In my last post about this stunning island, here, I wrote about the luxurious Sheraton Salobre resort in the South of Gran Canaria. If you want to try somewhere completely different (but still with a dose of luxury!) – this is it! It’s a 4* resort in the Northwestern part of Gran Canaria, in Agaete. Close to the fishing town of Puerto de Las Nieves, with stunning views across the Northern coastline of the island.
We absolutely love this area. It is incredibly far removed from busy tourist resorts in the South of the Island, and gives you a much closer connection to the island, the history and nature. The dry, volcanic hills, give way to greener mountains and hiking trails very reminiscent of my other favourite volcanic place – Hawaii!
Stunning views from Puerto de las Nieves
Where we stay
Hotel & Spa Cordial Roca Negra
The hotel itself is situated in a large modern complex on a hilltop above Agaete, across the road from the Hotel’s restaurant, Le Rubine. We have stayed here twice in a junior suite on the ground floor, which was an incredibly reasonable price given the size and standard (room 101 is our favourite!).
The tiled living area of the room is huge, with a private gated garden area, a small distance away from the pool. The suite is very clean and well-appointed, with a nice bathroom, plenty of wardrobe space, and a very comfortable bed! It’s also incredibly quiet. Bottled water is provided daily, and there’s a small coffee maker (but no kettle).
Cava time in the private garden and relaxing at the pool (note: it’s not heated! you’ll just have to get in fast!)
There’s only one pool here (and a small inside spa), but when we’ve visited in March and May, it’s been very quiet. The area is large enough to enjoy while having your own space. There’s a nice pool bar for lunch/snacks and drinks and all the staff are helpful and friendly.
The buffet restaurant is relatively small, especially when comparing it to the likes of the Sheraton, but the food is of a high standard and there’s enough selection. You can also order a couple of dishes each night a la carte. The wine selection is good, with some interesting local examples from the islands. It has a nice relaxed atmosphere and it never feels rushed, even if, like us, you’re usually the last ones down for breakfast!
The private garden area and view to the pool
Puerto de Las Nieves
After breakfast, it’s nice to have a walk down to the nearby historical town. And when I say “down”, be prepared for a very steep downhill walk! As with most Canarian resorts, you’ll be getting a good leg work-out on the way back!
Leave the resort from the back, behind the pool (and next to the pool bar), and you’ll have a stunning walk down past Las Salinas – the natural seawater bathing pools, with beautiful coastal views to your right. The pools have a flag warning system for the water conditions, but no lifeguard. Judging by the graffiti on this subject scattered around the walls near the pools, this is a local bone of contention. So I leave it up to you if you want to brave the water!
On your way along the seafront into the town, there are a series of outdoor exercise machines (body twist, leg press, air walker, etc), which is a fun way to work off your breakfast (if you don’t mind being watched by passers-by!).
It’s well worth exploring this picturesque town, nestled at the foot of the imposing cliffs. There are some interesting shops and restaurants serving local dishes (we still need to try these – we’ve always ended up at the hotel buffet as it’s so good!). At the weekend there’s a nice family atmosphere as the locals gather on the volcanic beach area to take a dip and enjoy the sunshine.
NB, there is a small convenience store and chemist in town, but the nearest actual supermarket is a Spar, which is around a 5-10 minute walk towards Agaete (Musico García Alamo, 1).
The Fred Olson Express ferry also leaves five times a day for Tenerife if you fancy a day trip or overnight (it takes around 80 minutes, and is something we’re going to try on our next visit, so I’ll report back!).
When you picture the Canary Islands, you may not automatically think of them as place to go for fantastic hiking or hidden beaches. But their reputation as cheap package holiday destinations disguises the true hidden gems of these beautiful volcanic and mountainous islands. There is certainly plenty to explore, whether by mountain bike or foot.
The last time we visited, we did the relatively short hike to Guayedra Beach, setting off from Agaete. The total distance there and back is 6km. Below is the “technical data” of the hike that I found;
Starting point: La Palmita
End Point: Guayedra Beach
Total length: 3 kilometres
Duration: 1 hour
Difference of slope: 200 metres
Attention: when you walk on the asphalt road GC 200
Although the hike is only 3km to the beach, I would not rate the difficulty level as “little”! The actual map at the start of the hike also indicates that it’s quite easy – which I think is misleading.
If you know me, you’ll know that I never shy away from being incredibly honest, and I also won’t pretend I found something to be a breeze if I didn’t. The walk along the cliff top main road and then the descent to the beach is fairly hard work. It’s very steep, and although I had trainers on, I found it hard to get a foothold. If you’ve read my other posts you also know that I’m not a fan of cliff tops or heights, but I persevere for the sake of adventure!
The black volcanic beach at the bottom is worth the tricky descent. It’s apparently a popular nudist beach but we were the only ones there on that day!
View of Puerto de Las Nieves in the distance & Guayedra Beach
I found the climb back up a lot easier – even though it looks quite daunting from the bottom!
Me tearing up the trail on the way home! The view of the road from down on Guayedra beach (if you can see that telegraph pole at the top – that’s where you’re climbing to!)
All in all – an enjoyable hike which will take you a couple of hours and gives you a good bit of exercise, while getting to see more of the area around Agaete & the port.
We’ll be trying more of the hikes on future trips – so watch this space!
Notes on the climate: I’ve found that it can be a lot more windy in this area than other parts of Gran Canaria, and we’ve had a couple of overcast & cooler days when we’ve visited. Having said that, we’ve also experienced some rain in the South of the Island, but in general, you are guaranteed to get sunshine in Gran Canaria. Also, we travel during school term time, so it may be that the weather in high summer is more settled.
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Adios for now!