The San Felipe beach and its coastal town belong to the municipality of Santa María de Guía, in the north of the island of Gran Canaria. Its coast is a claim for the most daring local surfers, since it is an area with strong waves. Likewise, it stands out for its tradition of banana cultivation, which gives it a special ethnographic and landscape value. In addition, in San Felipe is where we can see and travel the best preserved section of the historic Camino Real del Norte (Royal Route of the North). We are going to give you all the details below, stay with us!
San Felipe, Gran Canaria
✔ San Felipe beach or Vagabundo beach
San Felipe beach, known locally as Vagabundo beach, is one of the few that the coast of the municipality of Santa María de Guía has. Here both the waves and the currents are very dangerous. Therefore, be very careful if you are a surf lover or if you decide to swim here. At the same time, you should know that the beach is made of pebbles. When the tide is out, some black sand remains.
Likewise, a few meters by car we also have the well-known Charco de San Lorenzo in case you want to take a swim in the sea safely. One of the natural pools in Gran Canaria that you should know. The entire coast of this area in the north of the island of Gran Canaria is pebbled.
✔ Camino Real del Norte (Royal Route of the North)
Whether you are a hiking lover or not, you should know that in San Felipe you can travel part of the old Camino Real del Norte de Gran Canaria. Have you ever heard of the Camino Real del Norte or the Camino de San Felipe? It is the historic road that linked the municipalities of Santa María de Guía and Gáldar with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is believed that this road dates from Aboriginal times, but after the conquest of the island, it was improved and conditioned to become a Royal Road. The path descends along the coastal cliff until it reaches San Felipe beach or vagabundo beach from where you will have spectacular views.
Along the road we find a set of eight caves that served as dwellings and other uses in the middle of the 20th century. These caves are known as Las Cuevas del Camino. It is believed that those who maintained the road and those who controlled the passage of travelers and goods lived here. It was also a point where sanitary controls were established to prevent the spread of diseases such as yellow fever back in the 19th century.
Extension of the Route of San Felipe
As we said, the most preserved part of the Camino Real del Norte is found in San Felipe. It is a path of about 2 kilometers with an elevation gain of approximately 500 meters. We did a circular route that ended this path descending because we like to walk and discover the island. It is an extension of the Camino that passes through various rural areas in the interior of Guía. It also passes very close to the archaeological site Cenobio de Valerón. The Cenobio de Valerón was built by the Canarian aborigines in order to use it as a collective barn. Inside there are more than 300 cavities or silos that were formerly used for the storage of food and tools. It is currently closed due to the pandemic.
On the other hand, we will also pass through the Tagoror de El Gallego archaeological site. It is a site made up of six cavities that the ancient noblest canaries apparently used as seats in their socio-political meetings.
From here we will have unique views of the Gáldar mountain or Guía mountain, as well as the entire north coast of the island of Gran Canaria, even seeing the capital.
Characteristics of the extension of the route
As we tell you in the video at the end, the extension of the circular route has a high technical difficulty, since the passage in some areas is difficult and is not marked. Likewise, at the beginning there is a section that you must do by road and another at the end that passes next to a tunnel on the north highway (here if it is signposted). We also do not recommend it for people with vertigo. In addition, in many parts of the track we will go through roads that are not very clear of weeds. However, both the views from the top where the Tagoror de El Gallego is located, and the final part of the Camino Real are well worth it. Next we give you the data of the circular route that we did.
|Estimated duration||5 h|
Track of the extension of the San Felipe route
Then you can download the track of the circular route in .gpx format so that you can follow it on your own without getting lost. If you don’t know how to download it and follow it from your GPS or smartphone with the app Gurú Maps, we’ll explain it to you here. If you want to support us so that we continue to create content for you about Gran Canaria, we will appreciate if you purchase one of our tracks, either to enjoy incredible routes or as a donation.
Video of the Camino de San Felipe extension
Below you have the video of this circular route. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and activate the bell so you don’t miss any of our videos here.
If you want to know the most authentic side of Gran Canaria and not have to invest your time in things to see and places to eat, we invite you to take a look at our local guides on the island. Check it out below!