Caldera de Bandama

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The Guanches considered this crater of an extinct volcano a fine place to live. When Dutch businessman Daniel Van Damme visited in the early 16th century, he spotted the fertile land’s potential and planted vines here. Grateful for the tip, locals named the gaping hole after the Dutchman. The perfectly formed crater covers 326 ha (806 acres), and gained protected status in 1994. Often overlooked b locals and tourists alike, it’s a stunning sight and a wonderful place for spotting native flora, or just enjoying the utter silence.

Caldera
With a diameter of 800m (2,600 ft) and an average depth of 200m (650 ft), Bandama is the largest recent crater on the island. Details of the last eruption remain vague, but volcanologists agree that Bandama expelled its fiery heart once and for all around 5,000 years ago.

Flora
The crater is a haven for endemic flora. as well as cactuses and palm trees, look out for white viper’s bugloss, olive and matric trees, and some impressive houseleeks.

Disused Buildings
A threshing floor and a wine press dating back to the century are among the abandoned structures within the crater. Nearby, there’s the rather more recent home of a hardy farmer who has lived here for man ears.

Vistas
A spiraling road takes you to the peak, 574 m (1,883 ft) above sea level, from where you can enjoy a stunning panorama of Gran Canaria. The view highlights the island’s diversity, encompassing as it does the bustling cities of Telde and Las Palmas, the varied east coast beaches and the high central peaks

Hiking
Theres no better way to experience Bandama than by hiking to the crater floor. A clear path leads down from behind the bar on the road to La Atalaya. At the bottom, there is a circular walk around the crater’s interior.

Golf
Play a few hours at the Real Club de Golf club. Founded in 1981, the par-17 course enjoys a fine location and is open to non-members only on weekday mornings.

Wine
Since the last eruption took place, the soil here has been ideal for vines. Today the area is the focal point of the island’s wine route, with five bodegas lining the approach road to the crater. Some have the denominacion de origin seal of quality, while others produce less sophisticated vintages. To sample or purchase wine visit the Casa del Vino (wine Museum).

Cuevas de los Canarios
Those with a head for heights should visit the Guanche caves inside the crater. These man-made grottos house dwellings, an extensive grain store and unique rock engravings. To reach them, follow the start of the hiking route but take the path to your left after leaving the cobbled road.

Restaurant
Perched precariously on the north face of the mountain is a restaurant serving local and international cuisine. The view of Las Palmas is unrivalled.

Hotel Golf Bandama
With fine views of the crater, the hotel is perfectly situated for a relaxing break. Rooms are simple but cosy.