Glorious Gran Canaria
Whether you’re seeking action-packed activity at the beachside or a hefty dose of winter sun to carry you through until Spring, holidays to Gran Canaria will reveal you to all of this and more. Famed for its scorching hot summers and warm winters, it’s no surprise that this Canary Island favourite is hailed as a top destination for Spanish getaways. From topping up your tan on the beach to making a splash in its shimmering seas, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to uncover its striking natural beauty, offering a fantastic beach break for families and couples. Expect magnificent sand dunes in Maspaolomas, a thriving nightlife in Playa del Ingles and beautifully diverse landscapes everywhere you look – you’ll be hard-pressed to run out of things to do on Gran Canaria holidays.
Sand, Sunshine and Sightseeing
Aside from spending your time soaking up the sunshine on the beach, there are numerous activities to take part in on your holidays in Gran Canaria. Las Palmas, the island’s vibrant capital, was founded in 1478 and as a result, has a wealth of history to be discovered. Head to the some of the fascinating museums dotted around the area or venture further into the city centre to experience the Vegueta and Triana neighbourhoods – UNESCO World Heritage Sites in their own right.
If you’d rather embrace a more laid-back destination, Puerto Rico is your best bet. Renowned for its spectacular beaches, it’s a firm favourite with families for offering a safe place for children to splash around and play. Head to one of the bars on the promenade or stroll around one of the area’s tropical gardens.
Mountains and Oceans
Of course, Gran Canaria holidays aren’t just reserved for those craving a laid-back beach getaway. If you like holidays with a bit more adrenaline packed into them, it’s well worth taking advantage of the high-octane things to do on the island. A paradise for bikers, you’ll find many meandering trails curving around mountains and taking in stunning scenery as well as places to rent mountain bikes. If you’d rather experience Gran Canaria on foot, it’s a good excuse to don your hiking boots and take a few photos while you’re at it. Cave villages, lakeside settings and mountainous backdrops make for awe-inspiring views for a hike, with many off-the-beaten track trails for adventurous types. One of the main focuses of holidays in Gran Canaria is its shimmering waters and with a myriad of marine life to uncover, scuba-diving is particularly popular. You’ll find some great dive spots surrounding the island – from Sardina del Norte, famed for its Manta Rays, to Las Palmas, a setting known for its shipwrecks. If you’re keen on taking the plunge with no experience, head to one of the diving schools in Gran Canaria – you’ll be shimmying into your wetsuit in no time!
Gran Canaria attractions
While it’s rightly known for its fantastic beaches, there are many more things to do in Gran Canaria than just sunbathing. The views from the stunning Roque Nublo make the relatively easy climb worthwhile, and the caves at Barranco de Guayadeque should be on everyone’s itinerary.
Everyone likes to do a little shopping on holiday, so head to Calle Triana to pick up a few bargains. The iconic Moonlight Cinema at Maspalomas has become one of the most enjoyable attractions here in recent times.
Wine and Dine
With so many much to make the most of in Gran Canaria, there will be times when all you want to do is sit down and savour a good meal. There are a great many restaurants to choose from, offering everything from local dishes to cuisine from all over the world.
La Perilla at the Hotel Reina Isobel in Las Palmas offers great food and superb views of the beach, while Casa Vieja on the road to Fataga is definitely worth a try. Many local restaurants here are Gran Canaria attractions in their own right.
Action and Adventure
If you’re looking for some adventure, you’ll be delighted to know there’s plenty to sink your teeth into on this exquisite Canary Island. Surfing at Playa del Ingles is always popular, while everyone should give scuba diving a go at Playa de Taurito.
There are several excellent golf courses on the island, including the excellent Anfi Tauro venue which is located on the south-western coast. If you’re feeling particularly intrepid, you can charter a yacht and sail off into the sunset at Puerto de Mogan.
One of the finest things to do in Gran Canaria is a boat trip from Puerto de Mogan. Mondragon’s Dream is a sailing boat that offers hugely enjoyable journeys for all the family, giving you a chance to see the island from a unique perspective.
Children will love the Angry Birds Activity Park at Puerto Rico. Of all Gran Canaria’s family-friendly attractions, this is arguably the best. Kids can enjoy the various rides and activities while parents simply relax in the shade.
One of the most intriguing parts of Gran Canaria is the Sioux City theme park. Visitors are treated to a number of Wild West-themed shows which bring this fascinating period of history back to life. It’s located just a few minutes away from Playa del Ingles. If you have children with you, this really is a must-visit.
You will be spoiled for choice as the sun starts to go down in Gran Canaria. The nightlife here is lively, exciting and hugely enjoyable, especially if you are staying in Playa del Ingles. Clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants abound, and many of them stay open well into the early hours.
The nightlife in Maspalomas tends be a little less frenzied and a little more laid-back, but it’s no less enjoyable. The bars around the centre of town together form one of the most popular nocturnal Gran Canaria attractions, so make sure you pay a visit at some point during your holiday.
If you like a flutter every once in a while, be sure to head to the casino at the Hotel Santa Catalina in Las Palmas, and if you’re in the mood for some lively salsa music check out the nearby bars.
Recharge and Relax
Many of the things to do in Gran Canaria will be wonderfully enjoyable but with the sheer amount of things to do, it’s no surprise that you might end up a little tired. That’s why a trip to one of the local spa venues could turn a good holiday into a great one. There are several excellent locations to choose from, including the Massage Gran Canaria at Playa del Ingles and the Wellness and Spa at Puerto Rico’s Gloria Palace Hotel, so it won’t be hard to rest those muscles after a few days exploring the island.
With so many beaches to choose from at this delightful destination, you can be forgiven for not knowing which of them is the most impressive. The most popular of all is perhaps at Maspalomas on the southern tip of the island, where the waters are calm and wonderfully warm in the summer. Guayedra, on the northern coastline, is always a favourite with the locals, a sure sign that it offers the perfect environment for a little much-need relaxation.