If you’re planning an unforgettable break in the paradise of the Canaries, you’ve come to the right place; here we’ll be showing you the hidden gems that make the island of Gran Canaria in particular a unique and exciting destination. From idyllic beaches to majestic mountains, this island has something for everyone.
We are Guacimara and Pedro, born in Tenerife, and through our Tenerifelicidad project we’ve embarked on a journey around the world in a campervan, with no return date, and starting with a six-month tour of the Canary Islands.
Are you ready to set off on an adventure around Gran Canaria? Let’s find out what you can see on your visit to this island!
What to do while on holiday on Gran Canaria
If you’re keen to explore this amazing island, there are loads of exciting options for you to consider. From the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to the southernmost and northernmost points, every corner has its own unique history and beauty.
In and around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
There’s a lot to see in the city of Las Palmas, but if you’re tied for time, here are the must-sees:
Playa de las Canteras
Considered one of the best urban beaches in Europe, and without doubt the locals’ favourite.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria sprang up in this small neighbourhood and it’s the ideal place if you’re looking for some culture and leisure. As you stroll through Vegueta, you may be interested in visiting the Casa de Colón (Columbus’s House) if you want to immerse yourself in the history and art of the Canaries and its connections with the Americas.
What to see in the north of Gran Canaria
Each of these towns in the north of Gran Canaria has its own identity and a unique charm. Whether you’re looking for some relaxation, a history trip or to just immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings, these are all worth a visit:
A town of deeply religious significance, Teror boasts the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, a pilgrimage site for Catholics and home to the patron saint of Gran Canaria. But history is not the only thing of note in Teror; its old town unfolds with houses with wooden balconies and cobbled streets that take you on a journey through time.
Lying on the slopes of a hill, Arucas is a charming town that you can’t afford to miss.
Its architectural jewel is the majestic Parroquia de San Juan Bautista, a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. The town is also renowned for producing fine-quality rum and for its stately houses, such as the Casa-Museo Manrique de Lara, a museum devoted to local history.
Simply strolling through its streets, past colonial-style buildings that recount its history through their architecture, is a special experience.
Known as “The Balcony of the Atlantic”, Firgas boasts idyllic panoramic views from where it stands high on a hill. Not only amazing for its scenery, it’s also famous for its mineral water, a bottled treasure that’s distributed throughout the archipelago. It also has the Parque de La Constitución, a park embellished with a wonderful fountain, inviting you to relax and watch the world go by.
Don’t miss out on one of the prettiest parts of the north of the island, crowned by a magnificent pine forest and lapped by the Atlantic. Here you’ll find one of the most important archaeological sites on Gran Canaria, the Maipés Necropolis.
And to finish off this visit, why not take a stroll at Puerto de las Nieves? This fishing village, with its white and blue houses, is a very popular spot on the island for enjoying some delicious fish.
What to see in the south of Gran Canaria
But if beautiful beaches and a warm climate throughout your stay are what you’re looking for, with the opportunity to enjoy the best water sports, then the south of Gran Canaria is your best option:
The Maspalomas Dunes
One of Gran Canaria’s most iconic spots, and a natural space that’s an absolute must when visiting the island. A special nature reserve that’s home to a huge variety of ecosystems, with a living dune field, a palm grove, a brackish lagoon and a beautiful beach.
If I had to describe it in a few words, it’s a kind of desert combined with an oasis that will forever be etched in your memory.
Puerto de Mogán
This fishing village continues its traditional industry, and its white houses strike a charming contrast with the colourful flowers in the gardens.
Puerto de Mogán has a small beach lapped by very calm and turquoise waters, which are extremely inviting. So this is an ideal place for relaxing, especially for families.
The best natural parks on Gran Canaria
The Roque Nublo is undoubtedly the most iconic sight on Gran Canaria. It’s a natural monument situated in the centre of the island and is considered one of the largest rocks in the world, rising 80 metres from its base.
But to the islanders it is much more than this: it was a place of worship for the indigenous population, a magical place.
In 1987, it was declared a Protected Natural Space. It is so impressive that, even from the road, you’ll feel as if you’re on a film set.
Tamadaba Natural Park
Also declared a Biosphere Reserve, this is one of the most unspoiled and magical places on Gran Canaria, stretching from the highest parts of the island down to the coast.
Your tour of the park will include majestic Canary Island pine forests, a wonderful imposing formation of sea cliffs known as the ‘dragon’s tail’, and pristine beaches.
It’s hard to describe the beauty of Tamadaba; you just have to see it for yourself.
Where to go for the best sunsets on Gran Canaria
Here are four recommendations for enjoying the best sunsets on Gran Canaria:
Playa de Amadores
This beach on the southwest coast offers clear views of the ocean, making it a perfect spot for watching the sun go down over the horizon. The colours of the sky are reflected in the water at sunset, creating a stunning visual spectacle.
Mirador de las Coloradas
This viewpoint in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria offers a beautiful view westwards, where the sun sinks into the ocean. The combination of the city lights and the sky painted in sunset colours is truly breathtaking.
On the northwest coast, the Agaete cliffs provide stunning sunset views over the Atlantic Ocean. The contrast between the rock formations and the colours at dusk creates a captivating scene.
Paseo de San Cristóbal
As the sun disappears into the sea, a stroll along this seafront promenade in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will treat you to the serenity of the waves and the warm hues of the sky.