Digging into Gran Canaria’s Past


Gran Canaria has a lot more to enjoy than great beaches, market days, and boozey boat tours. The island has seven Guanches sights that reveal a rich and intriguing past.

Guanches were the original habitants of Gran Canaria. They were thought to be Berbers who migrated from North Africa to Canary Islands in 1000BC.

This network of Archaeological Sites in Gran Canaria are located all the island, and most require a car to visit them.

Some of the bigger sights offer a visitor centre, even an audio guide, but the common thread, is that each dig reveals more questions than answers.

On this trip to Gran Canaria we checked out Cenobio de Valeron that is perched high above a canyon.

The Monastery of Caves are located on the north coast of Gran Canaria. They date back to the stone age and are widely recognized as the most important and impressive pieces on the island.

When we arrived, I paid the entrance of $2.50 Euro per adult, thanked the ticket agent for the small leaflet.  I climbed the steep stone pathway to the massive caves delighted to be sharing this great ruin with just one other visitor.

Cenobio de Valerón is a network of approximately 200-300 caves. Many people believe that it was a monastery or “cenebio” where young girls went in preparation of marriage. Others say the caves were just used as granaries.

The caves were blocked off, but it was well sign posted with interesting facts and history.  Although simple in appearance, and quick to tour, the caves do give great insight into Gran Canaria’s past.


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