The town itself is the highest one on the island. And from almost any point you will find get views...
...that's why it is known as 'the balcony' town.
The entire area is famous for its cave houses. They are ideal for conditions here, as they cool in hot summer days and warm in winter. From the outside they do not look like much...but it's a different story once you walk into one!
As you drive to the town centre you will see a large Christ overlooking the pine forest of Tamadaba this is one of the many viewpoints we recommend you stop at.
Once you get to the town centre you must visit San Matias Church and its square. If you walk just a few meters down from the Church you'll get to a small square with stunning views! Right around the corner from this square you'll find Unamuno's Viewpoint (Mirador de Unamuno). Unamuno was a famous Spanish writer and poet.
One of our favorite places to just sit down, have a beer and enjoy of the views is Artenaras Restaurant. The special thing about this place is that you have to walk through a long tunnel carved from the volcanic lava mountain to get to it...
...and on the other side of the tunnel as you cross the mountain is
the restaurant which seems to be hanging from the mountain cliff.
The views are amazing and it's very cosy!
If you have never been to cave-house we would recommend you visit the Cave House Museum Santiago Aranda (La Casa Cueva Museo Santiago Aranda). After visiting this cave house you might end up changing your mind and staying in one on your next trip to Gran Canaria.
Artenara's main tourist attraction is its beautiful natural surroundings. Here you will find the Natural Park of Tamadaba the island's largest forest and you'll also be able to visit el Roque Nublo from here.
If you like hiking...this is the place to come to. Below
we have highlighted some of our favorite hikes in the area:
Town Centre - Cruz de Tejeda: this is a 3 hour walk (8km) which takes you through Cruz del Tori, Montaña de Artenara, Cuevas del Caballero, Degollada de las Palomas and then to Cruz de Tejeda.
Two other great walks are
Town Centre - Las Presas - Berrazales - San Pedro: this is a 4 to 4:30 hour hike (14 km) which starts at Artenara goes through Las Cuevas, Cruz de Las Mentiras, Lugarejo o Risco Caído, El Hornillo, Berrazales and ends up in the impressive Valley Agaete in San Pedro.
Town Centre - Cruz de María - Tamadaba - San Pedro:
this is actually one of my favorite hikes on the island as it goes
through the pine tree forest of Tamabada. It will take you about 8
hours (17 km), but it has some of the most impressive views of the
island in my opinion.
Alternatively you can first drive to Galdar. If you are planning to
drive around Gran Canaria we recommend you get
a map of Gran Canaria for free.
You can take the 220 bus from Las Palmas. Or if you are staying the south of Gran Canaria you can take the 18 bus (from Faro Maspalomas) which goes to Tejeda. However there are just a few buses a day from the south, so do check their timetable carefully.
Canary Islands Rural Tourism!