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Información Turística de Agaete

Geographical aspects

Situation / How to get to Agaete:

The seafaring village of Agaete is located on the northwest coast of Gran Canaria, only 30 kilometres away from the capital of the island, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Among the municipalities which extend along the North of Gran Canaria, Agaete is situated more to the west. Its limits are to the North and East with Gáldar, and to the South and West with the municipality of Artenara.
There are two ways of access to this Municipality:

  • From Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on GC 2 road
  • From the Village of San Nicolas or the South part of the island, bordering the island along its west coast on the road GC 200

Both ways lead you to Agaete either by car or on regular busses.

Size and Topography:

In spite of its reduced surface, 45,49 square kilometres, its topography in general is very steep, and there are three main valleys which stand out: El Risco, Guayedra and Agaete, with a maximum altitude of 1.180 metres in the highest zone of the Pinewood of Tamadaba.

Climate and Vegetation:

With a predominant orientation to the Northwest, the municipality of Agaete is not as exposed to the trade winds, except the zone of Tamadaba, which results in less rainfall. This situation along with the steep topography, make this place have a summer lasting the whole year round. Due to its orientation to the Northwest, this village does not receive much rain during the whole year, and it is also marked by a great quantity of sun hours, with an annual average of 2.415 hours. Due to these reasons, Agaete has a nice warm climate throughout the year.

The rain is very irregular and scarce, with the exception of Tamadaba which can get around 700 litres per square metre. Other places in Agaete that get very little rain are: 265 litres per square metre in Guayedra and less than 200 litres per square metre in Agaete and El Risco. This drought determines the vegetation in each zone, for example in places lower than 400 metres there are spurges and rests of cactus-spurges (Euphorbia Canariensis). In the valleys there are some palm trees (Phoenix Canariensis), this happens in Guayedra, El Risco or in the Valley, and only in the highest zones of Tamadaba a wood of pine trees (Pinus Canariensis) can be found.

Although most of the vegetation has suffered from the falling of trees in the centuries before, this pinewood conserves an important variety of flora in Gran Canaria. The height and the humidity as a result of the trade winds, ascending very fast along the cliffs from the sea, let us speak about a humid pinewood, where the pine trees live together with tree heath (Erica Arborea) and Canary Islands Wax-Myrtile (Myrica faya). Finally, the upper limits of Guayedra contain vegetation full of interesting endemic flora and some species of Laurisilva. In El Risco two important and unique species of flora are: Dendriopoterium Mendezii and Centaurea Arbutifolia.

 

 

 

 

Fauna:

Birds represent the most important group in relation to fauna, normally meant to be in pinewoods. The bird picapinos (woodpecker) (Dendrocopos major), which is found in this area is a type of bird from Gran Canaria. Other common birds in the pinewood zone are: the herrerillo (Parus caeruleus), the falcon Tagarote or from Berbers, this last one is almost extinct and is only found in isolated zones of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria. This falcon can easily be confused with the cernícalo (Falco tinnunculus ssp.canariensis), which is also a bird of prey, that can only be distinguished from the falcon by its bigger size and its shorter tail. It is possible to find it in the cliffs of Tamadaba where they make their nests.
Other birds found in the coastal zone are Pardela Cenicienta (Calonectris diomedea borealis), which lives at sea and only gets close to the coast when it is time to reproduce; and the other one is the yellow seagull (Larus cachinnans), which live on the cliffs near the Finger of God, where they make their nests.
The lizard from Gran Canaria (Gallotia sthelini) can also be found in this area, it is native of Gran Canaria, and the adults can measure 50 centimetres long.

Geological Aspects:

Its scarce extension – 45,49 square kilometres – extends between a very steep mountainous area, which occupies the largest part of its surface and which extends between two different sectors, one is the most recent geological site and the other one is the oldest geological part of the island. Most of the surface is volcanic and it dates back to 14 million years ago, the period when the volcanic eruptions took part on this island. From the Valley as well as from the cliffs which go directly to the sea, it can be seen that the lower volcanic surfaces are approaching the interior of the island. This is a product of erosion.
There is a big erosive action on the coast which can be seen either in these lower surfaces, the high cliffs, or in the existence of isolated rocks like “The Finger of God” and also the absence of plain surface in the lower side of the valleys of Guayedra and El Risco. This erosive action has led to its limits decreasing many kilometres in the last million years.

The municipality gets to its maximum altitude in the range of Tamadaba, which is formed by sound-stones, on its North and Northwest side is the Valley of Agaete, El Risco is on its Southwest side, and on its west part there are two valleys or ravines: Guayedra and La Palma, among all these valleys the main peak of Tamadaba stands at 1.444 metres, covered by a pine forest (Pinus Canariensis) with a great variety of flora and of beautiful landscapes.

Between the mountain of Tamadaba and the one called Altavista, the head of the valley El Risco can be found, this is the widest one that surrounds this range and in its lower parts, it gives place to a wide valley opened to the Northwest, with high mountains that lead to softer plateau in its lower part.

At the beginning of the Cuaternary era, the volcanic activity erupted new material that surrounded the range of Tamadaba on its East side, giving place to the valley that goes from los Berrazales to Agaete. The volcanic area called Malpaís de la Necrópolis (Malpaís de Arriba) is the result of the meeting of part of the eruption of this volcanic action and the Deepness of Fagagesto, these materials covered the deepest part of this valley, flowing to its plain part and then to the sea.

Population:

The settlement of people in this zone dates back to the Pre–Hispanic times, when this part of the island was populated by aborigines as it can be seen at the archaeological sites of diverse types that have been found along the whole municipality.

On the other hand, its situation to the Northwest of Gran Canaria facilitated the settlement of people from the very first times of the conquest by the Castilians. The existence of one of the best natural ports on the North coast of the island facilitated, first, the entrance of troops into the interior to the Kingdom of Gáldar, and also contributed to quick communication with the island of Tenerife, which is 60 miles away from this port.

The population was basically concentrated in the lower area of the valley, which is also the plain zone and with better resources such as water, better lands to cultivate and also close to the sea, where they could fish.

Nowadays the population still concentrates in those zones where the main places are the centre of the village which gathers 68% of the population, other important areas are the neighbourhoods of San Pedro in the Valley and Vecindad de Enfrente, and after those El Puerto de las Nieves stands out. Out of Agaete Valley there are two little neighbourhoods in the mountainous part of Agaete, these are El Sao and El Hornillo, both have lost most of their population in the last years. More to the west coast El Risco stands out, which is a little neighbourhood in the lower part of the valley with this same name, and its people live on agriculture and cattle raising. It has a population of 237 people.

Population of Agaete:

Places
Men
Women
Total
%
Agaete casco
1836
1799
3635
63,74
Valle de Agaete
602
556
1158
20,3
Guayedra
8
6
14
0,24
El Hornillo
16
12
28
0,5
Los Llanos
29
23
52
0,91
Puerto de las Nieves
304
271
575
10,08
El Risco
120
115
235
4,12
El Sao
5
1
6
0,1
total:
2920
2783
5703
99,99
Official Dataof 1st
January
2005

Official Data of 1st January 2005

 

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