Tunte: South Gran Canaria's Hill Town Capital

Tunte or San Bartolomé de Tirajana in the south Gran Canaria hills Tunte or San Bartolomé de Tirajana in the south Gran Canaria hills

Tunte is south Gran Canaria's biggest hill town and an obligatory stop on a tour across the island.

Before we explore the town, let's get the geography and the names out of the way first.

Tunte is the local name for San Bartolomé de Tirajana town. Actually, it's much more than a town as it's the capital of the San Bartolomé de Tirajana municipality (Gran Canaria's largest) that includes all the resorts between Bahia Feliz and the cement factory in Arguineguín. The town is at the top of the Barranco de Tirajana and the whole area is known as San Bartolomé although Tunte only refers to the town. 

Don't get confused between San Bartolomé de Tirajana (SBT) and the next door municipality of Santa Lucia de Tirajana and it's capital Santa Lucia de Tirajana. 

Is that all clear now? Don't worry, it takes a while. 

Anyway, Tunte may seem like a small provincial town but it's the headquarters of one of Spain's richest municipalities (per resident). This gives it a quiet air of self-confidence and means that the roads are always well-maintained and the hedges freshly trimmed.

Tunte has a long history as a farming town and many of the houses here are almost 500 years old. It's had the same problems as most rural towns (ageing population, etc) but is going through a bit of a renaissance thanks to Gran Canaria's booming wine and olive oil farms. The SBT climate is perfect for both.

To get a feel for the place, don't just walk around the square and the church. Instead, head up the hill into the maze of lanes between the old houses. You'll find everything from vine trellises nd dead ends full of plants to the odd startled old lady. 

The town has plenty of cafes and restaurants and they offer a mix of local dishes and things that tourists expect. We often eat at the Bar Cafeteria Cuatro Esquinas because it has a shaded terrace in summer and a cosy interior in winter (on the odd cold day). It's also the oldest restaurant in SBT. Cuatro Esquinas also does the town's best Guindilla; a delicious liqueur made by soaking wild cherries in strong rum. 

Lex Says: More on Gran Canaria's guindilla liqueur here

Other highlights of Tunte include the Las Tirajanas winery just up the hill. It's open every day for tastings and you can book tours of the facilities and guided wine tastings in advance. Or do a Handmade Tour that includes the winery.

See our wine section for tried and tasted reviews of lots of Gran Canaria and Canary Islands wines including this excellent Las Tirajanas white.

Additional Info

  • Lat/Long: 27.925396, -15.573278
Published in Resorts & Places
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