Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
The Island

La Aldea Beach

Instructions for nightfall at La Aldea harbour

Stopping off at La Aldea de San Nicolás has always been a recommendable pursuit for any travellers making their way around our round island. Its peaceful beach and stunning landscapes continue to be the perfect destination for shedding all kinds of senseless haste.

La Aldea de San Nicolás

We are now recommending this location with renewed vigour. Following construction of the first phase of a new motorway, this being the stretch between 'el Risco' and 'el Andén Verde', visits to this western municipality of Gran Canaria now contain less than half the bends in the road we used to have to deal with up to just a few months ago. The route features a drive along the longest tunnel in the Canaries, running for over three kilometres. Once we are through this tunnel, it is a simple job to find La Aldea beach, our destination point today. We will leave the ravines and gullies, which spread majestically up from the sea to the summit, for another day.

The route to get there is an intrepid coastal stretch running for over sixty kilometres, thirty-three of which belong to the municipality, and the rest of them to Mogán, Artenara and Agaete. From Agaete to La Aldea, a long line of cliffs sprout up vertically from the sea shore, up to nearly a thousand metres altitude, further enhancing the landscape where visitors can feel the real sense of retreat offered by this side of the island.

La Aldea de San Nicolás

This place might seem both the origin and the end of everything, while the landscape might even produce a wholly different effect, dragging you from the sea inland, enabling you to discover your place at the heart of everything. Whichever way you look at it, the feeling of being in a quite special location, as we do at these secluded spots along La Aldea, is a pleasant and unique one.

One place definitely worth a visit is the large pond called 'el Charco'. There, hordes of people celebrate the ever popular ”Fiesta del Charco” every September, and it is always a comforting stop off on our journey. When there are no fiestas on, the still waters refect the calm and brightness of the municipality itself, and the deep roots of its history. A time long ago, early aboriginal dwellers set up a series of settlements here, some of which are said to date to before 500 years B.C.

La Aldea de San Nicolás
La Aldea de San Nicolás

These settlements were varied in type, mostly made up of cave-houses and stone houses, cruciform in the interior and oval-shaped on the outside. These disperse living  quarters represented early village settlements and were located near to the ravine mouth of La Aldea, at spots including the archaeological sites of Los Caserones, Bocabarranco, La Caletilla and Lomo de los Caserones.

From 'El Charco' we can make our way along the pebble beach, if you are able to keep your footing, or through an area of local tarahales tree woodland, whose shade provides an added respite. And there on our doorstep we come to the end of our route. Here we can set up for the day on La Aldea Beach.

La Aldea de San Nicolás

The beach here has two different settings, a wide open one, with its shower facilities and wooden pathway for those who need help keeping their balance on the stones; and another partly sandy area, for which access is gained through a tiny welcoming tunnel hewn out of the rock. Views to the little port are afforded from here.

Don’t tell anyone, but nightall at La Aldea beach is like a reawakening after the end of the world, and is a true wonder indeed.

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How to get there

To get to the municipality of La Aldea de San Nicolás, there are three routes to choose from:
- Take the South Motorway and go all the way around the east and south coast.
- Take the Central Road as far as Artenara, and then carry on down the Las Presas road. <
- Or take the North Motorway around the north and west of the coast. The most common route is this north route, especially now as drivers have the new motorway to go on.

If you choose public transport, there are also several different options available to travellers:
- If you are leaving from the capital city and choose to go around the south, go to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Bus Station at San Telmo and take bus service 01, which goes to Puerto de Mogán. Once there, take bus service 38 to La Aldea de San Nicolás, which runs four services a day.
- If you prefer the north route, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, you can also reach the municipality of La Aldea by taking bus service 105, which leaves the bus station every 20 minutes, and goes as far as Gáldar. At the bus station in Gáldar, change to bus service 101 which will take you to La Aldea de San Nicolás.

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What to visit

- Cactualdea Park
This a pretty and pleasant place to visit. Cactualdea is almost like a theme park dedicated to cactus cultivation, and boasts varieties from all over the world. It also has a restaurant and winery.
Calle Tocodomán, 35478. La Aldea de San Nicolás
Opening hours: 10:00 – 17:00

- The Güigüi Natural Reserve
Güi Güi is a secluded natural reserve, located to the southwest of the island. To get there, a 4 Km walk is required along a mountain path, with rises and falls, and can be quite tricky. The estimated time for the walk is around 3 hours and 30 minutes, and walkers are treated to superb views and vegetation along the way, until they reach one of the most solitary beaches on the island.

These are on the way from the foot of the mountains to the south of La Aldea Beach. These constructions are said to be some of the first to be built on the island, and are dedicated to the saint which gives the region its name (San Nicolás).

- Harbour
The harbour at La Aldea dates from the 19th century and its main purpose is for sea transport. It is the perfect arrival point following a long walk, and the best spot to gaze out over the sea and hear the sound of the waves.

- Degollada de Tasarte
This is a viewpoint that offers panoramic views over La Aldea. It is the starting point for the walk to the Güigüi reserve, a footpath that gives us a great insight into the beaches of Big Güigüi and Small Güigüi beaches. If you are just looking for a peaceful viewpoint full of mountains and vegetation to help clear your mind, then Degollada de Tasarte is your place.

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