Book flights to Gran Canaria and explore this beautiful little island that has the culture of Spain, the geography of Africa, and a whole continent’s worth of different terrain to take full advantage of, all on one relatively small island! You might want to spend a solid two-weeks doing absolutely nothing but lying on a golden beach, and you’ll certainly be able to do that here – but if you want to add some family fun, some excellent golf, a gourmet getaway and even a host of adventure sports to your holiday, well, in Gran Can you can! Book flights to Gran Canaria with Ryanair.
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Whilst the temptation to work on that tan might prove an impossible one to resist, especially given Gran Canaria's all-year-round sunshine, here's why you should drag yourself off that sun lounger. There's just so much to see and do on the island. Here are 20 recommendations for you to add to your itinerary. 1.) Dunas de Maspalomas 2.) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 3.) Protected natural spaces 4.) Taste Gran Canaria 5.) Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo 6.) Archaeological heritage 7.) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's museums 8.) Carnivals 9.) Theme Parks 10.) Nautical activities 11.)Land activities 12.) Golf 13.) Spas 14.) Traditional sports 15.) Party like a Canarian 16.) Gran Canaria, the Rainbow Isle 17.) ARC 18.) Coffee 19.) Cave communities 20.) Rural accommodation
Aqualand Maspalomas

Gran Canaria's largest water park boasts over 40 slides and attractions. It's fun for all the family, from infants up to grandparents. There's so much to do and see at Aqualand Maspalomas, that it's a day out in its own right.

​Address: Ctra. Palmitos Park, Km 3, 35100, Maspalomas​Phone: +34 928 140 525​Website:​Opening hours: From September 1st to 31st June: 10:00am until 5:00pm. July and August: 10:00am until 6:00pmSubway: www.globalsu.netTickets:
Palmitos Park

Bird species from every continent, exotic flora and spectacular shows awaits you at this Gran Canaria icon. To save money, you can buy a combined parks ticket which also allows you entry to Aqualand Maspalomas.

​Address: Barranco de los Palmitos, s/n, 35109, Maspalomas​Phone: +34 928 797 070​Website:​Opening hours: www.globalsu.neTickets:
Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo is a landmark which is a must see in Gran Canaria. Thousands of rock climbers and tourists visit this each year. It is simply beautiful. Park your car at the La Goleta car park and follow a well-signposted path.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Jardín Botánico Viera and Clavijo

Also known as the Jardín Canario, this botanic garden is a great place for a stroll. Start from the bottom and work your way up or the other way around. Whichever way you choose to explore, you'll easily spend a couple of hours here.

​Address: Carretera del Centro Km 7, 35017, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 219 580​Website:​Opening hours: 9:00 am a 6:00 pm dailySubway: www.guaguas.comTickets: Free entrance
Barranco de Guayadeque

If you love to get up close and personal with nature, then the Guayadeque ravine is paradise for you. Here you will find almost 2,000 different plant species and many historical remains.

​Address: 35250, Ingenio
Faro de Maspalomas

Travelling to Maspalomas lighthouse and walking on the beach and amongst the shops makes for a lovely evening. Try to catch the sunset and enjoy the view with a leisurely drink or bite to eat.

​Address: Faro de Maspalomas, s/n, 35100, San Bartolomé de Tirajana
Cenobio de Valerón

Cenobio de Valerón is one of Gran Canaria´s most visited sights. The area of the caves inside the rocks is listed as an archaeological area. It is simply just a gorgeous place. And easily reached off the GC-2.

​Address: Cuesta de Silva, s/n, 35450, Santa María de Guía ​Phone: +34 618 60 7896​Website:​Opening hours:
Dunas de Maspalomas

The south is where the resorts are. But it's forbidden by law to build on the Maspalomas dunes. Preserving their unique environment for generations to come. Lose yourself in their sheer immensity.

​Address: Dunas de Maspalomas, 35100, San Bartolomé de Tirajana
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Everything you'd expect in a capital. Bright and light, there's a very definite buzz. Visit Mesa y López for high-street shopping. For boutiques, try Triana. History buffs will prefer a stroll around Vegueta, original Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Beach bums? Las Canteras, truly one of the world's great urban beaches.

​Address: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Museo Canario

The Museo Canario (Canarian museum) in Vegueta allows you to find out more about the canarii, the people who occupied Gran Canaria before the arrival of the Spanish in the 15th century.

​Address: Calle Doctor Verneau 2, 35001, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 336 800​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10:00 am to 2:00 pmSubway: guaguas.comTickets: Adults: 4,00 € Students, senior citizens and the unemployed (with valid ID) : 2,40 € Children (under 12s) : free Monday: free
Museo y Parque Arqueológico Cueva Pintada

Gáldar's Museo y Parque Arqueológico Cueva Pintada (Painted Cave Archaelogical Park and Museum) offers a window into the life of the canarii, the people who inhabited the island before the 15th-century Spanish conquest.

​Address: Audiencia 2, Gáldar, 35460​Phone: +34 928 895 746​Website:​Opening hours: 16th September to 14th June. Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm. Sundays and public holidays: 11.00am to 6:00pm. 15th June to 15th September. Tuesday to Saturday 10:30am to 7:30pm. Sundays and public holidays: 11:00am to 7:00pm.Subway: www.globalsu.netTickets: Adults: 6 €. Students, elderly, unemployed: 3 € U-18s: free
Protected natural spaces

Get back to nature in the island's centre, Parque Rural del Nublo, where you'll be able to trek to the island's great natural moment, Roque Nublo. Further north, Los Tilos de Moya's the last remaining section of woodland which stretched across this part of GC, where great canarii warriors like Doramas used to roam.

Taste Gran Canaria

If it's international cuisine you're looking for, you're well-catered for by cosmopolitan Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Visit Teror's market to pick up the municipality's traditional chorizo, a sausage that's as sweet as it is savoury. Further inland, Tejeda makes good use of its almond trees in desserts.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Archaelogical heritage

Gran Canaria's fertile earth is rich in remains from the canarii, the North African race which occupied the island before the 15th-Century arrival of the Spanish. Learn more about them in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's Museo Canario. Another related museum well worth visiting is Gáldar's Cueva Pintada.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria museums

The bulk of the capital's museums are located in the oldest part of town. Vegueta's home to the Casa de Cólón (Columbus House), the Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro (a sacred-art museum within the cathedral), and the Museo Canario with its grisly but fascinating collection of canarii skulls.

​Address: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The major fiesta's Carnaval. And the main Carnaval is the Carnaval de Las Palmas, three colourful weeks of circus-meets-pantomime fun. Similarly flamboyant is Maspalomas' carnival. Where extravagant costumes make it a hit with the gay community.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Theme Parks

Scream if you want to go faster on the slides at Agualand's water park or check out all the pretty birds, of the feathered variety, at Palmitos Park. Visit Sioux City if you're a fan of cowboys and Native Americans. Or head to Puerto Rico for the new kid on the block, the Angry Birds Activity Park, which opened in 2013.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Nautical activities

236km of Atlantic coastline makes GC a fantastic water-sports venue. Learn how to SUP on Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or kayak on Playa de Alcaravaneras nearby. There are surf schools in the north and south of the island, as well as dive academies if you want to go deep, deep down.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Land activities

Gran Canaria offers things to do on its turf as well as its surf. There are a number of caminos reales, royal pathways, which you can hike along. These include a three-day version of the famous Camino de Santiago. GC's a great cycling destination too, with professional teams using it as a training base.

​Address: Gran Canaria

Fore, Gran Canaria offers some testing courses to challenge even the most experienced golfer. These include the oldest course in the whole of Spain, Bandama's Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas. And one of the newest, the Salobre Norte, at the Sheraton Salobre in the south of the island.

​Address: Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria's a well-established wellness destination. Many tourists visit the island as the climate's been recommended them by their doctor. Gran Canaria Wellness helps you find the best spa and thalassotherapy hotels on the island. As well as the finest medical centres.

​Address: Gran Canaria Spa, Wellness & Health, Los Balcones 4, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 367 508​Website:
Traditional sports

Gran Canaria locals love their basketball and football. But they're also keen on some sports which probably predate the arrival of the Spanish. The likes of lucha canaria, Canarian wrestling, whose bouts draw a loyal following to the rings in villages up and down the island.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Party like a Canarian

Fiesta fiesta, no time for siesta. Teror's Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Pino (Our Lady of the Pine), dates back to the 17th century when the statue of Gran Canaria's patron saint was taken to the capital to pray for rain. Even older is Agaete's Fiesta de la Rama in August which sees partygoers thrashing the Atlantic with palm branches, just like the canarii before them did, again for rain.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria, the Rainbow Isle

Gran Canaria's a very tolerant island. For many gay people, the island's their holiday destination of choice. Quite a few have settled here too. You'll see the Gay Pride flag waved with, yes, pride at festivals including the Carnaval Internaciaonal de Maspalomas in the south of the island.

​Address: Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's Muelle Deportivo (Sports Harbour) is the starting point for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. The World Cruising Club event features 200+ boats and more than 1,200 sailors cruising 2,700 nautical miles across the Atlantic to Saint Lucia each November.

​Address: Muelle Deportivo de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35008, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Website:

Anything seems to go on Gran Canaria and everything seems to grow. The Valle de Agaete's home to tropical fruit farms and vineyards. It also houses the world's most northerly coffee plantations. These are the only plantations in the whole of Europe, which makes Gran Canaria seem even more exotic.

​Address: Valle de Agaete, 35489, Gran Canaria
Cave communities

The canarii who occupied the island before the Spanish conquest of the 15th century used to live in caves. It's a tradition that's continued in the likes of the south-east's Barranco de Guayadeque and west central's Artenara. Get to know the real-life Bedrocks with a visit or stay.

​Address: Gran Canaria
Rural accommodation

As well as cave houses, there's a wide range of countryside properties. Proving that Gran Canaria offers accommodation more varied than the all-inclusive resort hotel. As well as rural hotels, you'll find holiday cottages and fincas if you're more interested in a self-catering holiday.

​Address: Gran Canaria Natural, Los Balcones 4, 35001, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 334 175​Website:
The Atlantic Ocean provides local restaurants with plenty of natural ingredients, with fish and seafood prominent on many menus. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the most cosmopolitan Canarian city, houses restaurants from across the globe. For a bite-sized introduction to Canarian cuisine, check out La Ruta de Enyesque (GC tapas). The north of the island houses restaurants offering traditional Canarian food, with the exception of cosmopolitan Las Palmas de Gran Canaria which features a number of different countries' cuisines. Seafood features prominently, particularly in eateries located on or around the island's north coast. Here are three to check out. Restaurante El Charcón 41 Elaborate cocktails and Atlantic-fresh seafood await at this eatery boasting an oceanfront location on Las Canteras promenade in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Address: Paseo de Las Canteras 41, 35006, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Phone: +34 928 490 375 Web: Restaurante El Cápita Enjoy a fish dish at this portside restaurant which offers fine views of neighbouring Tenerife and its Teide mountain. Address: Nuestra Sra. de Las Nieves 37, 35480, Agaete Phone: +34 928 554 142 Restaurante Grill Mirador Bascamao Another viewing point of a restaurant, the local flower cheese (queso de flor) makes a triumphant appearance on the menu of this Guía grill. Address: Lomo de Bascamao 59, 35450, Santa María de Guía Phone: +34 680 202 381 Web: If anything, the centre of the island is even more traditional, in terms of cuisine. Here, they make a wild-rocket stew (potaje de jaramago). Check out three recommendations of places to eat in this area. Restaurante Miraflor A fantastic place to stop off on the road from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Teror, this restaurant's croquettes are just like mama makes. Address: Carretera a Teror 20, 35100, Miraflor, Teror Phone: +34 928 613 179 La Cofradía de Taliarte Fish doesn't get much fresher at this Telde eatery which doubles as the Brotherhood of Fishermen, the union of these ocean trawlers. Address: Taliarte s/n, 35214, Telde Phone: +34 928 134 387 Restaurante La Pitera Master chef Esteban Gómez, who's won a number of local culinary competitions, ensures you eat in some style at his charming restaurant. Address: Cuesta del Reventón 3, 35600, Santa Brígida Phone: +34 928 354 904 The south of the island's famous for its fusion restaurants, blending Canarian staples with more international flavours. Restaurants tend to be bigger and brasher than those in the north and centre. Here are four southern eateries which are proud to be loud. Restaurante El Salsete The open kitchen allows diners to see ingredients brought at the market that very day transformed into exquisite creations by a team of highly-trained chefs. Address: Edf. Jovimar, Blq. 1, Loc. 4-5, Secundino Delgado, 35200, San Bartolomé de Tirajana Phone: +34 928 778 255 Restaurante Apolo XI In the fishing-village-cum-resort of Arguineguín, you'll find this restaurant which features a terrace so you can enjoy an al fresco dining experience. Address: Plaza de los Poetas 12, Arguineguín, 35120, Mogán Phone: +34 928 735 065 Restaurante El Señorío de Agüimes Fidgety kids will enjoy the playground whilst adults will adore the creative cuisine at this classy, yet relaxed, Agüimes establishment. Address: Juan Ramón Jiménez 1, 35260, Agüimes Phone: +34 928 145 696 Restaurante Guatiza Bite into an introduction to traditional Canarian cuisine with papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) a signature dish of this Vecindario restaurant. Address: Guatiza 4, 35110, Vecindario, Santa Lucía de Tirajana Phone: +34 928 752 918
La Ruta de Enyesque

You can follow La Ruta de Enyesque for a bite-sized introduction to the world of Canarian gastronomy. An enyesque's Gran Canaria's version of the tapas, it's an appetizer; titbit. Find restaurants to crawl in the north, centre, and south of the island.

​Address: Gran Canaria​Website:
Locals start, and indeed end, their day with a coffee. Forget your lattes, GC natives keep things short with a cortado. For a more milky version, ask for a cortado largo. Or even a relaxing café con leche. Parque Santa Catalina, Triana's Plaza Cairasco, and Vegueta's Plaza Santa Ana are popular coffee-break destinations.
Parque Santa Catalina

Less park and more square, for those travelling on cruise ships, Parque Santa Catalina is the first place they'll see after arriving to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Take your pick from the cafés which offer more outdoor seating than indoor.

​Address: Parque Santa Catalina, 35007, Las Palmas de Gran CanariaSubway:
Plaza Cairasco

Located in upper Triana, this perfect square's a hop, skip, and a jump away from Vegueta. Take pleasure in leisure by whiling away some time in one of Cairasco's cafés. Where, with the average temperature being 22°, you'll appreciate the al fresco experience.

​Address: Plaza Cairasco, 35002, Las Palmas de Gran CanariaSubway:
Plaza Santa Ana

Enjoy a cuppa in the olde-worlde setting of Vegueta. The cathedral looms magnificently over you. As the rest of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria goes about its business in this bustling, pedestrianized area. There's always time for one more cup of coffee, however.

​Address: Plaza Santa Ana, 35001, Las Palmas de Gran CanariaSubway:
Nightlife in Gran Canaria is lively, noisy and fun. Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles are the party hotspots. It starts late and goes on all night with most bars opening until 2 am and discos and clubs usually until 6 am. Very little happens before midnight. The Yumbo commercial centre is where most of the action takes place catering for a mixed bag of revellers from sundown to sunrise!
Yumbo Centrum

By day, a shopping centre, by night, a gay-friendly temple to hedonism. There are many bars and clubs to choose from. So it's perfect for a pub crawl.

​Address: Av Estados Unidos 54, 35100, Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 764 196​Website:​Opening hours: Open all hoursSubway:
Gran Canaria's a great place to shop. From the charms of the capital's Calle Mayor de Triana, the main shopping street in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to bright, shiny, and new shopping centres such as El Tablero in the south, there's plenty of choice. And at a low price too, what with the island's reduced VAT.
Calle Mayor de Triana

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's main high street is where the locals like to do their shopping. It's also where they like to have a coffee, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a drink. So expect to find lots of bars, cafés, and restaurants, along with shops.

​Address: Calle Mayor de Triana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35002Subway:
Centro Comercial Las Arenas

As well as bars, cinema, and restaurant, there are free activities to keep the kids entertained at this Las Palmas de Gran Canaria shopping. This is the last CC you'll encounter before leaving the capital on the GC-2.

​Address: Carretera del Rincón, s/n, 35010, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 277 008​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pmSubway:
Centro Comercial El Mirador

Enjoy Atlantic views along with a budget supermarket and Primark at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's newest shopping centre. One that nevertheless includes an archaeological park which can be visited by groups by prior arrangement.

​Address: Autovía GC-1, Salida 5, 35220, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 686 940​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pmSubway:
Centro Comercial El Muelle

If you're a cruise-ship passenger, the CC El Muelle will be the first shopping centre you'll see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It's also handy if you're travelling in by bus to the capital, located, as it is, above the Parque Santa Catalina bus station.

​Address: Muelle de Santa Catalína, s/n, 35008, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 327 527​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (shops), 12:00pm-2:00am (amusement arcade, bars, bowling alley, cinema and restaurants), and until 5:00 am (nightclubs)Subway:
Centro Comercial y de Ocio 7 Palmas

Head to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's Siete Palmas for a modern shopping experience. There are regular exhibitions and concerts here to transform your shop into something out of the ordinary.

​Address: Avenida Pintor Felo Monzón, 44, 35019, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (shops), Monday to Thursday 10:00 am to 2:00am and Friday to Sunday 10:00am to 3:00pm (bars and restaurants)Subway:
Centro Comercial Las Terrazas

Bargain hunters can take their pick from the various outlets offering brand-name labels at discounted prices. Adrenaline junkies, meanwhile, can get their fix at this ocean-side shopping centre's go-kart track.

​Address: Autovía GC-1, Km 5,5 (salida 6b), 35220, Telde​Phone: +34 928 706 328​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (shops) and 10:00 am to 12:00 am (bars, cinema, go-kart track, and restaurants)Subway:
Shopping Center Varadero

Dedicated followers of fashion will like perusing the latest trends at the upmarket boutiques within this classy shopping centre in Meloneras. There are also jewellery shops if you're looking to find a special gift.

​Address: Mar Mediterráneo, s/n, 35100, MelonerasSubway:
El Tablero Shopping Center

El Tablero is a largely residential area above Maspalomas. But this shopping centre offers more of a reason to visit this commuter town. If not only to dine fine on the top floor and admire the views.

​Address: Avda. Francisco Vega Monroy 21, El Tablero, San Bartolomé de Tirajana​Phone: +34 928 143 870​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (shops), 10:00 am to 12:00 am (restaurants), and 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (supermarket)Subway:
Centro Comercial Atlántico Vecindario

Vecindario is a new town on Gran Canaria. Which makes this shopping centre one of the newest of the island. Keep cool in the shops which provide shade from the bright sun.

​Address: Calle Adargoma s/n, 35110, Vecindario, Santa Lucia de Tirajana​Phone: +34 928 794 074​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (shops), 9:00 am to 1:00 am (restaurants), and 9:00 am to 10:30 pm (supermarket)Subway:

Marvel at the old-school way of making things at this central Las Palmas de Gran Canaria shop. Which showcases the creative talents of the island's artisans. There's a range of materials available, including ceramics, leather, and wood.

​Address: Domingo J. Navarro 7, 35002, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria​Phone: +34 928 369 661​Website:​Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm to 8:00pmSubway:
Mesa y López

One of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's main thoroughfares, Mesa y López's both an avenue and a street. There's a cycle lane as well as bus stops and taxi ranks to help you with your bags. The outside ice-cream stalls will cool you down a hot day whilst the tourist information kiosk offers friendly advice.

​Address: Mesa y López, 35006, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ​Website: http://www.mesaylopez.netSubway:
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Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria

You'll find the Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria (LPA) roughly halfway between capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the island's southern resorts. It's 24km south of the capital city and 30km north of Playa del Inglés. There's a taxi rank at the aiport plus Global bus stops.

​Address: Aeropuerto de Gran Canaria, Carretera General del Sur s/n, 35014​Phone: +34 928 579 130​Website:
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