Las Palmas Holidays
Sitting pretty at the tip of Gran Canaria, a hemisphere away from the crowded and searing beaches of the southern coastline, Las Palmas is the biggest city in the Canaries and enjoys a life independent of tourism. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a spectacular mix of ancient and modern, culture and commerce, and beauty. Many visitors miss out Las Palmas holidays completely as their tour buses take them directly down the coast to the tourist resorts of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, and this is a real shame. Las Palmas holidays offer a city that should be explored in order to get a true glimpse into the Canarian soul. It features an historic district rich in Spanish-Colonial architecture, a beautiful golden beach and fantastic shopping opportunities. In Las Palmas bars and restaurants, visitors and locals brush shoulders and the nightlife scene is great.
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Things to do
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Las Palmas was founded in 1478 when Europeans still thought that the end of the world was just on the other side of the tiny Canarian island of El Hierro. The oldest quarter of the city is Vegueta, where many of the buildings date from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The city stayed more or less in its walled-in location until the 19th century, when it began an expansion programme that is yet to end, spreading out into the port Puerto de la Luz, and creating the new areas of Alcaravaneras, Arenales, Ciudad Jardin, Santa Catalina and La Isleta.
The modern Las Palmas is set on an eastwardly facing shore and includes a jutting peninsula named La Isleta although these days it is well connected to the city by wide boulevards. The city began its astounding growth curve when Puerto de la Luz became a major seaport and today handles more tonnage than many ports on the European continent itself. This amazing old and new city is home to well over 400,000 people so it has a bustling atmosphere.
Pueblo Canario (Parque Doramas) is a picturesque recreation of an idyllic island village, featuring gorgeous whitewashed houses clustered around a plaza where folklore shows are staged. Shops sell handicrafts and island produce, and a fantastic little wine bar offers tasting.
We recommend that art lovers visit Museo Néstor which is dedicated to the modernist island artist, Néstor de la Torre.
Las Palmas is home to two fascinating museums. The Museo Canario is devoted to the Guanche people, who inhabited the archipelago before the arrival of the Spaniards. The other is Casa de Colón. Built in 1478, it is now an atmospheric shrine to the voyages of Columbus, and features many period pieces.
Family holidays in Las Palmas offer a different experience to the southern tourist resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles. The beaches are quieter and there is far greater opportunity to enjoy Gran Canaria culture. To the north of Las Palmas is one of Gran Canaria's best beaches - this long stretch of soft white sand is perfect to explore with a snorkel, and warm enough for the whole family to swim in. For a bit more excitement, there are also more lively activities on offer at the beach, including a variety of water sports, depending how daring you are!
Museo Elder is a first-class hands-on science museum featuring an IMAX cinema showing films in English.
Las Palmas also offers great shopping opportunities, with duty free shops, boutiques and department stores making it perfect for a shopping spree!
Playa de las Canteras is the beautiful beach in Las Palmas which boasts broad, soft sands which stretch for around 2.5km around a calm and sheltered bay, with a promenade lined with lovely shops and cafés. A reef keeps the waters warm and calm - great for swimming and paddling - while conditions beyond the reef are ideal for windsurfing. There is another stretch of golden sands, Playa Las Alcaravaneras, on the other side of the headland, next to the sailing club.
Boat excursions, including round-the-harbour and deep-sea fishing trips, depart from the Muelle Deportivo marina and are fun for all the family, couples and friends.
For golfers, Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas (Carretera de Bandama, 11km south of Las Palmas), is the oldest golf course in Spain. It boasts an absolutely superb location and spectacular views over Caldera de Bandama volcanic crater. There's a very good restaurant, two tennis courts, a horse-riding school and a swimming pool - plenty to keep the whole family entertained. 7km from Las Palmas, on the C81, Jardín Canario is a botanic refuge for over 500 species of endemic plants and other exotic species, and is a wonderfully interesting place to spend an afternoon.
Who goes to Las Palmas?
Despite being on the same island, Las Palmas holidays are a world away from the tourist havens of Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles. Few tourists make their way up there, so if you're looking for Brits abroad you'd be better off staying in the south. Aside from the local residents, visitors to Las Palmas tend to be those who want to escape the tourist crowds and get a real taste of Gran Canaria culture.
Book a Las Palmas Holiday now!
Some of the more popular hotels in Las Palmas include the classy Reina Isabel Hotel or the Astoria Hotel. All our hotels in Las Palmas are available on self-catering, half board and all inclusive basis.
On the Beach specialise in Gran Canaria holidays and have a range of Gran Canaria flights available at low prices year round.