meters of land per 1,000 inhabitants. So, apart from the beaches, Gran Canaria has natural resources that make it an ideal place to enjoy nature at close quarters, and all that entails: taking walks around areas of great beauty, taking part in adventure sports, or discovering endemic species you cannot find anywhere else. This wealth of natural beauty in large areas has earned the island the label of Biosphere Reserve. This Reserve centres around 6 main regions, with over 18,000 inhabitants earning their living through traditional activities related to these areas. Because of its relief and altitude, Gran Canaria has multiple micro climates, which in turn have given rise to varied habitats. Maintaining and conserving this geographical natural wealth is guaranteed thanks to its declaration as a Biosphere Reserve. For this reason, rural or nature tourism is highly developed on the island, based on a sound respect for the environment, and the wide range of choices on offer to the visitor looking for rural houses, nature activities, in a variety of different terrains all over the island.

GRAN CANARIA NATURAL ASSOCIATION Gran Canaria Natural Tel: 928 334 175 / Fax: 928369300 marketing@grancanariafincas.com www.grancanariafincas.com

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ACTIVE TOURISM

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Imagine an island where you can explore superb plunging natural ravines, where the mild climate allows you to do adventure sports 365 days of the year, affording new experiences in wonderful natural surroundings. These great climatic conditions and unique terrain lend the island a special charm, to mix an escape from it all with fun sports activities in the great open air. Go hiking, mountain racing, climbing, on mountain bike or cycling tours along paths and tracks that take you up to the highest points of the island; enjoy charming natural strongholds and picturesque villages, surrounded by indigenous flora; hike around our royal trails, and reach the rocky symbol of the island, the Roque Nublo; climb up winding ravines, ride down the mountain slopes on bikes while taking in the wonderful landscapes around the island, cycle all the way up to the Pico de las Nieves, considered by professional cyclists as the toughest peak to conquer throughout the European continent, with gradients of up to 23%.... without forgetting that a large number of professional and amateur cyclists choose just this environment all year round to do their training. It is a real pleasure for all five senses.

Hiking and Cycletourism Companies HAPPY BIKING Hiking, cycling, mountain biking Avda. de Italia 2. Hotel Continental. 35100 Playa del Inglés Tel: (+34) 928 766 832 www.happy-biking.com CYCLE GRAN CANARIA Mountain bike routes, cycling tourism, training camps. Edificio Princesa Arminda Portal 2,3º -D-I San Fernando de Maspalomas • Tel: (+34) 928 769 5085 www.cyclegrancanaria.com FREE MOTION Hiking, cycling • Hotel Sandy Beach. Local 9, Playa del Inglés Tel: (+34) 928 777 479 www.free-motion.net LIMONIUM Hiking trails, orienteering, archery, multiadventure , climbing, ravine descent, paragliding. c/ José y María,69. Lomo los Frailes. Tamaraceite. 35018 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: (+34) 928 436 995 www.limoniumcanarias.com

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OTHER SPORTS

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Gran Canaria offers a wide range of sports activities, not just to take part in but also to watch. As well as the afore mentioned local sports such as Vela Latina, Canary wrestling is one of the most popular home-grown sports, but also stick fighting, rock jumping, stone lifting and plow lifting are played on the island. Some of these sports can be seen nearly all year round, as there are competitions between teams from different parts of the island, while others can be viewed in exhibitions, or in the popular festivals around the local municipalities. As far as sports competitions go, the island annually hosts various motor racing qualifiers for the European and Spanish Championships. Each Christmas, Maspalomas plays host to four teams from leading European leagues in an international winter football tournament; Gran Canaria is the starting point for international boat races; headquarters for one of the windsurfing World Championship qualifiers, and, very often the chosen destination for national and international sports events such as golf, tennis, horse riding or cycling and biking, as well as having teams in various leagues such as football, basketball, grass hockey or volleyball, both male and female, and compete in major European leagues. In addition the island annually hosts hundreds of athletes who get in some pre-season training, afforded by the mild climate and the island’s natural terrain, before the start of a new season.

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Golf Back in 1891 Gran Canaria was already the site for Spain’s first golf club, the Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, located on natural land on the capital’s outskirts. Since then the island has been the perfect place for golf tourism as it is just a short flight away from any point in Europe, with a climate allowing golfers to play all year round. Today there are 7 magnificent courses dotted around the island. Designed by eminent golf course specialists and all within 50 kilometers of one another, Gran Canaria has become a leading hotspot for golf enthusiasts looking to play at different courses, all within easy reach, in just a few days. The courses are located at points which allow for immediate play, with fantastic beach, sea and mountain views all around them.

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GRAN CANARIA GOLF ASSOCIATION C. Domingo J. Navarro, 1 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 362 939 / Fax: 928 369 300 info@canariasgolf.org www.grancanariagolf.com

REAL CLUB DE GOLF DE LAS PALMAS This course has the privilege of being the oldest golf club in Spain. Its location is at Bandama, on the edge of the crater of a former volcano, testimony of the area’s volcanic past. It has stunning views of spectacular ravines all around. Carretera de Bandama s/n, 35300 Santa Brígida Tel: 928 350 104 / Fax: 928 350 110 MASPALOMAS GOLF Situated right on the most important tourist complex of the island and surrounded by the natural Maspalomas Dunes area. Its proximity to the sea and its gentle trade wind breezes make this course an unforgettable experience. Avda. TTOO Neckermann S/N - Maspalomas Tel: 928 762 581 / Fax: 928 768 245

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Maspalomas Golf SALOBRE GOLF & RESORT Nestling in the local landscape at the south of the island, surrounded by ravines, Salobre provides a striking contrast of the green of the golf course set against the desert land all around. The course itself caters for players of all levels, and the only one with 36 holes. Autopista GC-1, Km 53 Urbanizaci贸n El Salobre. Maspalomas Tel: 928 010 103 / Fax: 928 010 104 EL CORTIJO CLUB DE CAMPO Just 6 kilometers outside Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, this course is a mix of over 600 hundred year old palm trees and six lakes. It is an 18 hole par 72, with golf school, driving range, chipping and putting green and practice bunker. Autopista GC-1 Km 6,4 - Telde Tel: 928 711 111 / Fax: 928 714 905 ANFI TAURO GOLF Superb 18 hole, par 72 golf course, designed by prestigious trio of architects von Hagge, Smelek and Baril, on a surface area of 650,000 m2, with incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean and Valle de Tauro. Valle Tauro s/n.- Mog谩n Tel: 928 908 000 / Fax: 928 063 755

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Meloneras Golf MELONERAS GOLF Situated on the Bahía de Meloneras, at the south of Gran Canaria, this golf course is split into two sets of 9 holes, one with magnificent views over the mountains, the other 9 holes looking out over the sea, 3 of which are right on the coastline itself. C/. Gánigo 6 - Plaza Ansite. 35100, Maspalomas. Tel: 928 145 309 / Fax: 928 146 066 LAS PALMERAS GOLF SPORT URBAN RESORT Fantastic 18 hole par 3 course in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with holes of up to 150 meters in length. Facilities include a 1000 m2 putting green, plus a short-game practice area with bunker and greens. Avda. Alfonso Chiscano Díaz, s/n 35010 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Tel: 928 222 333 / 928 225 522 / Fax: 928 222 522

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HEALTH AND WELLBEING TOURISM

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The first tourists who came to Gran Canaria around the end of the 19th century did so attracted by the island’s benevolent climate and its mineral waters. Health tourism is one of the oldest worldwide. People came from all over Europe, attracted by propaganda and on medical advice, with ailments ranging from lung desease, stomach complaints and nerves. The island’s prestige as a health destination has been kept up over the years and has been developed as yet another alternative for visitors. There is a wide choice of options either for the treatment and consultation of different conditions, or if you simply wish to pamper your body and relax. The island has spas with mineral-rich waters and when mixed with sea water, are ideal for rehabilitation, chronic rheumatism, fatigue and stress. Treatments with algae, sea mud, hydrotherapy, baths with salts, aromatherapy, thalassotherapy, massages, Turkish bath etc., are the order of the day. In addition to the large number of specialist centres in Gran Canaria, visitors have also got the entire island to feel as if they are in paradise, a place to recover from stress and tiredness and try to put aside their daily hustle and bustle. Activities on offer range from walks along extensive beaches of golden sand and crystal clear waters, to losing yourself in laurel forests or in among the mountain ranges of the interior. HEALTH TOURISM Gran Canaria Spa, Wellness & Health Association Tel: 928 367 508 / Fax: 928 369 300 info@grancanariawellness.com www.grancanariawellness.com INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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BUSINESS TOURISM

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Few places can match Gran Canaria for the celebration of business meetings, here in the best climate in Europe, just a few hours away by plane from the office or workplace. Three modern, architecturally unique congress centres, a multitude of rooms with all up to date facilities throughout the network of hotels distributed around the capital and tourist areas, all of the highest quality. Communications with the interior of the island, the high level of development services and telecommunications, and everything else one might need, make Gran Canaria an excellent choice for holding congresses, conferences, seminars, symposia, product launches, incentives and conventions. Gran Canaria also offers its many beaches, and contrast of landscapes, for business meetings to be complemented by a lighter, social programme that will allow participants to enjoy the charm of the sea, the tranquility of the beach, the mystique of the mountains, the peace and quiet of the villages, to the buzzing commercial activity of the large city, with their colourful special events, contrasting with the seriousness of the more sophisticated cultural activities, the taste of the local restaurants, etc. All this has led to the island earning a certain prestige in this sector through the number of events held annually, which translates into considerable organizational experience, as well as the emergence and development of numerous companies and highly qualified professionals to provide services to all kinds of meetings, fairs and incentive trips.

GRAN CANARIA CONVENTION BUREAU Tel: 928 261 570 / Fax: 928 446 651 info@grancanariacb.com www.grancanariacb.com

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PALACIO DE CONGRESOS DE CANARIAS Auditorio Alfredo Kraus Convention Palace Building designed by architect Oscar Tusquets, in which the Atlantic Ocean is in full view behind the stage, the perfect transparent backdrop for concerts or any other events. Playa de Las Canteras, S/N. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 491 770 / Fax: 928 262 696 info@pcongresos-canarias.com www.pcongresos-canarias.com www.auditorio-alfredokraus.com

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PALACIO DE CONGRESOS DE GRAN CANARIA INFECAR โ€ข Congress Palace Located in the Instituciรณn Ferial de Canarias (Infecar), an area covering some 70.000 m2 which hold fairs and exhibitions, right in the heart of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Avenida de la Feria, 1. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Tel: 828 010 203 / Fax: 928 411 710 info@infecar.es www.infecar.es CENTRO DE CONVENCIONES EXPOMELONERAS Set in the heart of the new tourist resort of Meloneras, at the south of the island, this is a multifunctional building with a surface area of 14.000 m2 with 24 conference rooms available. Plaza de las Convenciones s/n. Urbanizaciรณn Las Meloneras, Maspalomas. Gran Canaria Tel: 928 128 000 / Fax: 928 128 009 congress@lopesangroup.com www.expomeloneras.com

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USEFUL CONTACTS TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES GRAN CANARIA AIRPORT Tourist Information Office Gran Canaria Airport Address: EU Arrivals – Door A. Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria Tel: 928 574 117 cit@grancanaria.com www.grancanaria.com LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA Gran Canaria Tourist Board Address: C/. Triana, 93 Tel: 928 219 600 dpromoc@grancanaria.com www.grancanaria.com Centre of Tourism Iniciatives + info Address: Pueblo Canario - Plaza de Las Palmeras, local 3 Tel: 928 243 593 cit@citgrancanaria.es www.citgrancanaria.es NETWORK OF TOURIST INFORMATION POINTS Avda. Jose Mesa y López s/n (between the two El Corte Inglés buildngs) Plaza de Hurtado Mendoza-Plaza de las Ranas s/n Parque de Santa Catalina (next to Local Police Station) Parque de San Telmo s/n (opposite the San Telmo Hermitage) Paseo de la Playa de Las Canteras s/n (opposite the Hotel Meliá Las Palmas) Tel: 928 446 824 www.LPAvisit.com 144


SOUTH AREA Island Tourist Information Office Gran Canaria Tourist Board Address: Avda. España - esquina con Avda. EE.UU. (Centro Comercial Yumbo) Tel: 928 771 550 cit@grancanaria.com www.grancanaria.com

Mirador del Golf Tourism Office Address: Plazoleta de Jandía - Avda. de Gran Canaria esq. Avda. TTOO TUI s/n Tel: 928 769 585 infoelmirador@gmail.com www.turismomaspalomas.com Anexo II Tourism Office Address: Paseo Marítimo Centro Comercial Anexo II Local 20 Tel: 928 768 409 infoelanexo@gmail.com www.turismomaspalomas.com INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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Evolutive Zone Development s.l. C/ General Mas de Gaminde, 43 • 35006 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 150


Enhance your stay. infoguide@myariadne.com INTERACTIVE TOURIST GUIDE

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MyAriadne guide

is not “yet another tourist guide�, is a completely new mix of a guide , a souvenir, a gadget (why not, a toy) all-in-one in a compact pocket size perfectly fitted to accompany you during your trip to discover the territory, its typicalities and hidden secrets to make the best out of your holiday.

Explore and discover through a rich interactive content accessible with the free multiplatform app that will introduce you to an engaging experience including videos, 3d models of monuments, historic buildings, and allow the booking of events, visits to wine cellars, workshops and much, much more.

ISBN 9789812683670

9 789812 683670

50995 >

guide.myariadne.com

Gran Canaria - Guia en AR  
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