Sunshine, sandy beaches and top quality family-friendly attractions: you couldn't ask for more. This beautiful island has something for everyone, and with so much to do and so many attractions in Gran Canaria to explore, we're pretty sure you'll be back more than once. Here are some of our top places to visit in Gran Canaria, and a selection of family-friendly fun things to do while you're away.
Places to go
Those amazing beaches are going to be at the top of your list, but if you get tired of sandy shores and warm, crystal-clear water, head inland to the Bandama Caldera. This dormant volcanic crater is home not only to a huge variety of wildlife and plants, but some of the earliest ancient rock carvings in Europe.
It seems that even back in the Neolithic times, people loved coming here. Drive into the very centre of the island and you'll find the Roque Nublo, an 80m-high rock formation that should be on every list of places to visit in Gran Canaria.
If you love your history, then the island's capital Las Palmas is the place to be. The old town of Vegueta is full of superb architecture, colonial history and some of the best tapas bars on the island. At its heart is the Catedral de Santa Ana, the island's first church.
For an authentic slice of island life, head to the charming village of Pueblo Canario, or hop on the free shuttle over to the San Juan fort in Puerto Rico, a World Heritage site and a fascinating glimpse into the strategic importance of the islands over the centuries.
If you're here with the kids, then you should treat them to a day out at Palmitos Park. For water lovers, head to Aqualand, one of the top water parks in Spain and a huge hit with kids of all ages. If you love cowboys but don't want the hassle of going all the way to the USA to experience a Wild West theme park, you're in luck. Sioux City is one of the top Gran Canaria attractions, where you can learn to lasso or watch a shoot-out at the OK Corral.
When the sun goes down, the party keeps on going, with some of the best nightlife in the Canaries. Playa del Inglés promises clubs galore, and unlike some other destinations, the resort is open all year round. That makes it a great spot for a winter break, where you're practically guaranteed some sunshine and a great club scene even in the off-season months. For something a little more laid-back, head to Maspalomas, where the clubs are smaller and more intimate, but just as atmospheric.
Places to visit
If you're looking for some serious retail therapy, then our top place to check out has to be Yumbo Centrum. With over 200 stalls, shops and bars, you'll find everything from authentic local food to crafts, jewellery and leatherwork.
If you fancy a more mall-type experience, then Puerto Rico has everything the dedicated shopper needs. Escape all that hustle and bustle and explore the underwater world of the reefs that surround the island. One of our top Gran Canaria things to do has to be a diving expedition around the coast.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, then head off to Maspalomas and tee off at one of the largest golf courses on the island.
Finally, check out the views at the Maspalomas Lighthouse, where you can grab a picture of that stunning sunset.