Gran Canaria is the third largest and second most populated island of the Canary archipelago. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria - the capital - is among the largest cities and metropolitan areas of the Canary Islands, and one of the ten largest metropolitan areas in Spain. In addition to a considerable number of beaches, it is famous for its rocky reliefs and expanses of green that attract travelers in search of excursions and trekking lovers. Thanks to the landscapes that look different in every corner and its 300 days of sunshine per year, tourism in Gran Canaria remains continuously in activity, without being restricted to on certain periods.
This island is the perfect place for hiking enthusiasts, and it hides a heritage to be discovered, where volcanoes and rich vegetation alternate and deserve to be admired.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the center of the island of Gran Canaria, rise the peaks known by locals as Montañas Sagradas ( "Sacred Mountains"). The definition of "sacred" not only refers to their beauty, but especially because they guard traces of a very ancient population. Long before Europeans arrived, "natives" lived in this place, and their last descendants disappeared around the 13th century. Their memory is imprinted in the stones, in the rituals of which there is still an inheritance among the local customs, and especially in the temples. Two of these have been passed down to this day in a practically intact way, among which, worthy of mention, is the mysterious and fascinating Risco Caido.
Valuable and unmissable, the Risco Caído temple is located between the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria. Speleologists who first entered this "cave" quickly realized that it was not a natural formation. The spiral signs along the walls and the very high ceiling culminated in a sort of dome with a skylight, which served neither to illuminate the interior nor to let air in. That hole, in fact, let in a single sunbeam or moonbeam to enter, allowing, together with the entire structure, to perform special celebrations during the two equinoxes and the summer solstice.
One of the best ways to explore these cultural landscapes is to walk along the various trails in the area. You can opt for admiring the Sacred Mountains and Risco Caído through organized tours, where an expert guide will accompany you to discover their unquestionable beauty.
The Roque Nublo is one of the most significant natural monuments of the island of Gran Canaria, considered one of the largest natural rocks of volcanic origin in the world. To get there, just follow the path that starts in Tejeda; my advice is to wear comfortable shoes, bring water and a snack to recover energy. It's not a difficult trail to walk, nor is it a long one, but you have to be very careful since the ground is unpaved. During the journey, you will have several moments to admire the view: take advantage for some picturesque shots; moreover, along the way you will discover how different each point is until you reach the top. Once you reach the top, you will find yourself in front of a rocky and deserted plateau, exactly where the Roque Nublo rises.
A little bit of sea and relaxation is a must on one of the most beautiful islands in the Atlantic... Don't worry, Gran Canaria is not just about archaeological sites and long walks. Playa de Maspalomas is undoubtedly the largest and also the most beautiful beach of Gran Canaria. Located in the south of the island, it is about 3 km long and is surrounded by the Special Nature Reserve of Maspalomas Dunes. The beach of Maspalomas can satisfy the needs of any visitor: on the west side, the beach connects to the tourist resort and offers services ideal for families with children, such as deckchairs and umbrellas for rent, showers and kiosks if you want to take a moment to cool off. To the east, however, is full of places where you can practice a variety of water sports. Here, you can spend your day experiencing the sensation of facing the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, a moment of healthy fun!
In short, if you love trekking, discovering the most beautiful places surrounded by unspoiled nature, and, above all, the sea ... well, Gran Canaria is the right place for your vacation!
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