Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
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Your full day excursion begins as soon as you board your air-conditioned motorcoach at the pier and travel the short distance to your first destination. Close to the Alcaravaneras beach is the Parque Doramas, located in the city center. Its gardens, recently reformed, are home to species of indigenous plants. Within the park there are three important buildings. The Pueblo Canario is a sample of traditional Canary architecture and houses the Museo Néstor dedicated to Nestor Fernández de la Torre, a modernist painter and one of the most significant figures of the Archipelago (The entrance in this museum is not included). The historic Hotel Santa Catalina, built in colonial style and inaugurated in 1890, completes this architectural group located in the centre of the city.
Next Stop is the Jardin de la Marquesa de Arucas (the botanical gardens of the Duchess of Arucas). Established in 1880 by the island's first Marquis and his wife, the gardens are a romantic and serene setting for the 2,500 tropical plants that live in the five acre park-like setting.
Travel to the charming town of Teror and visit the Basilica de la Virgin del Piño (Madonna of the Pine). Located on the main plaza, the neoclassic church you see today is the third to be built on the same spot since the 15th century. Outside, ten gargoyles stand guard on the sides of the church; inside the main features are the vast Baroque altar and the richly clothed, wooden carved figure of the Virgin Mary. According to legend, in 1481, a vision of the Virgin appeared in a pine tree to local shepherds. Since that time, the Basilica has played a very important role to the community.
Re-board your motorcoach for the drive to Tejeda for lunch. This picturesque village is located beside the famous "Cruz de Tejeda" (Cross of Tejeda), which marks the center of Gran Canaria and can be seen from local restaurants. Resting 3,280 feet above sea level, Tejeda is surrounded by beautiful orchards and farms. At lunch, you'll be treated to a traditional Canarian lunch of potatoes & cheese, salad or canarian stew (Potaje), grilled chicken or fish, dessert, wine, beer, water or soft drink and coffee at the end a shot of canary honey rum. Vegetarian meal is also available.
After lunch, visit one of the largest extinct volcanic craters on the island. Travel up the peak and disembark at the Bandama National Monument. The views out over the crater and its surrounding area are amazing. The crater rises over 1,866 feet above sea level and measures about 3,280 feet wide and 656 feet deep. Volcanic ash in different hues is scattered everywhere with flourishing cacti and palm trees. At the bottom of the crater is an abandoned farmhouse.
Your final stop before returning to your ship is Vegueta, the historic part of Las Palmas. Here you will visit Casa Museo de Colón which is devoted to the life of Christopher Columbus, one of the world's most famous explorers. His role in making the Canaries a gateway to the New World is documented throughout the museum, a gorgeous 15th-century mansion in the heart of Las Palmas. Featuring a grand Gothic-style exterior and impressive architecture, legend has it that Columbus once stayed here before continuing his great voyage of discovery. The museum's collection includes maps and navigational instruments, a recreation of the interior of La Niña and a room full of priceless pre-Columbian artefacts
The drive involves winding roads that is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. This tour includes a notable amount of walking, on and off the bus frequently and Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Please wear comfortable, flat shoes and bring a light jacket. The Church in Teror is closed on Mondays, on this day only outside visit possible.