Friday, February 1, 2013

Pueblos con Encanto / Charming Canary Towns ~Arucas

As I have talked about several times, I am a bit saddened that many (or most people?) think Gran Canaria is just a tourist circus with no personality, no character and nothing to see and do except wonderful sandy beaches and summer temperatures all year around. So I thought I would introduce some wonderful small villages, perfect to visit too see real authentic Canary way of life. Cause really, people do live here- get born here, grow up here and lead perfectly normal lives here. (Once a girl asked me "But there's no people living there, right?"... -No comment!) 

First off I thought I'd present Arucas. Situated in the north, not far from Las Palmas, is this
beautiful old town rebuilt in 1480 after having been destroyed in 1478.



I love the different coloured houses!


The church in Arucas is often referred to as the "Catedral de Arucas", but it's in fact not a cathedral, nor is it a basilica. But the church looks like a cathedral, it is so majestic and beautiful, and so unlike other typical churches and cathedrals in Gran Canaria. It definitely gives this town a little extra in my opinion. 


The church is called Iglesia Matriz de San Juan Bautista and dates to 1909. 




The Montaña de Arucas offers great views over Arucas, and is thought to be the place 
where Doramas, the Guanche leader, was killed in 1481 in the Battle of Arucas. 
(The Guanches were the aboriginals of the Canary Islands.) 



Arucas also has a big botanical garden, Jardin de la Marquesa de Arucas, and at the Culture house (casa de la cultura) you can see a typical Canarian patio with wooden balconies. (Free entrance) 


Apart from the production of rum, the area around Arucas is pretty much characterized by plataneras, the banana plant that is another of the important export goods from Canary Islands. I think it's supercool to see how and where the bananas grow. (I am easy to please! This is so exotic to me.)


Since the 15th century, the main crop of the area has been the sugar cane. According to Wikipedia, the sugar cane was produced in Gran Canaria long before sugar plantations were cultivated in Cuba! Gran Canarias famous rum-factory Arehucas is located in Arucas. It opened in 1884 and has the best selling rums of the Canary Islands for over 50 years. You can visit the factory and taste their famous rum.
Arehucas produces about 20 different products, and apart from the plain rum, the ron miel,
honey rum, is a great souvenir or gift to take home. 

via
A little map to show you where Arucas is on the island. 
It's just about 15-20 minutes from Las Palmas by car. 

via
Arucas is the perfect day-trip destination!

15 comments:

  1. What a beautiful town! The spires on the church remind me of Segrada Familia. Not really, but kind of a little? And the banana trees...so cool!

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  2. Thank you for sharing, beautiful place. I have no plans for my next holiday:)

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    1. I really like this town :) Hmm no plans for next holiday ;)

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  3. Talk about a piece of eye candy. This was wonderful. Charming. Idyllic.

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  4. Oh my goodness! Your pictures are amazing. Those different coloured houses are absolutely SPECTACULAR!

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    1. Thank you Deidre! I agree, it's beautiful!

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  5. Tusen takk for turen :) Fantastiske bilder du viser oss! Ron miel med litt krem og kanel er nam nam!

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    1. Bare hyggelig :) Hm! Ron miel med krem og kanel! Må kanskje prøves?

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  6. Words loose their value trying to describe such beauty.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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  7. Such a beautiful island with history that's as rich and pretty as those adorable colorful buildings! You take the best trips (:

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    1. I am in love with this island :) So many treasures here and there, love finding them!

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  8. Beautiful!! It is definitely pity that Canary Islands have such a reputation as only being tourist traps when there is so much natural and local beauty around. But in some way, maybe it is good that tourists are concentrated in small areas, leaving plenty to explore for those who want to see something different too...

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