First off I owe Telde Gran Canaria an apology. Six years ago I lived for a short time in the south of the island. One day I decided to visit Telde. I took a bus and spent a few hours there. I was not impressed. I was wrong.
Six years ago on my first visit to Telde Gran Canaria, I had not done any research. I just took a bus and thought I would see it as I find it. I like travelling that way, but Telde is a bit more complicated than most places.
Telde City Gran Canaria
Telde is the second biggest city in Gran Canaria. Over 100,000 people live there. One of the confusing aspects of Telde is its layout. The substantial part of Telde is 7km inland from the coastal region of the town. To confuse matters even more, the GC-1 motorway splits the city from its beaches.
The capital Las Palmas is 20km to the north, and Gran Canaria’s mountains look down on Telde from behind the town.
Telde Gran Canaria history
Telde used to be the largest city in Gran Canaria. It was founded in 1351 after the Spanish conquest of the Island.
Before the arrival of the Spanish Telde had a large population of the original settlers. One of the main resistance leader to the Spanish Doramas lived here.
Doramas fought the Spanish invaders gallantly. He was eventually defeated in the battle of Arucas. His severed head was put on display in Las Palmas to warn others of the price of resisting the new order.
The below image is a cave located in the San Francisco area of Telde. In times of hunger, the original settlers put sheet here hoping their bleating would give divine mercy.
Telde historic area
The mistake on my first visit to Telde Gran Canaria was to think the centre of the town was the old town. It is not. The historic area is a short walk from the main commercial area.
Plaza de San Juan has always been an area that is at the heart of Telde. For many years it was the most affluent area of Telde. San Juan is now a very peaceful and tranquil plaza to visit.
The Church of San Juan Bautista stands prominent in the plaza. Most of the Church’s in Gran Canaria look the same. The church of San Juan has a different feel. It has a more gothic design as it towers over the plaza.
With the adjoining Plaza Mayor, you can see how the San Juan district was an important area of the city. These days it is a place of worship and relaxation in Telde.
On the street, just behind the church, you will find a small beautiful children’s park.
A short walk up from San Juan is the Church of San Pedro. There is a small park in the church which is a perfect place to gather your thoughts.
From San Pedro, you will see nearby the Baladero area in the San Francisco neighbourhood. In Baladero there is the most beautiful stone bridge that links San Juan with San Fransico Telde.
As you approach up the narrow winding lanes of the neighbourhood of San Fransico Telde, you can sense the history. People have lived here for hundreds of years. People still live here today, but at certain times of the day, you can feel you are the only person here.
There are very little in the way of bars and restaurants here but don’t worry there are plenty a few streets away.
Many houses here are marked with crosses. San Fransisco was the area where workers lived. Many worked for people who lived in the more affluent area of nearby San Juan. There was a small Jewish quarter here.
The main square here is Plaza San Francisco. In this part of San Francisco, there is a pleasant open space where you can see Telde and its surrounding areas.
If you like typical Spanish Balcony architecture, there are many excellent examples in the San Fransico area of Telde.
A few streets back from San Francisco there is a good selection of bars and restaurants should you wish to have a snack or a drink.
Telde Gran Canaria town centre
The main area where local people shop and socialise is on Avenue Construction in the town centre. While this part of Telde will not win many awards for architecture, the adjacent narrow streets have a certain charm.
On Avenue Construction there are many bars and restaurants to choose from. This is also the shopping area of the centre of Telde.
There is corruption in every country. Some countries are better at disguising it. In Spain, the biggest problem seems to be at the local government level.
The new council offices of Telde remain unfinished due to a scandal of officials asking for kickbacks from developers. In Spain, some officials get jailed for corruption. In many countries they never do.
The outskirts of Telde is less attractive. Many houses and apartments were built recently that are not in keeping with how beautiful the older area is.
Parque Arnao between the historic and town centre areas is a nice place to spend some time.
Telde Gran Canaria beaches
A short drive or bus journey from the centre are the beaches of Telde. These beaches have a different character than the more famous southern beaches of Gran Canaria. They are well worth a visit in their own right.
Playa Melenara. Playa Hombre and La Garita are the main beaches of Telde. There is also an excellent coastal walk from Melenara to La Gatita. For more information about this part of Telde click here.
Telde is very easy to get to from any part of Gran Canaria. It is just off the main GC-1 motorway. It is well served by bus from the north and south of the Island. For Gran Canaria bus routes and times click here.
In summary Telde Gran Canaria is well worth a visit. The town does not seem to be well promoted as a destanation for visitors to the Island. Because of that you will not see many tourists in Telde which maybe an added bonus for some people.
Join me on my journey.
Sign up for email alerts and know when a new post goes live.