Gran Canaria is located in the centre of the Canary Islands with Tenerife to the west and Fuerteventura to the east. The population of Gran Canaria is not quite as big as Tenerife with some 850,000 inhabitants.
Top Attractions & Things to do in Gran Canaria
Close to 400,000 or 45% of all inhabitants live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the joint capital City of Gran Canaria. This island like all of the Canaries benefit from excellent weather all year round.
The name of this island literally translates to “Great Island of Dogs”, this name is derived from the huge Canaria Mastiff breed of dog. The climate in Gran Canaria is pretty good with normal temperatures of between 20 – 26 Celsius. The temperature can drop at night during winter but it’s unlikely to be much cooler than 12 Celisus. Tourism to Gran Canaria accounts for over 3.5 million visitors each year.
This island is particularly popular with the Spaniards and northern Europeans including the Brits and Irish. Palmitos Park is a large bird park located in the south of the island which is popular with tourists. Many of the beaches can be found on the east and north east coasts of the island with the west being more rockier and greener. Playa de las Cantera is one of the better beaches located in the north, with the popular Maspalomas on the southern coast. Some of the other leading activities here include a visit to Roque Nublo and the peaks of Gran Canaria. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria airport is located on the east coast of the island.
Palmitos Park, Maspalomas
Palmitos Park in Maspalomas is one of the top attractions in Gran Canaria if animal shows is your type of thing. The dolphin grandstand alone has a capacity of 1500 spectaculars to enjoy the twice daily dolphin shows. We have prepared an extensive guide to Palmitos Park which provides much more detail about this wonderful attraction.
Tejeda & Roque Nublo
Hikers are in for a real treat in Gran Canaria thanks to awesome mountainous region of Tejeda. To the south of Tejeda are some of the highest peaks on the island including Pico de las Nieves (Snow Peak) and Roque Nublo (Rock Cloud). Pico de las Nieves is the highest point of Gran Canaria at 1,949 metres above sea level. Roque Nublo has an elevation of 810 metres above sea level and is well known for it’s sea of clouds. The clouds and the mist around Roque Nublo makes this peak mysteriously appear and re-appear if you are looking up from the ground. Another well know peak is Roque Bentayga, close to this peak are the Cuervas de Rey (Kings Caves). Most of what you will see when climbing these peaks are considered properties of cultural interest and part of Spanish Heritage.
Beaches & Resorts in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has over 80 fantastic beaches to choose from ranging from golden sand to volcanic black sand. Wherever you find great beaches you normally find great holiday resorts, Gran Canaria does not disappoint. Below we have combined a few of the best resorts in Gran Canaria with the best beaches for each.
Possibly the best resort in Gran Canaria if beaches and sunbathing is your idea of a great holiday. Maspalomas is where you will find the biggest beach on the island with Playa del Inglés (English beach) running adjacent. Maspalomas is more for a relaxing holiday to recharge the batteries as opposed to the frenetic nightlife offered by other resorts. This part of the island is ideal for taking a long stroll along the streets and promenade lined with thousands of palm trees. Maspalomas is also the location for many popular activities and days out such as Palmitos Park and the Charca de Maspalomas nature reserve. Other points of interest here are the beautiful sand dunes that are located behind the beach and Maspalomas Golf Club. There are several other resorts close to Maspalomas which includes, Playa del Inglés, Meloneras and San Agustín.
Playa del Inglés
Playa del Inglés is the biggest resort in Gran Canaria and certainly the busiest also. If you enjoy everything Maspalomas has to offer along with the best nightlife then Playa del Inglés is the resort for you.