The Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria is a wonderful crossing that allows you to get to know the entire island from north to south.
It is a path that can be walked from one to six days: the kilometers are about 70 and the elevation gain is around 2,500 meters.
The Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria has medieval origins. In fact, some sailors, caught in a storm, vowed to Santiago to build a church on the highest point of the island then known. The sailors actually saved themselves: so a church was built in St. Bartolome (Tunte) and in 1850 the image of Santiago was brought here. Galdar also hosted the first official mass in 1481, and its main church was dedicated to Santiago.
To complete the historical background, the jacobean holy year enjoys the same privileges as the Compostelan holy year.
The walk is generally done from south to north: thus, the starting point of the walk is the Maspalomas Lighthouse and the end is Galdar Square. For weather reasons, my friend Daniele and I took the path in reverse, thus starting from Galdar.
Galdar is easily accessible from Las Palmas thanks to the bus service of Gran Canaria..
The FIRST STAGE is definitely challenging both in length, 21 km, and in positive elevation gain, about 1,700 meters. The walk begins with short climbs, never too steep: behind you always have Galdar and, to the side, its characteristic mountain with its conical shape. It is easy to get to Saucillo, after 8 km of walking. this is a great base for lunch or a bite to eat.
We continue to climb always gradually: the meadows in March are definitely green and it is wonderful to walk in these conditions! At a certain point the vegetation becomes decidedly thicker: we enter the Pinos de Galdar territory. The path to the Mirador de Pinos de Galdar is definitely steep in places! The view repays all the effort! By now, there are only 5 km left to the end of the first stage: the Montanon Negro and the view toward the center of the island are majestic!
In Cruz de Tejeda, unfortunately, we found all restaurants closed for covid. Luckily, we managed to find a typical bocadillo de Teror (a typical Canarian salami) and a couple of cold beers!
We slept at the hostal el refugio, discreet.
The second stage begins with several ups and downs leading up to Llanos de la Pez: along these 6 km you can see the iconic Roque Nublo and the Teide of Tenerife!
Once in Llanos de la Pez, Daniele and I decided to take a detour. In fact, we extended the walk by about 3 km and 300 meters of elevation gain to reach Pico de las Nieves, which at 1949 meters is the summit of Gran Canaria. This detour is nothing short of splendid, and is recommended for any trekker in good condition!
From Pico de las Nieves we quickly descend to Mirador Cruz Grande: the trail is always fantastic, well maintained and with majestic views.
From Mirador Cruz Grande it takes about 3 km to get to San Bartolome (also called Tunte): you don’t actually go through the center of the small town, but you can admire its beauty thanks to various viewpoints. Having found no place to sleep in San Bartolome we continued for another 6 km. We therefore arrived in Fataga, a typical all-white Canarian village! Fataga Grill was our salvation: dinner was fabulous!
In total we covered about 25 km, with 700 meters of positive elevation gain and 1700 meters of descent.
We slept at Elisa’s house, great accommodation!
From Fataga the path is really simple. We pass through the barranco de Fataga, with vegetation becoming increasingly sparse: the pine trees of the center of the island are now a vague memory.
From Fataga to the lighthouse of Maspalomas the path is 22 km long, almost always downhill: it is really a very easy walk.
It is definitely the least interesting day: the points of interest are given by the barranco, an aqueduct and the Maspalomas dunes at the end of the route.
The Maspalomas lighthouse marks the end of the Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria: the satisfaction is certainly immense!