A journey to the heart of Gran Canaria

NATURE, CULTURE AND TRADITIONAL CUISINE

There is only one Gran Canaria, although it might not seem so sometimes. Dozens of microclimates hide under the cloak of the mild climate that shields the island all year long. Those microclimates are precisely the ones that shape the great variety of our landscapes, which change as easily as you would turn the pages of a book. Going deep into the interior areas of Gran Canaria is like making several trips in just one day. Even over the course of just a few hours you may find yourself surrounded by mist, contemplating oases of palm trees, walking along a dam, reaching the base of a rock formation whose appearance seems almost moon-like, playing in a waterfall or plunging into desert canyons that soar into the sky.
In Gran Canaria every day is different. An island that leaves no one indifferent because of its landscapes, which seem to be performing a magic trick for our senses. A trick that may very well have been created in the depths of one of the last remaining laurel forests, a wet forest that has disappeared in most parts of our world and that seems to flourish best on the island. A magical place for where fairies, magicians and elves sleep.

Explore the medianías, the mid-altitude areas of the island

The interior of our island shows those who walk its trails, the Atlantic reality where nature and human beings have given life to something unique. In the villages in the mid-land regions and on the summits or even in the more arid and wildest southeast slopes, you will be the witness of centuries-old traditions that are still part of everyday life: farmers who plough their fields with the help of oxen, people who go into the lush vegetation and reappear some time later loaded with medicinal plants, or wood, and village taverns where people talk and listen.

Taste the local cuisine

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.

Walk its trails and get to know its aboriginal past

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.


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