Gran Canaria is the third-largest island in the Canary Islands, a fantastic family destination with almost 60 kilometers of beaches. It's a miniature continent where you'll find things to do that make every day special, with spectacular landscape differences from the lush and leafy north to the exuberant mountainous interior and the desert south. You can also go headlong into three or even four seasons in a day, with microclimates along the coast and mountains that will carry you from the sun to the clammy fog.
Roque Nublo is an 80-meter-high volcanic rock. The island is recognized as a natural sanctuary, protected by UNESCO. This was found in Tejeda municipality, a short drive from the centre of town, around 4.5 million years ago during a volcanic eruption. Roque Nublo is Gran Canaria's most popular hiking destination which will be a perfect chance for all those wishing to enjoy the spectacular views of Mount Tejeda. The normal starting point for a walk in Nublo is the Degollada de la Goleta, reached by car, where walkers go down along a designated road.
Maspalomas is Gran Canaria's second-longest sandy beach and is popular for its large dunes, often protected by the guides of the Canary Islands. Dunes are, however, a delicate ecosystem that must be visited with caution. There are three walking routes with signals and maps. The high moment of your visit here will be the opportunity to ride a camel in the desert and stop by the lagoon with green, clean waters!
Located at Tafira Alta, in the northeast of Gran Canaria, the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo proves that Gran Canaria is not as dusty and desolate as it seems to be. Along with flora, this botanical garden highlights the native plants of the island. Both tourists should be honoured to be greeted by the bust of the Spanish botanist José de Viera y Clavijo who had the chance to open a botanic garden on the Canary Islands. About 500 plant species, native to the Canary Islands and other Macaronesian islands, with cacti and succulent varieties to look at.
The town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria houses the Pueblo Canario, a traditional Canaryan interpretation. Pueblo Canario is located on the south side of Doramas Park. It's an enchanting spot to enjoy with the children. The free live performances of Canarian folk music are performed every Thursday and Sunday. The Nestor Museum, one of the city's oldest art galleries, is also located in Pueblo Canario so make sure to give it a look, too!
Vegueta is a historic city from the 15th century full of maritime memories and mysteries, composed of classic Spanish buildings, panoramic streets and old homes. Vegueta was designed according to different styles, from late-Gothics to Renaissance, and is not the standardized aspect of the Town. Move via Santa Ana Square to see Vegueta's oldest shrine, the Santa Ana Cathedral. The Modern Cultural Center, San Martín and Casa de Colon, devoted to the lives of Christopher Columbus, still exist too! There are also significant art galleries you can visit.
Christopher Colombus stopped on the Canary Islands in 1942 to plan a way to stock up food and other essentials. If you are interested in history, you will be able to visit the house where he lived for a while and explore the models of the three ships which comprised Columbus's fleet: La Santa María, La Pinta, and La Niña.
The temperature in Gran Canaria is the most consistent in Europe. The island is on the same latitude as the Sahara Desert, which makes the sun warm all year. This proximity to North Africa can mean sand and dust storms in February and March, but they can be avoided by sticking to the western side of the island during these months.
During the summer you can feel like you have travelled over the Sahara Desert, you will feel very high temperatures in Gran Canaria. However, these bouts of heat don’t last long and the island usually enjoys a breeze to counter the heat. Water temperatures can be fine in winter but are perfect for water sports during the summer and autumn.
Temperatures below an average of 24 °C throughout the year and, despite being in the Atlantic Ocean, Gran Canaria sees only 148mm of rainfall in total over 12 months. Most of this falls between October and February, while July and August are very dry.
Gran Canaria Airport is both a commercial airport and freight airport on Gran Canaria, also known as Gando Airport. The airport, as the 6th location in terms of passengers and 5th position in terms of operations and freight transportation, is an important airport for the Spanish airport network. It's centred on Gando Bay (Bahía de Gando), a few kilometres from Las Palmas, to the eastern part of Gran Canaria. An important gateway is the Gran Canaria Airport for travellers to and from West Africa, including the Atlantic Islands of Madeira and the Azores.
Gran Canaria's has a large commercial centre and you’ll find all the major chain and franchise stores, both Spanish and international brands.
The biggest shopping centres are Las Arenas, La Ballena and the Avenida Mesa y López, also known as the commercial zone, where there are two branches of the famous El Corte Inglés chain and the Calle Mayor de Triana.
Gran Canaria has more than 80 beaches, from the Saharan splendour of Maspalomas to the tiny patch of sand at Sardina del Norte. Some are packed with sun loungers and parasols, while others are hours away from the nearest Full English Breakfast. From well-equipped resorts to untamed and hidden strips of sand and beaches full of pebbles or black volcanic sand. We list the island’s most beautiful beaches:
Playa de Mogán
Playa de las Alcaravaneras
The Canarian gastronomy consists of traditional dishes of the Canary Islands. Canarian cuisine is healthy and has some cultural influences from other countries contributed to the kitchen. Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands use local produce. A lot of vegetables and tropical fruits that are grown in large part on the islands are made possible by a suitable climate. Think of tomatoes, pickles, typical highly nutritious small bananas, papaya, sweet potato, mango, avocado, guava. Fish squid, octopus, eel, tuna and mackerel are some of the many species of fish that the sea is rich with around the Canary Islands. Also, the meat on Gran Canaria gets imported from Spain or South America. There are local meats such as rabbit, goat, pork and sausages like the Chorizo de Teror.
Here we have some restaurant suggestions for you to taste all the delicious food:
You can grab buses provided by Global service, which run across the Island, if you want to travel in public transport from Gran Canaria. You should ride local busses or take a tour of the tourist bus in the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. There are yellow busses connecting every part of the city, especially the tourist and busiest. All the relevant places are very well known and regularly visited. Or you can still rent a car if you choose. Ideal to visit the island for a few days.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are easily accessible on foot, all of them open tourist areas. Bicycles, as there are many bike paths from one part of town to the other, are another option. The versatility of bicycles in Gran Canaria is very new, too!
If you don't know how to drive around Gran Canaria, the taxi is a perfect option too. Nevertheless, only in the same municipality or area do we suggest it. In fact, urban taxis are not very expensive. The taxis in Gran Canaria are all white and are usually logo-plated on one side of the municipality and are very clean and healthy.
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