From here to God knows where.
Galdar Gran Canaria

Galdar Gran Canaria-Former Kingdom

Galdar Gran Canaria a second chance.

I first visited Galdar in Gran Canaria five years ago.  I have a passion for history, so I went to see the painted cave in Galdar.  Galdar was a key area for the original settlers before the Spanish conquest. 

When I arrived in Galdar, I was to be disappointed.  I found the caves closed due to high winds.  I made a grumpy protest and said they should have updated this on their website. Having lived in Gran Canaria a few years now, I know that would never have happened.  It was also a Saturday so, maybe I had a few beers too many the night before, and my mood was not the best.

That day also was unusually cold, so maybe Galdar matched my mood.  I did not have a good impression of Galdar Gran Canaria that day, and it took me five years to go back there.  I was wrong.  It is worth seeing. 

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria

The town

Galdar is in the north of Gran Canaria.  Many tourists who stay all their vacation on the southern beaches never realise that most of the population centres are in the north.  The north of the Island is where you find the real Gran Canaria.

Galdar like most towns anywhere in the world will have people going about their daily business.  Working, shopping and driving from place to place.  It is a real town, so it will have real people doing what real people do every day. 

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria

How to get to Galdar

When I decided to give Galdar a second chance I took the bus from Las Palmas.  The very regular bus from the Capital to Galdar takes just forty minutes.  

If you are driving the road is good as Galdar is on a major route that goes from Las Palmas to the ferry port of Las Nieves.  From there you can take a ferry to Tenerife. 

The bus station is on the edge of the town but a short ten minute to the main street of Galdar Gran Canaria.

Galdar Gran Canaria

Galdar town centre

Galdar main street is pedestrianised and has many shops and cafes.  It is the hub of the town. 

On the day I arrived the street was full of flower displays as part of the annual Christmas display.

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria


Also located on the main street of Galdar is the town’s market.  It is not a big market, but it has plenty of fruit vegetables and various meats.  If you want to see the market, you will need to get here in the morning. 

Galdar Gran Canaria

Plaza de Santiago Galdar Gran Canaria

At the top of the main street is the main square of Galdar.  Plaza de Santiago.  Here is a popular area for local people to have something to drink or eat in the sunshine.  

The main structure of the Plaza is the impressive church of Santiago.  The church has been around since 1778.  At the church is the sacred heart museum.  You will be able to see the font used to baptise the original settlers to Catholicism.  

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria


Cueva Pintada de Galdar

Any trip to Galdar has to include a visit to the painted cave of Galdar.  The museum is near the Plaza. 

When the Spanish arrived in Gran Canaria, there were an estimated 20,000 of the original settlers on the Island.  After the conquest, only 200 were allowed to remain. 

Galdar museum
Galdar museum
Galdar Gran Canaria

During Spanish rule, the 200 hundred original settlers were not allowed to marry each other.  They had to marry the new European settlers.  Over time they completely integrated into the new settlers. 

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria

Fernando Guanarteme was a local leader at the time of the conquest.  He assisted the Spanish, and to some, he is a traitor.  To others, he was wise to see there was nothing to be gained by continuing the fight against the more powerful Spanish army.

Galdar Gran Canaria back streets

The main centre of Galdar is not that big.  Take some time to wander around the back streets.  You won’t be disappointed. 

Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria

Other things to do in Galdar

Casa Antonio Padron is a museum showing the work of the artist born in Galdar. 

There are also many walks that start and end in Galdar Gran Canaria.

Sardina del Norte Galdar

If you visit Galdar and don’t go to see Playa Sardina del Norte, you will be making a big mistake.  It is one of the most beautiful areas in the whole of Gran Canaria.

It is only a 5km drive by car from Galdar or 20 minutes by bus.

You will not see many tourists here, but for locals, it is Galdar’s beach.

There is a small beach here, and at full tide is covered, but Sardina del Norte is more than the beach.  It is a perfect place to relax in the sun.  

Fishing and sailing activities are popular here. 

Locals fishing
Locals fishing
Galdar Gran Canaria
Galdar Gran Canaria

If you fancy a drink as you watch the sun going down, there is a restaurant overlooking the beach.

Restaurant
Restaurant

Bus from Galdar to 
Sardina del Norte

There is a small regular bus that goes from the bus station in Galdar to Sardina del Norte.  

Galdar sardina del norte bus
Galdar sardina del norte bus
Galdar Gran Canaria

If you are in the area, you might be interested in visiting the nearby unique Puerto de Las Nieves.  For more information click here

For Gran Canaria bus routes and times click here.

Join me on my journey. 

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Comments (2):

  1. Iain Montelongo

    January 1, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Really enjoying this series of posts on Gran Canaria Pat. thanks for posting.
    As someone who’s lived here for many years, I have to admit, I’m a bt embarrassed to say I’m learning lots about my adopted home from your writing.

    Lovely pics and plenty of useful info for travellers to the island. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • PATRICK O Neill

      January 2, 2019 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Iain. Fresh eyes always help. I was the same as you when I lived in London.

      Reply

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