With year-round sunshine and a varied range of resorts to choose from, it’s no wonder that Gran Canaria is such a popular destination amongst British holidaymakers. After a peaceful and relaxing break? No worries; head to Meloneras. Like things to have a bit more oomph? Maybe you’re more suited to Playa del Inglés.
The island’s 60 kilometres of beaches mean that you should have adequate surroundings to work on your tan. But if, like me, you like to get out and explore what’s around you without breaking the bank, you’ll be needing some advice on what to see and do in the area.
Lucky for you, I caught up with Alex Bramwell, who runs gran-canaria-info.com, one of the biggest and best independent guides for the island. He’s picked out and photographed his top 7 free things to do in Gran Canaria. Who says that holidays have to be expensive?
1) Walk the dunes
The epic Maspalomas dunes are the spot for an afternoon of fun photos or some seriously calf-toning walking. For the tallest dunes, start at the dunes lookout point at the end of Avenida Tirajana in Playa del Inglés resort.
2) Go snorkelling
The rocks at either end of Amadores beach are great snorkelling spots with plenty of brightly coloured fish and seaweed. If you’re lucky you’ll even see a few fierce-looking (but harmless) barracuda. Just remember to put sunscreen on your back because it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re surrounded by fish.
3) Roque Nublo
This colossal lava block is right at the centre of Gran Canaria and surrounded by pine forest and spectacular landscapes. While you can see it from most places in the highlands, we recommend the short walk up to the rock from the road. It’s free and the views are epic.
4) Pueblo Canario
The best place to see authentic Canarian folk dancing for free. This gorgeous plaza in the capital city Las Palmas puts on a show every Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning.
While you’re in Las Palmas, walk the cobbled streets of Vegueta old town and follow in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus. He stopped here on the way to discovering America.
6) Jardin Canario
Spain’s largest botanical garden is open every day and completely free. With forests, lakes, cactus, palm gardens and masses of flowers it’s a beautiful place for a walk.
7) Puerto de Mogan
With whitewashed houses, bougainvillea arches and plenty of waterfront restaurants, the marina at Puerto de Mogán is Gran Canaria’s most popular day trip. After a wander by the yachts you can just hop over the bridge to the golden sand beach for a perfect free day in the sunshine.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Gran Canaria? Let me know in the comments below. Or if you’ve booked your Gran Canaria holiday but never been before, check out Alex’s website for more information.