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The west coast of Gran Canaria (the one facing Tenerife) is very rocky and wild. You will not find towns here because there simply is not space for them. Most of the western coast is filled by high cliffs. It is possible to drive along the west coast – the road number is GC-200 and it is accessible either from the south (La Aldea de San Nicolas) or from the north (Agaete).
The folowing are a few pictures I took when driving on Gran Canaria west coast road. The photos are ordered from La Aldea to Agaete.
The cliffs are more than 500 metres high:
Gran Canaria west coast ends with Punta Sardina, the north-western cape of Gran Canaria. On the picture below, you can see the towns of Agaete and Sardina in the northern part of the west coast. Road GC-200 ends in Agaete. From Agaete the road continues as a bigger road, GC-2, to Las Palmas.
In a few places along road GC-200, you can look deep down to the ocean like this:
You are several hundreds of metres above the sea level. I took this picture from Mirador del Balcon, which is 360 metres above the Atlantic Ocean.
Mirador del Balcon is one of the best places on road GC-200 where you can stop and look around. Unlike other places on GC-200, there are parking places for several cars at Mirador del Balcon. The road gets very close to the coast here (in horizontal terms; in vertical terms it is the already mentioned 360 metres higher). You can see big part of Gran Canaria west coast from here.
There is a balcony where the view gets even better. Mirador del Balcón literally means Balcony Viewpoint in Spanish.
The mirador is close to the south-western end of GC-200 (near La Aldea de San Nicolas). It is in fact the first place after Los Caserones (the coastal village in La Aldea valley) where GC-200 gets to the coast again.
The next photos show road GC-200 near Mirador del Balcon.
In many places, you can still see parts of La Aldea de San Nicolas and its characteristic polythene greenhouses.
Here you can see Gran Canaria west coast directly from your driver’s seat:
Be careful not to forget looking at the road in front of you. Other drivers may also get their attention divided between driving and sightseeing. A car appearing from behind the curve driving well into your half of the road is not uncommon here.
Road GC-200 is constantly going to the very edge of the cliffs and back inlands again. You can’t count the curves.
In most places there is nothing but steep cliffs between the road and the coast.
Another good place for looking around and taking pictures is on km 18 of GC-200.
Parking capacities are much lower compared to Mirador del Balcon and it is probably not an official “mirador”, but almost all tourists driving the west coast road stop here. There is a small (5-8 metres high) rock between the road and the edge of the cliff – it is not hard to climb on it and the view is perfect. The picture above was taken from that rock. Be very careful not to fall down (it’s some 500 metres above sea level here).
View from km 18 towards Agaete. You can see a section of road GC 200 on the right.
Amazingly, you meet quite a few trucks when driving on the west coast road. When you look at them and at the road, you wonder how they can fit in here.
The road is popular with motorcyclists too.
There are not many villages on road GC-200 and on Gran Canaria west coast in general. One of the few settlements is El Risco, a typical white village in Barranco del Risco.
Road GC-200 leaving Barranco del Risco:
One of the few places on the west coast with more vegetation is Barranco de la Palma. There is some space for parking here too. See more information and more pictures here: Barranco de la Palma.
After Barranco de La Palma, you are already getting close to the end of GC-200 in Agaete.
Evening on Gran Canaria west coast:
From many places on GC-200 you can see Tenerife and Mount Teide above the Atlantic Ocean.
The west coast road is one of the best places where to watch sunset in Gran Canaria.
You can find more pictures of GC-200 and Agaete sunset here: Gran Canaria West Coast Sunset.
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