Just a 4-hour flight from the UK, Gran Canaria is a year-round destination that boasts average temperature of 24⁰C. With warm winters, and summers without extreme temperatures, it’s the perfect place to soak up the sun no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
Located off the north-western coast of Africa, Gran Canaria is one of the Spanish Canary Islands. Known as a ‘Continent in miniature’, this beautiful island has everything from lush green landscapes and gorges to desert and mountainous terrain, making it a great place to explore.
Holidays here combine beach life on the 60km of golden sand beaches and the well-known Maspalomas Dunes that run parallel to the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with a wealth of heritage, a thriving local culture and delicious gastronomy that’s a mix of Spanish, North African and Mediterranean cuisine – not forgetting Gran Canaria’s signature Honey Rum.
Although the island of Gran Canaria provides the perfect place to relax and enjoy a much-needed break in the sun, its home to a wide variety of unique activities and memorable adventures, including water parks and zoos, guaranteed to even keep the little ones engaged during your holiday. There are also plenty of lively bars and clubs to keep the adults entertained when the sun goes down.
They say a picture says a thousand words, so here’s a video to show you how Gran Canaria really is a fairytale island…
Your taste buds will be tantalised by the array of food available in Gran Canaria, where the likes of bananas, tropical fruits and potatoes are all grown alongside the distinctive island wine and award winning dairy cheese. The unique island climate makes it the perfect place for such foods to originate. Homemade dishes can be sampled on one of the many tavernas scattered throughout Gran Canaria, many situated on the garden terrace or basement floor of a family farmhouse and featuring delicious local ingredients, or venture further inland and try scrumptious seafood or fish plates. The island is also now part of the Tasting Spain network, which inspires young, talented chefs to conjure up contemporary dishes with traditional recipes and local ingredients. In the south of Gran Canaria you’ll find a Michelin starred restaurant, La Aquarela in Patalavaca, whilst another is located in Los Guayres at the Cordial Mogan Playa Hotel. Meanwhile, for the very best of fresh follow the lead of the locals and head to the farmers’ market – the first fresh food market in the Canary Islands to add ready-to-eat options. Many younger visitors tend to visit Mercado del Puerto in Las Palmas when the evening arrives, which is home to a very popular terrace.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Gran Canaria is La Fortaleza, the site where native islanders surrendered themselves to the Castillian troops back in 1483, and it stands out because of its summit – all of which contributes to it being awarded the declaration ‘Asset of Cultural Interest’. The island has successfully preserved unique archaeological areas relating to its early inhabitants such as the Painted Cave in Galdar, Cenobio de Valeron, the newly opened Maipes de Agaete Archaeological Park and the must-visit Canarian Museum. From its provision of high peaks, Gran Canaria provides the perfect window into the universe, with clear dark skies and little wind, offering different vantage points found all over the island. There are also many events due to take place throughout the year, including sports-related events and other carnivals, so you’re sure to be entertained to the maximum, with a wide range of things to see and do.
Gran Canaria is a popular holiday destination for Brits dating back to the 19th Century, thanks to its perfect climate, year-round sunshine and wide range of spas.
Since then, new resorts like Meloneras, Amadores and beautiful Puerto Mogán have been born, all of which have modern hotels along the long oceanfront promenades and golden sand beaches, as well as excellent wellness and golf facilities. Whilst the popular resort of Playa del Inglés simply redeveloped its traditional hotels into the ultra-modern properties with stunning design and high-tech features.
For a combination of a beach and sightseeing holiday, you may want to head to the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, famous for being the biggest city in the Canaries. Holidaymakers, city breakers and even cruisers are drawn here for the beautiful Las Canteras Beach, the ever-charming old quarter Vegueta, the brand new Aquarium “Poem to the Sea”, the unrivalled shopping scene and the abundance of award-winning bars and eateries.
For the completely different experience, escape the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the dramatic nature of this island. You’ll certainly want to capture the immersive scenery on your camera as you journey into its interior to discover its amazing volcanic origins. Enjoy long hikes in the areas protected from development and stop off to take in breath-taking views, stroll around interesting archaeological sites, take to the seas for a spot of diving or snorkelling, or camp under the stars and see if UNESCO are right to consider Gran Canaria a ‘window to the sky’.
Each year, Gran Canaria hosts the charismatic Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival – a real highlight when visiting this exotic Spanish Island. The Carnival is filled with fantastical fancy dress outfits, talented street dancers, fanciful fire breathers and live music to dance along to, all night long.
Sandy beaches aren’t just golden in Gran Canaria, they’re white, black and grey, too. In fact, the different coloured beaches of Gran Canaria are what make this sunny island so unique. Cliffs and coves sit behind the exotic beaches and glistening waters and bright flashes of pink flowers add extra colour to the heavenly palette at popular Anfi del Mar Beach.
Shopping is a treat for those visiting Gran Canaria, as holidaymakers can enjoy duty-free shopping all day long. Las Palmas offers an array of unique shops to explore, where you can purchase anything, from intricate souvenirs to fashionable yet affordable items. The shopping journey doesn’t stop there; three new shopping plazas are planning to arrive in Gran Canaria very soon, two in Puerto Rico and one in Meloneras.
Gran Canaria is home to a wide variety of unique activities and exciting adventures. There is something for everyone when it comes to watersports on the island, whether you’re into surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking or sailing. Fly over land and sea in a helicopter and get a birds-eye view of the dramatic scenery this beautiful island has to offer.SEE ALL Activities
Beaches in Gran Canaria offer tourists a calming sunbathing experience. Relax at two of the most popular beachside resorts, Puerto Rico and Playa del Ingles, where you can stroll through fine sands and dip your toes in the cool blue waves. A lively atmosphere fills the air at every beach in Gran Canaria, echoing from the neighbouring shops, bars and delicious eateries.SEE ALL Beaches
Gourmet eateries are dotted along the streets of Gran Canaria, cooking up fresh seafood platters, sizzling tapas dishes and fine red wine. The sophisticated Puerto Rican bar, Amadores Beach Club is the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing drink, serving exquisite looking and zesty tasting cocktails, with accompanying adornments of fruit and herbs sitting on the side of the ice cold glass.SEE ALL Food and Drink
As well as majestic beaches, sparkling waters, soaring cliffs and clear blue skies, Gran Canaria offers some of the best sights in the whole of the Canaries. Experience unforgettable views of Gran Canaria, from the highest peak at Pico de las Nieves in Las Palmas. For those looking to dive deep into rich culture and study the fascinating history, venture over to El Museo Canario.SEE ALL Sights