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In the municipality of Gáldar, in the northwest of Gran Canaria, life passes at the pace set by its inhabitants. Strolling through its streets is to breathe the history of what was once the capital of the island, seat of the Guanartemes, the

aboriginal chiefs.

From the museum and archaeological park of Cueva Pintada to Calle de Capitán Quesada, known as

Calle Larga

, the commercial and vital epicenter of the historic center. And in between,

palaces in

perfect condition, squares that take visitors to another era, pedestrian streets with charming taverns.

It would be necessary to talk about the main jewel of the place, the temple of

Santiago de los Caballeros

, located in the Plaza de Santiago de Gáldar.

It is one of the largest religious buildings in the Canary Islands, with three naves and 15 chapels, where part of

the cultural legacy

related to the Apostle Santiago

is preserved

.

Not in vain, it is the Canarian point where the saint is worshiped.

Between cheese shops and wineries

Looking back, in the pre-Hispanic settlement of Agáldar, today the Royal City of

Santiago de los Caballeros de Gáldar,

Bishop Juan de Frías officiated mass, for the first time, on the Lord Santiago's day in 1482, before the end of the

conquest

of the island.

That of Agáldar would therefore be the first Jacobean dedication established outside the Peninsula, a precursor in addition to those established later in America.

Main Temple of Santiago de los Caballeros de Gáldar. CANARY ISLANDS TOURISM

On the occasion of the Jacobean Holy Year 21-22 (due to the pandemic it has been decided that it should last two years), the visit to Gáldar is more interesting than ever, since it allows you to discover the

Camino de Santiago de Gran Canaria

, unique in the world.

It is in charge of joining the south of the island, where the Jacobean church of

San Bartolomé is located,

with the Main Temple of Santiago de los Caballeros de Gáldar.

Cultural landscapes

The Way does not live by religion alone. This route also allows you to discover the

flora and fauna

of Gran Canaria, as well as the gastronomy and the historical and ethnographic heritage. "

The Camino de Santiago between volcanoes

is a State project and, therefore, a community project that encompasses all the islands", explains the general director of Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ciprián Rivas. He continues: "Of course, people will have to go through Gran Canaria because it is the place where

the two holy gates are,

that is, Tunte and Gáldar." The idea, he adds, is that the Way "backbone the territory, since around the roads there are

cheese shops, wineries

, rural tourism houses,

pilgrims' lodgings.

and hikers ...

Sardina del Norte beach in Gáldar SHUTTERSTOCK

One of the key points of the Canarian Way are the Maspalomas dunes to the south, the beginning of the 66 kilometers that await the walker.

The route continues in the

Fataga ravine,

known as the Valley of a thousand palms, and the

Arteara Necropolis

, the largest aboriginal cemetery on the island, until reaching Tunte, where the aforementioned Jacobean temple of San Bartolomé is located. .

According to oral tradition, this section of the road, from Maspalomas to Tunte, was started by some Galician sailors in the 15th century with an image of Santiago to build a hermitage in

the Heights of Tirajana

as thanks for having overcome a sea storm.

Leaving Tunte behind, the second section of the road starts at Cruz de Tejeda, where the peaks of Gran Canaria, baptized by

Miguel de Unamuno

as the "petrified storm"

, rise

.

This Unesco World Heritage cultural landscape runs through places such as the

Caldera de Tirajana

and the Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve, which occupies 46% of the island's surface area.

View of Roque Nublo with El Teide in the background SHUTTERSTOCK

With the

Tamadaba Natural Park

as its emblem, you have to look at the Ventana del Nublo, which has the best panoramic views of the island, and walk through the pine forests of the

Llanos de la Pez

until you reach Degollada Becerra, a viewpoint with views of

Roque Bentayga and Roque Nublo

, the undisputed symbol of the island.

The final route, which joins the Cruz de Tejeda with Gáldar, descends between volcanoes,

agropastoral environments

and sacred settlements.

This is the case of the Cultural Landscape of Risco Caído and the

Sacred Mountains

of Gran Canaria, declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It passes through the

Caldera de los Pinos

de Gáldar until reaching the first capital of Gran Canaria, Agáldar, in its aboriginal name, the mountain town.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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