Gran Canaria also manages to enchant visitors with the help of its aromas and flavours. The food of its traditional cuisine, hidden in the interior of the island among ravines, gullies, volcanic rock formations and mountains, has travelled a long way before ending up on each table. Each delicacy has its own biography. Thus, the succulent and famous island cheeses, which have been internationally and nationally acclaimed in countless competitions, literally start walking at dawn alongside the shepherds who guide the flocks in search of the best pastures. The ‘national’ potatoes begin their journey in the hands of those who grow them and harvest them with their eyes fixed on the earth and a growing restlessness in their minds, waiting for a gentle and good rain.
In some places, such as Valleseco, apple trees grow a peculiar type of this small but vigorous fruit that is used to make cider and the delicious local confectionery. In other places, the white mantle of the blossoming almond trees is the delicate prelude to a harvest of sweet and bitter almonds. In the wonderful Valle de Agaete, an island within this endless island, there are those who grow their own Arabica coffee, because here the most surprising thing can become common practice.
You can witness the beauty of its landscapes by walking through its dense network of hiking trails and royal roads. These arteries offer visitors the opportunity to get to know the depths of the geography and the soul of this still unexpected and surprising corner in the Atlantic, whose immense natural, ethnographic and geological values have been embraced by the international community by awarding a large part of its territory and part of its maritime area the status of Biosphere Reserve, and the Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, the status of World Heritage Site and by awarding its skies the status of Starlight Reserve.
The Biosphere Reserve has more than a thousand native species, almost 300 endemisms and unique vertebrates in the world such as Gran Canaria’s giant lizard, which can grow up to eighty centimetres in length. The Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape acknowledge that an extraordinary aboriginal culture evolved in isolation for over 1,500 years and established a dialogue with the stars. Said aboriginal legacy is visible in places such as La Fortaleza with its cave paintings and defensive walls, echoes of an extraordinary past.