Gran Canaria's west coast is characterized by wild beauty. The area is very quiet and deserted, there are not very many big attractions. Nevertheless, or just because of that, the area is worth a trip. The most interesting thing here is the solitude, silence and beauty of the landscape.
The west coast of Gran Canaria. You can see the road that winds along the hillside in endless switchbacks.
The best way to explore the area is to take a tour of the island in your own rental car, driving along the GC 200 between Mogan and Agaete. The road leads along the slopes of the cliffs. The cliffs here rise up to 500 m in height! Below the road the deep blue sea crashes against lonely rocks. In good weather you can see Tenerife with the Telde in the distance. There are a lot of curves here and you don't get ahead very fast, even if the distance is actually not that far.
Off the road the country is lonely and uninhabited. Until Saint Nicholas there is also no possibility to leave the road and explore the area. However, there are always small bays where you can park your car and enjoy the scenery. There are always the Mirardors, the lookout points from which you can enjoy the view. Since it is the only connecting road to the west, there are also big trucks on the road, which can run over you behind the one or other curve.
Between Saint Nicholas and Mogan the road leads inland again. Here there is also a small turnoff that leads to a secluded valley to the sea.
The beginning of the road to the south, just after Agaete.
San Nicolas, also called San Nicolas de Tolentino, is the only larger settlement on the west coast. Here it is not really interesting from a touristic point of view. In San Nicholas there is a lot of agriculture, around the small town there are some fields.
Saint Nicholas, a small village in the west of Gran Canaria. Apart from agriculture, however, there is not so much there. Nevertheless I find the remote location very interesting.
Those who do not travel by car can take the bus from Mogan or Agaete. From Mogan bus number 38 goes to Saint Nicolas. It goes from Puerto de Mogan to Aldea San Nicolas and takes one hour for the trip. A ticket costs 3,50 €. From Agaete, take bus number 101. It takes 50 minutes and costs 3,40€. There are five daily.
By car you can take a break in the north of Saint Nicolas, in Puerto de la Aldea and enjoy seafood in one of the small restaurants.
A small sight is a cactus garden, the Cactualdea. They themselves claim 1.to have 200 species of cacti and to be the largest cactus garden in Europe. Entrance fee is 6€ for adults and 3€ for under 18s.
As an alternative you can also take the GC-210 from Tejeda/Arteanara/San Bartolome de Tirajana. This trail is also very scenic and even more lonely.
Beaches in the west
The beaches on the west coast of Gran Canaria are deserted and not the typical sandy beaches with lots of people that you often associate with images of Gran Canaria or another Canary Island. The beaches here are often covered with stones, like this small beach in the north of Agaete.
In the north, in Agaete there is the Playa de las Nieves, but it is also quite rocky. From here, the view of the cliffs of the west reaching to the south is spectacular! You can enjoy it there well in one of the small cafes or restaurants and besides try the cuisine of the Canary Islands. A bit north of Agaete there is this beautiful little beach.
In Saint Nicolas there is the Playa de la Aldea. The view of the cliffs is also very spectacular here! Also there are some restaurants on the promenade here.
Near Saint Nicolas there is beautiful Playa de GuiguI, a beautiful long sandy beach, with dark sand, enclosed by high cliffs. It can be reached either by boat from Puerto Rico or Puerto de Mogan, or by a hike. It is important to pay attention to the tides! Besides, it is quite far from the road, so plan enough time for it! The beach is interestingly only filled with lava sand in summer.
Further south there is Playa de Tasarte, another secluded beach.
Some of the beaches are great for diving or surfing!
Impressions from the west coast
The sea is so wonderfully blue here!
The view back to Agaete. The white settlement in front is Agaete. Further back you can still see Galdar.
In good weather you can see the Canary neighbor island Tenerife with the Teide very well. Tenerife is the only one of the other Canary Islands that you can see from Gran Canaria.
The cliff in the northwest of Gran Canaria. Seen from the Mirardor de Balcon.
The coast is very steep. Here it goes down at least 100m almost vertically.
The landscape is very deserted. The road is very busy, but off the road there is a wilderness that is hard to reach.
The Mirador de Balcon. One of the greatest viewpoints. The cliffs here are especially steep and you see so many tourist pictures that you see from many island tours.
A small settlement on the way between Saint Nicholas and Mogan. Above the windmill is one of the last passes before Mogan. This pass is marked with 1.400 m again quite high.
The view from the pass back to Saint Nicholas. The atmosphere was very nice, due to the clouds hanging on the slopes of the mountain.
The view to the west from the road between Mogan and Saint Nicholas. The valley is very remote. Nevertheless there are some houses. In the background is the sea.
The further south you go, the more desert-like the climate becomes again. Here it is not far at all to Mogan.