What to see and do in Gáldar, the first capital of Gran Canaria

Gáldar is one of the most important municipalities of Gran Canaria. It belongs to the province of Las Palmas and is, in fact, the first capital of the island. Today, it still conserves part of its pre-Hispanic heritage.


This municipality is home to one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the Canary Islands: the Cueva Pintada (in English Painted Cave). Discover the past of the ancient Canary Islanders through their cave art. 


Gáldar also has a pedestrian street full of restaurants and cafés where you can try the local Canarian gastronomy and museums. The street also leads to the square and church of Santiago. But that's not all. 


Ready to discover Gáldar?

What to see and do in Gáldar

In this post we’re going to show you what you can see and do in and around the town centre of Gáldar or Agáldar, as they used to call it. Flanked by the municipalities of Artenara, Santa María de Guía and Agaete, it’s well worth visiting the north of Gran Canaria and discovering the hidden treasures of these municipalities.


Here are 7 things to see and do in Gáldar:

Santiago de los Caballeros Square and Church

The Plaza de Santiago is surrounded by tropical gardens and Indian laurels. In the middle stands the first Jacobean parish church (1778-1826) outside Spain mainland. These structures maintain their characteristics and stately forms of their capital and historical past. 

The square and the parish church are connected to the long street calle capitán quesada, an avenue full of shops, restaurants and museums, as well as neoclassical and baroque style houses.


You can also enjoy the restaurants and terraces in the surrounding area, such as La Trastienda de Chago or La Tasca de Juan Pedro. Both stand out for their local products, wines and beers. 

La Cueva Pintada Archaeological park

This important pre-Hispanic site wasn’t discovered until the middle of the 19th century. In the Cueva Pintada you can find archaeological remains that reveal the history and culture of the aboriginal Canary Islanders. They are part of approximately 50 indigenous dwellings dating back to the 6th and 15th centuries. Find out more about the Cueva Pintada de Gáldar.

Also of note is La Guancha, a necropolis and aboriginal site where you can discover more about the indigenous burial culture. In its burial mound there are about forty burials.

La Recova Municipal Market in Gáldar

Taste fresh, local produce from all over the island: fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish... as well as more traditional island crafts.


Antonio Padrón House and Museum

In 1971 the Antonio Padrón Museum was inaugurated, guarding the memory of the writer, painter and sculptor from Gáldar. This museum houses more than a hundred works by one of the most outstanding artists of the avant-garde movements in the archipelago.


El Agujero natural swimming pool and Sardina del Norte beach

If you prefer beaches, you can take a dip in the natural pools of El Agujero, the wildest and most natural part of Gáldar! For surf lovers, El Agujero is a very good area for bodyboarding and SUP.


We also recommend the beach of Sardina del Norte and the small fishing port. Close to restaurants and terraces, you can enjoy typical Canarian food with a beautiful sunset in the background. 


Way of St. James of Gran Canaria

For hikers and adventurers, there are 65 kilometres full of history ahead, until you reach the town of Gáldar, where the church Santiago de Los Caballeros awaits you. 


Sardina Lighthouse

Gáldar is also home to one of the most important lighthouses in Gran Canaria, the Faro de Sardina. Built in 1890 and remodelled in 1984, this lighthouse stands on a wild coastline in the north of the island. The sunsets here seem out of this world. 

Gastronomy, culture and history

If you visit the island of Gran Canaria, don't hesitate to take a trip to Gáldar, the first municipality of Gran Canaria. Discover the history and culture of the Canary Islands through its museums and various archaeological sites, or enjoy its numerous beaches and wild natural pools, far from the noise of the tourist centres. 

Taste the Canarian gastronomy in typical terraces, cafés and restaurants. If you’re thinking of staying in the north of Gran Canaria, take a look at our catalogue of accommodation in the north of Gran Canaria.

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