Gran Canaria holidays

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, the biggest water park in Gran Canaria, or enjoy the amusements at Maspalomas Holiday World; it’s perfect if you have younger children. 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.

Places to stay

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. 

Situated off the north-western coast of Africa, Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Spanish Canary Islands. It’s a hugely popular holiday destination for a number of different reasons, but mainly because the island boasts year-round sunshine. This means it’s a great place to visit for either your summer holiday or even a much-needed dose of winter sun.

Amazing beaches

Another one of Gran Canaria’s biggest draws is its impressive coastline, with around 80 incredible sandy beaches; perfect for spending the day lazing around in the warm sunshine. The popular southern resorts of Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico have bustling beaches with lots going on, so look out for these on your Gran Canaria Map. The quieter resorts of Puerto de Mogán and San Agustín are geared more towards families wanting to relax with the little ones.

Stunning landscapes

The Canary Islands are famous for their volcanic landscapes, and Gran Canaria is no exception. If you can tear yourself away from your sun lounger for a few hours (we know, it’s tough!), you can explore a variety of different terrains across the island, from the famous sand dunes of Maspalomas to the mountainous scenery surrounding the impressive Roque Nublo. And then, of course, there’s the sea itself. Diving and snorkelling are popular activities for those who want to get a taste of life under the waves.

Strap your walking boots on, hop in the hire car and drive inland to admire the wonderful views of Pico de las Nieves, which at 1,949 above sea level is the highest point on the island and the third highest peak in the Canary Islands. The best time to see the scenery here is at sunset, or in the early morning if you fancy waking up early one day.

History and culture

Gran Canaria isn’t all just about stunning beaches and scenery; there’s a wealth of history and culture to dive into as well. The capital city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is the place to go if you want to find out everything there is to know about the island. Explore the many museums and galleries and visit the Catedral de Santa Ana in Vegueta, in the picturesque old town. This church dates back around 500 years, although it was never actually completed, and once you explore the impressive interior you’ll notice many of the works are unfinished, although they’re still very impressive! With so many colonial landmarks to visit, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, so don’t forget to include Las Palmas on your Gran Canaria map of places to visit.

Other places of interest in Gran Canaria

A must-do if you’re interested in ancient history and art. Visit the Painted Cave of Galdar on the northern coast, about 30 minutes from Las Palmas, to observe amazing ancient archaeological artefacts such as wall paintings. In Maspalomas, you can also see the Maspalomas Lighthouse, which dates back to the 1890s and is a popular spot for watching the sunset.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations including: Maspalomas | Playa Del Ingles | Puerto Rico

Map of Gran Canaria

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18-24 ℃

One of the so called ‘Islands of eternal sunshine’, Gran Canaria is known for its year-round sunshine. 

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4.5 hours

The only airport in Gran Canaria is on the eastern side of the island about 19km south of the capital city Las Palmas.

Gran Canaria is best for...

Scenery lovers: Go exploring in a 4x4 Jeep, relax on golden beaches or sail off to search for dolphins. 

Water sports fans: With snorkelling and scuba diving available for all abilities, it’s an ideal way to see the best of the island.

Sun worshippers: Choose from about 80 sandy beaches and soak up the island’s year-round sun.

Fast facts for Gran Canaria

Language: The language spoken in Gran Canaria is Spanish. 

Currency: The currency used in Gran Canaria is Euro (€).

Local time: Gran Canaria is the same time as GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Gran Canaria Airport. Transfers to Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés take about 45 minutes, and to Puerto Rico it's 1 hour.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Gran Canaria is 4.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further Gran Canaria tourist information can be found at https://www.grancanaria.com/turismo/en/.

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.

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Getting around Gran Canaria

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.

Events in Gran Canaria

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.

Gran Canaria weather

Temperature: 18-24 (°C) 

No matter what time of the year you visit Gran Canaria , you’ll be hard pressed to find a day without glorious sunshine. Temperatures  hover in the high-teens (°C) for most of the year, but can climb to highs of 28 (°C) during the long summer (May to November). Rainfall picks up at the start of winter, but you can still enjoy highs of 23 (°C) at this time.

 

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