The name of the town of Firgas may be familiar to many visitors to the island because of the mineral water of the same name. It is precisely this water that characterizes a significant part of the small town in the north of Gran Canaria.
Firgas is located on ca. 470 m altitude and has about 7.500 inhabitants, it is the smallest municipality in Gran Canaria with less than 16 km². Firgas is less than 30 km from Las Palmas and Agaete and borders directly on the municipalities of Arucas, Moya, Teror and Valleseco. The municipality used to belong to Arucas and became independent only in 1835. Besides the mineral water, agriculture and gastronomy are the main economic activities of the town.
Water cascade at the Paseo de Gran Canaria
The water cascade forms an artificial waterfall. In 1995, several Spanish artists created a 30-meter-long waterfall in the pedestrian zone of the Paseo de Gran Canaria in Firgas. On both sides of the cascade there are stairs to overcome the difference in height between the outlet and the collection basin.
On one side of the promenade are elaborate colorfully tiled benches placed under the coats of arms of the 21 municipalities of Gran Canaria.
In the upper part of the Paseo Gran Canaria you can admire the reliefs of the Canary Islands including the most important characteristics like surface, height and population. It is accompanied by the respective coat of arms of the island and a scene of the island.
Church San Roque with rectory and fountain
In the immediate vicinity of the water stairs is the church San Roque. This was built on the ruins of the chapel Ermita de San Juan Ortega, built in 1502. Some parts of the original chapel have been preserved. Among them are some figures of saints and a part of the ceiling paneling. San Roque is the patron saint against epidemics and the plague. However, only the replica from the beginning of the 20th century can be seen. Century. The original is in the museum in Las Palmas.
Directly below the church is the fountain built for the 500th anniversary of the village. The stones come from the quarry belonging to Firgas.
Other sights in Firgas
The central square in Firgas is the village square with the church of San Roque. It also includes a small stream whose course has been placed in a wall. In some places there are breakthroughs where you can reach the water and where scenes of the former life at the water are also depicted. From the Mirador Plaza de San Roque you have a good view of the northern part of the island of Gran Canaria up to the Atlantic Ocean.
The Casa Cultura, the house of culture, is also located in the immediate vicinity. In the former hotel there are exhibition rooms and a library, as well as a banqueting hall.
Also worth a visit is the Molino del Conde, a gofio mill from the 16th century. Century and the oldest water mill still in operation on the Canary Islands. A historical granary and a roasting machine belong to it. Gofio is a kind of flour obtained from the whole grain of wheat, corn or barley. For this purpose, the grain is first roasted and then ground in a wind or water mill. Gofio was the most important food of the old Canarians and indigenous people of Gran Canaria.
The surrounding area of the municipality of Firgas and its other attractions
Water has played an important role in the community for centuries. The reason for this are the mineral springs in the Barranco de La Montana, which are located about 3 km to the south and from which the mineral water, which is available everywhere on Gran Canaria, is still extracted today.
The rather unspectacular filling station can be reached via the very narrow and quite curvy GC-305, which leaves Firgas to the southwest.
Tip: It is especially worthwhile to continue on the GC-305, which ends in Valleseco. The route, after the plant, passes through an unspoiled, rather wild landscape with some hairpin bends in mountainous terrain. Even if one has the impression that the tarred road should actually stop any moment, one reaches Valleseco, nevertheless, over a paved road throughout
In the area of the municipality are also parts of the nature reserve Doramas Rural Park with the associated part Reserva Natural Especial de Azuaje. Here you can find some endemic plants and an extensive laurel forest. The small reserve is located between the municipalities of Firgas and Moya in a gorge just over 5 km long, with some water sources that have a significant contribution to the preservation of the last remnant of the original laurel forest. Fossils can be found in different places in the gorge. This landscape is not a sight in the classical style, but a short detour to this quiet landscape is definitely worthwhile during a tour of the island.
Directions and parking
Firgas can be reached in Gran Canaria by driving from Las Palmas in the direction of Agaete on the GC-2 and taking exit number 8 to the GC-20 in the direction of Arucas and continuing on this road until you reach your destination. In the town you can find parking places in many places, some of them even free of charge.