Sightseeing in Gran Canaria
From the cooler north to the sunnier south, this perfect holiday island offers something for everyone! Boasting year-round sunshine it’s no wonder it’s a firm favourite with holidaymakers! Coupled with acres of sand dunes, spectacular views and landscapes you will definitely have no problem unwinding and absorbing the peace and tranquility that surrounds you! The weather in Gran Canaria is very similar to the rest of the Canary Islands with a wonderful warm climate all year long!
Gran Canaria has a lot to offer travellers of all ages. In the north of the island you will find Gran Canaria’s cosmopolitan capital Las Palmas, the island's business centre. You will also find the busy port of Puerto de la Luz and the beautiful sandy beaches of Las Canteras and Las Alcaravaneras.
The beautiful 19th century architecture in the town of Arucas is worth a visit for any tourist and you will want to get your camera for a few snaps of the spectacular Parish Church of San Juan Bautista. This Neo-Gothic church made of lava stone, with the highest tower in the Archipelago at 60 metres tall, is a sight to behold.
The south of the island is where you will find the water and theme parks such as Aquasur and Sioux City (see the Families section for more details on these). Shopaholics will love the shopping malls and clubbers should head here for the fantastic nightlife. The south is made up of numerous delights such as Puerto de Mogán (a picturesque village known as Little Venice), Puerto Rico and the infamous Playa del Ingles!
Gran Canaria is the third largest out of the seven larger islands in the Archipelago of the Canary Islands. Although smaller than its neighbouring islands it is none the less home to just over half the population of the archipelago! For a different way to see the sights book a camel excursion where you can cover a lot more land in one day without having aching feet at the end of it! One place you can have a camel ride is in the sand dunes of the nature reserve in Maspalomas.
Fun Seekers in Gran Canaria
Las Palmas offers something for everyone! Whether you're looking for a good night out, a chance to top-up your tan or some simple family fun, the array of attractions on offer on this beautiful island will ensure a holiday to remember.
For those that want a little more than sun, sea and relaxation, Gran Canaria offers a vast array of sporting activities. Whether it’s a game of tennis, a day on the waves or just taking in the many views as you stroll around, you can find it all and more around the island! For the golf enthusiasts there are a total of six golf clubs to choose from, all relatively modern and set in amazing surroundings! Fore!
Las Palmas is the island's capital and is lively due to its busy port and the town’s university. If you’re after a good but chilled night out then you’re in the right place as Las Palmas has a buzzing bar scene. The high population of students means there’s lots of trendy bars and hangouts as well as the tourist hotspots. Las Palmas is more ‘Spanish’ than Playa Del Ingles so follow the locals' relaxed attitude and head out for dinner around 10pm then on to the nightclubs after midnight! Don’t spend all your day at the beach as Las Palmas is also great for shopping!
If nightlife is your thing then head to Playa Del Ingles which is Gran Canaria's party central. Here you can dance till dawn in one of the many nightclubs playing anything from commercial dance to cheesy tunes from all decades. Stay in Playa Del Ingles if you find yourself missing a bit of British cuisine as the Red Cow there is very popular with English tourists thanks to its filling pub grub. Puerto Rica is also a good night out with a range of different style bars such as the Tropicana serving great cocktails (find out when they are having happy hour!), hosting karaoke nights and screening live sporting events.
Gran Canaria is great for people who are looking for a sun holiday with a mix of seaside relaxation, a whole host of sporting activities and the best places to party to round off the day. Sun, fun and sporting activities galore - what are you waiting for?
Family Fun in Gran Canaria
Families will find more than enough to occupy them for a holiday in the paradise island of Gran Canaria. From spectacular sightseeing and beautiful beaches to fantastic family attractions along with a variety of places to eat out at night, the whole family will enjoy a holiday here.
To the north of Las Palmas is one of Gran Canaria's best beaches - this long stretch has soft white sand and a large natural reef, perfect for exploring with a snorkel and warm enough for the whole family to swim in. There are also more lively activities on offer at the beach including a variety of water sports, depending on how daring you are!
Gran Canaria is full of different theme parks for a fun day out to suit all tastes. Palmitos Park is popular with animal lovers as this subtropical oasis features the biggest butterfly house in Europe, an aquarium, cacti garden and over 200 bird species. The parrot shows where the birds perform a variety of hilarious tricks are always popular with families.
Visit Gran Canaria's very own Wild West at Sioux City. This popular western-themed family attraction takes you back in time to the days of cowboys and indians, rodeos, gun toting and can-can girls where you will be entertained by staged duels and bank robberies set to country and western music. The younger children may prefer to spend time at the small zoo.
Alternatively make a splash at Aquasur, the largest water park in Gran Canaria with pools for the younger kids, 33 slides and fun attractions including Surf Beach, Kamikaze and Congo River. You can also dry off and play mini golf or chill out in the garden areas. Even if you have been here before it’s always worth another visit as new attractions and slides are always being added. With plenty of facilities and places to eat the family can easily spend the whole day here.
Romantic Breaks in Gran Canaria
With hot weather and beautiful surroundings Gran Canaria makes the ideal sun destination for couples. Days can be spent strolling along the majestic beaches and evenings enjoying the finest Spanish cuisine under the stars, watching the sun go down.
Away from Las Palmas couples can find secluded spots along the quiet beaches of Puerto de Mogan. The marina here is full of the best fish restaurants and a variety of different bars to head to after a meal. There is only one club here so the clubbers will stay in Las Palmas making this the perfect night out if you are after a more romantic evening.
Maspalomas on the south coast of Gran Canaria has the most beautiful, white sandy beaches where you and your partner can spend all day basking in the Spanish sun, then take a dip in the deep blue waters to cool off.
Top Tips for Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has become a cosmopolitan island with numerous cultural events throughout the year, showcasing the best in Spanish and international music, dance, theatre and cinema as well as many carnival celebrations, festive activities and religious feasts. With all these events you would be very unlucky if you didn’t come across at least one or two during your visit! One date to remember is the 24th June when the fiesta of the patron saint San Juan Bautista takes place.
Don’t be afraid to bargain at markets or at duty free shops, where the price quoted can be double of what the shopkeeper is prepared to accept!
- Please, thank you – Por favor, gracias
- How much? – ¿Cuanto es?
- Good morning/afternoon/night – Buenos dias/buenas tardes/buenas noches.
- Excuse me – Perdon
- How are you? – ¿Como esta?
- I don’t understand – No entiendo
- Do you speak English? – ¿Habla usted ingles?
- I don’t speak Spanish – No hablo español.
- I would like… - Quisiera…
- Is there a bank/post office near here? – ¿Hay un banco/correos cerca de aqui?
- Do you have…? – ¿Tiene…?
- The time – la hora
- A double room – una habitacion con cama matrimonial.
- Where is…? – ¿Donde esta…?
- The train station – la estacion de ferrocarril
- The bus station – la estacion de autobuses
Cost of a pint of beer: £1