Gran Canaria — Overview
Exploring the Canary Islands will never be complete without a visit to its most popular island, Gran Canaria. From the colorful northern meadows and rolling hills to the arid, desert-like plains of the south, Gran Canaria gives travelers the chance to be in two different places on one unique island.
There is no such thing as a "best" time to visit Gran Canaria because the weather stays pleasant all year round. Its capital, Las Palmas, is remarkable for history, which you can uncover first hand as you walk down the cobblestone streets and admire the regal mansions of the old quarter. The star of their history books is Christopher Columbus himself, who made preparations for his famous journey in the old quarter.
Most visitors to Gran Canaria go for the beaches, and it’s easy to see why. The island boasts 122 miles of beautiful coastline, so vacationers will not be disappointed. Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, and San Agustin are some of the more popular spots of the 50 beaches on the island, but there is nothing to stop you from wandering off-the-beaten path to discover a secret alcove or hidden paradise. Gran Canaria is also home to a mix of sand dunes in Maspalomas and mountainous terrain in Caldera de Bandama.
Gran Canaria is a destination for visitors of all ages, whether it’s the family-friendly Aqua Sur Water Park or the Cocodrilo Park for adventure seekers. A wide variety of activities including scuba diving, golfing, surfing, and hiking can be enjoyed here.
Being a tourist destination, the island is easily accessible by plane or boat. Flights from London and other European capitals are common, and cruise ships often depart from Cadiz. Getting around Gran Canaria is easy whether you want to travel by car, bicycle, bus, or on foot.
- Relax on Gran Canaria’s most popular beaches, especially Maspalomas, known for its fine white sand
- Head to Puerto Rico for dolphin and whale watching
- Explore the Old Quarter of Las Palmas on foot
- Enjoy a 360-degree view of the island from the observation deck of Caldera de Bandama
- Spend a fun day with the family at Holiday World or Aqua Sur Water Park
- Discover Gran Canaria’s flora and fauna at Palmitos Park
- Experience the old west in Sioux City
- Dine at a quayside restaurant in Puerte de Mogan