Pretty fishing villages, sandy beaches, cooking on volcanoes, green lakes, sand dunes and hiking – the Canaries offer so much to see and do. As part of our September spotlight, we’re helping you choose which island would make your dream holiday. Starting with Gran Canaria, here’s our mini guide to the wonderful island.
Discover the diverse landscape
Gran Canaria is often referred to as a ‘miniature continent’ because of the diverse nature of its landscapes and habitats. In fact, the entire western half of the island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which makes it a wonderful place for activities like rock climbing or more leisurely activities like walking. The views are absolutely breath taking; there are impressive mountains, deep ravines, verdant forests and plenty more to discover if you choose to set out on foot. Walking trails for all levels of fitness can be found on the island so don’t worry if you’re not an experienced hiker!
Town of… Teror?!
Rather inaptly named, the town of Teror, does anything but encourage fear! This quaint town, located 22km south west of Las Palmas is definitely worth a visit if you’re nearby. Walk down the picturesque, tree lined streets and take in the beautiful colonial style buildings with wooden balconies. La Plaza de Teror (don’t worry – nothing to be afraid of!) is the main centre of the town and it’s here where you will find the entrance to the Basilica. On the 8th September the festival; Feast of Our Lady of the Pines (or better known as Fiesta de la Virgen del Pino) takes place. Many visitors flock to the town to pay respect to the saint.
Gran Canaria’s dramatic coastline is home to a range of remarkable marine life, including the logger head turtle two types of dolphin; Risso’s and the bottlenose. If you want to do some marine life spotting, head to Puerto Rico harbour and take a boat cruise. If you want to get a little closer, then there are diving day tours available too.
Dubbed “Little Venice”, Puerto de Mogan is pretty fishing village on the southwest coast of the island. It’s easy to spend a week here relaxing and enjoying all the town has to offer. You can indulge in one of the stylish restaurants or watch the sun go down in the numerous jazz or piano bars located on the marina. If you fancy a walk in the day time, then venture round the old village. Nestled on the steep cliff, you can wonder round the maze of narrow streets lined with colourful flowers and trees and admire the beautiful houses. There are a few family friendly beaches too if you want to soak up the sun.
Relax in the sunshine
If your idea of the perfect holiday is to simply relax in the sun, Gran Canaria has got this covered too, thanks to its almost 60 km of beaches. There are small coves tucked away from the crowds, as well as long stretches of golden sand with all the amenities you could need for a comfortable and relaxing day at the seaside. Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, Las Canteras Beach and San Agustin are among the most popular beaches to visit, but these are just a handful of the wonderful coastal areas that you can discover on your holiday.
The wonderful mixture of long white sandy beaches, green ravines and picturesque villages combine to give you plenty of options on your holiday if you head to Gran Canaria. Ideally suited to those that like to just lounge in the sun, those that want leisurely walks across beautiful terrain or something a little more extreme, there is something to suit everyone. The island sees sun all year round and with temperatures averaging around 23 degrees in the colder months, it is an ideal place to head to if you want to get away this winter!