Friday, 06 March 2015 07:34

Roque Nublo: Gran Canaria's Biggest Icon

Gran Canaria's top icon is Roque Nublo rock Gran Canaria's top icon is Roque Nublo rock

Roque Nublo guards the centre of Gran Canaria but is surprisingly approachable for an icon: you can walk right up to it and just sit down. With a few ropes and a lot of courage, you can even climb it.

The name, which translates as Cloud Rock, comes from Roque Nublo's habit of disappearing into the clouds and mist that often envelop the top of Gran Canaria. If you visit on a cloudy day it's always worth waiting for a while as the rock often pops out of the clouds for a few seconds.

Visiting Roque Nublo is never the same twice. Some days you're surrounded by icy mist all the way up and can't see the rock until you can touch it. Others there isn't a cloud in the sky and the walk up is baking hot. Some days you get a bit of both: take a layer, even in summer. Look or listen out for the ravens as a couple of the island's last few pairs hang out on the cliffs by Roque Nublo. 

Big rock

You don't realise just how big the rock is until you get within touching distance. Or how precarious it is: Roque Nublo is right on the edge and you need climbing gear to walk around it.

At 80 metres tall, Roque Nublo is one of the biggest free-standing rocks in the world. It's 1813 metres above sea level and not, as many visitors believe, the highest point on the island: Pico de las Nieves just to the east is higher at 1949 metres. No matter, the view west from Cloud Rock is just as spectacular as the one from the high point.

The massive eruption that created this part of Gran Canaria was about 4.5 million ago.  Erosion has since worn down the dome of lava that it left on top of the island, leaving Roque Nublo along with the other famous Gran Canaria monoliths like Roque Bentayga and Roque Palmes. Roque Nublo may even be the remnants of the main volcanic pipe from these ancient eruptions: the spot where the magma poured out and the Cumbres as we know them were born.

Handy mountain

Roque Nublo is easy to get to. From the La Goleta car park (with a snack van) on the GC 60 road between San Bartolome de Tirajana (Tunte) and Tejeda, you walk over the road and up the track. It's an short if steep climb that takes about 15 minutes. Once you reach the rock platform you get a panoramic view of Gran Canaria's rugged centre. 

At the base of the rock walk left and you get to a little platform where you can sit and look out over west Gran Canaria and Teide volcano. The town in the far distance is La Aldea and the white patches are tomato greenhouses. In front of you is a tiny flat rock that's great for photos but too much for anyone with vertigo. 

To the north, you see the village of Artenara perched on the edge of the Caldera de Tejeda wall. Some days the clouds pour over the edge here before fading away in the heat. 

To the south, you see the island's huge reservoirs and all way to the south coast. 

Look east and you see the island's high point marked by the giant globes of the observatory. 

Roque Nublo is on several of the main walking routes in the centre of Gran Canaria. You can walk up from Tejeda village or across the top from San Bartolome or Cruz de Tejeda. The routes are well signposted but remember to carry plenty of water as there's not many shops on route. 

Additional Info

  • Lat/Long: 27.9706649,-15.6127099
Start from: Get directions Show Street View
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Related items

  • Sunken Fishing Boat Leaks At Least 25% Of Its Fuel
    in News

    The mega trawler that sank 24 kilometres off the Maspalomas coast earlier this week with up to 1400 tonnes of fuel on board is leaking fuel oil into the ocean, according to the Spanish Ministerio de Fomento.

  • Islas Canarias Rally This Weekend: Road Closure Info
    in News

    The Islas Canarias Rally this weekend means that stretches of road all over the island will be closed on Friday evening and all of Saturday. 

    On Friday, the night stages start in Teror. It then moves on to San Mateo and Telde. Expect road closures and disruption from about 19.30 until midnight all along the route. 

    On Saturday morning, the rally starts in Teror at 08.00 and repeats the same route to Telde. Expect road closures from 06.00 in Teror and until about 11.00 in Telde. 

    On Saturday afternoon, the action moves to the roads connecting Santa Lucia, Tejeda and Valleseco. The roads will be closed from 11.30 to 20.30.

    See this map to check the exact roads that the rally uses. You can even download detailed route information via the Rally App here. Public viewing areas along the route are listed

    Public viewing areas along the route are listed here

    The prize ceremony is at Santa Catalina Square at 21.30 on Saturday so expect a fair bit of traffic in the port.

    We advise all non-petrolheads to head to the beach rather than the mountains on Saturday. 

  • Russian Fishing Boat Sinks Off Maspalomas After Fire: Risk Of Oil Contamination Is Low
    in News

    The Oleg Naidenov's engine caught fire whilst moored in Las Palmas' Puerto de la Luz port on Saturday. After the fire was controlled it was towed out to sea as it was in danger of capsizing due to the amount of water used to quench the flames.

  • 10 Reasons To Visit San Cristobal

    San Cristobal fishing village doesn't need Martha Stewart tutorials on the shabby-chic look, but it could teach her a thing or two about authenticity. With two beaches and the freshest fish in town, it a great Las Palmas spot for lunch and a wander. 

  • Sardine Feast in San Cristobal Village Coming Up
    in News

    For a sardine and seafood feast, head to San Cristobal village in north Gran Canaria on the weekend of April 18-19 for the Sabor a Mar festival.

Login to post comments

Most read this week

Follow us on Facebook

Live Weather

Partly Cloudy



Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 56%

Wind: 38.62 km/h

  • 21 Apr 2015

    Mostly Sunny/Wind 21°C 16°C

  • 22 Apr 2015

    Mostly Sunny 22°C 16°C

Login / Register

Take this website to the max, login or create an account now! It's free ;)

Who's Online

We have 54 guests and one member online