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Gran Canaria Holidays

Whether you're looking for sun, sea and sand, a bustling city break or to explore natural volcanic craters and wooded valleys, Gran Canaria holidays tick all of the boxes.

A versatile island

Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Canaries archipelago, and is the most developed of these seven Spanish sisters. It's nicknamed the 'miniature continent', owing to the island's dramatic variety of terrain that ranges from the lush green north to the desert south.

The bustling capital, Las Palmas, is located on the northeast tip of the island, lying between the beaches of Las Caletas and Alcaravaneras, but most visitors are drawn to the golden sands of the southern coastline and its abundance of fantastic holiday resorts.

Quick Tips

Las Palmas
Approx 845,676
Roman Catholic
GMT + 1

Fantastic golden beaches

The attractive beaches of Gran Canaria, formed from sand blown from the Sahara desert, are a place to unwind and soak up the warm Canary Island's sun. Playa del Ingles and neighbouring Maspalomas at the southernmost tip of the island are two of the most popular holiday hotspots to slap on the sun lotion.

Take a walk over the sweeping sand dunes blown in from the Sahara and pretend you're off on a desert adventure. Is that the sea you see in the distance or merely a mirage? Don't forget your flip-flops for the hot sand and don't be shocked by the small nudist area hidden within the dunes.

You never know just what's lying, literally, over the next dune; it could be one a kiosk bar, camel rides or a hotel, don't be surprised by what you'll find in the expansive area.

Discover Gran Canaria’s history

If you prefer sight-seeing to shopping then the fascinating Museo Canario in Las Palmas contains the world's biggest collection of Cro-Mangan skulls and the Casa de Colon in the historic quarter of Vegueta was once home to Christopher Columbus but today is a historic house-come-maritime museum. The Elder Museum also has loads of hand-on science exhibits to play with.

Variation of family days out

Golf is very popular in the Canaries, and we're sure we don't need to remind any golf fanatic that El Cortijo in Gran Canaria played host to the 2002 Spanish Open. For families there are plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained. Cool off at one of three water parks, or watch the dolphin show at Palmitos Park aquarium and zoo.

Holiday World fun park in Playa Del Ingles has dodgems, a rollercoaster, a pirate ship, bowling, parrot shows and a playground. Sioux City in San Agustin is a great day out, and is like stepping straight into a Wild West movie. The kids' imaginations will run wild as they watch real cowboy and Indian fights, and horseback stunts on saloon-lined streets.

Combined shopping and nightlife

Shopaholics can swap sand for shopping bags in Maspalomas' Yumbo Centre or Playa del Ingles' Kasbah Centre. There's a good range of shops, and you can often pick up better duty free deals here than at the airport.

These two leisure complexes are also home to a whole host of restaurants, bars, clubs and casinos. The Yumbo centre is a popular gay party scene but it's also really family friendly and quite low-key, especially before midnight.

Waiters fuss over children and entertainment caters for visitors of all ages. Drag shows here have quite a reputation, so if you're going to tick that off your bucket list then holidays in Gran Canaria is the time to finally do it.

Wild night out

If you're looking for a wild night out to compare with the likes of Ibiza and Magaluf, the Kasbah Centre is the place to go. Here you'll be able to boogie the night away at the likes of Pacha and Ministry of Sound. Entry to most clubs is free, but before you order that double vodka just be aware that the drinks can be quite expensive.

Nightlife in Las Palmas is concentrated in the Plaza de Espana, where the party is in full swing from dusk 'til dawn. The capital Las Palmas has its own fair share of shops too. The 13-storey El Carte Ingles is Spain's largest national department store, and with duty free prices it's a shopping Mecca.

Quieter evenings

If you're looking to stay somewhere a little quieter, the southern coastal town of Puerto Rico or the picturesque village of Puerto de Mogán, known as 'Little Venice' on account of its numerous canals, may be good options.

Further west along the south coast there is the fishing village of Arguineguin. Each Tuesday you can pop along to the market here and grab a bargain or two. Embroidered goods and banana leaf baskets are popular hand-crafted souvenirs.

Traditional island food

Several of the resorts on the south coast provide idyllic coastal settings where you can enjoy a candle lit meal supported by a gorgeous ocean view. The food provided is internationally varied across the many towns but you'll find that traditional Canary Island and Spanish cuisine are a proud specialty of many establishments.

The island's most interesting dining hotspot is Garbo's, a highly popular dinner and show venue found in Bahia Felize. The restaurant offers quality three course meals and brilliant entertainment where your waiting staff turn into the star performers.

Getting around

If you do fancy venturing out from your resort, then the cheap and reliable public bus service is a lovely, scenic way to get from A to B. Taxis are an affordable option too, especially if you're travelling as a group or experiencing the nightlife of a neighbouring resort. For ultimate travelling freedom then car hire services are always available from the airport.

If driving by car or taxi, no resort should take longer than 30 minutes to arrive at when travelling from the airport, of course coach transfer times may take longer. If you want to visit the capital La Palma then a journey from any southern resorts will take less than an hour.

The diversity of Gran Canaria holidays includes the opportunity to explore mountains, forests, sand dunes and spectacular beaches all within the confines of a relatively small island. Day trips via taxis and tour busses can help you discover the beauty hidden in the centre of this island.

Where to stay in Gran Canaria


Monthly Temperature


Best time of year to visit

The annual average temperatures in Gran Canaria make it an ideal tanning holiday all year round. January drops to just 18C while August and September hovers at 24C on average. The winter can get marginally wetter with up to 8 days of rainfall in a month but even that should not be enough to keep you away from the beach for the whole of your holiday.

The week of Ash Wednesday in February and March time sees the whole of the Canary Islands celebrate the Carnival with every village, town and resort in the archipelago getting in the party spirit with daily fiestas of singing, dancing and flotillas: and tourists are always encouragd to join in the fun.

Places to Visit

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