Gran Canaria is full of beautiful spots, but some of them can be considered secret places. At times, this is due to their remote location far away from other tourist attractions. And sometimes it is because they tend to be a local secret that you are unlikely to discover if you do not talk to the people that live close to it or spend a lot of time location scouting on Google Maps. But in the end, that is what makes these locations the best hidden gems in Gran Canaria.
Some of these locations are perfect for photographers, while others are ideal for outdoor lovers – there are natural windows and reflective natural pools, wonderful viewpoints, and rather unknown beaches. I loved exploring every single one of them, and can only hope that you will enjoy visiting them as well.
About these Hidden Gems in Gran Canaria
Before I share these hidden gems in Gran Canaria with you, I want to add a notice to be cautious when sharing the location on social media. Please do not tag the exact location and ensure that people will have to do a certain amount of research to find them.
It might seem like a strange appeal given that I am sharing these secret places in Gran Canaria in this travel guide, but the fact that you are reading this and what I have to say about the locations will hopefully ensure that you respect the beauty of these hidden gems in Gran Canaria and will not just see them as a mere ‘instagrammable’ location. After all, you likely had to search for very specific things to find this list or already know my website and therefore care about ethical and responsible traveling.
The reason why I am adding this note to this particular travel guide is easy: I saw the impact of people sharing the location of a former hidden gem in Gran Canaria on social media. ‘Tobas de Colores’ or ‘Barranco de las Vacas’ was once considered one of the island’s most amazing secret spots, and having seen it with my own eyes, it is easy to see why.
However, it is now hopelessly overrun thanks to people that shared the exact location, and the number of people that visit it is just too much for this small area of the gorge. And that does not even mention the trash some of these people leave behind.
It is more than understandable that people want to see beautiful locations, and I certainly want to do the same. But it is crucial that none of us forgets that we should respect nature and do what we can to preserve hidden gems so that others that want to see it as more than a mere photo motive can do the same thing.
I arrived in the gorge early in the morning and then waited more than two hours to get the perfect light just as the sun lights up the canyon. And I certainly did not mind waiting, as it allowed me to observe the little details of the area. I was happy to put my camera away so I could live in the moment and get a deeper understanding of the story my images would tell of the location.
But while waiting, I also saw the seemingly endless line of people going there just to snap a shot before leaving. Some decided to stay once they saw my travel buddy and me waiting with our cameras, but ultimately, few had the ‘patience’ to actually enjoy the location.
It seemed like they were waiting for the ‘sweet light’, but not actually enjoying the time they spent at this amazing location.
The photos of the location are admittedly amazing, but they have no actual value if you do not let yourself enjoy the location. It is just another shot that will be posted once or twice before it vanishes never to be seen again. You will not have a reason to remember this amazing hidden gem in Gran Canaria that you were fortunate enough to see. In the end, it makes no sense to look for hidden gems if you only want to take photos that serve no purpose but to generate like on social media. There is more to life and to the locations than that.
Read more: Should you visit Barranco de las Vacas?
Visiting these Hidden Gems in Gran Canaria
With that note in mind, I want to point out that most, if not all, of the hidden gems in Gran Canaria on this list, tend to be less accessible or more remote, and that exploring them requires more effort than a short downhill walk like the aforementioned, now overrun, gorge. Therefore, they are not places you can easily visit just for the sake of taking one or two photos.
So, visit these secret places in Gran Canaria because you want an amazing and unique experience, and not just to snap a few photos taken with the sole intention of getting as many likes as possible. Take the time to actually enjoy these hidden locations in Gran Canaria. Take in what you are seeing and respect the places while keeping in mind that they just might be the favorite locations of people that actually live there.
Do everyone a favor and only tag a nearby city instead of the exact spot. People might just message you to ask where it is and so you will benefit from it in case the entire social media thing is more than a numbers game to you.
1. Guayedra Beach & Viewpoint
To get to Guayadra Beach, you have to pass the viewpoint, so they can be seen as one secret place in Gran Canaria. Mirador de Guayedra offers a stunning view of the cliffs to the left and an amazing view of Puerto de las Nieves to the right.
Try to time your visit according to the ferry schedule, if you want to see the ferry from Tenerife arriving or leaving the harbor. It causes small, curved waves when it turns, which makes for a great photo motive.
I visited the viewpoint twice to have the perfect light for both directions. While the details of the cliffs are visible in the early morning, Puerto de las Nieves looks amazing during the Golden Hour just before sunset.
Playa de Guayedra is a beautiful pebble beach that sees few tourists. Most people that come here are locals that want a relaxed time away from the crowds of Playa de las Nieves. There is an area with very shallow tidal pools at the northern end of this hidden gem in Gran Canaria. If you go there, you will notice that these tiny tidal pools create a stunning reflection. So be sure to check them out.
Just know that you should keep an eye on the waves, as visiting these tiny pools can get dangerous when big waves crash onto the lava plateau. There are tiny crabs in the area, so do not move if you want them to come out.
This side of the beach also has some overhanging rocks that can serve as a beautiful frame when taking photos of the cliff formation in the south that is known as the ‘Dragon’s Tail’.
How to get to this secret place in Gran Canaria
To get to Mirador de Guayedra, you have to drive south on the GC-200 from Agaete. After around 5 km, you will reach a small parking bay on the left side. Park there or drive down the dirt road on the right side. Just know, that you might have to drive backward for a bit if there is oncoming traffic on the dirt road.
If you do drive down the dirt road, you will find several parking spots right at the viewpoint. If you choose to walk instead, it is a 750 meters downhill walk to the viewpoint. The view of the valley is quite pretty, so it is great to walk if you want to take photos.
To get to Guayedra Beach, you have to walk down the path from the viewpoint. It is a downhill walk, so keep in mind that you have to walk back up. Once you are at the bottom of the cliff, you will find Playa de Sotavento to your left and Playa de Guayedra to your right.
2. Charco de las Espejos
If you are a photographer or love tidal pools, then you will love Charco de las Espejos. This rather small area has several bigger tidal pools that reflect the Punta Sardina lighthouse. Therefore, they are a prime photo location. Especially, as it is a rather secret place in Gran Canaria that only tends to be visited by locals.
There are crabs all over the place, so find a comfortable spot and sit down. If you do not move for a while, they will come out of hiding which allows you to observe them. Be sure to also look into the tidal pools, as they are the home to many animals.
If you have read my things to do in Gran Canaria post and wondered where I became best friends with a dead crab, you now know the location. I did not know it had moved on to different waters when I first leaned down, and then photographer me decided that it was too late now anyway, so I stayed close to it to take the lighthouse reflection shot down below.
How to get to this secret place in Gran Canaria
While driving there, you might ask yourself how this area can be the location of a hidden gem in Gran Canaria, but I promise that the location itself is worth it. The surrounding kilometers might feel like you have ended up in a wasteland that is definitely not the prettiest part of the islands, but the tidal pools are pristine.
As you park your car to the right side of the wall around the lighthouse, you will still see trash, so you might want to bring a trash bag. After all, it never hurts to pick up some trash when we explore beautiful locations. If enough people do it, it might just offset the carelessness of others that cannot be bothered to clean up after themselves.
Walk down the dirt trail that goes left. After a while, the terrain gets more rugged, and stable sneakers will be required. I saw someone attempt to do it in sandals, and let’s just say that it did not work out. Walk on the right side of the small inlet to reach the first tidal pools. To get from one tidal pool to another, you will have to climb over volcanic rocks, so a certain level of fitness is required.
3. Ventana de Morro
Located less than 100 meters away from the popular Pico de las Nieves viewpoint, one would expect that this stunning natural sight sees more visitors. However, getting there is not for the faint of heart and inexperienced hikers that know how to traverse somewhat rough terrain close to cliffs. While it is far from a long scramble to get there, I only ask you to only visit this hidden gem in Gran Canaria if you know what you are doing.
This stunning natural window has a perfect view of Roque Nublo, and if the clouds allow it, you can also spot Mount Teide on Tenerife in the distance. An impressive sight, that makes the time you spend at this location more than worthwhile and encourages visitors to stay a while so they can take in the view.
While the path to the natural window ‘Ventana de Morro’ is rather obvious, getting to the area that allows you to see the window framing Roque Nublo is harder. The path there is not clear and you are walking on a cliff, so good and stable footwear is more than required. Be careful and do not overestimate your own abilities if you want to give it a go. No photo is worth your life and a selfie is one of the most tragic reasons to be a Darwin Award contender.
There were a lot of clouds in the area while we were there and we spend more than an hour waiting for a small break in the clouds so we could capture the view. It was quite windy and at times the clouds were all around us which made it impossible to see the entire way back. Clouds tend to be common in this area of Gran Canaria, so know that the same thing could happen to you.
I personally loved waiting here as it allowed me to observe how the clouds moved, but if waiting quite a while for a stunning view is not your thing, you might want to skip this rather secret place in Gran Canaria.
How to get to this hidden gem in Gran Canaria
If you want to hike to Ventana de Morro, you have to drive to the Pico de las Nieves viewpoint. Park your car and walk back down the road for around 100 meters until you spot a hiking path sign on the left side of the road. Walk down the trail until there is a split in the path.
The main path goes to the right, but you will want to walk down to the left along a smaller path. If you are unsure, it is good to look up the location of a rock formation known as ‘Roque del Señor Champiñon’ on Google Maps as you will have to pass it to reach the natural window. Walk down the sandy path until you reach ‘Señor Champiñon’ and from then onwards the path to ‘Ventana del Morro’ is visible.
The way to the area behind it is harder, so you should only go there if you can find the way there yourself.
4. Los Azulejos Hike & Natural Pool
The Los Azulejos hike and the natural pool at the top of a waterfall are real hidden gems in Gran Canaria. As you ascend, the view gets better and better, and it becomes obvious how colorful this area really is.
While making your way to the foot of the waterfall and then to the top of the falls, you have a great view of the rainbow rocks known as ‘Los Azulejos De Venoguera’. The rock layers appear orange, yellow, and turquoise thanks to magma that met a moist environment, which then altered the mineral composition of the surrounding area. A truly stunning natural process.
In the cooler months, you will find a natural pool at the top of the waterfall. Sadly, I did not get to see the waterfall or the pool, as all the water had evaporated when I visited the location in the first half of September. However, I still think that the view alone made the climb well worth it.
It can be kind of hard to recognize the beginning of the hiking path as such, as you literally have to climb up a rock for the first two or three meters. If it was not for the trail marker, it would not be obvious that there is a trail at all.
Once you reach the actual path, everything is pretty much straightforward except for two spots where one could accidentally leave the trail only to end up at a dead-end. Ensure that you keep your eyes on the trail and look in every direction if you are not sure where to go.
Be sure to wear stable footwear, as some parts of the trail are slippery thanks to tiny pebbles and sandy material.
How to get to this hidden gem in Gran Canaria
The beginning of the trail is around 100 meters behind the first Rainbow Rocks formation. To get there, you have to drive north on the GC-200 when coming from Puerto de Mogán. It takes around 30 minutes to drive there. View-wise, the GC-200 is one of the most beautiful roads of Gran Canaria, so take your time and stop when you reach viewpoints.
The GC-505 is another scenic road, and while it might seem like a good idea to combine the two on the way to this hidden gem in Gran Canaria, I do not recommend it. There is an unsealed connection road after Barranquilo Andrés, and it can only be described as the road from hell. Do not do it to your car!
5. La Aldea Beach
At first glance, it might look like just another pebble beach on the western coast of Gran Canaria. However, it is the setting and surrounding area with impressive cliffs and a tunnel that connects the two parts of the beach that make Playa de La Aldea a hidden gem in Gran Canaria.
Seeing and taking photos of the cliffs while using the tunnel’s arch as a frame is amazing. Especially, if you are a photographer that loves playing around with locations.
Additionally, there is a small natural pool at the end of the second beach which can be accessed by walking through the tunnel. There is also a nice picnic area in Parque Rubén Díaz that offers plenty of shaded spots.
I first saw a photo of the tunnel of Playa de Aldea in a Facebook group for digital nomads and fell in love with the location. While I had no idea where in Gran Canaria it was located, I just know that I had to find it as I wanted to take photos of it.
This resulted in a search that lasted several hours, but I sure had fun while looking for it and it made visiting this beach all the more rewarding.
How to get to Playa de La Aldea
The town of La Aldea is located on the west coast of Gran Canaria, and the easiest way to get there is from Agaete. Drive south on the GC-2 for 22 km and you will reach La Aldea. Once there, you just have to park your car and walk to the beach, where you can enjoy a relaxed afternoon without tourist crowds.
6. Valle de Agaete
Knowing how beautiful this valley is, makes it baffling that few people know of it. Valle de Agaete has its own micro-climate, and I recommend talking to one of the locals if you want to know more about it. This very specific micro-climate is what makes this beautiful, lush valley the only place in Europe with coffee plantations.
You can tour three of them, and I could not recommend it more. I toured Cafe Platinium and loved it. During the tour, I learned more about how coffee is produced and even learned how to roast it by hand.
And once the plantation tour was over, there was a taste testing of local products including coffee, the fruits they also grow on the plantation and even some local booze. The plantation tour only costs 10€, and I consider it a must-do if you are exploring this lush area of Gran Canaria.
How to get to this hidden gem in Gran Canaria
If you are in Agaete, it is more than easy to get there. All you have to do is drive inland on the GC-231. If you do not have a car, you can catch a ride there by taking bus line 102 to the ‘El Lomo’ stop.
More Secret Places in Gran Canaria
There are quite a few hidden gems in Gran Canaria that I have yet to see myself, so this list will eventually be extended to include them. They are already marked on my map for my next trip to Gran Canaria which will definitely be in rainier months. After all, a lot of them are small waterfalls that cannot be seen in the hot and dry months like September.
The winter months tend to be the best option to see these hidden gems in Gran Canaria. While on the Canary Islands during this time of the year, you should also consider visiting Lanzarote in winter.
I decided not to include them here even though I already did my research, as I want to provide a deeper understanding of the location and the situation there. And doing so is just not possible until I have seen these hidden gems in Gran Canaria with my own eyes.
Additionally, I want to ensure that the locations I mention here will not be overrun beyond their capacity just because I decided to include them in this list. Doing so would not be in accordance with my goal of promoting responsible traveling. But if you want to find more secret places in Gran Canaria, you can always talk to the people that live there and even reach out to me while you plan your trip.
How to get to these Hidden Gems in Gran Canaria?
While it is theoretically possible to take a bus to some of these hidden gems in Gran Canaria, it is not the best option, as there are usually no more than two buses a day. Therefore, you will be able to do nothing but visit one single secret place per day and potentially do nothing else.
For that reason, it is highly recommended to rent a car. Hereby, you should ensure that you get a good car, as the roads near some of these locations are rough. I had a rental car from Tirma Rent a Car and was quite happy with it.
Underrated Places in Gran Canaria
While these locations are no hidden gems in Gran Canaria, you should definitely consider exploring them as well. They are less touristic than Las Palmas and the south of the island, and most people miss out on an amazing time as they do not include them in their itinerary.
- charming towns in Gran Canaria like Agaete, Ingenio, and Aguimes
- rather unknown viewpoints in Gran Canaria like Mirador Degollade de Becerra
- historic locations like the Salinas de Tenefe
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Where to stay near these Hidden Gems in Gran Canaria?
If you want to stay close to several hidden gems in Gran Canaria, you should stay in Agate. It is not too far away from Valle de Agaete, Charco de las Espejos, Guayedra Beach and La Aldea Beach. Los Azulejos and Ventana de Morro are in the center of the island, so you can stay in Las Palmas or farther inland like in Ingenio.
Read more: Great hotels in Gran Canaria
Roundup: Hidden Gems in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has a lot to offer, and these hidden Gems in Gran Canaria are some of the island’s prettiest spots. So be sure to add at least one or two of them to your Gran Canaria itinerary. But be sure to also do some research on your own, as there are many amazing secret places in Gran Canaria that I have yet to see and that have therefore yet to be added to this list.
Also, check out these hidden gems in Spain if you want to see what the mainland has to offer.
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