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This island is more than just sun and beach. In fact, this miniature continent has a historical, heritage and natural legacy of great importance. And among all this, Los Azulejos in Gran Canaria stands out, one of its best-kept secrets, which we’ll discover in this article.
Metaphorically speaking, imagine that many, many years ago a gigantic painter painted monumental brushstrokes of striking colours (ranging from white, yellow, ochre, reddish or lilac, to blue, grey, or green) on a mountain, just as artists do on their canvases. That is Los Azulejos.
According to the Geological Map of Spain (Mapa Geológico de España), "bordering the fracture zone, which marks the edge of the great Caldera de Tejeda, are several levels of coloured tuffs, indicative of hydrothermal activity associated with the fault that limits the caldera. These brightly coloured altered materials are known locally as "azulejos" and are very fine rhyolitic vitroclastic tuffs, with some small feldspar phenocrysts. The thickness of these levels is variable, ranging from about 8 metres to 20 or more, except at the head of the Barranco de Veneguera, where they exceed 100 metres.
In other words, these rocky outcrops that adorn the cliffs of the ravines (or Barrancos) of Ojeda, Los Palos and Salobre, at the head of the Veneguera Basin, are the result of volcanic eruptions in which the magma met the water.
This natural wonder is located in the southwest of the island, specifically between the towns of Veneguera (in the municipality of Mogán) and Tasarte (in the municipality of La Aldea de San Nicolás).
As it’s relatively far from the most popular destinations, the two most common ways to get there are by car or by public transport. Either way, here’s the exact location:
If you have your own car or a rental car, it’s ideal to try to fit this visit into a day trip around the island. This is, without a doubt, one of the most typical driving routes for visitors who rent a car.
Just follow the GC-200 road to kilometre 49, where you can leave your car parked in a dirt car park with a sign saying Fuente de los Azulejos.
There is no stop in Los Azulejos, so it’s advisable to ask the driver which is the nearest one. As you’ll have to walk to the starting point, it’s vitally important to take extreme care as the road has practically no roadside.
There are numerous trails that run through this area, but here we’re going to show you what, in our opinion, is the most attractive route and where you can contemplate and enjoy this unique geological environment to the fullest.
Our starting point is Degollada de La Aldea, just where the GC-200 has a junction that leads to the village of Tasartico. There we’ll see a wooden post indicating the path to Montaña del Viso.
This first stretch is light, with a continuous ascent that is not very difficult, except for a small stretch of some difficulty. Once you leave it behind, you’ll be able to see a spectacular view of the Montaña de Hogarzales, Lobas and La Aldea de San Nicolás.
At the end of the ascent to this platform, you’ll reach the Cruz del Viso. Here we can leave the route for a few metres to contemplate the famous Teide of Tenerife and La Aldea on one side and Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga on the other. We then continue our way to Inagua.
Here we start the last stretch of the ascent to enter the pine forest and reach a platform very similar to the one at the beginning of the route. Here we can enjoy wonderful views of the virgin beach Güigüí, the Tasarte and the Veneguera ravine.
From here we start a gentle descent towards the Aula de Naturaleza de Inagua, a small building in which children and adults can learn more about the environment and how to protect it. We then follow a dirt track for a few kilometres and cross the Barranco de la Manta.
Here we can stop and take a dip in the Fuente de los Azulejos, a series of natural pools that will cool us down.
To get to Los Azulejos in Gran Canaria, you must follow a somewhat winding, fast descent with some added difficulty, so you must be especially careful.
The final reward, apart from the impressive views, is a beach bar where you can recharge your batteries.
As you have been able to see throughout the article, this route, although somewhat unknown to the public, hides a natural heritage that few parts of the island have.
The privileged environment in which it’s located, the views of the imposing cliffs of the north, mountains with historical significance such as Hogarzales or the island's emblematic landmarks such as Roque Nublo are priceless.
In short, enjoying a day's hiking around Los Azulejos in Gran Canaria is a great way to discover the hidden corners of the southwest of the island.