5 Best Things To Do in Gran Canaria, Spain

On the eastern coast of the province of Las Palmas is the island of Gran Canaria. Located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 150 kilometers off the coast of northwest Africa, it is the only independent island of Canary Islands in Spain. Gran Canaria has a diameter that spans about 50 km and it is the third largest and most populous island in the archipelago.

The Spanish beaches are one of our absolute favorite destinations as autumn begins to approach. There are dozens of classic tourist and seaside resorts to choose from on the long coastlines of the Costa del Sol, the Costa Blanca and at Barcelona. You also do not have to stay in one place but can go on an excursion to the neighboring towns (and their beaches).

Gran Canaria is a beloved vacation destination due to its Mediterranean climate, its black lava and white sand beaches and its many recreational activities. Popular mainly during the summer months, Gran Canaria is also highly frequented during winter as the Canary Islands are the destination with the best climate in Europe during the cold winter months.

best things to do in gran canaria spain

Where To Stay In Gran Canaria

One of the best things about the island is that there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. Depending on how you wish to enjoy your vacation, you can choose where on the island you stay and which type of accommodation matches your needs the most.

Best Resorts in Gran Canaria

One of the most-searched-for types of accommodation in Gran Canaria is resorts and they are mostly located in the southern part of the island - the most subtropical area where you get the best weather year-round. The key to choosing the right resort depends on whether you wish to have a relaxing holiday, one filled with activities, or maybe a mixture of both.

Resorts like the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria Mogan offer the best of both worlds featuring three on-site restaurants, a pool lounge and a bar. This luxury resort located in scenic Puerto de Mogan, a small charming fishing village also known as Little Venice, is filled with quaint hotels, shops and restaurants.

Because Puerto de Mogan boasts 320 days of sunshine every year, its surroundings offer a wealth of recreational activities to choose from while on vacation. It also allows you take advantage of the nature that the island has to offer. Also, it is the perfect departure point for day trips as you can easily access other small villages in the surrounding area.

However, if you wish to spend a luxurious and exclusive weekend on the Canary Islands, you may want to opt for resorts like Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria situated on the southern coast of the island on a prime coastal location, tucked away between two beaches. This resort is ideal for a romantic, worry-free holiday as offers first-class facilities including three swimming pools, a garden, tennis courts, a gym and a spa.

While these are just a couple of the many resorts you can select from, once you have chosen the right resort for you, there are also plenty of recreational activities to partake in the beautiful beaches with clear waters to choose from for a full day of fun in the sun. Gran Canaria has some of the best beaches on the chain of islands.

1. Maspalomas

There are man-made beaches like Anfi del Mar, family-friendly beaches like Amadores and even iconic part-desert/part-nudist beaches like Maspalomas which are a slice of paradise with white sand and crystal-clear water. If what you are looking instead is long-stretches of beach, throughout the island there are beaches that stretch for miles, such as 440-meters-long beaches like Tauro and 2,700-meters-long popular beaches like Playa del Ingles.

2. Bandama Caldera

The best place to start touring the island is to take in the natural sites, like the Bandama Caldera. This 1000-meter high volcanic crater boasts magnificent views of the valley below. You can spend a half-day or even a full day and visit the charming villages in the area, hike up the steep mountainside, visit vineyards and enjoy the panoramic views.

3. Roque Nublo

Other similar inland attractions include taking a tour to Roque Nublo and the Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas. Roque Nublo is a 67-meter volcanic rock considered one of the largest natural crags in the world. It is a significant site on the island because its natives considered it an ancient place of worship.

Since 1987, it has been deemed a natural reserve in which visitors often trek to get views of the Gran Canaria that are well worth the effort. On your way to the Roque, you can also pass by other similar natural monuments, like Roque de la Rana and Roque de EL Fraile.

4. Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas

Alternatively, the Natural Dune Reserve of Maspalomas are dunes on the south coast of the island which has also been declared a protected nature area since 1987. Although activities are limited here because of its sandy terrain, the impressive landscape makes for excellent photos.

5. Las Arenas

If you wish to spend some time indoors during the trip, you can visit the largest shopping center in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria called Las Arenas. For a more local experience, you can tour the many lively street markets in the villages all around the island where you can purchase a variety of products, from clothes and accessories to local produce, like fruits and vegetables.

Food in Gran Canaria

The best way to discover Gran Canaria is to eat like a local and explore life on the island through its traditional cuisine comprised mainly of grilled meat dishes, such as Cochino Negro Canario and Ropa vieja. Among the most typical and beloved dishes, you will also find plenty of fish, dishes like caldo de pescado and vieja sancochada are a crowd favorite together with zesty sauces like mojo and unique side dishes like papas arrugadas.

Gran Canaria offers visitors the best of Spanish culture together with the vibrant and tropical feel that comes from being on an island. Although the island has no official religion, most of the population is Roman Catholic and its cultural traditions mirror those of Spain. That being said, because of the huge influx of tourists coming in every year, it has become quite a melting pot of cultures and customs over the last several years.

Getting to Gran Canaria

As the second most visited island in the Canary Islands, there are a couple of ways to arrive in Gran Canaria. You can arrive by Sea as there are numerous to important ports currently operating in Gran Canaria. The main passenger port is the Port of La Luz and it operates a weekly ferry service to the Spanish mainland.

Additionally, you can reach the island by plane. You have the option to fly into the Gran Canaria Airport, also known as Las Palmas Airport - one of the busiest commercial airports in Spain that welcomes masses of tourists every year.

Interesting Reads: Best Places to Visit in Spain
Kalyan Panja