The Highlights of Gran Canaria, Spain
Gran Canaria is a gorgeous Spanish Canary Island off the coast of Africa, and the island attracts over a million visitors every year. Visitors adore Gran Canaria because of its beautiful beaches, scenic diversity, and fantastic hiking opportunities.
If that’s not enough, Gran Canaria is home to various sporting, cultural, and recreational activities throughout the year. Moreover, the island has an eclectic mixture of shops, restaurants, bars, and well-being centers. And, for such a small island, it can be challenging to find the best things to do.
That’s why we’ve found the best highlights for your holiday to Gran Canaria!
6 Facts about Gran Canaria
- Europe’s only coffee plantation is in Gran Canaria
- The Spanish often refer to Gran Canaria as the Isle of Dogs because there are so many dog statues here
- Bananas were the island’s most significant export for centuries
- You can get camel rides on Gran Canaria
- The island is notorious for its delicious Gran Canaria rum
- The island is famous for incredible watersports because the Atlantic Ocean surrounds it on all four sides
The Best Beaches in Gran Canaria
The Canary Islands offer everything from delicious food to stunning nature. With that said, the beaches are fantastic all year round (it helps that Gran Canaria weather is gorgeous all year.) Here are the best options:
1. Anfi Del Mar
Anfi Del Mar is Gran Canaria’s most beautiful man-made beach. You’ll find the beach in the island’s southwest surrounded by gorgeous palm trees, crystalline blue waters, and beautiful floral displays. Fancy a sunbathe? We wouldn’t blame you, and thankfully, this beach has plenty of deck chairs for hire.
2. Las Canteras
Las Canteras is the longest beach in Gran Canaria. The beach spans a total of 2.8km, and it offers endless places to relax, swim, and sunbathe in the gorgeous surroundings. In addition, Las Canteras is ideal for barefoot walks on the golden sands. What’s more, the beach is perfect for running and staying fit! Many day tours in Gran CanariaLink opens in a new tab will take you to this spot.
3. Playa del Inglés
Many locals call Playa del Inglés ‘English Beach’ because it’s extremely popular with English tourists. However, when you realize the beach is 2.7km of gorgeous white sand and crystal-clear waters, you’ll discover why! Superb Spanish bars surround the beach if you’re looking for a drink and a bite to eat.
Perhaps you’re looking for somewhere quieter? Amadores beach is a 20-minute walk from Puerto Rico resort. You can get here via a gorgeous clifftop path that offers exquisite views of the island. It’s also the sunniest beach on the island, and the bars, restaurants, and watersport optionsLink opens in a new tab surround the beach. The sea is also highly calm here, making it ideal for children!
Mogán Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Gran Canaria, thanks to its calm waters and constant sunshine. The beach is in the popular coastal town of Puerto de Mogán, and it offers idyllic Gran Canaria surroundings and plenty of spots to grab some food and drink, which you’ll need after a long day in the Gran Canaria weather.
The Top 7 Things To Do In Gran Canaria
1. Explore the Maspalomas Dunes
The Maspalomas Dunes are one of Gran Canaria’s focal points and a symbol of the island. You must walk across these endless dunesLink opens in a new tab before or after spending the day at the beach Playa Maspalomas. Moreover, it’s the ultimate spot for a romantic walk at sunset as you head towards the iconic Maspalomas Lighthouse. The Maspalomas Dunes became a protected nature reserve in 1987, and the dunes offer the ultimate social media picture!
2. Spend the day on the island’s capital city of Las Palmas
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the island’s capital city and home to a vibrant atmosphere all year round. Popular spots within the city include Las Canteras, one of the island's most popular beaches. Another excellent option is the Science and Technology Museum, which the locals first established over 140 years ago. The museum includes exhibitions of physics, mathematics, geology, and biology. Las PalmasLink opens in a new tab is one of the best places in Gran Canaria for families.
3. Hike up Pico de las Nieves
Pico de las Nieves is the highest peak in Gran Canaria and a superb place to go hiking. You can quickly get here via car or an organized bus tour. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the hikeLink opens in a new tab up the 6400-foot summit. It will likely take you a full day, and you should pack plenty of water because it’s hot, long, and pretty arduous at times. However, the views of the island from the top are simply breathtaking.
4. Wander around the Old Town of Teror
Gran Canaria has a fantastic history, and there’s no better place to witness that than the Old Town of Teror. The island has preserved the history of this town perfectly, and the wooden balconies are a step back in time. The best day to visit is Sundays because there’s an excellent market and the town comes to life! There are many day tours in Gran Canaria stopping hereLink opens in a new tab (which makes it easy for you.)
5. Enjoy the local carnivals
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in local culture than enjoying the carnivals. Of course, the biggest carnival is in Las Palmas, but you should explore the carnivals in Telde, Maspalomas, and Aguimes too. The carnivals take place between February and April, so if you’re in Gran Canaria during these months, you need to look out for these superb carnivals.
6. Walk around Figras
Figras is a small town in the northern part of Gran Canaria, and it’s famous for its charming street named Paseo de Canarias. You’ve probably seen this gorgeous street on social media, but you likely didn’t know where it was. Figras offers an unspoiled insight into the historical side of Gran Canaria, and it’s an excellent spot to relax with the family. In addition, Figras is a romantic spot, and it’s an amazing part of Gran Canaria for couples.
7. Hike around the Camino de Santiago
If you’re looking for a relatively easy hike with awesome views, you’ll love hiking around Camino de Santiago. The hike from Llanos de La Pez takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes and stretches a total of 10km. Nevertheless, the views from the hike are mind-blowing, especially looking over at the barren nature of Gran Canaria’s center from the Ventana Del Nublo. If you’re feeling tired, make sure you stop off at a tapas restaurant straight after!
Where To Stay In Gran Canaria?
Gran Canaria, although a relatively small island, has many outstanding resorts to choose from. We’ve found the best options for you!
● Best place in Gran Canaria for couples: Puerto de Mogan, Taurito, Meloneras
● Best spot for a relaxed holiday: San Agustin, Bahia Feliz
● Best resort for partying: Las Palmas
● Best resort in Gran Canaria for families: Puerto Rico, Arguineguin, Patalavaca
● The best area for a luxury experience: Meloneras
● Where to stay to get away from the tourists: Arinaga or Vecindario
● Best spot for remote workers and digital nomads: Las Palmas
Although Gran Canaria isn’t as world-famous as the Greek Isles or Mallorca, it’s a superb European island destination. You’ll enjoy everything from amazing year-round Gran Canaria weather, delicious Spanish food, incredible resorts, stunning hikes, and natural beauty that will stay in your mind forever.
It’s a must-see if you’re considering a vacation on a Spanish island.