The Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria is a beautiful multi-day walking route on the main island of the Canary Archipelago. It’s the only Camino de Santiago route located outside of mainland Europe. The trail crosses the island from south to north offering a perfect combination of the beautiful coastal scenery and the spectacular mountain views. It’s a perfect Camino route to walk during the winter months.
Table of Contents
The Camino de Gran Canaria route overview
- Total distance – 67 km/41,6 mi
- Number of days – 3-4 days
- Difficulty level – 5 out of 5
- Total ascent (over 3 days) – 2514 m
- Total decent (over 3 days) – 2354 m
- Max elevation – 1692 m
- Walking surface – 17 km/10,5 mi tar road/asphalt, 50 km/30,4 mi gravel road/footpath
- Average cost – 60 euros per person per day
Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria PDF files
To make your planning easier we’ve created 2 downloadable PDF files. The first file contains the walking stages of the Camino in Gran Canaria, and the second file has a list of places to stay along the route.
Camino Gran Canaria GPX files
- Stage 1. Faro de Mas Palomas to Tunte GPX
- Stage 2. Tunte to Cruz de Tejeda GPX
- Stage 3. Cruz de Tejeda to Gáldar GPX
What is the Camino in Gran Canaria?
The Camino de Gran Canaria is a long-distance walking route on Gran Canary Island, one of the islands of the Canary Archipelago, Spain. It’s the only Camino de Santiago route outside of continental Europe and the only route that doesn’t end or start (like the Camino Finisterre) in Santiago de Compostela. The Camino connects the south of Gran Canary (Faro de Maspalomas) with the northwest of the island (the Church of Santiago de Las Caballeros in Gáldar). This Camino is one of the lesser-known Camino de Santiago routes in Spain.
The connection between Apostel Santiago (St.James) and the church of Gáldar dates back to 1481 when the first mass honoring the saint took place. Since 1965 the route on Gran Canaria is recognized as a part of the Camino de Santiago network.
How long is the route?
The Camino de Gran Canaria is 67 km/41,6 mi if you walk the standard route and 76 km/47,2 mi if you walk the Tejeda Variant (the alternative route, stage 2). You’ll need 3-4 days to complete it. We walked it in 3 days but it’s possible to split the route into 4 days or even longer.
Where does the Camino de Santiago in Gran Canaria start?
Most sources mention Faro de Maspalomas (Maspalomas Lighthouse) as the starting point of the Camino de Santiago on Gran Canaria. The route finishes at the Church of Santiago de Los Caballeros in Gáldar.
According to the tourist information office (inside Maspalomas lighthouse), the route starts at the exit of Maspalomas near Centro de Salud (Health Center). The first 4 km from the lighthouse are not marked. It’s up to you where to start walking. From the lighthouse, it’s 28 km to Tunte, and from Centro de Salud – 24 km. If you walk the Camino during the summer when it gets very hot by midday, skipping 4 km is maybe not a bad idea considering the challenging ascent on the first day. You can take a bus from Maspalomas Beach (bus station) to Centro de Salud. We walked from the lighthouse and besides the beautiful sunrise that we got to see right at the beginning the rest of the 4 km was quite ordinary. If you skip it you won’t miss much.
How to get to Faro de Maspalomas?
Step 1. Fly to Gran Canaria. There are low-cost direct flights to Gran Canaria from many European countries, e.g. UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, etc. It’s easy and cheap to get there.
Step 2. Take a bus from the airport (LPA) to Faro de Maspalomas (Maspalomas Lighthouse). There are 2 buses from the airport, #66 and #90. The 66 bus is direct, and the journey takes 25 minutes. It leaves daily every hour from 7.30 am to 8.30 pm. The timetable might change you can find the up-to-date timetable here. The 90 bus makes a lot of stops on the way, it takes 45 minutes. The price is the same 3,5 euros (paid on the bus by card or cash). The bus station is a 5-minute walk from the lighthouse.
There is a direct bus (#30) from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (from both Santa Catalina and San Telmo Bus Stations) to Maspalomas Lighthouse. It’s a 40-minutes journey, the price is 7 euros (paid on the bus by card or cash).
There are plenty of accommodation options at Maspalomas Beach. We stayed at Apartamentos El Capricho (they accept bookings only for 3+ nights). It’s a nice place on the beach, a 10-minute walk from the lighthouse, right on the Camino. I would recommend staying in that area. Maspalomas Beach is beautiful we could watch the sunrise and sunset from the beach every day. It was spectacular.
Most of the well-priced places to stay near Faro de Maspalomas accept reservations only for extended stays, from 3+ nights. If you want to stay only 1 night you’ll have to book one of the expensive hotels or stay away from the beach.
Places to stay near Faro de Maspalomas
When is the best time for walking?
The Canary Islands have a different climate from mainland Spain. Gran Canaria is one of the driest islands even during winter months there is not much rain. In my opinion, cooler months, between November and March, are the best time for walking the Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria. It’s warm but not too hot, there is not much rain, and it’s not too busy (except during the Christmas holiday). You don’t have to book accommodation and buy plan tickets long in advance. It can be a last-minute trip. Camino de Gran Canaria is a perfect option if you want to walk the Camino de Santiago in winter.
During the summer months, it gets very hot and it’s very busy so expect to pay more for accommodation as well as plan your trip long ahead.
How difficult is the Camino in Gran Canaria?
The Camino de Gran Canaria is a challenging walk with steep and long ascents and descents every day. It’s highly recommended to be in good walking shape. If would compare every day on this Camino with the first day on the Camino Frances, the walk over the pass from St.Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles. If you’re not walking fit I would recommend starting training for the Camino a couple of months in advance.
Is the route well-marked?
It’s marked but not as well as the main Camino de Santiago routes on continental Spain. There are yellow arrows painted on rocks and trees here and there. Most of the time you follow the wooden signs pointing in the direction of the next town on the route. On the last day, you start seeing typical stone route markers with distances that you usually see in Galicia.
Where to get the Credential?
There are several places in Gran Canaria where you can get a credential. It’s free of charge.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
In Casa Galicia Calle Salvador Cuyas, 8 (Las Canteras Beach). It’s an association of the Camino de Santiago in Gran Canaria. They are open only on Thursdays between 6.30 pm and 8 pm. You can get some information on the Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria from them if you speak Spanish. We got our Credentials here. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Phone +34 928 263 627.
At the tourist information office in Maspalomas Lighthouse for free. The office is open daily from 10.30 am to 5 pm. You can get your first stamp at the office as well. It’s the most convenient place to get your credential for the Camino de Santiago Gran Canaria. We got a Credential here after losing one. Phone +34 928 772 445.
At the tourist information office Las Dunas, C/ Avda. de Tirajana, 1, Playa del Ingles. It’s open Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri from 9 am to 4 pm. Phone +34 928 765 242
At the tourist information office Anexo II, Centro Comercial Anexo II Paseo Marítimo, Local 20, Playa del Ingles. It’s open Mon to Fri from 9 am to 4 pm. Phone +34928768409.
There are more places where you can get a credential including the tourist information offices in Tunte, Tejeda, and Galdar. If you don’t get a chance to obtain a physical credential you can download one HERE and print it.
Where to get stamps?
On the Camino de Gran Canaria stamps can be obtained at your accommodation, tourist information centers, and restaurants along the route.
Here is a list of the places where we got our stamps.
Before the walk
- Casa Galicia in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
- The tourist information office in Maspalomas lighthouse (it’s better to get a stamp the day before you start walking the office opens only at 10.30 am).
- Centro de Salud in Maspalomas. You can get a stamp early in the morning which is a better option if you don’t have time to get one at the tourist office.
- Los Giles Bar in Fataga
- The tourist information office in Tunte.
- The information office in Cruz de Tejeda
- Hotel Rural El Refugio in Cruz de Tejeda
- At Bar Lomo El Palo, 9,3 km from Cruz de Tejeda
Do you get the Compostela for the Camino de Gran Canaria?
No, you don’t get the Compostela for completing the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria but you can get a certificate for completing the route. The certificate can be obtained at the Church of Santiago de Los Caballeros in Galdar at the end of the Camino. Like with any other Camino in order to get the certificate you need a Credential (pilgrim’s passport) with stamps collected along the route.
Are there albergues on the route?
No, there are no albergues (public or private) or hostels on the Camino de Santiago on Gran Canaria. Pilgrims stay in hotels and guesthouses which makes the walk more expensive.
Is there a luggage transfer service?
No, there is no special luggage transfer service on the Camino de Santiago on Gran Canaria like on the other Camino routes. You’ll have to carry your luggage yourself so try to pack as light as possible it’s only 3 days of walking.
The cost of the Camino
This Camino works out more expensive per day than the Camino de Santiago routes on the mainland. Expect to spend double what you spend on any other Camino route. There are no public or private albergues or hostels along the route. Every night you stay in a hotel or a guesthouse. Most places (if not all) don’t have a kitchen, so if you want to get a hot meal you’ll have to eat at a restaurant which is more expensive than making food. The good news is that the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria is a very short route, 3-4 days even though it’s more expensive per day in the end it won’t cost you a fortune.
Our budget breakdown
Accommodation – 300 euros for 4 nights for two people or 150 euros per person. 4 nights in hotels in Maspalomas, Tunte, Cruz de Tejeda, and Galdar. Accommodation prices vary depending on the season. We walked the Camino in mid-October everything was cheaper than during the summer months or in December.
Food – 85 euros per person for 4 days. We didn’t focus on saving too much if you do you probably can reduce your food expenses to 60-70 euros per person.
Transport – 10 euros per person on buses to get from the airport to Faro de Maspalomas and from Galdar to the airport.
Total: 245 euros per person for 4 days or 60 euros per person per day. Compared to the average cost of the Camino de Santiago on the mainland it’s more than double but on the Camino de Gran Canaria, you stay in private and eat at restaurants. If you do the same on any other Camino route it will cost more or less the same.
The Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria walking stages
The standard itinerary for the Camino route is 3 days but you can split it into shorter stages depending on your fitness level, how much time you have, etc.
Camino de Gran Canaria in 3 days (the suggested itinerary)
|Faro de Maspalomas – Tunte
|Tunte – Cruz de Tejeda
|Cruz de Tejeda – Gáldar
|28 km/17,3 mi
|17 km/10,5 mi
|22 km/13,6 mi
Camino de Gran Canaria in 4 days
It’s possible to split the first day which is the most challenging day on the route into two. Then your itinerary will include 4 walking days.
|Faro de Maspalomas – Alteara
|Alteara – Tunte
|Tunte – Cruz de Tejeda
|Cruz de Tejeda – Gáldar
|17 km/10,5 mi
|11 km/6,8 mi
|17 km/10,5 mi
|22 km/13,6 mi
Stage 1. Faro de Maspalomas – Tunte, 28 km/17,3 mi
- Distance – 28 km/17,3 mi
- Time – 7 hours
- Difficulty level – 5 out of 5, relatively long distance with an 1100 m ascent in one day
- Total ascent – 1121 m
- Total descent – 238 m
- Max elevation – 950 m
- Walking surface – 5 km/3,1 mi tar road (the first 4 km out of Maspalomas, plus a couple of hundred meters here and there when walking through towns), 23 km/14,2 mi gravel road/footpath.
Highlights of the day
- The stunning sunrise at Maspalomas Beach
- Arteara, a beautiful small village at 17 km
- Breathtaking mountain views on the way up
- Fataga, a charming town at 22,5 km
- Tunte, a nice town with a beautiful church
Challenges of the day
- The first 3 km of the Camino are not marked.
- Nowhere to stop for food or water for the first 22 km
- More than 1100 m elevation gain in one day, most of it in the second half
- By midday, it gets quite hot with no shade to hide
It was the toughest and the longest day on the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria. The main ascent is in the last part of the day. You start going up after midday (even if you start very early in the morning) when it gets very hot. It’s possible to split this stage into two; Faro de Maspalomas to Arteara and the next day from Arteara to Tunte.
The first 3 km out of Maspalomas is not marked but it’s quite straightforward you just follow the dried river bed. First, you walk on the left side of the river, then at 3 km you cross the bridge and continue on the right side. There will be the first wooden sign indicating the direction and distance to Tunte. It’s possible to skip the first 4 km of walking out of the town and instead take a bus and get off at Centro de Salud (Health Center). According to the information office, the official start of the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria is not at the lighthouse but almost 4 km further. I saw the first route sign at 3,2 km.
From the lighthouse, I would recommend walking on the boardwalk along the beach to see the sunrise. Watching the sun rising above the sea was one of the highlights of the day. Some maps suggest a different route for the first 500 m from the lighthouse past the bus station but if you take that route you’ll miss the sunrise.
0 km – 10,5 km flat walk
3,2 km – the first route marking after crossing the bridge
4 km – the end of the town, footpath
From 6 km more yellow arrows are painted on rocks and trees
10,5 km – the beginning of the ascent
16 km – right turn off from the gravel road to a footpath. A steep descent with loose rocks.
16,5 km – a lookout point
17 km – Arteara, a small village
18 km – a road crossing, the beginning of a steep ascent
21 km – a sharp turn off the gravel road
22,5 km – Fataga, a beautiful town with many restaurants. As an option, you can stop here for the night.
23,5 km – the beginning of a steep and long ascent
24,7 km – a sharp left turn to a footpath (easy to miss)
The last couple of kilometers to Tunte are next/on the road with not many cars.
Places to stay in Tunte
Stage 2. Tunte – Cruz de Tejeda, 17 km/10,5 mi
- Distance – 17 km/10.5 mi
- Time – 5 hours
- Total ascent – 1051 m
- Total descent – 454 m
- Max elevation – 1629 m
- Walking surface – 1 km/0,6 mi on asphalt, 16 km/9,9 mi on a gravel road/footpath
- Iglesia San Bartolome church in Tunte (San Bartolomé de Tirajana) – Beautiful church forms the base of this pilgrimage route.
- Paso de La Plata – an amazing pass built in the vertical cliffs of the summit to connect the North and South of the island.
- Mirador de la Cruz Grande – nice viewpoint in two directions, vistas of Caldera de Tirajana one way, and the Cuenca de Chira and the Pinar de Pilancones the other.
- Los Llanos de la Pez – dense pine forest covering a big part of the hike.
- Ventana del Nublo – a natural rock arch forming a window through which you can view the spectacular Roque Nublo and its surroundings.
- Views of Roque Nublo – Roque Nublo, meaning “Cloud Rock”, is a 65-meter-tall volcanic rock visible from several viewpoints.
- Mirador Degollada de Becerra – A fantastic lookout from where you can see you can see the most important rock formations on the island; Roque Bentayga and Roque Nublo
- A steep ascent from the start, the first 9 kilometers of this stage will gain 800 meters of elevation.
- Paso de La Plata (Silver Pass) the hardest climb of the day is up a stone switchback path that was cut into the mountain 6 km along the trail from Tunte.
The day starts with a steep uphill walk through the streets of Tunte. You keep on climbing for the first 9,5 km, gaining about 900 meters of elevation in the first 9,5 kilometers.
Shortly after passing the Ventana del Nublo enter the pine forest of Los Llanos de La Pez. From here the climbing is basically over for the day with only about 200 m of elevation gain over the last 8 km. The route alternates between nice wide gravel and pine needles footpaths and a bit more tricky single tracks. Always keep an eye out for a yellow arrow, you should see one about every 200 meters.
The route is well marked on this stage with wooden signs and red crosses and the traditional yellow Camino arrows. Wooden signs for the S-50 hiking trail indicate the route from Tunte to Cruz de Tejeda. The yellow arrow markings start 1,3 km into the trail in the pine forest on stone and gravel paths, from here you see a marking about every 200 meters.
The Tejeda Variant of the Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria
The Tejeda Variant of the Camino de Gran Canaria is a detour via the Roque Nublo through the village of Tejeda to Cruz de Tejeda. It’s a longer route 24 km/15 mi vs 17 km/10,5 mi on the standard route with a total ascent of 2000 m and a total descent of 1400 m. If you decide to take that route it’s better to split the day into two stages: Tunte to Garañon – 11 km/6,8 mi and Garañon to Cruz de Tejeda – 15 km/9,3 mi. You can find more information on the variant here.
0 km – walk the first 1.1km of paved road exiting the town
1,1 km – short gravel road marked “Camino Real”
1,3 km – stone and gravel path start, mostly steps going up (next 8km)
3 km – pine forest opens up a bit for some nice views
4,5 km – Mirador de la Cruz Grande – nice viewpoint, cross a paved road, a short walk on the road, gravel road continues.
6 – km Paso de La Plata (Silver Pass) rock and gravel path.
8,6 km – Ventana del Nublo, the short trail to the rock arch is well marked. The viewpoint is 200 meters from the main trail.
9,6 km – cross the main road, wider gravel, and pine needle path continues
10,6 km – Campsite in the pine forest.
11 km – cross the main road
11,7 km – Variant Marker, clear markers for the 11 km detour to Tejeda
13,3 km – Vista Roque Noble
14 km – keep an eye out for markers, single track, markers here are quite easy to miss
15,2 km – Mirador Degollada de Becerra, one of the most famous viewpoints on the trail.
16 km – single track for the last kilometer to Cruz de Tejeda
Places to stay in Cruz de Tejeda
Stage 3. Cruz de Tejeda – Gáldar, 22 km/13,6 mi
- Distance – 22 km/13,6 mi
- Time – 6 hours
- Total ascent – 342 m
- Total descent – 1662 m
- Max elevation – 1692 m
- Walking surface – 12 km/7,4 mi on asphalt, 10 km/6,2 mi on a gravel road/footpath
- Mirador Degollada de Las Palomas – Unique perspectives of Caldera de Tejeda, Roque Noble, and Roque Batayga can be from this amazing viewpoint.
- Caldera de Pinos de Gáldar – Circular volcanic mountain located to the North West of the Black Mountain.
- El Montañón Negro Natural Monument – natural monument, recent volcanism in Gran Canaria can be seen in the area.
- Descent between farmhouses in El Cabezo.
- The day starts with a steep climb, quickly ascending 150m.
- From the 4 km/2,4 mi mark, you have a steep descent the whole way, about 18 km/11 mi. This can be tough on your knees and your toes.
After a steep start for the first kilometer with some nice views, a single track takes you on fairly level ground for about 3 kilometers surrounded by Pines, brooms, lards, and chestnut trees. In this section of the Camino de Gran Canaria, you walk past some nice viewpoints. The next 17 kilometers are steep downhill, about half on a gravel road and half on a paved road.
The trail goes through farmland, forest, and some volcanic scenery. There is some traffic on parts of the paved road. For the last 3 kilometers to Galdar, you will pass banana plantations, rows of prickly pears, and steep downhills with views of the city surrounding the volcanic cone of Montana Galdar. Follow the yellow arrows to the Jacobean temple of Santiago de los Caballeros de Gáldar.
0 km – A Galdar sign in town points you in the right direction to walk, walk through a big parking area, and yellow arrows and a sign saying ‘Artenal’ indicates the way.
0,2 km – gravel single track, very nice rocky mountain views for 1,5 km
1,6 km – Mirador Degollada de las Palomas, single track
4,9 km – crossroad, walk over a large volcanic area, Pinos de Galdar
5,6 km – check for a yellow arrow at a gap in the barrier, steep down on volcanic gravel for 1.5 km
7 km – hard single track
8,6 km – Paved road, flat, slightly downwards
9,3 km – Bar Lomo al Palo, toilet, coffee, sandwich
9,6 km – Gravel and tar road alternates, passing through nice farmlands for 5 kilometers. Little traffic on the tar road, but no shoulder, keep an eye out for the occasional bus or truck.
15 km – Town Saucillo, Casa Pepe – Bar restaurant, well rated, serves typical Canarian food.
16 km – arrow signs get more difficult to spot, keep an eye out not to miss a turn-off.
17,4 – no Camino arrow sign at this junction, follow the pink sign indicating CEIP HOYA PINEDA.
17,8 km – Hoya Pineda, houses, a cafe, and a hotel
18 km – nice gravel track going downhill for about a kilometer
19 km – houses of suburb Anzo, from here the route is not well marked there are official Camino markers at 1 km and 0.4 km to go.
22 km – Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol, Plaza de Santiago. To get your Stamp and Official Certificate come to the church. Opening hours – weekdays 9am–1pm and 4pm–8pm, weekends 9am–12pm and 12:30pm–7:30pm.
Places to stay in Gáldar
What to pack for the Camino in Gran Canaria?
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The Camino de Santiago in Gran Canaria is a short route compared to the other Camino routes you don’t need to bring a lot of clothes with you. Try to pack light for the Camino to make your walk easier.
- Hiking shoes/trail runners. We walked in our running shoes but light hiking shoes would be better especially if you get some rain in the mountains. Find out more details about the best shoes for the Camino de Santiago.
- A backpack. For this short walk, a 25-30L backpack should be enough. For more details read out post on the best backpacks for the Camino.
- Long pants, 2 pairs. They are better for sun protection and when walking through long grass/bush. I usually wear long yoga pants.
- Long sleeve tops, 2-3. I prefer walking in long-sleeve running tops for better sun protection. They dry quickly, cover your upper body so you don’t need to put on sunscreen all the time, and pack very small.
- A fleece. It gets quite chilly up in the mountains even in summer.
- A rain jacket/a poncho. If you walk during winter months having a thin rain jacket or a rain poncho might be a good idea.
- Merino wool socks, 3 pairs. We always wear them when going hiking.
- Flip flops. It’s very nice after a long hiking day to take off your shoes and put on flip-flops.
- A cap or a hat. The sun up in the mountains is very strong and there is no shade to hide.
- Water bottle. One big bottle (1,5L) or two small bottles (1L each).
- Clothes for sleeping.
- Personal belongings (camera, phone, chargers, documents, etc.)
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The pretty half of Stingy Nomads, responsible for all our land adventures (hiking, climbing, walking the Camino) and following them write-ups. Alya loves walking since she was a child, she prefers to walk 1000 km with a backpack rather than to do a 10 000 km road trip (actually any road trip). Alya is a big fan of Latin America, the Spanish language, and dancing. Every time we go away she desperately misses our dog Chile.