Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria
The Island

Sardina del Norte, the beach which opens its doors to you

Sardina del Norte, the beach which opens its doors to you

Today we are going to tell you an old story. The story of a tiny port, with a great little beach, to the north.

Alongside its large main ports, the island of Gran Canaria has always had smaller ports, such as at Sardina del Norte, here in the municipality of Gáldar. It may be a smaller port in terms of size, but it is in a truly beautiful setting.

Years ago, Sardina was one of many ports on the island that handled farming produce. It also served as entry port for other products. The tiny port area still preserves its charm and its blessed natural surroundings, along with the fact it has served as shelter for many different boats throughout its history.

There are two highly relevant phases linked to the bay at Sardina del Norte. The first one, during the 15th and early part of the 16th centuries, coincided with the period of fighting over the conquest of the island and half a century of colonization which followed. The second period, in the 19th century, was another truly important time for the port.

Sardina del Norte’s geographical setting was considered strategic for the Castilian conquerors. Being opposite Gáldar, at the time the town where the island’s guanartemes, or kings resided, it made them think it would be the ideal gateway through which they could forcibly take over the political hub of pre-Hispanic Gran Canaria.

Soon after the Conquest, the Port of Sardina remained a fairly important site for sugar trade, although its relevance declined during the second half of the 16th century as the port of Las Isletas (today known as Puerto de la Luz) developed into the island’s main port, and because the sugar industry fell away in Gran Canaria.

The passing of time, however, has taken none of the bay’s seductive charm away. Today’s charm shines through at this peaceful, age-old site, in the shape of a fishing port and beach with their own peculiar qualities.

It is no surprise that there is an abundance of marine flora and fauna around here. The greeny-blue tone of its waters have made it one of the most highly rated spots by scuba diving enthusiasts. The sea beds are awash with octopus, Canarian lobsters, sea cucumbers and seahorses. The sandy beds are home to toad fish, angel fish, mantelinas, and gallos de San Pedro.

Sardina del Norte no longer attracts boats with conquerors, today it is bathers and travellers who are seduced by its charm and peacefulness. As you continue along the walkway and pass the tetrapods to your left, you will reach a pebbled cove, presided by El Roquete, a house dug out of the rock, a harkback to the aboriginal settlements prior to the arrival of the Castilians.

You can carry on, and if the tide is out, you can walk around the rocks as far as a cavity hewn out of the rock, from where local youngsters, who know the area well, dive off into the Atlantic.

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How to get there

If you are approaching Sardina from the la capital, you can take the GC-2 north motorway from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria towards Agaete. This road has a turning off at around 18 kilometres with signs to Gáldar. The road runs down to a roundabout. Carry straight on following singposts to Sardina del Norte.

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Places to visit

- The Painted Cave Museum and Archaeological Park: this is in the town of Gáldar, to the northwest of Gran Canaria. The cave that gives the park its name, discovered in the 19th century, is a wonderful example of the artistic displays by the ancient aborigenes in Gran Canaria. (Gáldar. Calle Audiencia, 2).

- The Néstor Álamo Museum: a fine example of stately traditional Canary houses. Access to this house museum is gained via a hallway that leads to an open air courtyard.
Rooms are placed around it, which are now museum halls with other rooms laid out in the style of the Néstor Álamo himself lived in and other areas dedicated to the history of music in the Canaries. (Situated in the neighbouring town of Guía. Calle San José, 7).

- The Antonio Padrón House Museum: inaugurated in 1971, this museum is situated in what was once the painter’s studio in his home town of Gáldar. It is a regionalist style pavilion that forms part of a wider architectural structure comprising the garden and family home. (Gáldar. Calle Capitán Quesada, 3).

- The Punta Sardina Lighthouse: this is situated in the neighbourhood of Sardina del Norte, in the municipality of Gáldar. It’s function is to mark out navigation routes on the northwest coast of the island, along the strip of coastline covering the whole of the northern region as far as La Isleta Lighthouse, to the east, and the headland at La Aldea, located to the southwest.