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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Gran Canaria


Gran Canaria Holidays 2016/2017

The second most populated Canary Island, Gran Canaria is full of natural beauty. Known as the 'miniature continent' due to its variety of climates and terrain, the island offers opportunities to unwind or experience something new and exciting.

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Natural beauty

Most visitors to Gran Canaria head to the south of the island to experience its year-round warm climate and the many bustling beach resorts on the coast. With its pale, rolling dunes made of sand from the Sahara Desert, this is the area to go All Inclusive if you want to soak up the sun and experience some of the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands.

One third of Gran Canaria is under protection from UNESCO World Heritage as a Biosphere Reserve. This means unspoilt landscapes filled with interesting plant and animal life – and the opportunity for experiences that make an interesting contrast to a lazy day on the beach. Take a trip to the famous bird park Palmitos Park in the south, or visit one of the Special Nature Reserves and see species unique to Gran Canaria.

Where to stay in Gran Canaria

Bahia Feliz
Bahia FelizView on Map

This resort offers a quiet, relaxed stay and has some of the best beaches to be found on the island. A stylish, modern setting means an interesting contrast to the cathedrals and squares of Las Palmas, only a 40-minute drive away. Bahia Feliz's small size means that a wealth of facilities are always nearby.

MaspalomasView on Map

Maspalomas's Blue Flag stretch of beach is made all the more special by its backdrop of stunning sand dunes. Another stand-out feature is the 68-metre lighthouse at the beach's edge. Maspalomas is where you'll find excellent restaurants and a range of designer shops.

Playa Taurito
Playa TauritoView on Map

With many hotels and villages built into the surrounding cliffs, Playa Taurito is one of the most attractive places to stay on the island. More of a quiet-night-in with a glass of wine sort of place than Playa del Ingles, it boasts some excellent attractions, including premier diving spots and an excellent beach.

Puerto Rico
Puerto RicoView on Map

Shopping and watersports are Puerto Rico's specialities. With three large commercial shopping centres and an expansive beach teeming with water-based activities, this is a family-friendly resort with a variety of experiences in the area.


Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • Approx 845,676
  • GMT + 1

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The capital city of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, has the largest population of all the cities in the Canary Islands. And according to some scientists, it has the best climate of all the cities in the world. Offering a huge variety of theatre, cinema, music and museum experiences – it is also a bustling and attractive cultural centre for those looking for an active holiday in the region. If it's a night out that you're looking for, the beautiful, historic district of Vegueta is the place where both locals and tourists can be found enjoying themselves until the early hours.


The Carnival des Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is one of many highlights on the island – and it one of the most famous Carnivals in Spain. Around 200,000 people come to experience the fun that fills a six-kilometre route through the city in February every year. Expect beautiful people, spectacular costumes and a night you're likely to remember for the rest of your life.

Charming villages, beautiful towns

Away from the cosmopolitan capital and the tourist-friendly resorts in the south, you'll find well-preserved spots that present an authentic Canarian experience. Picturesque Puetro de Mogan is called 'Little Venice' due to its system of canals linking the marina to the fishing harbour. Although it's a traditional fishing town it's also a charming, welcoming place for foreign visitors. The town of Agüimes, on the eastern side of the island, is also worth a visit. You will see a traditional view of Gran Canaria, walking around the carefully restored old church and the peaceful town square.


Many people travel to Gran Canaria to indulge their favourite sport on some of the best courses in Spain. A total of seven extensive courses are spread across the island, each one designed and maintained to the highest standards. The Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas is the oldest golf club in Spain, and the magnificent setting, next to the crater of an old volcano and with views of mountain tops and the Atlantic Ocean, make it a spectacular destination.

Gran Canarian cuisine

As with all the Canary Islands, if you like fish, you are going to be very pleased with the food on the island. Typical Canarian recipes include its traditional caldo de pescado, or fish soup, and vieja sancochada, a sea bream casserole. Gran Canaria's special climate means its ingredients are first rate, and if you decide to do your own cooking then the markets and variety of produce on offer are a delight.