Famous sand dunes, sleepy fishing villages and centres bursting with bars pretty much sums up holidays to Gran Canaria. It’s the ideal place to chase the sun too with spring temperatures promising a year of beach days. The south is where you’ll find it’s lively resorts and desert-like landscape, while the rocky north’s green terrain and hidden coves are quite the contrast. And don’t forget to explore the ninth largest city in Spain with a trip to Las Palmas. This cultural hotspot will take you back to the 16th century with its colonial architecture and secret courtyards.
Things to do
Gran Canaria’s year-round weather means there’s plenty of things to do no matter where you are on the island. One of its biggest draws has to be its impressive coastline. Home to around 80 beaches, you’re never far from a spot of sand.
In the south of the island, you’ll find the bustling Playa del Inglés. Most people flock here to take advantage of its sprawling three-kilometre-long coastline, while others prefer to take in the Atlantic views from its the pestrainised Paseo Costa Canaria (a path stretching all the way to San Agustín). But if you’re going to visit one beach while on the island, make sure it's Amadores. As one of the prettiest shorelines in Gran Canaria with a Blue Flag award under its belt, it’s a must-see on all Puerto Rico holidays.
If you can tear yourself away from your sunlounger, you’ll find a new, more interesting landscape around every corner. A trip to the Maspalomas dunes should be your first adventure. Discover them by foot, try sandboarding, or explore them the traditional way, with a camelback ride. If it’s mountainous vistas you’re after, don’t forget to tick off Roque Nublo, a free-standing piece of volcanic rock which has become symbolic of the island. Or, go one bigger and visit the highest peak in Gran Canaria. Standing 1,949 metres above sea level, Pico de las Nieves promises a sunset sitting above the clouds. And then there’s the sea itself, where you can paddle surf, snorkel or dive alongside everything from parrot fish, to damsels and sea bream.
Those interested in the history of the island, shouldn’t miss a trip to Las Palmas. Explore its beautiful old town (Vegueta), where you’ll get a sense of its traditional roots. From cobblestone streets to beautiful Gothic landmarks like Catedral de Santa Ana and museums hiding all kinds of artifacts. Not to mention its links to the great explorer, Christpher Columbus. About 30 minutes from here, on the northern coast is the Painted Cave of Galdar, whose wall paintings will wow any art enthusiast.
Come to Gran Canaria to shop? You won’t be disappointed with the Yumbo Centre. Home to 200 shops and spread across four floors, find supermarkets selling all the essentials alongside stores filled with luxury. Abuzz with bars, restaurants and boutiques, Puerto Rico Shopping Centre is also great for a spot of retail therapy, especially if you want to hunt down the island’s leather goods.
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. If you carry on eastwards, you’ll reach a string of bustling resorts; Arguineguin, Puerto Rico and Mogan, before you come to the more peaceful beach at Playa de los Amadores. Artists have colonised the northwestern coastal village of Agaete, turning many of the whitewashed houses into galleries. If you want a dose of culture and history alongside sunbathing, wander the winding streets of Las Palmas.
More Travel Guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Maspalomas | Playa des Ingles | Puerto Rico | San Agustin