Although Gran Canaria is surrounded by beaches and a splendid coastline, water is highly valued inland as well. Firgas is not on the coast, although it has its own water-related traditions.
In the north of Gran Canaria, Firgas is a town where water doubtlessly plays a huge part in everyday life. This is not only due to the huge artificial waterfall in the ‘Paseo de Gran Canaria’ as it stretches on from the ‘Paseo de Canarias’, but also its famous, long-standing mill driven using the power of water, and the number of wells, ponds, water conduits, springs, among other features that form part of our landscape.
Dating back to 1517, the Firgas Water Mills or Molino del Conde, was declared a ‘Site of Cultural Interest’ in 2007. It is one of the oldest watermills in the Canary Islands which is still working, although nowadays it is a museum to show visitors how the millet was ground to make gofio (toasted meal), a Canary kitchen staple. The history of this food goes back to the 16th century, when Firgas was still being settled and its population required flour and above all gofio. This explains why the Condado de la Vega Grande built this hydraulic mill which used the water from the Firgas & Arucas estate to turn its wheels.
The Firgas Town Council has refurbished this mill, so it is fully functional and ready to welcome curious visitors who wish to learn about the process of making gofio and its numerous culinary uses. It also houses the Firgas Tourist Office where visitors can obtain information on the town and the rest of the island.
If you decide to visit Firgas, be sure to take a stroll through its streets, guided by the colourful murals that, along with water and music, are essential aspects of this unique town in the north of the island. As part of the Aguaviva Festival, Firgas left its walls in the hands of a group of artists who turned them into a festival of colours, paying homage to the town’s beloved natural surroundings, water, and music.
Firgas Water Mill - Firgas Tourist Office
Address: C/. El Molino, s/n - Firgas
Phone: (+34) 928 616 747
Public opening hours: from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 2 pm.
Fiestas de San Roque