If you like to discover authentic places in Gran Canaria, you’ll love this hiking route from El Hornillo in Agaete. It is a circular trail that starts from the small town of El Hornillo and passes through El Sao with views of the Agaete ravine. We can classify it as one of the intermediate to advanced hiking routes in Gran Canaria, as there are 685 metres of total ascent. Below, we share with you all the information about this area of the island with a great plan for lunch. We also give you all the details of the trail so you can do it on your own.
El Hornillo, Agaete
El Hornillo is a small town in the municipality of Agaete. We could not categorise it as a village, as it only consists of a few houses, the church of El Hornillo and El Refugio (where we will have lunch at the end of the route). This is where we will start the route and where we will leave the car. Please note that parking is VERY limited.
The cave houses are very characteristic of this area, which you will be able to see as soon as you arrive and throughout the walk.
There is also a well known small path that runs through some of these caves, although it is currently closed due to landslides. We show you a section of it below.
Another point of interest you will see along the way is El Sao, also in Agaete. This is another little village that you will reach almost at the end of the route as you go down the El Sao ravine. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful part of the route. Likewise, as you ascend from El Hornillo you will have views of the coast of Sardina of Gáldar, as well as the Los Pérez and Lugarejos dams (from the highest point of the route).
As this is a circular track, you can start from El Hornillo or from El Sao. We recommend starting in El Hornillo and finishing with lunch in El Refugio (as we do on the track and show you in the video). On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the drive to get here, we recommend taking the road that passes through Juncalillo, with views of the caves of Risco Caído, a World Heritage Site. On the way back we suggest the road that passes the dams of Las Hoyas, Lugarejos and Los Pérez. They are narrow roads, but believe us they are worth it.
Characteristics of the El Hornillo – El Sao trail
Regarding the technical details, we can say that this hiking route through Agaete is of an intermediate level, almost advanced. Why? Because it is almost 700 metres of ascent and there are parts of the path that are not very clean.
It took us 3 hours and a quarter to complete the almost 8 kilometres of trail. Of course, with many stops to record the route.
|Estimated duration||3 hours|
|Total ascent||685 m|
|Suitable for kids||No|
On the other hand, it is important to be prepared with sufficient warm clothing in the cooler months, as well as suitable footwear. We recommend even hiking boots and long trousers because of the undergrowth you will find in some parts.
Download the track of the hiking route El Hornillo – El Sao
Next we give you the option to download the track of this circular hiking route through El Hornillo and El Sao in .gpx format so you can do it without getting lost. If you don’t know how to download it and follow it from your GPS watch or smartphone with the Guru Maps app, here we explain it to you. If you want to support us so that we can continue creating content for you about Gran Canaria, we would be grateful if you could buy some of our tracks, either to enjoy incredible routes or as a donation. Oh, and don’t miss the video we have prepared for you below.
Where to eat en route?
For lunch we definitely recommend El Refugio del Hornillo with incredible views. This small guesthouse-bar is run by an Italian gentleman who cooks like an angel (the truth is that I don’t know if angels cook, but you know what I mean). We recommend you try the fennel stew (very typical of the area) and the goat meat. It is also essential to order the bread they make there (with oregano, delicious) and a tapa of cheese from the Cortijo de Caideros cheese factory. The desserts are also homemade; we loved the yoghurt cake.
However, as Nicola points out, “don’t be late because if the food runs out, that’s it”. We arrived at 1:30 pm and those who came later than 2:00 could not try the stew. Another recommended option is to spend the night before at the guesthouse, have a quiet breakfast and start at 10:00 at leisure. The road can be a bit tedious for those who are not used to the curves, but the views along the two routes are exceptional.
Video of the route El Hornillo – El Sao
Below, you can watch the video of the hike with more information and a lunch stop in El Hornillo. If you want to be the first to know when we release new videos, just subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on the bell.
Guides to Gran Canaria
Finally, if you want to know what to see in Gran Canaria because it is your first time on the island, in this blog you will find a lot of free content. However, if you prefer not to waste your time looking for information, you have all our recommendations of things to do and places to eat in our guides. You can see them all below.
We are Ruth & Jorge, Gran Canarians with a travelling soul. Experts in tourism and digital marketing. We share the most authentic side of Gran Canaria (where we live) and… our adventures around the world!