Where are we off to in Gran Canaria this time? Why, only alluring Agüimes. Let us show you around one of the prettiest darn towns on the whole island.
We weren’t the east of Gran Canaria’s biggest fans, but visiting Agüimes for the first time converted us. So now we gladly don cheerleaders’ costumes and whip out our pom-poms in support of the eastern part of the island. Agüimes the town houses a population of just over 20,000.
The Barranco de Guayadeque separates Agüimes from neighbour, Ingenio. A 11km drive from Gran Canaria airport, you can also reach Agüimes with Global bus lines 11 and 21. These start at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s San Telmo bus station but bypass the airport.
The municipality has “viento en popa” as its motto. Literally, this translates as “wind at your back” but this saying owes its origin to a maritime expression. Namely that the most favourable wind for sailors blows from behind their boats, to propel them forward. So smooth sailing aka life’s going well. Find out more about Agüimes in our three-part guide.
- Embrace culture in Agüimes
- Get stuffed in Agüimes
- Sleep over in Agüimes
1. Embrace culture in Agüimes
Check out Agüimes’ famous Sculpture Promenade. Although all modern works of art, the likes of W Herrera García’s camel blend perfectly into a background dating back to 1486. Indeed, traditional pock-marked Canarian houses dominate the historical centre.
The Parroquia de San Sebastián was built in 1602. It’s here or thereabouts where locals celebrate the Fiestas de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, in reverence to the town’s patron saint during September and October. And if you’ve ever visited Lopesan’s stunning Villa del Conde, you’ll notice a certain similarity between the hotel’s lobby and Agüimes’ parish church.
After a history lesson in Agüimes? The Museo de Historia de Agüimes in Calle Juan Alvaro y Saz opens its doors from Tuesday to Sunday, between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm. You’ll learn about the aboriginal past of this area which preceded the 15th-century Castilian conquest. Located in a mansion house, exhibits are clearly labelled in Spanish, German, and English.
Looking for a wet T-shirt competition? You’ve come to the wrong place. They get up to those sort of the shenanigans in the sexy south of the island. The locals don’t mind getting their shirts wet on the last Saturday of September however. When the Traída del Agua y del Gofio fiesta recreates the journey from mill to town. Along the 2-km walk, thousands sporting Canarian costumes collect sacks of gofio, the famous roasted grain flour of the island, before opening them in the main square and launching into a food fight. The gofio sticks to the clothes as overlooking balconies tip water on the revellers below.
2. Get stuffed in Agüimes
More than a restaurant, El Alpendre del Arte in Calle Doctor Joaquín Artíles holds regular art exhibitions along with live music performances and wine-tasting events. Dishes are traditionally Canarian. Such as goats’ cheese with caramelized onion and pepper jam to start and Saharan squid to follow.
You’ll find the fayre to be equally classic at Calle Juan Ramon Jimenez’s Restaurante Señorio de Agüimes. Where the famous local black pork takes pride of place on the menu. They also serve their very own prize-winning wine.
For less formal food, the quaint Bar/Café El Populacho offers terrific tapas. Situated on the main Plaza Rosario, its terrace is the ideal place to soak up Agüimes. Along with the rays of sun which patrol the skies above.
Similarly laidback is the Bar Tasca Canaria Mi Pueblo in Calle el Progreso. This is a popular pit stop on Agüimes’ Friday-night project which sees the town’s hostelries offer “una tapa con una copa de vino, cerveza o refresco“, an appetizer with a glass of wine, beer or soft drink, for knockdown prices. Now, that’s something to drink to.
Kids in dire need of a sugar rush? Let them eat cake at La Tartería, also to be found in the main square. Their coffee is almost as legendary and it’s another perfect venue for watching Gran Canaria aka the miniature continent go by.
3. Sleep over in Agüimes
There’s only one hotel in Agüimes town and it’s owned by the Hoteles Escuela de Canarias. This group is more commonly referred to by its acronym, HECANSA. The two-star Hotel Rural Casa de los Camellos is a converted camel stable, although the only evidence of animal life you’ll find these days are the native cats curled up enjoying a siesta.
There are four charming holiday homes in the heart of Agüimes. They are Casa Rural El Cura, Casa Rural Los Suárez, Casa Rural La Aldaba, and Casa Rural El Granero. You can book a stay at the one you fancy the most through the local tourist information office.
For an altogether longer sleepover, head to the municipality’s leading estate agent. Rodriguez & Navarro operate out of an office in Cruce de Arinaga. Property prices tend to be lower in Agüimes than the more in-demand Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and southern resorts.