This is a cave house trip from Las Palmas. Yes, you will see cave houses, many of them.
In addition you will see botanic gardens, a volcano crater with a farmhouse inside – and some mountain villages with gingerbread houses.
This is a whole day self-drive trip from Las Palmas so you will need to rent a car.
Canary Island cave house, Barranco de Guayadeque
If you want you can make the trip shorter if you like. Just turn to the coastal highway and return to Las Palmas any time you feel like that. But don’t skip the caves!
Cave House Trip from Las Palmas: the Map
From Las Palmas take the road to Tafira Baja and to the botanic gardens Jardin Botanico Canario located in a steep mountain slope, just a bit outside Tafira Baja. If you are staying on the south coast, take the main coastal road to Las Palmas and before the city turn to Tafira Alta.
The volcano crater comes after Santa Brigida and after that you will already see cave houses on the roadside.
Telde is a bigger city that has a nice old town and after Telde there are more caves. Yet the real cave house place is Barranco de Guayadeque for which you have to turn inland. The last destination is the pretty town of Aguimes.
First the botanic gardens:
Jardin Botanico Canario
Jardin Botanico Canario on the island of Gran Canaria
The botanical garden in Tafira Baja is amazing. If you are a nature lover you must see it. There is an exhibition of native plants of Canary Islands where you can learn a lot about the island’s nature.
Since the island has a lot of natural cactus growing all over, Jardin Botanico has a huge cactus collection:
You can read more about the gardens and its plants here: More about Jardin Botanico Canario (in Spanish)
Cave house trip from Las Palmas: Santa Bridiga
After the gardens drive on towards Santa Brigida. Santa Brigida is a pretty town with many gingerbread houses like these. Stop for a while in this fairytale town.
I have told more about Santa Brigida in my other blog post Las Palmas Mountain Trip.
Then the crater:
Caldera de Bandama
Caldera de Bandama, Gran Canaria
The other Gran Canaria drive I have written about turns north at Santa Brigida but to see cave houses we need to turn south. Take the narrow road to the ancient crater called Caldera de Bandama.
Inside the caldera (crater) you can see an old farm house with vineyards around it. A real farmer is living and working in a crater! You can see the farm and the crater above.
Vineyards seen from Pico de Bandama
From the top of Pico de Bandama mountain peak that is at the crater’s edge you can get an amazing view of Las Palmas and the whole northeastern part of the island of Gran Canaria:
Las Palmas from Pico de Bandama
Driving to Telde
Walking in Telde, Gran Canaria
Continue towards the next town, Telde. On the roadside there are some villages the first of which is La Atalaya which is a special place. In La Atalaya some people live in modern houses and others in caves.
This however is Telde:
And there are more cave houses to come right on the winding road. Still today many people in Canary Islands really live in caves!
Cave house by the road to Telde, Gran Canaria
Barranco de Guayadeque
Cave house trip from Las Palmas: Cuevas Bermejas
Our destination is Barranco de Guayadeque. The Barranco is a deep gorge and it hides in it not only cave houses, it hides a whole cave village. The name of the village is Cuevas Bermejas.
Cuevas Bermejas cave house
People still live in caves in Cuevas Bermejas. They build beautiful cave houses. Look at these houses!
Farming in the barranco
They grow the land and breed animals just like people did long ago, yet they don’t totally keep to the old lifestyle. If needed they add modern elements to their houses, and why not?
Wash hanging outside cave home
Outside the village you can see other kind of ancient cave houses. They date back to the time of guanche people. These caves are empty and not in use any more.
Guanche caves on the cave house trip from Las Palmas
In addition you can see some small museums and churches in Cuevas Bermejas. This is the cave church:
Cuevas Bermejas cave church
Dine in a Cave Restaurant
Cuevas Bermejas also has a good cave restaurant. Like the name says the Cuevas Bermejas cave restaurant is in a cave. It serves original Canarian meals that you won’t find anywhere else.
Walking in Cuevas Bermejas cave village
If you have time and condition, the Barranco is a good hiking area with long walking trails. But not we have to take the road back – and stop in the village of Aguimes.
Aguimes, a Pretty Village
Aguimes, Gran Canaria
On the way back from the gorge you will find a small village, Aguimes. Aguimes deserves a stop and a stroll in the narrow streets around the village centre.
Aguimes is a typical Canarian village where again no people live in caves.
After Aguimes it’s time to drive down to the coastal highway and back to Las Palmas.
Shopping at Las Terrazas
On the highway to Las Palmas there are many huge shopping malls. We decided to stop in the malls since these they are difficult to get to without car, and today we had rented a car for this trip.
Las Terrazas outlet mall is on the right hand side in the business area between the airport and Las Palmas.
Las Terrazas is well marked from the road and it is a great place if you like outlet malls, you can make lots of good bargains there. But don’t buy more than fits in your luggage. That happened to me. If that happens to you you can just buy an extra suitcase to take it all home…
Here is more about the mall: Las Terrazas website (in Spanish)
Back to Las Palmas
Finally, after the optional shopping break it’s time to end your cave house tour and to get back to your hotel.