Famed for its golden beaches and mountainous interior, Gran Canaria is a popular destination with year-round sun. When you’ve hiked up volcanoes and snorkeled in the sea, it’s time to take a closer look at the cities.
These historic settlements have bags of charm, with cobbled streets and cathedrals taking center stage. Free walking tours in Gran Canaria are the best way to explore and they give you a fun introduction to the island.
With free tours in Gran Canaria, there is no set price and indeed nothing to pay upfront. You don’t even need to give your credit card details when booking online.
Instead, you will decide what to pay after the excursion, depending on how much you enjoyed the experience. Take some cash with you and tip the guide accordingly at the end.
Cancellation is free too if your plans change nearer the time.
It’s up to you how much you want to tip. Think about the tour length and the knowledge of your guide, and then decide how much you feel the experience was worth.
Typically, most people pay between €10 and €15 per person on free walking tours in Gran Canaria. However, if you’ve had a great time, feel free to offer more. Some visitors have been known to give €50 before.
Each of the Gran Canaria walking tours focuses on a different town or city. You’ll go on a journey through time as you wander the historic streets, with each location offering something different.
Las Palmas is the capital of the island and offers some of the most engaging free walking tours in Gran Canaria. Most excursions take in the major landmarks of the city, including the Museum of Casa Colón (the Christopher Columbus Museum), the Cathedral of Santa Ana, and the Episcopal Palace.
You’ll explore the charismatic Vengueta and Triana quarters and see where merchant families lived in their fashionable residences. Other Old Town highlights include the Regental House and the Town Hall.
Some tours show you a different side to Las Palmas, delving deep into the lesser-known districts on the city’s northern tip – La Isleta. You’ll learn about the island’s volcanic origins and visit the beaches of Las Canteras and El Confital. Santa Catalina will be your final stop.
You’ll find Agaete up in the northwest of Gran Canaria, and this coastal old fishing town has changed very little over the centuries. In fact, it’s one of the most beautiful settlements on the island and feels a lot quieter than Las Palmas.
You’ll visit the top landmarks, including the whitewashed Church of Agaete, and the 16th-century Hermitage Las Nieves. There will also be stops at the old dock and the natural pools that have formed in an abandoned salt mine along the rocky volcanic shores.
Your guide will tell you tales of “La Rama”, one of the island’s most famous festivals which is held in Agaete each August.
The town of Telde is in the east of Gran Canaria, just 13 kilometers south of Las Palmas. There are plenty of archaeological sites to discover, many dating to pre-Hispanic times. The historic quarter of Telde is where your tour will commence, with a walk through a couple of the oldest and most characterful quarters – San Francisco and San Juan.
You’ll enjoy wandering around squares and exploring the old streets, checking out monuments as you go. The ancient Church of San Juan Bautista and the Plaza Mayor are the major draws.
Take a moment to admire the architecture of the surrounding buildings. The Gothic Church of San Pedro is worth a stop too, as is the León y Castillo House Museum which was home to the island’s most celebrated brothers.
Santa Maria de Guía is another northern town with a historic core that will have you reaching for your camera. Designated as a National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1982, the Old Town has several landmarks worthy of your attention.
Be wowed by the architecture of the Parish Church, with its twin towers and Neoclassical façade. You’ll see the Néstor Álamo Museum, which shows off the home of the town’s famous author. Other stops include the Chapel of San Roque and the 17th-century building of La Casa de Los Quintana, noted for its balcony and coat of arms.
The icing on the cake is sampling the famous flower cheese, made with floral sap harvested from the cardoon thistle. It’s a local institution and tastes mellow and buttery.
Free tours in Gran Canaria are usually conducted by multi-lingual guides. There are several tours in English on the island, thanks to the language being widely spoken in the main tourist resorts.
Some walking tours are available in Spanish since this is the language of the Canary Islands. Occasionally you’ll also find excursions led by a French or German-speaking guide.
You’ll find that all free walking tours in Gran Canaria begin in the historic center of the town or city that features on the itinerary.
In Las Palmas, the Pérez Galdós Theater is the most popular meeting place followed by the Plaza de San Antonio Abad. Other starting points include the Hermitage of San Telmo, and outside the Poema de Mar Aquarium.
For walking tours in Agaete, you’ll need to make your way to the Iglesia Matriz de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción.
Telde walking tours kick off at the main entrance to Arnao Park, and excursions in Santa María de Guía begin at the Plaza Grande.
Free tours in Gran Canaria last between 1.5 and 3 hours, with most ranging around the 2-hour mark. This is plenty of time to tick off the major sights and get a good feel for the city you are exploring.
Most free tours in Gran Canaria operate during the morning, or over lunchtime, leaving your afternoon free for swimming and sunbathing.
We recommend booking your excursion for one of the earlier morning slots, so you avoid the crowds and take advantage of the slightly cooler weather.
Try and time your tour for the first day of your trip, to help you get your bearings. Your guide might also share some tips about the best places to eat during your stay.
We highly recommend booking your free walking tours in Gran Canaria in advance of your trip. It’s really easy to make a reservation online, and you don’t even need to enter any credit card details.
Arranging your excursions before you arrive means you won’t waste time on the ground trying to figure out what to do.
Gran Canaria is a popular vacation destination, and tour places do fill up fast, especially during the peak season. So, make sure you don’t miss out by booking a walking tour online to give you peace of mind and something to look forward to.