Attractions and Places to Visit in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria Places to visit
Gran Canaria coastline ranges from awesome cliffs to golden dunes.
Inland, you can choose between stark mountains and tranquil valleys. It is also well supplied with beaches, shopping centres and sophisticated nightlife. Tenerife and Gran Canaria share equal status as capital of the autonomous region of the Canary Islands, and the presidency alternates between them every four years.
Gran Canaria is the third-largest island (1,530 sq km/590 sq miles) and has a population of 815,000. Its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has an excellent beach, Playa de las Canteras, a 3km (2-mile) stretch of sand, lined with cafés and restaurants, which is popular with tourists from mainland Spain; and one of the largest ports in Europe.
The accessible terrain of the island affords as many kinds of landscape as would a whole continent, something that is undeniably appealing to nature lovers. Gran Canaria was formed some fourteen million years ago in a series of volcanic eruptions of enormous violence which caused the gigantic circular cone that is the island today to surge from the sea
Find out more about the Canary Islands
Buzzing Las Palmas
Las Palmas, capital of the island, is a major commercial centre, cosmopolitan resort and port. Its old town, Vegueta, with the handsome governor’s residence, the 15th-century Casa de Colón, has well-preserved colonial architecture. The Playa de las Canteras, the town’s sandy, restaurant-lined beach, is 3km (2 miles) long and the Parque Santa Catalina is one big outdoor café that buzzes night and day.
Key beach resorts
The main beach resorts are on the island’s south coast. Maspalomas, or Costa Canaria, is a mega-resort made up of three parts. Playa del Inglés is a large, crowded package-tour centre. West of Maspalomas, Puerto Rico is a family-oriented resort while Puerto de Mogán is an attractive fishing ‘village’.
Take in the views from Cruz de Tejeda
At 1,463m (4,800ft), Cruz de Tejeda is a popular vantage point in the rugged centre of the island, and the panorama includes two distinctive rock formations once worshipped by the Guanches.
The island forms an area of natural interest that is unique on Earth. The geological features and the peculiarity of its flora, marked by an extremely high number of endemic species of a botanical rarity equivalent only to the Galapagos or Hawaiian islands, have, since the 19th century, made it an important destination for the nature lovers.
Museums & Galleries
Gran Canarian’s excellent museums and galleries have everything from mummies and modern art to interactive science experiments and Columbus’ notebooks.