A mirador is what the Spanish call a viewpoint or vantage point. One could argue that Gran Canaria itself is one giant mirador. GC locals, for example, love to tease Tenerife natives about how they enjoy more impressive vistas of that island’s Teide than their neighbours.
But what we’re talking about when it comes to miradores are specially-constructed lookouts. Often these are located on roads and present a great opportunity for you to get out and stretch your feet, whilst admiring the view. In no particular order, here are our top 10.
1.) Mirador del Balcón
If you suffer from travel sickness, the Mirador del Balcón’s a great stop-off. Not least because it’s on the west of the island’s GC-200, a road which does a mean impression of a snake. Do look down to take in clear views of the island’s jagged coastline from the top of the Andén Verde cliffs.
2.) Mirador Natural de la Cruz y El Montañón
Enjoy a panoramic view of Vega de San Mateo village as well as an introduction to Las Cumbres, Gran Canaria’s highlands. Here’s a mini language lesson for you: cumbre‘s the Spanish word for summit. It’s a short drive from the municipal capital to this mirador, although you’ll see so much more of this area, one of the lushest on the island, if you head there on foot.
3.) Mirador Molino de Viento
Between the ancient cave settlement of Acusa and the agricultural hothouse that goes by the name of La Aldea de San Nicolás, where the Queen of England’s favourite tomatoes grow, you’ll find the Presa de Parralillo. For the most stunning views of this dam and beyond, including the Roque Nublo landmark, stop at the Windmill Viewpoint. With such a backdrop, it’s impossible to take a bad photo.
4.) Mirador del Pico de los Pozos de la Nieves
There’s plenty to see at this vantage point in the heart of the island. Because it’s the highest spot on Gran Canaria, the Peak of the Snow Wells which climbs to 1,949m (6,394ft) above sea level. Traditionally. locals would collect ice here which they used to preserve meat and fish in pre-refrigerator days.
5.) Mirador de las Tederas
This viewpoint takes its name from a plant used by the canarii, who occupied the island before the arrival of the Spanish in the 15th century, as a herbal poultice to treat wounds. Survey the whitewashed village of Santa Lucía de Tirajana below. Then look up at the crags of the Fortaleza Grande rock formation above which canarii, making a last stand against Castilian rule in 1483, chose to throw themselves off rather than surrender.
6.) Mirador de los Pinos de Gáldar
Travel here by car on the GC-220 if you want to capture the waterfall of clouds which cascade over a pine forest. Or by Global bus 220, surely no coincidence, if you want to see this forest become an euculyptus wood on the 13km-hike to Teror. The choice is yours.
7.) Mirador Las Pellas
The north of the island’s Firgas is not known as the Balcony of the Atlantic for nothing. Where once the Doramas rainforest stood loud and proud, you can now see the ocean. This viewpoint does, however, still look over some green spaces on its way to the port and capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
8.) Mirador de Unamuno
At an altitude of 1,270m (4,167ft), there ain’t no village higher than Artenara on Gran Canaria. This vantage point was opened in 1999 as a tribute to the 1910 visit to this island by Miguel de Unamuno, poet, playwright, philosopher, and more. A sculpture by Manolo Gonzalez captures the great thinker in suitably contemplative mood, admiring a landscape he described as “like a tremendous commotion from the guts of the earth.”
9.) Mirador de la Sorrueda
There are no lakes to be found on Gran Canaria, but the water features are pretty special. Like the Presa de la Sorrueda, constructed in the basin of the Tirajana ravine. This dam is surrounded by the largest palm grove on the island which only goes to make its setting more of a picture-postcard one.
10.) Mirador de Fataga
Located above the southern resorts, Fataga feels like a gateway to another world. Lose yourselves in its cobbled streets which include a bodega. Before stumbling across the viewpoint which looks out onto the epic Barranco de Fataga.
These are our favourite miradores on Gran Canaria. However, they are by no means the only viewpoints on the island. Which vantage point will you fall in love with?