It all started at the beginning of the 15th century. A ship carrying Galician sailors was caught in a violent storm just off the coast of the island of Gran Canaria. Fearful for their lives, the sailors pleaded with the Apostle Santiago to spare them. In return, they promised to venerate the Saint on the highest place on earth.
When they arrived safely to land, they kept their promise. The sailors carried a statue of the Apostle to the Tirajana mountains where they built a Shrine for Santiago. In this manner, the Camino de Gran Canaria was born.
Five hundred years later, in 1965, Pope VI granted granted the same privileges as Santiago de Compostela to celebrate the Jacobean Holy Year. This makes the Camino de Gran Canaria the only official Camino outside of Continental Europe!
The route crosses the island from the Maspalomas lighthouse on the southern coast to the Church of Santiago de los Caballeros in Gáldar on the northern coast. On the way pilgrims visit the Church of Santiago in Tunte and the picture-perfect village of Tejeda.
Nowadays, Spain’s Canary Islands are famous for their year round wonderful weather, their beaches and their stunning landscapes. However, the island of Gran Canaria can also boast its very own Camino de Santiago on the Canary Islands!