Getting to know Gran Canaria

Home to such a diverse landscape, incredible beaches and bustling cities, it is easy to see why Gran Canaria is often regarded as a continent squeezed on to an island.

The third largest of the Canary Islands is one of the most popular with holidaymakers. It is a destination that can tick every box. The coastal areas are populated with quaint resorts taking full advantage of the beautiful beaches while the capital of Las Palmas is perfect for a city breaks and goes into full party mode when the carnival arrives every spring.

The summer holiday season is approaching so let’s take a closer look at what makes Gran Canaria such a special place.

Las Palmas

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The capital of the island, Las Palmas is a cosmopolitan city filled with cultural sights, bars, restaurants and two beautiful beaches. Explore one of the Europe’s most underrated city break destination and wander through the cobbled streets of Vegueta, Las Palmas’ old town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Las Palmas has over 400 years of history demonstrated in the traditional neighbourhoods of Triana and San Jose. However, it has blossomed into a modern city with the likes of Pérez Galdós which are popular hipster hangouts with trendy eateries and amazing architecture. From January to March, Las Palmas is transformed into a huge party as the carnival comes to town featuring parades, street performances and much more, it is one of the highlights of the Gran Canaria calendar.

Maspalomas

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At the southern tip of Gran Canaria is the charming resort of Maspalomas. Along with neighbouring Playa del Ingles, they are some of the island’s most popular area for holidaymakers. Maspalomas is a little more laidback than Playa del Ingles, making it a perfect destination for families.

There are not many more dramatic scenes in Gran Canaria than the dunes surrounding Maspalomas that you can cross either by foot or on camel. This leads to El Oasis, a sea-water lagoon lined with palm trees, and some amazing beaches that surrounded the resort. You can also not go far without seeing the Faro de Maspalomas, a light house which has been guiding ships out at sea since 1886.

Puerto de Mogan

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Dubbed the ‘Venice of the Canaries’, Puerto de Mogan adds a touch of elegance to a visit to Gran Canaria. Take the scenic journey to the western part of the island and you will find a town with a pleasant marina, white sand cove and where relaxation is the popular activity.

Once a sleepy fishing village it is now an inviting upmarket resort that bears some resemblance to the Italian city which it shares a nickname. The network of canals and bridges lead to a selection of restaurants and bars which serve up some of the best seafood in Gran Canaria. Take a short drive from Puerto de Mogan and you can take in the picturesque views of Playa Taurito.

Playa del Ingles

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Playa del Ingles is the king of Gran Canaria’s holiday scene. This is the fun in the sun destination that attracts so many holidaymakers to the island with its wealth of hotels, its sprawling beach and offers everything else you could wish for.

What it lacks in cultural sights it makes up for with a welcoming atmosphere and a white sand beach. Among the bars, restaurants and clubs, however is a place of sanctuary in the Temple Ecunmenico de San Salvador, the resort’s main church. From families to couples to golfers, Playa del Ingles is a resort for those lazy long breaks.

Puerto Rico  

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If you’re the kind of person that wants to return from Gran Canaria with a golden tan then there is only one place to go. Puerto Rico enjoys some of the best weather on the island and is well-equipped for you to enjoy it with two delightful beaches.

Playa de Puerto Rico beach is the focal point of the town with the crescent-shaped sweep of soft, white sand accompanied by promenade lined with bars and restaurants. It is contrasted wonderfully with tropical gardens to create a scenic setting. A little further north is Amadores Beach, a Blue Flag stretch of shoreline popular for watersports and sun worshippers.

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