Cruz de Tejeda

Gran Canaria

The greenish-grey stone cross from which this spot takes its name marks the centre of Gran Canaria and its historic caminos reales (king’s highways), along which it is still possible to cross the entire island. The site is one of the most popular coach-tour destinations with the resorts, so is usually swarming with tourists (hence the souvenir stalls and donkey rides).

From the lookouts here you can survey and contemplate the island’s greatest natural wonders: to the west is the sacred mountain Roque Bentayga and, in clear weather, the towering volcanic pyramid of Teide on neighbouring Tenerife is visible; to the southeast rises the island’s highest peak, Pozo de las Nieves, and the extraordinary emblem of the island, Roque Nublo (often enveloped in cloud). Dropping away to the northeast is Vega de San Mateo.

Walks of all levels extend from here, from half-hour strolls on paved paths to five-hour treks through the mountains. The 12.5km circular route from Cruz de Tejeda to Roque Nublo is especially recommended. Allow about 3½ hours and take warm clothing, no matter how hot the day might seem. You can get information and tips from the Hotel Rural El Refugio or the tourist office next to the large, free car park at Cruz de Tejeda. There are a couple of very touristy restaurants in Cruz de Tejeda. For a more exclusive dining experience, try the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda.

Bus 305 (€1.45, one hour, six daily) from San Mateo passes by on its way to Tejeda.