Looking to cool off in the midsummer heat? Did you know that the traditional old houses of the past on Gran Canaria were designed and built specifically to be cooler inside? If you are looking for some real cultural history, rustic elegance or simply a change from the pool side buffets and beaches on the south coast of Gran Canaria, then just ten minutes from the main resorts of Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas lies the outstanding Finca Condal. So named for having originated in the 17th century as the main southern finca (Spanish for farm) belonging to the aristocratic del Castillo family, heirs to the honourable Count of Vega Grande de Guadalupe since 1777.
Last year they opened The Museum of Gran Canaria History, nestling within this beautiful historical complex, on the edge of the tiny village of Juan Grande, inside a typical 17th century Canarian rural house with its own sacred hermitage, bodega and luxuriant gardens. This exciting little attraction presents many years worth of research into this noble family as pioneers in the cultivation of sugar cane, cereal grain, vineyards, cochineal, tomatoes, bananas, and also livestock on the island, a family who also boosted tourist activity on the south of the island in the 60s to become today the primary economic engine of the Island.
Inaugurated on 21 of June of 2016 this unique journey through the history of the island has over its first year fascinated the numerous students, cultural associations and neighbourhood groups, residents and tourists, both national and foreign who have enjoyed this unusual and authentic experience. Germans, Brits, Nordics, French, Italian and Spanish, have all loved their visits and this has been a pleasant surprise for both them and the noble patrons of the museum. A wonderful added feature to any visit is the chance to taste the fine wines of The House of Vega Grande and some outstanding examples of the island’s famous goat cheese, all included in the price of admission to the museum.
To commemorate this first successful year, delighting visitors, the Finca Condal have planned various activities including guided group tours, visiting the chapel, the winery, the old house and the museum, tastings of delicious gourmet tapas every Saturday over looking the gardens with live music.
A famous Gran Canaria actress, Esther Munuera, will also be celebrating at the Finca Condal before she departs across the Atlantic ocean to go live and work in the United States later this month. A cultural, fun evening is expected to bring her many talented and important friends together to say goodbye and wish her much success in her new life. Originally from Maspalomas, she has shot several productions, including a recent special photo shoot in the pin-up diva style of Hollywood´s golden years in 40s and 50s America, which took advantage of the magnificent landscape, architecture and vintage feel of the Finca Condal, to produce an outstanding series of images. These days the Finca Condal also offer themselves as a unique location for many film and photo-shoots, as well as weddings and various kinds of events.
The Finca Condal opens on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with two key entry times for group tours, the first at 10.30am and the second at midday. At just 10€ entry this has got to be the most rewarding bargain day out on the island.
This wonderfully preserved piece of Gran Canaria history and culture can be accessed by the entrance of the little hermitage (chapel) which has free parking. There are regular busses including the number 1, 8 number 25 and number 36 among others.
Magnificent, Historic, Delightful.