As the third largest Canary Island, Gran Canaria has a coastline of around 235 kilometres, therefore offering plenty of extensive sandy beaches – perfect for a beach holiday combined with water sports. However, the island, which is located about 200 kilometres west off the southern coast of Morocco, has much more to offer than just water fun: picturesque villages, grand volcanic landscapes as well as impressive cliffs, nature parks and dense forests.
Like all the other Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is also of volcanic origin. Therefore, it’s often referred to as an island of fire and water. Interesting volcanic cones are waiting to be discovered, especially in the hinterland of the capital Las Palmas. Like its sister islands in the archipelago, Gran Canaria is a year-round destination thanks to its pleasantly mild climate.
When it comes to holiday islands, capitals are often just a place to arrive and move on. It’s different in Gran Canaria. It’s well worth staying in Las Palmas as it’s a good mix of lively city life and gorgeous beaches. The capital even has one of the most beautiful sandy beaches: the golden, kilometre-long Playa Las Canteras. Las Palmas has plenty to offer: a picturesque old town, charming art nouveau buildings and exciting museums. A special highlight is the annual carnival, which transforms the city into a colourful dream world at the beginning of each year. Night owls will be in their element in Las Palmas and not only during carnival.
1. Discover the colourful underwater world at the Poema del Mar aquarium
2. Let off steam in the wave pools and water slides at Aqualand Maspalomas
3. Watch dolphins and whales on a boat trip on the west coast
4. See exotic animals at Palmitos Park on the south coast
5. Try out water sports such as windsurfing, jet skiing and snorkelling
1. Enjoy the magnificent view from above with a paragliding trip
2. Discover old shipwrecks by submarine or on a dive
3. Discover the wild, rocky mountains on a guided quad bike tour
4. Ride like cowboys in the Wild West at Sioux Park
5. Hike through the Barranco de Cernicalos ravine
1. Stroll through the small craft shops in the artists’ village of Fataga
2. Go on a volcano crater hike in Bandama Nature Park
3. Taste Canary rum at Arehucas Distillery in Arucas
4. Drink a freshly squeezed sugar cane juice at the market in San Fernando
5. Get to know the traditional side of the island in the village of Teror
Picture source title: © Balate Dorin / AdobeStock
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