Gran Canaria travel guide – everything you need to know

Much like its neighbours, Gran Canaria promises year round sun, great beaches and thrilling nightlife.  You’ll find developed holiday resorts on the south of the island and the bustling capital of Las Palmas in the north.  Thanks to the abundance of white, sandy beaches you’ll never struggle to find a spot to top up your tan, or for the more daring, participate in the many watersports on offer at most beaches. Our Gran Canaria travel guide will tell you more about everything the island has to offer…

Climate

Owing to its Mediterranean climate, Gran Canaria boasts great weather all year round. The hottest months to visit are July and August where temperatures reach around 28°C while in January you can expect this to decrease to a warm 22°C. Gran Canaria also experiences prevailing trade winds so if you’re heading up the mountains you may need to wrap up.

Gran Canaria sunset

Beaches

Maspalomas Beach is considered world famous due to the presence of it’s huge sand dunes and great atmosphere. You’ll be able to enjoy water sports or if you prefer just lounge in front of the sun and there are also bars and cafes in the surrounding area.

The main beach in Playa Del Ingles features a large promenade, great for taking those all important holiday pics, and many bars, restaurants and shops along the way. If you’re travelling with children the best beach to visit is Amadores due to its calm waters and lack of large waves.

Places to visit

Found towards the south of the island, Vegueta is the oldest settlement in Gran Canaria that paved the way for the development of Las Palmas.  There are many historical buildings in this area including the Casa de Colon mansion, Santa Ana Cathedral and the Museo Canario museum…

Located a few kilometres away from Santa Brigida, Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo showcases a more peaceful side of Gran Canaria. The garden spans over 27 acres and is home to around 500 different plant species.

Cathedral

Top activities

Gran Canaria excels when it comes to waterparks.  Aqualand in Maspalomas offers over 10 attractions ranging from white knuckle rides to a more relaxed family zone and also offers the choice to swim with sea lions while Ocean Park, also near Maspalomas, has 24 exciting slides to choose from and is just 300m away from the Holiday World fun fair…

If you want to explore more of what the island has to offer, try out one of the many boat trips on offer.  Depending on how you’re feeling you can sit back and take in the views or even try a spot of scuba diving…

Nightlife

Most of the bars and nightclubs stay open late with many of the venues partying until the sun rises. The best place to experience the nightlife in the capital is Plaza de Espana in the Mesa y Lopez district. While down south, Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles are the liveliest resorts.

For a more relaxed evening head to the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus in Las Palmas, a spectacular auditorium that hosts concerts, orchestral performances and the Gran Canaria film festival.

dj decks

Good for kids

For a day out with a difference visit Palmitos Park. The park showcases animals and reptiles from five continents of the world including primates, dolphins and many tropical bird species. Make sure you also catch the many shows where the animals demonstrate their unique skills.

Travel back in time at Sioux City to the Wild West and live like a cowboy for the day. History is recreated through humorous shows which include bank robberies, fights and live cattle.  You can also eat in the Sioux City Saloon.

Good for couples

If you want to experience something a little different whilst in Gran Canaria, visit one of the many markets in towns such as Puerto del Mogan, San Fernando and Teror. The markets are ideal for picking up some last minute presents as well as meeting some of the locals.

The Las Palmas Shore Excursion allows you to see the best sights Gran Canaria has to offer via a hop on, hop off bus tour. Once you have bought your ticket you can get on and off as many times as you like and visit places such as Parque Santa Catalina and El Corte Ingles.

boats in harbour

Recommended hotels in our Gran Canaria travel guide

Paradise Lago Taurito & Aqua Park, Playa Taurito

This large hotel offers breathtaking views of the surrounding areas and is a mere 50m away from the beach. The onsite water park is also bound to keep the whole family entertained, meaning you won’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy yourself.

The hotel restaurant offers a range of Spanish and international dishes whilst you can enjoy a drink at the pool bar or the evening bar.

Entertainment is provided six days a week and includes bingo, aquagym and much more. Also on site are two pools, Jacuzzi and a solarium terrace.

Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort, Spa & Casino, Meloneras

This hotel is the perfect mix of spectacular architecture with modern amenities. You’ll feel right at home with the several pools, ponds, waterfalls and sandy beaches dotted around the spacious hotel.

There is a broad programme of entertainment which includes numerous activities during the day, spectacular fire shows and traditional African dancing. In total there are eight pools on offer, all of which are heated and a large African themed children’s play area.

You can eat in any of the two buffet restaurants at the hotel, a la carte restaurant swimming pool or African restaurant a la carte. The hotel also offers the only African restaurant on the Canary Islands serving delicacies such as zebra and antelope.

pool area of Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort

Gloria Palace, San Agustin
Situated in a quiet area on the high side of San Agustin, this hotel is very popular with families, partially due to the beach only being 500m away.

There are three heated swimming pools on site, three for adults and one for children as well as a newly renovated roof top chill out area complete with high quality sun loungers.

You’ll be spoiled for choice at this resort in terms of food. As well as the main restaurant with a full buffet and show cooking there is also a pool bar, snack bar, lounge bar with live music and a la carte restaurant which offers great panoramic views.

 

You can book your Gran Canaria getaway here. For our other totally beachin’ destinations visit our website.

Written on 29th December 2015 by

Joshua Carry-James

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