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Canary Islands by Car: Las Palmas Mountain Trip

This post will show you a Las Palmas mountain trip by car. We will take the road up into the pine-covered mountains next to the Canarian capital.

The mountains above Las Palmas are dotted with small villages with typical Canarian gingerbread houses, and the views to the rocky shoreline will make you want to return to the Las Palmas Mountains.

The drive first takes south from Las Palmas and then into the mountains. After a long drive through pretty towns and villages we will come down to the north cost, from where we will follow the rocky ocean shore back to Las Palmas.

Canary Islands by car: Las Palmas mountain trip 

Canary Islands by car: Las Palmas mountain trip 

Driving instructions: from Las Palmas take the road to Tafira Alta and then on to Santa Brigida. If you are a plant lover, and even if you are not, go and see the fantastic garden Jardin Botanico Canario, it’s in Tafira Alta.

For more about Jardim Botanico Canario see the other post Cave House Trip from Las Palmas.

Las Palmas mountain trip: the road

Road from Las Palmas to the mountains

Right outside of Las Palmas the road starts climbing. Just sit back and enjoy Canarian nature and the tiny villages you are driving through. The road along the whole itinerary is very good and it’s surfaced all the way, but to climb to the mountain ridge means a lot of curves on the way. That of course makes driving a bit slow. But we are not in a hurry!

Mountain weather is often a bit cloudy so be prepared to clouds and maybe rain showers – and a lot cooler weather than lower down in Las Palmas.

Las Palmas Mountain Trip by Car: the Itinerary


Mountain trip around Las Palmas on the map

I marked our Las Palmas mountain trip itinerary on Google Maps. You can zoom in and out the map as you like, and save it in your own maps.

The four towns we will visit on the way are Santa Brigida, Vega de San Mateo, Teror and Firgas. We will start in Santa Brigida.

Santa Brigida

Houses in Santa Bridiga, Gran Canaria

Santa Brigida, Gran Canaria

Almost next door to Las Palmas we found the postcard-pretty gingerbread town Santa Brigida. What a treasure Santa Bridiga is! Maybe we will have to stay here the next time we come to Las Palmas.

Santa Brigida needs a stop and a stroll along the cobbled streets. And maybe a hot chocolate and fresh churros in one of the local street cafés.

Almost all houses in Santa Brigida have a kind of fairy-tale look. They are painted in either white or bright colours like red and yellow and have nice grey stones in the walls.


Click on the small photos to see them in a slideshow.

Then, the churros:

Hot chocolate and churros

Canary Islands by car: hot chocolate and churros in Santa Brigida

Vega de San Mateo

Street View of Vega de San Mateo, Gran Canaria

The next fairytale town: Vega de San Mateo

After some more driving comes the next town, Vega de San Mateo. Vega is a lively little town and already really high up in the mountains. You will notice that from the clouds hanging above the town. In fact, this is the highest point of the drive and after this it’s only down the hill.

Sunday is a market day on the town’s market place and, in addition, there is a local food producers’ market in the nearby hall.

Delicious bread, goat cheese, honey, almonds, sausages and wine. You can first taste and then buy all this and much more, and what’s best, directly from local producers.

When you feel you’ve seen enough of Vega de San Mateo, continue towards Teror.

Even when the distance is not long, driving takes its time. Because the road down is very winding.

But look at the views! Look at the flora and those thick Canarian trees, they are Canary island pines.

Las Palmas Mountain Trip: Teror

Street view of Teror, Gran Canaria

Las Palmas mountain trip: Teror, Gran Canaria

The next town Teror is the island’s religious capital and the home of Nuestra senora del Pino, the patron saint of the island. That makes Teror the place pilgrims from all over Gran Canaria come. So have a look at the church that has a great importance for the locals, and also see the town’s old quarters around it.

And why not sit down and have lunch or coffee in one of the restaurants around the market place?


Driving Down to Firgas

Mountain View near Firgas, Gran Canaria

Mountain slope near Firgas, Las Palmas mountain trip

We can now see the north coast of Gran Canaria and the city of Las Palmas at the distance. Time to stop and take in the views!

View of Las Palmas

Las Palmas seen from the mountains

Firgas is famous for its spring of natural water, from which they produce bottled water for the whole island.

The tiny town celebrates this valuable spring water with fountains, flowing water and long stairs that make a nice passage uphill to the town church.


Firgas, a white town on the hill:

Firgas, Canary Islands

Road trip around Las Palmas: Firgas

Returning to Las Palmas – via Puerto de las Nieves!

Puerto de las Nieves seafood restaurant

In a Puerto de las Nieves seafood restaurant

After Firgas you can choose if you want to see two more pretty towns Arucas and Moya. If not you might want to return to where you started, Las Palmas.

We did a third thing. As we suddenly felt extremely hungry after all driving, we decided to take a side trip to Puerto de las Nieves on the west coast famous for its seafood restaurants. So we did that and returned to Las Palmas later in the evening.


I hope you enjoyed this Las Palmas mountain trip with us. I really recommend a relaxed Sunday drive like this, to the stunning mountains around Las Palmas!

To make this trip you need to rent a car for a day. A small car is practical on mountain roads, if you don’t need a big one for some reason. A small car is easier to drive in curves and easier to park in old Canary Island towns.

Sunset in Puerto de las Nieves

Sunset in Puerto de las Nieves, Gran Canaria

More Posts on Gran Canaria:

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One comment

  1. I cannot tell you how I appreciated this post. My spouse and I will be going to Gran Canaria sometime in April. Much planning is going into our adventure.
    The time you spent putting this itinerary together will serve us well. This was better than many guide books that I picked up lately.
    Your dedication has not gone unnoticed ;o)

    All the very best travels ahead.

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