The Way of St James of Gran Canaria (Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria) is one of the hardest and most beautiful hiking routes and challenges in Gran Canaria. It is a 66-kilometer track that is recommended to be divided into three stages. This Jacobean route crosses the island from south to north. That is, from the Maspalomas Lighthouse to the town of Gáldar and its Church of Santiago. In the following lines we are going to give you all the details of this historic hiking route through Gran Canaria and our impressions after completing each of the stages.
The Way of St James, Gran Canaria (Camino de Santiago)
As we said, the Way of St James of Gran Canaria connects the south of the island with the Main Church of Santiago de Los Caballeros de Gáldar. Gáldar or Agáldar was the first capital of Gran Canaria under the unified kingdom of the Guanartemes (this is how the aboriginal Canarian kings were called before the conquest). And, as we said, the end of this pilgrimage concludes in the church of Santiago de Gáldar, this temple being the only Jacobean headquarters located outside the European continent.
Historically, this trail linked the temples of the Church of San Bartolomé in Tunte, with that of Gáldar. However, according to official sources from the Gran Canaria Tourist Board, the tradition of making this journey from the coast of Maspalomas was promoted in the 15th century by Galician sailors after surviving a storm at sea.
In any case, while giving importance to the historical and religious part, this 66-kilometer path will allow you to discover the most authentic side of the island. That is, to know practically everything that does not appear in any tourist guide. You will be able to appreciate the contrast of Gran Canaria’s landscapes and get closer to its more rural side. Except for the Maspalomas Lighthouse area, you will pass through very remote places on the island that will make you erase from your mind any concept or stereotype that you may have of the destination. In addition, you will have the privilege of being able to have incredible views of the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Below we will tell you the main tourist resources that you will find in each stage, as well as important tips after experiencing each of the sections firsthand.
Stages of the Way of St James of Gran Canaria
✔ First Stage: Maspalomas – Tunte (San Bartolomé de Tirajana)
The main places of interest of the first stage of the Way of St James of Gran Canaria are: Special Natural Reserve of Maspalomas, Maspalomas Lighthouse, Degollada de Las Yeguas Viewpoint, the Valley of the Thousand Palms (Fataga ravine), Necropolis of Arteara and its town, Fataga and Tunte. To eat during the first part of the route, we recommend you bring fruit and a sandwich and 2 liters of water. Then you can stop to eat in Fataga at El Albaricoque restaurant. This will be the first point where you can buy water and stamp your credential.
|Estimated duration||8 hours|
|Elevation gain||1.200 m|
|Maximum / minimum altitude||945 m / 2 m|
Important: If you do not spend the night in Tunte to do stage 2 and you want to do it with rest days in between, you should know that there is a bus, number 18, which leaves at 17:57 from Tunte to the Maspalomas Lighthouse, takes 1 hour. Check the schedules here. You can also return to Maspalomas by taxi (talk to Socomtaxi at the +34 928 15 47 77 beforehand to agree on an estimated time).
***Tips about the stage 1 – Way of St James Gran Canaria
- Start the route as soon as possible to avoid the strong sun
- Bring at least 2 liters of water per person and replenish water in Fataga
- Protect yourself with sunscreen on your face, NECK, legs, arms, hands, etc.
- Wear light clothing (the heat will be less)
- Put on a hat or cap
- Please wear suitable footwear and mid-calf socks. Take a look at our post with the basic hiking kit
- Don’t go with your pet. It is very hot and there is hardly any shade. In addition, you will have to carry more load on your back to carry water for both of you.
- Train before doing this stage on shorter trails with similar elevation gain. Our route through Guayadeque is one of them
- Stretch at the end
Video of the stage 1
Below you can have a look at the video of this stage. You can activate the English subtitles and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more videos about Gran Canaria.
Track Stage 1 – Way of St. James (Maspalomas – Tunte)
Then we give you the option to download the track of stage 1 in .gpx format so that you can follow it on your own. If you don’t know how to download it and follow it from your GPS or smartphone with the app Guru Maps, we’ll explain it to you here. If you want to support us so that we continue creating content of value for you about Gran Canaria, the best way is for you to support us by purchasing one of our tracks and / or local guides on the Island.
✔ Second Stage: Tunte – Cruz de Tejeda
From the town of Tunte, capital of the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, the second stage of the Jacobean route of Gran Canaria starts. The route ends in Cruz de Tejeda at an altitude of 1,510m, already in the municipality of Tejeda. During this stage you will pass through the historic Paso de la Plata. A path from pre-Hispanic times that connected the pastures of Tirajana with those of Gáldar. In other words, at that time it was the only passage for goods, cattle, shepherds, artisans and merchants to go from the southern area of San Bartolomé to what was the capital of Gran Canaria: Agáldar. In the nineteenth century it was restored and, today, with the existence of roads, it has become the claim of many travelers and hiking lovers.
|Estimated duration||5 hours|
|Elevation gain||1.100 m|
|Maximum / minimum altitude||1.720 m / 887 m|
We can say that 80% of this stage runs on cobbled paths. During this stage of the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria we will pass through places of tourist interest such as the Pilancones Natural Park, the Paso de La Plata, one of the Ventana del Nublo (detour of 200 meters) and with very good views of the Pico de Las Nieves, Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga. That is, you will be walking next to the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Regarding this stage, 1.5 liters of water would be enough and a snack, since it can take 5-6 hours to finish it, depending on your physical condition. In the following video we give you more tips to carry out this stage, don’t miss it!
Video of the stage 2
Then we leave you with a video about our experience doing the second stage. You can activate the English subtitles. Remember that you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see more videos about Gran Canaria.
Track Stage 2 – Camino Santiago (Tunte – Cruz de Tejeda)
Next we give you the option to download the track of stage 2 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 Gurú Maps App, we’ll explain it to you here. If you want to support us so that we continue to create content of value for you about Gran Canaria, the best way is for you to support us by acquiring one of our tracks and / or local guides on the Island.
There is a variant of this second stage that passes through the town of Tejeda of perhaps less difficulty, since it is 2 kilometers less. If we ever do this variant, we will leave you our impressions here. Likewise, the section also ends in Cruz de Tejeda, but passes through other areas of Tejeda. For example, you will walk near points of interest such as Roque Nublo, Charco de Las Palomas and the basket where you can perfectly frame Roque Bentayga in a photo.
✔ Third Stage: Cruz de Tejeda – Gáldar
The last stage of the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria, in addition to making you feel like a hero, will allow you to discover one of the most beautiful rural areas of Gran Canaria. Here you will already notice the contrast of a greener landscape and with a different vegetation. During this route, we highlight the following tourist resources: Montañón Negro Natural Monument, Caldera de Los Pinos de Gáldar, Monte Pavón, Caideros de Gáldar and, finally, the historic center of Gáldar.
|Estimated duration||6 hours|
|Elevation gain||450 m|
|Maximum / minimum altitude||1.700 m / 79 m|
It took us 5 and 30 hours to do this stage. The greatest difficulty that you will find along this route are some quite winding descents in which you must be careful not to injure your knees. Especially those that are on the part of Pinos de Gáldar in which the path is gravel. Regarding the ascent, there is only one good climb at the beginning, the rest, easy peasy!
Finally, once you arrive at the Matriz de Los Caballeros de Gáldar temple, remember to stamp your credential at the Tourist Office that is next to the Plaza de Santiago. You can also decide if you extend the pilgrimage route through Gran Canaria to the Sardina del Norte Lighthouse. That is, complete the path that crosses the island from lighthouse to lighthouse.
Video of the third stage
Below you can have a look at the video of the third stage! Don’t forget to activate the English subtitles! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and don’t our future videos about Gran Canaria!
Track Stage 3 – Camino Santiago (Cruz de Tejeda – Gáldar)
Next we give you the option to download the track of stage 3 in .gpx format so that you can follow it on your own. If you don’t know how to download it and follow it from your GPS or smartphone with the Gurú Maps App, we’ll explain it to you here. If you want to support us so that we continue to create content of value for you about Gran Canaria, the best way is for you to support us by acquiring one of our tracks and / or local guides on the Island.
Where to request the pilgrim credential (passport to stamp per stage)
You can request your Credential for the Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria for free, as well as get it stamped in each place you pass through in the following places:
- Tourist office of the town of Gáldar
- Arte Sacro museum
- Church or Templo Matriz de Santiago de Los Caballeros
- Tourist office of the town of Tejeda
- Tejeda townhall
- Petrol station
- Parador de Cruz de Tejeda
- Hotel El Refugio
- Sede de la Orden del Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria
*San Bartolomé de Tirajana:
- El Albaricoque restaurant (Fataga)
- San Bartolomé village
- San Bartolomé de Tirajana townhall
- House-Museum Los Yanez
- Tourist offices of El Portón (San Agustín), Anexo II and Las Dunas (Playa del Inglés)
*Las Palmas de Gran Canaria:
- Casa Galicia, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Local guides of Gran Canaria
Finally, if you liked our way of communicating, it is very possible that our Gran Canaria guides will be of great help to you. You don’t have to waste time organizing your trip, we’ve already done it for you!