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.
Aqualand Maspalomas is the biggest water park in Gran Canaria and is open all year round. This water park’s pools alone cover an area of 5,300 square metres and it houses 33 slides and 13 great attractions including Surf Beach, Crazy Race, Kamikaze, Rapids, Aquamania, and Twister.
Everyone will have their favourite ride, whether it’s the Mamut where you whizz down a slide on a four-person raft or the Boomerang, a ride where you sit on a floating ring and journey down a vertical drop – definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The waterpark also has plenty of places to eat including self-service restaurants, a pizzeria and coffee shops. There are also changing rooms, extensive gardens, shops and free parking.
You can also swim with sea lions but you do have to book either when entering the park or the day before. The cost of this is not included in the ticket price.
At the beginning of the 50s, the Swedish botanist Eric Ragnor Sventenius, who had been living on the island for several years, wanted to create a place to show the botanical resources of the island and suggested to the mayor that a botanical garden should be established.
Situated at the end of the golf course in Maspalomas this is Spain’s biggest botanical garden and is a beautiful home to about 600 plants, all grown only in the Canary Islands including a huge collection of palms, vegetables, and medicinal plants.
The vast garden has everything from lakes full of fish to forests, cliff paths, a huge collection of palm trees, a waterfall and lots of the endangered dragon trees.
Admission is free and there are paths allowing easy access to a variety of areas even for the less mobile.
Catualda in Las Palmas, is a cactus park with at least 1,200 varieties of cacti which have been imported from countries including Mexico, Madagascar, Bolivia and Guatemala. It’s set in a beautiful location between palms, dragon trees and aloe.
There’s also a Guanche Cave and a traditional restaurant where you are able to choose from typical Canarian or international dishes. The park also has vast wine cellar where over 250 wines are available to be tasted.
Another place of interest is a large amphitheatre used for lucha Canaria, which is a traditional Canarian wrestling fight that has been carried on for centuries and is very similar to Sumo wrestling.
If wrestling is not your thing, why not take time out to relax and stroll amongst the animals and birds including ostriches, goats, and peacocks?
Gran Canaria has a long tradition of deep-sea fishing and Puerto Rico has over fifty deep-sea fishing world records. If you like fishing, why not try to create a record of your own?
The abundance of fish in Gran Canaria allows fishing to be undertaken all year round. In the Spring and Summer, you can catch yellowfin, longfin, blue marlin, white marlin, spearfish, dorado, bluefin, bigeye and skipjack tunas. When Autumn and Winter comes around, mackerel, snappers, sea bass and morays are the most commonly caught fish.
Furthermore, fishing for small tuna takes place throughout most of the year (February to November) and large tuna from March to May.
There are many charter boats leaving from different marinas in Gran Canaria so wherever you are staying you will be able to book one. Make the most of the beautiful Gran Canaria climate, relax and as they say, ”go fishing”.
Gran Canaria waters host several cetacean species and there are many opportunities to watch whales, and dolphins. There are 79 species found in the seas and oceans of the world and the Canary Islands are host to up to thirty of these species, including different types of dolphins, pilot whales or killer whales.
The most convenient and economical option for whale watching is to go on a mini cruise and watch them in their habitat, swimming freely. Of course, there can be no guarantee that you will see any dolphins or whales on one of these trips but more often than not you will be lucky.
Most dolphin boats have a multilingual tour guide and you can buy soft drinks, beer and snack. Don’t forget the sun cream and to bring a camera and maybe a sweater if the weather is cooler.
Gran Canaria has eight fantastic golf courses that are spread evenly out around the island. These courses were designed by professionals and are some of the best in Spain. With beautiful days of sunshine for most of the year and beautiful scenery, Gran Canaria is a superb golf destination
The eight courses are Maspalomas an 18-hole Par-73 course, Iess challenging than the newer courses, but the location is fantastic. Anfi Tauro, an 18-hole course where the sea breeze makes every round different and fun. Meloneras an 18-hole, par-71, not a course for beginners. Salobre Golf Resort has not one but two 18-hole courses for players of all levels. Bandama is where the Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas is situated. El Cortijo Club de Campo is suitable for all players and lastly the Las Palmeras Golf, an 18-hole course located in Las Palmas city.
There are many companies offering helicopter rides in Gran Canaria as it is an ideal and unique way to get a birds-eye view of the island. There are so many sights to see and various routes are available. Most firms will collect you from your hotel and transport you to the helicopters ready for your flight, which is usually anything between 10 and 30 minutes in duration. You should be given a safety briefing before taking off.
Why not take to the air and get a unique perspective of the island’s capital, Las Palmas, the mountains, valleys, towns and beaches of Gran Canaria. Sights to look out for include Roque Nublo’s massive rock formations and the dunes at Maspalomas. Whatever route you choose to fly you will see some breath-taking sights and some unbeatable sea views.
Holiday World is a major attraction Leisure Centre with the largest Funfair in the Canary Islands, along with the Punto Zero Bowling Alley, wellness centre, restaurants, and bar. Better yet, it has just reoopened with tons of new attractions!
Entrance is free to the park and you can then purchase a magnetic card with a number of credits on it. The funfair is open all year round, seven days a week but only in the evenings and visitors may also enjoy a variety of performances and live music in the alfresco bars, pubs, and nightclubs.
The funfair includes rides such as a roller coaster, panoramic big wheel, sky drop, auto scooter, centrox, pirate ship, mechanical bulls, children-carousel, little horses and a jumping-castle to name but a few.
The Wellness Centre, bowling alley, restaurants, cafes and arcade centre are all open from 10 am so it’s the perfect place to spent the whole day at.
Located on the beachfront, close to Puerto de Mogan Marina, in south Gran Canaria, the Lago Taurito Water Park is a saltwater-based pool with a good selection of water slides and attractions for big and small children alike.
If waterslides aren’t your thing, you can still take a swim in the thermal water of the non-slide area or relax on a sunbed and soak up some rays or visit the wellness centre and thermal spa, thus offering fun for the kids and relaxation for the adults.
Close to the vicinity are a gym, tennis courts, restaurants, bars and shops for when you’re tired of all that water or fancy a bite to eat.
Palmitos Park is a large subtropical botanical garden and aviary located in a countryside setting, near Pilancones Natural Park, about 10 kilometres north of the beaches of Maspalomas. The park has over 1,500 exotic birds of 230 species, 160 different types of cactus and 42 different types of palms all in a pleasant and relaxing environment, surrounded by mountains and wonderful vegetation.
The most common birds in the park are parrot-like birds as well as a variety of swans and ducks many of which fly freely in the park. You can also see a variety of other birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish from every continent.
There’s plenty of fun to be had watching the dolphins performing acrobatics and the parrots riding bikes, skating and counting. While the park’s orchid house, aquarium with fish and coral displays, and the large butterfly house are also well worth a visit.
The Submarine Adventure at Puerto de Mogán is a must-visit attraction for all the family. You will meet the crew and learn about the ship as well as having a brief safety talk and then climb aboard and down into the cabin of the classic yellow submarine to find a seat ready to start the adventure.
The submarine will then sink below the surface and you will be submersed in an underwater paradise where you will be able to look out of the portholes and see the schools of tropical fish including mullet, bream, trumpet fish and even the occasional moray eel or grouper. Perhaps, you might even see manta rays, amberjack, and tuna.
The knowledgeable crew will tell you about the different types of fish and marine life you see and the man-made reef which was created by two sunken ships. It’s a truly amazing experience.
Equipped with the latest technology, Thalasso Gloria San Agustín is one of the world’s most modern and largest Thalassotherapy centres. It has approximately 7,000 square metres dedicated to health, beauty and nutritional treatments with seawater.
The amazing, avant-garde, zigzag dome that tops the Thalasso Gloria San Agustin is located in the south of Gran Canaria just minutes from Maspalomas.
Perhaps, the biggest attraction is the ‘get in shape pool’ which stretches from the inside of the spa to the wonderful sunshine outside. This vast, vibrant pool, has seawater jets that massage the entire body, water cascades and Jacuzzis.
There are five swimming pools in the centre, one of which is a large warm water pool, a gym, and a sauna. There are also a variety of tempting cabin treatments to try such as a relaxing massage or one of the body peels using essential oils or chocolate wraps.
The mild, all round year weather conditions make Gran Canaria the perfect destination for those who enjoy water sports. The average sea temperature is about 23°C for most of the year and rarely drops below 18ºC in winter.
Most beaches offer a variety of water sports including parascending, jet-skiing, water-skiing and speedboat trips. You can also hire banana boats, pedal boats, and sea kayaks.
Sailing is also popular, especially between April and October and most resorts have sailing schools. If you’re just starting this sport, though, it’s best you stick to sheltered harbours such as Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogan.
Bodyboarding and surfing are best enjoyed on the north coast, between Las Palmas and Galdar which has ideal conditions and waves that can be up to 5 metres high. The area in the south between Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas also has good conditions