There are just 90 km separating the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from Veneguera, another of the secluded spots on our secret map. It is not the distance that draws us to Veneguera, rather it is its essence, landscapes, authenticity and its exotism.
According to researcher Ruiz Guzmán, Veneguera means “Sons of the Lake”. Numerous studies have tried to link its toponym with its origins, but that’s another story. Ours is to pop on public transport to a place that greets us with pine trees, after we have passed through hilly, mountainous landscapes tinged with pastel colours, with bold clouds nestling confidently over the mountain peaks, sometimes even dipping down them, creating a halo of mystery over an enclave that has survived and has been defended to the extreme. Veneguera was the subject of one of the greatest popular movements in the Canaries to protect it, as for many years it was marked out for development. It belongs to the municipality of Mogán, and in 2003 it was added to the Canary Network of Protected Natural Areas.
It’s natural attributes shine through in the majority of its toponyms, which refer to its flora, this much lauded, weird and peculiar indigenous flora from this region of the island. As we arrive at the village we are treated to a delightful walk around the age-old houses of Casas de Almácigo, where we feel like we are in the middle of a cowboy film, without the worry of any actor firing a gun at us. The exact origin of this hamlet is unknown, but it in 1865 it was mentioned in the Administrative-Statistical Dictionary of Pedro de Olive, with a population of just 3. The toponym “Los Almácigos" also refers to the indigenous vegetation and the scrubland that grows in the mid-hills accompanied by wild olive trees and juniper trees. Nowadays this type of vegetation is on the wane, but it still remains at some parts of the island, such as where we are today.
In Veneguera, where the population barely reaches 150, the star is the natural symbol of Gran Canaria, a large teasel cactus that draws the attention of visitors. It points majestically up to the sky, bringing a dash of colour to the area and capturing the imagination of those who come to marvel at it. Many of these teasel plants can reach several metres in height and in diametre. They are so big that several people can hide behind them. We can see them at the foot of mountainous formations presided by Montaña de Ojeda and Pinar de Inagua. Veneguera is, in short, a place of great natural interest with stunning countryside, comprising palm groves and crops such as bananas, oranges, avocados and mangos.
To round off this lovely visit it is advisable not to leave without firstly going down to the coast and its tiny beach. To get there, we need to go along a tricky dirt track for 8 km which takes us along the bed of Veneguera Ravine as far as the beach itself. The fact the path has been kept in such good condition is due to the fact the area is not that busy with tourists, as not many take on the challenge, but by looking at the pictures you can decide whether the walk is worth it or not. Here at the Gran Canaria Tourist Board we wish you a happy nightfall at Veneguera.