Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 4 Hours
Meals not included
After departing the pier you'll travel to the northern village of Arucas. From the window of your air-conditioned motorcoach you'll see the vast Atlantic Ocean, miles of beach, ocean front villages and the Montaña de Arucas, the mountain of the Arucas volcano.
Overflowing with history, Arucas was originally one of the 10 "kingdoms" of Gran Canaria. The ancient inhabitants farmed the land and lived in caves in the surrounding hills. To this day, many of these caves still exist and several are still inhabited, though modernized a little to include all the comforts expected from a modern-day house.
Your first 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. You'll have a full hour to walk through the grounds and see the beautiful cacti, poinsettia plants that appear to be as tall as a building, huge dragon trees and peacocks roaming about.
Next, you'll have a photo stop at the Cathedral of Arucas. Looking at the church's imposing neo-Gothic style, stark white walls and vibrant stained glass windows, you may think that it was built centuries ago during the medieval age. You may be surprised to learn that the church was made completely out of volcanic stone beginning in 1909 and was completed in 1977.
Your final destination is the Basilica de la Virgin del Pino (Madonna of the Pine) in the town of Teror. 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. In 1914, Pope Pius XII proclaimed her patron saint of the island, and the small town of Teror became the religious capital of the island.
After your tour, return to your ship along the same scenic route.
The drive involves winding roads that is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. Flat, comfortable walking shoes and a light jacket are recommended. This tour includes a notable amount of walking, on and off the bus frequently. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. If your call falls on a Monday an inside visit of the Church in Teror is not possible.