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Discover the Best of Gran Canaria: Top Attractions and Travel Tips

Updated: Mar 13, 2023


View of the picturesque beach and crystal clear waters of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, a popular tourist destination in Spain.
Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Spain

Gran Canaria is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, part of the Canary Islands archipelago. It is situated off the northwest coast of Africa but is an autonomous community of Spain. known for its incredible natural beauty, rich culture, and warm, sunny weather. If you're planning a trip to Gran Canaria, here are some of the top attractions and travel tips to help you make the most of your visit.


Culture and History

Gran Canaria has a rich and fascinating history, with influences from indigenous Guanche tribes, Spanish colonizers, and African traders. Some of the best places to learn about the island's culture and history include the Cueva Pintada Museum, the Christopher Columbus Museum, and the Vegueta neighborhood in Las Palmas.


Climate

Gran Canaria has a mild and pleasant climate all year round, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C (64°F) in winter to 26°C (79°F) in summer. The island has a subtropical climate, with occasional rainfall and humidity. However, the north is usually more humid than the south. Due to its location in the Atlantic Ocean, Gran Canaria can experience strong winds and rough seas during certain times of the year. Overall, the weather in Gran Canaria is perfect for those looking for a sunny and warm destination, especially during the winter months when temperatures in other parts of Europe can be much colder.


Airport

Gran Canaria has one main airport, Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), which is located in the eastern part of the island, about 18 kilometers south of the capital city of Las Palmas. The airport serves both domestic and international flights and is the busiest airport in the Canary Islands.


Accommodation

Gran Canaria offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to luxurious resorts.


One popular area to stay in is the south of the island, particularly around the Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas beach areas. Here, you can find a variety of accommodations ranging from budget-friendly hostels and apartments to more upscale hotels and resorts.


If you're looking for a quieter atmosphere, the smaller towns on the north coast like Agaete, Puerto de las Nieves, or Las Palmas are great options. These areas offer more traditional Canarian architecture and a more laid-back atmosphere, with smaller hotels and villas.


No matter where you stay, it's a good idea to book your accommodations in advance, especially during the high season. It's also worth noting that many hotels and resorts in Gran Canaria offer all-inclusive packages that can be a great value for your stay. Check out the hotel websites here.


Beaches

Gran Canaria is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, including Maspalomas, Playa de las Canteras, and Puerto Rico. Whether you're looking to relax in the sun, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or enjoy water sports, Gran Canaria's beaches have something for everyone.


For a more secluded beach experience, head to Playa de Güi Güi, a hidden gem that can only be accessed by boat or by hiking through the mountains. This beach is surrounded by stunning cliffs and is the perfect spot for a picnic or a swim.


Food and Drink

Gran Canaria has a vibrant culinary scene, with a mix of traditional Canarian dishes and international cuisine. Some of the island's must-try foods include papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), gofio (a roasted grain flour), and fresh seafood. And don't forget to try some of the local wines and spirits, like Ron Miel (honey rum) and Arehucas (Canarian rum).


Plate of papas arrugadas, a traditional Canarian dish, served with mojo sauce
papas arrugadas

Shopping

Gran Canaria is a great destination for shopping enthusiasts, offering a wide range of shopping experiences. The island is home to many shopping centers, markets, and local shops where you can find a variety of goods, including clothes, souvenirs, jewelry, local crafts, and more.


One of the most popular shopping destinations in Gran Canaria is the shopping center El Corte Ingles, located in the heart of Las Palmas. Here you can find a wide range of international and Spanish brands, as well as local products such as Canarian cheeses, wines, and other food products.


Another popular shopping area is the Mercado de Vegueta in Las Palmas, where you can find local crafts and souvenirs, as well as fresh food and produce. The market is located in a historic neighborhood and is a great place to soak up the local atmosphere.


For those looking for a more unique shopping experience, the street markets in Gran Canaria are a great option. The San Mateo Market, held on weekends, offers a wide range of local products, including fresh food and traditional crafts. The Maspalomas Market held on Wednesdays and Sundays, is a great place to find souvenirs and local handicrafts.


Overall, shopping in Gran Canaria is a fun and varied experience, with plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets.


Hiking Trails

Gran Canaria is a paradise for hikers, with dozens of scenic trails winding through the island's rugged mountains and lush forests. Some of the most popular hiking routes include Roque Nublo, Caldera de Bandama, and the Barranco de Guayadeque.


Lush green forest and towering mountains in Gran Canaria, offering breathtaking scenery and ample opportunities for outdoor activities
Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria

Nightlife

Gran Canaria is a popular tourist destination that offers plenty of nightlife options for visitors. Whether you're looking for a quiet evening at a local bar or an all-night party at a nightclub, there is something for everyone on this vibrant island.


One of the most popular areas for nightlife in Gran Canaria is Playa del Inglés, which is known for its lively bars, clubs, and discos. This area is home to some of the island's biggest and most popular venues, including the famous Pacha nightclub. It's also home to many smaller bars and pubs, which are great for a more relaxed evening.


Another popular nightlife spot in Gran Canaria is the capital city of Las Palmas. This city has a diverse and lively nightlife scene, with everything from trendy cocktail bars to traditional Spanish taverns. The city's historic quarter, known as Vegueta, is a great place to explore on foot, with plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy along the way.


If you're looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, head to the resort town of Puerto de Mogán. This charming fishing village is known for its picturesque marina, beachfront restaurants, and lively bars. It's a great place to enjoy a sunset cocktail while watching the boats come in.


Overall, Gran Canaria has a diverse and vibrant nightlife scene that offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a wild night out or a more relaxed evening with friends, you'll find plenty of options on this beautiful island.


Budget

The average amount that a tourist spends in Gran Canaria can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the type of accommodation, food, and activities they choose. However, according to some estimates, the average daily spend for a tourist in Gran Canaria is around 70-100 euros, which would include meals, transport, and some sightseeing or leisure activities. Of course, this amount can vary depending on individual preferences and choices. It's always a good idea to do some research and plan a budget before traveling to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.


No trip to Gran Canaria is complete without a visit to the Dunes of Maspalomas. These incredible dunes stretch over 400 hectares and are a protected nature reserve. Visitors can explore the dunes on foot, or by taking a camel ride.


Conclusion

To make the most of your visit to Gran Canaria, it's important to plan and be prepared. Some important travel tips to keep in mind include bringing sunscreen and a hat, wearing comfortable shoes for hiking, renting a car to explore the island, and learning some basic Spanish phrases.


Whether you're looking for sun, sand, and sea, or an adventure in the great outdoors, Gran Canaria has something for everyone.

Plan your trip today and get ready to be blown away by the natural wonders of Gran Canaria!


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