Gran Canaria Landscape Photography Locations
Gran Canaria is not known as a landscape photography location, but it does have a lot to offer! I spend a week with the girlfriend on this beautiful island exploring and enjoying some well-earned vacation.
If you don’t want to read but rather watch I made a couple of videos from Gran Canaria showing six of the fourteen different locations we visited. I have also made a digital map where I have added all the locations and a few more for inspiration we did not get to visit. You can get it HERE.
Reserva Natural Especial de Las Dunas de Maspalomas
The probably most iconic landscape photography location of Gran Canaria are the sand dunes of Maspalomas in the southern part of the island. They are very easy to find and parking should not be a problem. The dunes are very well visited so footprints can be an issue. I would suggest visiting just a storm or at least a lot of wind. Then you will have three square kilometres of sand dunes all to yourself without any footprints.
Tobas De Colores Del Barranco De Las Vacas
A known location among the locals are these beautiful slot canyons. The area is not big but you have plenty of options for many beautiful compositions. The canyons have the exotic name of “Tobas De Colores Del Barranco De Las Vacas” and they can be a little tricky to find. I’d recommend to check out my video for the best guide on how to find them. In my opinion, I got some of my favourite photos from our entire vacation here.
El Bufadero is a blowhole along the eastern coast of Gran Canaria. It is easy to find and parking should not be a problem. We visited this place during sunset. I would suggest visiting this location during sunrise as you will be photographing into the sun and potentially beautiful clouds. As the area is a seascape location, you’ll have to be very careful on the rocks and don’t get too close to the blowhole. You might want to play around long exposure photography and catch some beautiful streaks of water as the sea rises and falls back into the hole.
Temisas is a beautiful little town halfway up the mountains on the south-eastern side of Gran Canaria. As with all towns, they’re really beautiful during the blue hour when you can combine the artificial light and ambient light. Temisas has a little church in the centre, where you might want to bring the wide-angle lens.
Scenic drive along GC-15
When you get up into the mountains two massive rocks stand out. Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga. Roque Bentayga is the lower of the rocks and can be seen from several different vantage points along the roads. One road, in particular, stood out to me. GC-15 is a winding road leading down into the valley and along with it, you have tall grass and beautiful trees, which can be used as foreground photographing either Roque Bentayga or the neighbouring island Tenerife. There are a few pockets and parking lots along road you can use to park the car. The photos I got here were probably my favourite and most colourful from the tour.
Roque Nublo is probably the most iconic rock on the entire island and can be seen from the coast. There are hiking trails leading all around the entire plateau you can use to get different vantage points of the rock. As I always say, you do not climb the Eiffel Tower to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower. I admittedly never got up onto Roque Nublo, but focused my energy on a little forest area on the northern side of the plateau. I used the trees to frame the photo while the setting sun threw its beautiful red beams of light onto the area. The hike from the parking lot to this area is about 30 minutes.
Morro de la Agujereada, Arch
At Pico de las Nieves you’ll find the rock Morro de la Agujereada and underneath it, you will find an unnamed arch. The arch is beautiful in itself and if you want, you can line it up with different things in the background. The setting sun, Roque Nublo or Tenerife all works great. I got some nice sunset shots from here, which all turned out really well. To find the arch just park at the parking lot. Find the small trail towards the west and follow it around the mountain. Don’t start heading towards Roque Nublo, just continue around the mountain underneath the tourist vantage point/parking lot. Be careful of loose gravel.
Photographing The Milky Way in Gran Canaria
During the night, you can photograph the Milky Way towards the southeast. I’ll suggest doing so from the mountains as there is quite a lot of light pollution from the cities along the coast. The haze in the air will catch the city lights and pollute your photos. The higher above sea level you can come the better. You can experiment with different foregrounds in the mountain area and I have added a location to the map where you can catch a panorama of the entire arch if you so desire.
Gran Canaria isn’t obvious for landscape photography compared to Iceland, The Faroe Islands, Lofoten, The Dolomites or other “known” locations in Europe, but it sure has a lot to offer. These few locations are only a fraction of what you can find in Gran Canaria and I invite you to explore even more. Double arches, blue holes along the coast, palm oasis, sea stacks and much. I have added more locations of interest to my digital map (17 all in all), which you can get by following this link here. All there is to say is to wish a good vacation and happy hunting.