Looking to explore urban Gran Canaria? A great way to start is by checking out Telde. It’s the very least you can do in the east of the island.
Telde is Gran Canaria’s second city. Although it actually predates capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As you’ll discover, along with a host of other things, in our latest guide.
- Arrive in Telde
- Step back in time in Telde
- Eat your fill in Telde
- Get some bodywork done in Telde
- Paint the town red in Telde
- Shop in Telde
- Stay in Telde
1. Arrive in Telde
Telde is easy to get to. It’s a straighforward 12-minute drive from the airport and just over double that if you take Global’s 90 bus which starts rather further south, at the Faro de Maspalomas terminal. Mr Gran Canaria Local, though, usually travels here from his base in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, on the number 12 or 80.
2. Step back in time in Telde
Meet Telde’s Frankie and Johnny, aka the neighbouring barrios of San Francisco and San Juan. San Fran is the old town. This neighbourhood was originally known as Santa María de la Antígua and is where you’ll find the Convento de Santa María de la Antígua, a convent established by the Franciscan order in 1612.
San Juan’s pretty ancient too, home to houses of the nobility which include the Casa-Museo León y Castillo. The brothers Léon y Castillo are two of the area’s most famous sons. Fernando de León y Castillo, a prominent politician was the Marquis of El Muni, and his brother Juan the engineer who drew up the plans for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s port, the Puerto de la Luz.
Telde was created in 1351 by papal decree. That’s pre-Spanish-Invasion Gran Canaria. Post-invasion, one of the key figures in its history was Inés Chemida (1467-1540) whose surname is also spelt as Chimida and even Chamovita.
The daughter of one of the conquering captains granted land on the island and a canarii princess, she was a Florence Nightingale-type figure who dedicated her life to helping the poor and sick. From receiving syphilitic beggars in her house, she went on to found a hospital in 1484. And Chemida lends her name to a suitably attractive street which overlooks orange trees on one side and mango trees on the other.
Calle Inés Chimida actually begins in Plaza Alameda de San Juan Bautista. This square is where you’ll find the municipal capital’s main church which dates back to 1503, although its neo-gothic towers are a 20th-century addition. Inside, look out for the Jesus Christ statue which takes pride of place at the altar, created by a Mexican tribe using corn paste.
3. Eat your fill in Telde
San Gregorio is the city’s foodie neighbourhood. Calle Betancor Fabelo is the epicentre of this great-grub scene. At this street’s number eight, there’s Gastrovinoteca La Cepa where wine rather than beer is the recommended partner for some innovative tapas dishes whilst no 17’s La Tunera‘s menu is decorated with flourishes from the butter, incorporating local Temisas olive oil and flecks of black Atlantic sea salt, onwards.
Elsewhere, try out the vegan menu at San Juan’s Café LaLola. Meat eaters, meanwhile, will love the burgers at the retro 80’s Restaurant & Beer in Calle Licenciado Calderin. And for the best wood-fired pizza in town, head to Buona Pizza.
4. Get some bodywork done in Telde
After eating, you might want to work off some of those carbs on a stroll around the pedestrian-friendly centre. The streets of the olde town are inviting, as are the 135,000 square metres of Parque de San Juan. For a more leisurely workout, there’s always SPAcio Telde.
5. Paint the town red in Telde
Compared to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the major southern resorts, this city’s nocturnal scene is, well, a little sleepy. Hotspots at night include Mojito San Juan where they claim to serve the finest mojitos in the whole of the Canary Islands. Then there’s Oasis Chill Out, open from 7:00pm to 2:00am Monday to Saturday.
6. Shop in Telde
The municipality’s biggest shopping centre is located on the GC-1. Centro Comerical Las Terrazas boasts various outlets, offering brand-name labels at a kinder-to-your-wallet price than most high-street establishments. For those who find malls claustrophobic, the ocean breeze of this open-air affair will appeal.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in the town too. Mainly in San Gregorio’s Zona Comercial Abierta de Telde. Look out for a market on Saturday and ecological goodies at a 500-year-old property, in La Tirijala, Monday through to Saturday.
7. Stay in Telde
The municipality’s sole hotel, Hotel Rural San Ignacio Golf, makes for a great golfing break whilst the Hostal Albacar enjoys a privileged location above one of the municipality’s best beaches, Melenara. The two holiday homes at Barranco Seco’s Finca La Salud are ideal for a self-catering holiday. As are the El Baladero Apartamentos which you don’t even need to hire a car to reach, located, as they are, in central San Francisco.
Perhaps you’re after a longer stay, as in in a relocate. Like The House‘s Richard Clarke and family who have made Telde their home. And they rent out their property on Airbnb should you want to get a feel of living in the area.
Local estate agents include Atico Sur who have a range of flats and villas to let and for sale. Another agent in the area is Inmobiliaria Marea who sell rustic properties alongside beachside developments. Then there’s Buscotecho which essentially translates as Look for a Roof.