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Gran Canaria for History Lovers

Are you dreaming of a glorious summer holiday where you can soak up a wealth of history, culture and tradition? Then look no further than Gran Canaria. This island attracts thousands of tourists every year and all year round for its beautiful beaches, glorious climate and stunning coastlines, but many people may not realise that the island also boasts a fantastic array of historical landmarks and sites of archaeological interest.

This article will highlight some of the best locations and unmissable sights to explore on a holiday to Gran Canaria, where you will be able to immerse yourself in rich culture and indulge the history buff inside you.


One of the most popular destinations to visit on the island of Gran Canaria, the old town of Vegueta is simply stunning and boasts countless old, historical buildings and incredible architecture. The town, where the city of Las Palmas originated, is filled with winding streets and squares which are home to a fantastic array of historical buildings such as the Museo Canario museum, Casa de Colon mansion, Santa Ana cathedral and the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno gallery.

The beautiful, cobbled streets are filled with quaint shops, cafes and restaurants where you can sit down and watch the world go by surrounded by buildings in a range of interesting architectural styles ranging from late Gothic to Renaissance.

Ermita de San Antonio Abad

One of the oldest religious buildings on the island, a visit to the old town of Vegueta would not be complete without going to see the Ermita de San Antonio Abad. Built in 1681, this stunning church is located in one of the town’s small squares and draws visitors to it every year due to its historical charm and beautiful design. The front of the church features a façade which is flanked by pillars and is also lovingly embraced by luscious green plants. Sadly, the building did fall into decline, but it has been restored to its original glory, so it’s certainly worth a visit.

Cenobio de Valeron

Truly one of the most unique structures to behold, the settlement of Cenobio de Valeron is not to be missed. This incredible structure of intricate grain caverns and caves was originally built over 800 years ago by ancient Canarians and sits on a high escarpment at Montaña del Gallego, and it was used for the storage and shelter of the indigenous Canarri. Take in the wonder all around you as you marvel at this distinctive structure, or better yet, join a local guided tour where you can learn all about Cenobio de Valeron’s fascinating history.


The historical town of Arucas draws tourists from all over the globe to bear witness to its historical charm and fantastic array of architecture. The town is situated just 12 kilometres from the capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and extends right out to the coast.

One of the most popular historical landmarks to visit in the town of Arucas is undoubtedly the Parish Church of San Juan Bautista. This incredible structure was carved completely out of stone in 1909 and is home to some incredible glasswork by the French firm Maumejean et Frères, as well as lots of beautiful works of art by the painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana and wooden sculptures by Manuel Ramos.

Just a stone’s throw from the Parish Church of San Juan Bautista you’ll find the charming Constitution Square. Here, there are several buildings of historical interest including the town hall, the House of Culture and the old municipal market. Spend a leisurely afternoon wandering around these beautiful buildings and soak up their historical charm before sitting down with a cold beverage and watching the world go by.

Some of the other main points of interest in the town or Arucas include the Arehucas Rum Factory and Museum, where you can learn all about the tradition of distilling. You could also pay a visit to the House and Gardens of Marchioness which provides a luscious green contrast to the other buildings surrounding it within the heart of the town.

If you want a short break from soaking up all of the culture and rich history, Arucas also boasts beautiful sand and pebble beaches, where you can lay back and bask in the glorious sunshine and also sample some of the most delicious seafood dishes you will find on the island.

Travel tips for your holiday to Gran Canaria

The island is blessed with great transport links and efficient bus networks, which means that you will be able to travel around multiple historical sights with ease and explore the surrounding scenic landscapes.

You will be able to buy multi-day bus passes which will allow you to make several stops for one simple fare. You should also consider arranging an airport transfer in Gran Canaria so that as soon as you land on your flight you can get straight to your accommodation, drop off your belongings and head out to explore all of the wonderful history around you.

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