Agaete is a beautiful town in Gran Canaria located on the northwest of the island along the coast. Originally we did not have Agaete in our itinerary of things to do in Gran Canaria. However, as we were heading to the Tenerife, Agaete is where to embark the ferry.
As we had a day to spare before our ferry would leave to the Tenerife, we decided to stay and visit Agaete. And as often, when you have no expectations about a place, you are pleasantly surprised.
First of all the town is really cute and peaceful. But what is most impressive is the the steep cliffs on the edge of the sea. The scenery is absolutely spectacular from Agaete. The contrast between the white houses, the ocean and the mountains is striking! So now, we can really say that Agaete is well worth a visit if you are in Gran Canaria.
It is often said that Gran Canaria is a continent by itself because of the great diversity of landscapes on the islands. From the desert of Maspalomas, to the historical town of Agüimes, the big city of Las Palmas, the Canyon of Guayadeque or Pico de las Nieves, the island is so diverse!
Agaete also illustrates the diversity of Gran Canaria. There you will see beaches, huge cliffs in the background and the valleys behind them, without forgetting all the historical heritage of the city.
So what to see in Agaete? What is the history about this place? How is the beach in Agaete? We will tell you all you need to know in this guide.
1. “Dedo de Dios” (the finger of God)
On the side of the cliffs, where the rocks of Faneque and Tirma plunge steeply into the ocean, used to rise the “Dedo de Dios” (the finger of God): an impressive volcanic needle detached from the rocky platform of the island. Agaete was very well known for the Dedo de Dios. It was even the symbol of the town.
Unfortunately, the rocks broke in 2015 during a big storm. Today it is not possible to see it anymore. Sadly…
However, from the harbour check out the amazing cliffs along the coast. The contrast with the town and the sea is simply magical!
2. Church of La Concepción
After checking out the harbour start exploring the little town. You can first see the Church of La Concepción – painted in red and white – (from the 19th century) occupying the site of an ancient temple destroyed in the fire of 1874.
3. Go to the beach at Puerto de las Nieves
Puerto de las Nieves is where the harbour is in Agaete. Next to the the harbour on either side you have a few beaches where you can sunbath and swim in calm water. The main beach Playa de Agaete is located right in front of the restaurants.
However, be aware that you won’t find white sandy beaches in Agaete, as they are mostly made of pebbles.
4. Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves
One of the best places to see in Agaete is the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves (16th century), located in Puerto de Las Nieves. The construction promoted by Antón Cerezo was extended in the 19th century with two towers. Inside is kept the Triptych of las Nieves (s. XVI), a magnificent work by the Flemish Joos van Cleve, imported by Cerezo and his wife Sancha Diaz de Zurita.
5. Eat some fresh seafood
During our few months trip through the Canary Islands, we enjoyed eating fresh seafood almost every single day. As Agaete is a coastal town with many fishermen you will have many good options. At Puerto de las Nieves try one of the seafood restaurants on the coastal promenade. We went to La Terraza del Marinero (location) and loved our food. It was the perfect meal before boarding our ferry to the Tenerife.
By the way, you can directly book for your ferry via Direct Ferry here.
6. The natural pools of Las Salinas
From Puerto de Las Nieves you can take a nice walk to the the natural pools of Las Salinas. This is a well known place in Agaete. In the past, it was used as a salt mine. But today it’s the perfect place for a swim.
7. Watch the sunset at Punta Gorda
If you continue after the natural pools of Las Salinas, you will reach one of our favorite spot in Agaete. This place is called Punta Gorda. From there the view is breathtaking. You can see massive cliffs along the coast of Agaete and on a clear day you can the Tenerife with Mount Teide.
Visit the coffee plantation at Finca Los Castaños
Did you know that Agaete region is one of the only places in Europe where coffee grows well? If you didn’t know, at least now you know.
If like us you are coffee lovers, then head to Finca Los Castaños. This place is really amazing! There you can learn about the whole process of growing, harvesting and roasting coffee. You can also taste their awesome coffee. They also have other things locally produced such as banana biscuits, wine, liquor, marmalade etc.
History of Agaete in Gran Canaria
The sites of El Cantil, the burials of Maipés de Agaete, the “Dedo de Dios” (finger of God), and the caves of Juncal, Moro and Vizvique are some of the remains that demonstrate the existence of ancient and dense populations of indigenous peoples in this area. At the time of the Spanish conquest, it belonged to the guanartemato (kingdom) of Galdar, which covered the center and west of the island.
The natural conditions of Puerto de las Nieves was where Pedro de Vara landed in 1480. The place must have seemed very appropriate because he built the first Castilian fort on the island there, called La Casa Fuerte. It was the base of the first military operations of the invaders in the history of Agaete.
As Alonso Fernandez de Lugo was appointed commander of the fortress and he always carried an image of the Virgin of las Nieves, he gave this name to the port. This fortress led to the development of the first houses that surrounded it and a hermitage for the image of the Virgen de las Nieves was also built.
The Genoese merchant Antón de Cerezo and his son Francisco Palomares were honored with extensive properties in this region. They quickly exported its fruits to different ports in Europe.
Where to stay in Agaete?
There aren’t many choices in Agaete, but one place caught our attention because of its location and the great ocean view.
The main draw at Villas Sicilla is by far the view. You will rarely have a better view in Gran Canaria. The view of the village, the sea, the cliff and sometimes Tenerife on a clear day is absolutely stunning! More information here.
How long to visit Agaete?
A few hours is enough to cover the main sights in Agaete. Of course you can easily spend the whole day there if you decide to stay at the beach as well.
In conclusion about Agaete
Agaete is, without a doubt, one of the best places to enjoy an iconic sunset. The view of the beautiful blue ocean and the majestic cliffs in the background, is stunning!
You can also check out the natural swimming pools which are protected from the sea by unique concrete pylons, creating a tranquil space where you can bathe with the family. These pools are connected by volcanic tubes and offer great views of the northwest coast of the island.
We also enjoyed wandering through the fishing village of Agaete. We ate some of our best (and cheapest) grilled fish in Gran Canaria. There are many local restaurants facing the pebble beach.
We wrote a full post about things to do in Gran Canaria here to help you prepare for your trip.
If you have any question about Agaete or Gran Canaria, feel free to leave a comment below.
All our posts about the Canary Islands can be found here.
20 THINGS TO DO in Gran Canaria: here
PUERTO DE MOGAN in Gran Canaria: here
MASPALOMAS, the most unique things to see in Gran Canaria: here
BEST THINGS TO DO in Las Palmas: here
TEROR, one of the most charming village in Gran Canaria: here
TEJEDA, a town nestled in the mountains of Gran Canaria: here
AGÜIMES, a beautiful historical town in Gran Canaria: here
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR to visit Gran Canaria: here
8 REASONS WHY TO VISIT Gran Canaria: here
BEST PLACES TO STAY in Gran Canaria: here
25 BEST THINGS to see in Lanzarote: here
25 AWESOME THINGS to do in Fuerteventura: here
10 BEST BEACHES in Gran Canaria: here