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Holidays in Gran Canaria
An island with a variety of landscapes, Gran Canaria holidays offer great beaches and plenty of activities. For a fantastic day out, head south to Aqualand, Ocean Park and Aqua Park. Youngsters will enjoy Maspalomas Holiday World and the Wild West-themed Sioux City. On the island of Gran Canaria, modern coastal resorts blend with picturesque towns full of history. Head to the heart of this Canary Island for an unforgettable drive through dramatic mountains.
Spring or autumn when temperatures are very pleasant and are usually in the early to mid-20s (°C).
The only airport in Gran Canaria is on the eastern side of the island about 19km south of the capital city Las Palmas.
Miles of soft sandy beaches are waiting to be explored when you book a Thomas Cook holiday to Gran Canaria.
Head south if you want to stay in Gran Canaria’s most popular resorts. Playa Del Ingles and San Agustin are among the villages that cluster together to form Maspalomas. Carry on eastwards to reach a string of bustling resorts – Arguineguin, Puerto Rico and Mogan – before the more peaceful beach at Playa de los Amadores. Artists have colonised the north-western coastal village of Agaete, turning many of the whitewashed houses into galleries. If you want a dose of culture and history to go with the beaches, wander the winding streets of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Take one look at Gran Canaria’s dizzying variety of landscapes, and you can see why they call it a miniature continent. Rocky cliffs mark the north and dunes ring the south, with soaring Pico de las Nieves reaching the highest point in the centre of the island. A hike to the 80m-high stone Roque Nublo is one of the most rewarding things to do in Gran Canaria – from here you can see as far as Mount Teide on the island of Tenerife. Take in extraordinary views of the whole northern coast from a viewpoint in the pine forests of Caldera Pinos de Gáldar.
Give the children a taste of America’s Wild West at Sioux City, where cowboys perform stunts and buffalo roam in the zoo. Kids make a splash at Aqualand, the biggest waterpark attraction in Gran Canaria, as they snake through tunnels and whizz down rapids. They’ll be dazzled by brightly coloured exotic birds at Palmitos Park, where chatty gibbons wander through the lush vegetation. History comes to life at Mundo Aborigen, one of the best places in Gran Canaria to discover what island life was like in ancient times.
More than 80 beaches ring the island, offering countless things to do in Gran Canaria. Golden sands backed by massive dunes line the south coast at Maspalomas, as several resorts blend into each other. Explore the exotic underwater life in the reefs of Mogan>, where you can glide past barracudas on night dives. Join a deep-sea fishing trip from the port at Mogan or Puerto Rico to catch marlin and tuna. If you don’t like to drag yourself away from the city then the best urban beach is bustling Playa de las Canteras in the capital, Las Palmas.
Scenery lovers: Go exploring in a 4x4 Jeep. Relax on a scenic camel ride and then sail off to search for dolphins.
Watersports fans: With snorkeling and scuba diving available for all abilities, it is an ideal way to see the best of the island.
Sun worshippers: Choose from about 80 sandy beaches.
Language: The language spoken in Gran Canaria is Spanish.
Currency: The currency used in Gran Canaria is Euro (€).
Local time: Gran Canaria is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: The only airport in Gran Canaria is on the eastern side of the island about 19km south of the capital city Las Palmas.
Flight time from UK: About 4.5 hours
Tourist Information: Further Gran Canaria tourist information can be found at www.grancanaria.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Gran Canaria.
Temperature: Summer temperatures regularly in the 30s (°C).
Best time to visit Gran Canaria: Spring or autumn when temperatures are very pleasant and are usually in the early to mid-20s (°C).
Summers in Gran Canaria are dry and hot. The drier weather in Gran Canaria is often found in the southern part of the island, where Puerto Rico calls itself one of the sunniest places in Spain.
By bus: A good network of bus routes has made getting around in Gran Canaria easy. Many of the best places in Gran Canaria can be reached using public transport and taxis.
By hire car: You will need a hire car if you want to explore some of the villages in the centre of the island.
February carnival: Parties and parades are held all over the island for the giant February carnival.
Arrival of spring: February’s Festival of Almond Blossom heralds the arrival of spring with folk dancing and feasting.
Easter: Gran Canaria joins the rest of the Canary Islands with lively celebrations during Easter.
Gay Pride: Maspalomas erupts in a rainbow of colour every May during Gay Pride parades and drag queen contests.
Summer partying: One of the island’s biggest festivals is July’s Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, when flowers and people fill the streets of Las Palmas and partying goes on through the night.