We rented a car to make a cave house trip from Las Palmas and saw people live in cave houses in the cave village of Cuevas Bermejas.
What else did we see? Botanic gardens with Canarian plants, a volcano crater with a farmhouse inside – and pretty mountain villages with gingerbread houses.
That was a whole day self-drive trip from Las Palmas. I will now show you the trip.
A 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
Leaving from Las Palmas take the road to Tafira Baja and on to the botanic gardens Jardin Botanico Canario a bit outside Tafira Baja.
From the south coast of Gran Canaria, first take the main road to Las Palmas and then, before the city begins, turn up to Tafira Alta.
The volcano crater with a farmhouse comes after the village of Santa Brigida, and then, soon, you will already see cave houses on the roadside.
Telde again 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 will have to turn inland. The last place to see is the pretty town of Aguimes.
So first about the botanic gardens:
Jardin Botanico Canario
Jardin Botanico Canario on the island of Gran Canaria
The botanical garden in the steep slope behind the community of Tafira Baja is amazing, and especially if you are a nature lover you must see this place. They have an exhibition of native plants of Canary Islands that really shows many things about the island’s wild nature.
As the Canary Islands have a lot of natural cactus growing in dry areas, Jardin Botanico presents a huge cactus collection:
Read more about these very educational gardens and their 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 hill town with a lot of fancy gingerbread houses like these. Stop for a while in this fairy tale town.
There’s more about Santa Brigida in another blog post Las Palmas Mountain Trip.
Then the crater:
Caldera de Bandama
The Las Palmas mountain trip turns north at Santa Brigida, but for the cave houses we need to turn south. Take the narrow road to the old crater signposted as Caldera de Bandama.
Inside the caldera (crater) you can see an old farm house with small fields and vineyards around it. There is a farmer living and working in this crater! You can see the farm and the crater above, in the middle of the photo.
Caldera de Bandama containing a farmhouse
Vineyards seen from Pico de Bandama
Las Palmas from the crater edge: Pico de Bandama
Then there is the Pico de Bandama mountain peak. In fact the peak is the crater’s edge from where you can get a panorama of Las Palmas and the northeastern part of Gran Canaria.
Driving towards Telde
Gingerbread houses of Telde, Gran Canaria
Continue towards the next town, Telde. On the roadside there are some villages, the first of which is La Atalaya, a special place where some people choose to live in modern houses and others in caves.
Photos of Telde:
Around Telde there are more cave houses to come, some of them right on the road. Even today many people in live in caves in the Canary Islands.
A roadside cave house, Gran Canaria
Cave House Trip from Las Palmas: Barranco de Guayadeque
Cave house trip from Las Palmas: Cuevas Bermejas
Then comes the main destination Barranco de Guayadeque. The Barranco is a deep wooded gorge that hides in it not only cave houses but a whole cave village. The name of the village is Cuevas Bermejas.
A Cuevas Bermejas cave house
In this village many families still live in caves and build beautiful cave houses for themselves. Just look at these homes!
A lovely cave home in the cave village
Farming in the barranco
They grow the land and breed animals in a very ecological way, yet they don’t exclusively keep to the old lifestyle. When it’s practical, you can add modern elements into a cave house, and why not?
So happy we came here and saw these houses. This gives me so much inspiration!
Canary Islands: exploring a cave village
Wash hanging outside a cave home
Outside the village you can see other kind of cave houses. These caves are much older and date back to the time of guanche people, the original people of the Canary Islands. These caves, however, are empty and nobody lives in them anymore.
Guanche caves on the cave house trip from Las Palmas
Moreover, the cave village Cuevas Bermejas contains some small museums and even cave churches . This is a cave church:
The Cuevas Bermejas cave church
Having Lunch in a Cave Restaurant
Cuevas Bermejas also has a good cave restaurant. As the name says the Cuevas Bermejas Cave Restaurant is in a cave and serves original Canarian meals that you won’t find anywhere else.
Walking in the cave village Cuevas Bermejas
If you have time and condition, the Barranco is a good hiking area with some long walking trails. We, however, will now have to take the road back – to stop shortly in the roadside village of Aguimes.
Cave House Trip from Las Palmas: Aguimes
Aguimes, Gran Canaria
On the way back from the gorge you will find one more pretty village, Aguimes. Aguimes deserves a stop and a stroll in the narrow streets around the village centre.
Aguimes is the type of Canarian village where no people live in caves. As far we saw, they all live in houses.
After Aguimes it’s time to drive down the hill to the coastal highway and back to Las Palmas.
Shopping at Las Terrazas
On the Las Palmas highway there are many big shopping malls. As these malls are hard to reach without a car, we decided to stop at one of them once we were here.
Las Terrazas is an outlet mall on the right hand side in the business area between Las Palmas Airport and the city.
Well marked from the road it is a great place to visit, provided you like outlet malls. And what happened to us: in a very short time we made loads of good bargains here. In fact we bought a lot more than fits in our luggage, which seldom happens to me. If that happens to you, too, it’s good to know that they also have good bargains on all kinds of rucksacks and bags.
Back to Las Palmas
Finally, after this optional shopping break it’s time to end your cave house trip from Las Palmas and get back to the city.