Arucas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Situated in the north of the island, separated from the capital by Barranco de Tenoya ravine, Arcuas is home to many historical buildings, churches, botanical gardens and the biggest rum factory on the island.
The town celebrates the day of their patron saint, San Jaun Bautisa on the 24th of June, with parades, music and fire works.
Arucas is a traditional Canarian town 4km inland from the north coast and approx 14km from the beaches at Las Palmas.
Things to Do
The picturesque and historic town of Arucas boasts colourful Canarian architecture, beautiful sub-tropical gardens and mountain views. As you stroll around the narrow streets of the old quarter you will also notice much use of the locally quarried blue-grey stone, not least in the neo-gothic style church of San Juan Bautista which is set in front of the palm lined Plaza of San Juan. From the Plaza de la Constitution you can access the ornamental Municipal Gardens and the 19th century Gourie House, which houses the Arucas Museum.
A popular visitor attraction in the town is the Arehucas Rum Distillery, where guided tours take place on weekday mornings providing you with the opportunity to learn the workings of the bottling plant and see the huge cellar which houses over 6000 oak casks, many of which have been signed by famous visitors. At the factory shop you can also sample some of the products which include light, dark, aged and honey rums as well as a variety of flavoured creme liqueurs.
Out and About
Heading into the countryside, approx 600 metres north of the Arehucas Rum Factory, lies the Jardin de la Marquesa, where you can take a guided tour of the beautiful botanical gardens surrounding the Marquis' Palace. The gardens are surrounded by banana plantations and lie at the foot of the extinct Montana Aruca, the peak of which affords extensive views over the north coast and city of Las Palmas.
The weekly market is held on Saturdays mornings and is the ideal place to find local produce and handicrafts. Arucas town carnival takes place in February and there are religious fiestas throughout the year, the main one celebrating San Juan Buatista on 24th June.
Venture inland through a countryside of natural parks, lush ravines and sparkling streams to visit the nearby towns of Firgas (approx 6.5km west), Moya (11km west) Teror (11km south) and Valleseco (13km south). From the attractive Plaza de San Roque, in the historic town of Firgas, you can see across to the neighbouring islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura. Walk along the pedestrianised passages and see the impressive, monumental fountains and heraldic shields and carvings representing each of the Canary Islands and the municipalities of Gran Canaria.
Between Firgas and Valleseco, you can visit the Molino del Conde, a 16th century working gofio mill and craft shops and walk through the woodlands around the Valleseco Lagoon in the Doramas Natural Park. In Moya, visit the House Museum of Tomas Moralies and the attractive cliff top church, Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, the artisan shops and the Sunday food market. In Teror head for the Plaza del Pino, visit the Basilica and, on a Sunday, browse the stalls of the large craft market. The capital city of Las Palmas is also in easy reach (14km east).
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