Top 4 hidden gems of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is an island full of diverse landscapes and beautiful nature. Sometimes it’s even referred to as “miniature continent”. Unfortunately, its reputation often portrays it as a crowded mass tourism destination for beach holiday tourists. While this is not completely wrong the island does have much more to offer than just beaches. Once you leave the main tourist hotspots you’ll discover the true beauty of Gran Canaria.

1. Barranco de las Vacas

Barranco de las Vacas is an impressive natural wonder which reminds of the famous Antelope Canyon in the United States. The only difference: It’s for free and there are no visitor crowds!

Attention: Don’t just put Barranco de las Vacas in Google Maps because it will lead you somewhere else. We had to learn this after hiking in the wrong place for 20 minutes.

These are the exact coordinates: 27°54’54.7″N 15°28’33.6″W
You can copy+paste them into Google Maps to get there.

Coming from Agüimes you find a small parking space on the left side of the road. From there you walk down the canyon until you reach a grey brick bridge. You walk through it and keep walking for 5 minutes to get to the spot of my photos. I recommend visiting in the morning or in the evening to avoid sharing the spot with other visitors. We went there just before sunset and had the whole canyon to ourselves.

2. Sunset at Mirador Pico de las Nieves

Pico de las Nieves: 1.949 m

This is definitely my favourite sunset spot of Gran Canaria. Pico de las Nieves is the highest peak of the island. From there you have an amazing view of Roque Nublo, which is Gran Canaria’s most famous landmark. Roque Nublo is basically just a mountain with a weird looking rock on top of it but for some reason it’s considered as a must-see.

In the distance behind the sea of clouds the peak of the volcano Teide, which is located on the neighbouring island Tenerife, is visible.

You need to drive up a steep and curvy road to get there. On top there’s a small space where you can park your car. Be there on time because the parking lot is quite small and there will be others too. Make sure to bring warm clothes as it can get extremely windy up there.

3. Playa Güigüi

Playa Güigüi is a hidden beach which can only be reached either by boat or on foot by crossing a mountain. If you’re an active person I definitely recommend hiking there. During the hike you can enjoy stunning views and it’s a great experience.

View from the peak of the mountain that has to be crossed to get to the beach

We arrived after 2 hours of hiking and were more than happy to finally jump into the cool ocean. There was nobody else but us on the beach which was awesome and super relaxing.

View from Playa Güigüi: The beach is surrounded by impressive mountain ranges

We had brought a tent to stay a night on the beach. Like this we could enjoy the whole day there without having to think about the hike back on the same day. The best part of it all was the beautiful starry sky at night combined with the sound of the waves. Camping on this beach was an incredible experience.

Playa Güigüi: We had the whole beach to ourselves

If you’re interested in hiking to Playa Güigüi, I have a whole blog post dedicated to it:

2 day trip to the hidden beach Güigüi

This hike is a must-do if you enjoy off the beaten track travel!

4. Natural Pools “Las Salinas” in Agaete

The northern part of Gran Canaria is way less crowded than the touristy south. Agaete is located on the north-western coast and not too many tourists make it that far up as it takes quite a while to get there. There are some natural pools where you can go swimming or just relax in the sun. On a sunny day you won’t be all alone but it’s not as crowded as other beaches. Plus, it’s rather locals that go there.

I recommend staying there until the evening and have dinner in one of the numerous fish restaurants in Puerto de las Nieves which is only a 5 minutes walk away. They have a great offer of fresh fish and local dishes. Make sure to watch the sunset from there, it looks beautiful and if it’s a clear day you can even see the peak of the volcano Teide in the distance.

Sunset in Puerto de las Nieves with the view of volcano Teide in Tenerife

There are definitely more hidden gems on Gran Canaria but these are my four favourites. Do you enjoy off the beaten track travel? If you’ve been to Gran Canaria what were your favourite places?

26 thoughts on “Top 4 hidden gems of Gran Canaria

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  1. Thank you for the advice about Agaete, as I’m always on the lookout for places where the local go. Also, the hike to Playa Güigüi looks fantastic as well. I’ll bet anyone who goes is ready for a swim after the hike – and it’s probably quite refreshing!

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    1. I also always look for local places away from the tourist crowds, glad you like it! And the hike to Playa Güigüi truly was an amazing experience. Believe me that during the second half of the hike I was permanently thinking about finally jumping into the water haha

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    1. Same here! I love discovering the hidden gems of a destination, it’s so much more exciting. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  2. I am always in awe of tiny countries that are able to provide such diverse landscapes! You photos are breathtaking and have me convinced I need to make the trip to this beautiful island!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here! It’s impressive how you get to a completely different scenery by driving for only 20 minutes. Thanks a lot, that’s great to hear!

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  3. Las Salinas looks amazing! Those natural pools remind me of some of the ones in Australia. Is it pretty easy for solo tourists to get around there?

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    1. Most of the well known beaches, cities and villages can be reached by public transport. However if you want to explore the hidden gems and go off the beaten path I recommend renting a car. It’s super cheap, you get it for 10€ per day and fuel is cheap too. So no problem for solo travelers as long as you have a driving licence 🙂

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    1. Definitely, me too. Playa Güigüi was my highlight of Gran Canaria, if you ever travel to the island you should definitely check that place out!

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  4. Wow Gran Canaria looks incredible! I have to admit I had to google where it was (facepalm) but my first thought was just like you mentioned, that it reminded my of Utah! There is so much diversity in the landscape in just that tiny place! I would love to visit.

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    1. Haha no worries, we can’t know all the places in the world and Gran Canaria is such a small island. I really love the natural diversity there!

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  5. Not gonna lie, this looks pretty spectacular. I’ve recently been adding more islands to my travel wish list, I will be adding this as well.

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    1. Especially the rather unknown places in rural areas of the island are the most spectacular ones!

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  6. This place Gran Canadian is a gorgeous place that hAve everything. That beach looks romantic, and those natural sculptures of mountains are breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries, I was living on Gran Canaria for 6 months without knowing about those places haha. It’s crazy how Gran Canaria is mainly known for beach tourism while there’s so much natural diversity on the island.

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  7. I’ve never heard of Gran Canaria as such a beautiful destination. Your pictures speak for itself how splendid it is! Barranco de las Vacas reminds me of Grand Canyons!

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    1. The most beautiful spots on the island are hardly visited while the beaches are overcrowded and full of tourists. That’s what I love about off the beaten track travel – you have all the stunning places to yourself!

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