Roque Nublo is the emblematic monument of Gran Canaria. A spectacular monolith, some eighty meters tall and more than eight hundred meters high, is the witness of a volcanic explosion that occurred several million years ago. El Roque is at an elevation of 1,813m something that you will notice when you get to the top and leave the clouds below.
How to get to Roque Nublo and where to park
The monument is located in the centre of the Island and is accessible by car or public transport. Buses pass by rarely (although on schedule), so I recommend going by car to forget time constraints and have a good outing. Going by car will also give you the flexibility to plan the day and then go to eat or see more points.
The Roque Nublo Parking is known as “degollada de goleta”. You can easily find it in the map below. It is a free parking open at all times and with enough capacity. The route to climb Roque Nublo starts from here, furthermore reasons to go by car.
Beginning of the Route
Already the trailhead looks spectacular. Do not be fooled, even if it appears nearby, it is almost 30 minutes away. When you get to the top, you will realize the size of the Roque Nublo.
In the image, in the upper left we see El Fraile (the monk), it looks like a bent man. Then there is inbetween La Rana (the frog) and Roque Nublo.
Climbing the Roque
The way up has no loss, at the beginning it is open as you can see in the photo above. Then, as we go up we pass through Canarian pines. If you intend to make this a day trip, I recommend that you climb calmly enjoying the views and resting when you can.
The climb becomes more natural, you will find yourself walking a trail among the pines, quite relaxed and beautiful.
When you reach the top, you’ll be very close to the Roque Nublo. To the right you will find the rock formation known as El Fraile (the monk), you can see it in the first picture above. There is a post with directions and distances to known places, however, our destination, Roque Nublo, is on the right.
Just before going up to the flat terrain where the Roque is, you have to climb some stone steps and the entire composition looks incredible – as you see below, we are becoming aware of the size of the monument.
The Roque Nublo and The Frog
Views from Roque Nublo
You can go from both sides of the Roque, but they arent joined, so you wont be able to go round it. (or at least, I haven’t tried it). If you go to the right, you will have views of pine trees with La Culata and Tejeda in the background.
From the left is the most accessible view and the one that everyone gets. You can see the Roque Bentayga and you will almost always see the Teide in Tenerife.
What’s the best time to go?
You can go any time you want, I would just avoid nightfall, since there are no lights. It looks just as impressive in the morning, however the sunsets are spectacular. If you are going for photography, I recommend days that are a bit cloudy, as in the photo below, this adds some drama to the composition.
Where to eat in the Roque Nublo?
Many have asked me for places to eat nearby Roque Nublo. There aren’t any, and I hope there will never be a restaurant in the Roque Nublo, it is a protected area, and it is great that they have it under control since the locals & sometimes tourists are not civic. Having said that, if you want to eat, you are about 20 minutes from the nearby towns and each one has a fairly good food offerings. The towns even though remote, are very welcoming to tourists who are exploring the islands. You will receive quality and excellent treatment.
If what you are looking for is to have a snack or eat on the go, just before the climb there is a small shop where you can buy a cheese sandwich, mojo sandwhich and other Canarian things and enjoy later up with the views at the Roque Nublo.
In conclusion, if you are in Gran Canaria and you want to have a lifelong memory that you were here, taking a photo of the Roque Nublo is a must. It is an ideal walk to go with the family and with children as it does not have any difficulty, it is well signposted and has a large parking lot.