Are you thinking about visiting Gran Canaria? Here are the top 8 reasons why you should!
Gran Canaria is one of the seven islands of volcanic origin that make up the Canary Islands. Early 2022 we spent nearly 3 months exploring the Canary Islands. We were honestly blown away by the diversity of the islands and their beauty.
So here is our list of the top 10 reasons why you should visit Gran Canaria.
Firs of all you need to know that Gran Canaria is a massive tourists destination in Europe. Gran Canaria welcomes around 4.5 million tourists every year. Clearly, it is one of the favorite destination for Europeans.
Visitors are attracted by many reasons: the sun, the beach, nature, cuisine, the opportunity to practice outdoor sports throughout the year, an important historical heritage, a vast cultural offer or simply to escape the daily routine thanks to an enclave that offers the best climate in Europe with its eternal spring weather.
Gran Canaria is the destination preferred by families, sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.
In this post we will help you make a decision.
REASON 1: GRAN CANARIA IS ONE OF THE MOST DIVERSE ISLANDS
Gran Canaria’s is often called a continent by itself. This is due to its great diversity. In fact most people think about the beach when visiting any of the Canary Islands, but in Gran Canaria you will find much more than just beaches (although they are also beautiful).
In Gran Canaria you will find a desert making you feel like you are in the Sahara. For that head to Maspalomas (full guide here). You can drive through stunning mountains and reach Pico de las Nieves the highest point in Gran Canaria and 2nd highest in the Canary Islands reaching 1,949 metres above sea level. There you can visit the gorgeous village of Tejeda (full post here)
But that’s not it, you can also admire impressive Canyon at Guayadeque and Fataga. A rainforest at Azuaje Ravine with stunning waterfall. On the west you can also see impressive cliffs right by the sea sometimes reaching over 1,000 meters above sea level (see Agaete).
And yes obviously, Gran Canaria also offers stunning beaches, here we listed the top 10 beaches on the island.
REASON 2: VISIT GRAN CANARIA FOR ITS RICH CULTURE
The cultural offers in Gran Canaria is another reason why the island attracts so many visitors every year. There is a vast choice of things to visit. Some of the highlights are the Center Atlantic of Modern Art, the Canarian Museum, the House of Christopher Columbus, the León and Castillo House Museum, the Tomás Morales House Museum, the Benito Pérez Galdós House Museum or Science and Technology Museum.
Gran Canaria is also home to important events such as the Transgrancanaria race, the Music Festival of the Canary Islands, the Canary Jazz Festival & more.
For kids, you will also have a lot of choices such as Zoos, water parks, botanical garden, Came ride, Boat excursions and so much more. We particularly liked the newly built aquarium called Poema del Mar. You can book your ticket here and skip the line at the entrance.
REASON 3: VISIT GRAN CANARIA FOR ITS OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
If you enjoy outdoor activites, the Gran Canaria will make you happy as there are lots to do on the island.
First of all it is a famous golf destination. There are seven different golf courses within less than one hour drive. One of them, the Real Club de Golf of Las Palmas is the oldest in Spain, built in 1891 in Bandama by the famous Scottish architect Mackenzie Ross (website).
Thanks to its climate and the multitude of landscapes, the island is an ideal place for the practice of very diverse sports. It is possible to enjoy sport fishing, sailing, jet skiing, surfing, windsurfing sailing or kitesurfing. You can also go scuba diving or simply snorkeling.
The mountains and ravines of Gran Canaria are also a great playground for hiking, climbing or mountain biking.
If you like sports, Gran Canaria is paradise!
REASON 4: ENJOY THE DELICIOUS CUISINE IN GRAN CANARIA
Ah the food in the Canary Islands! After spending a few months there we certainly gained a few kilos. This is another reasons why you should visit Gran Canaria.
Most of the products offered by local restaurants are harvested by local farmers. A must-try is their potatoes “arrugadas” (wrinkled) and the sancocho a mixture of soups and broths are the perfect combination to enjoy a great meal in Gran Canaria.
The island also offers great wines, extraordinary cheeses and the best pastry desserts. In the Agaete Valley they even produce coffee which is very rare in Europe. You can also find locally produce Rum at the Arehucas Rum cellar, the largest and oldest Rum producer on the island. Of course most coastal villages offer freshly caught fish from the Atlantic. We almost ate fish or seafood daily during our trip to Gran Canaria.
Simply enjoy the food in Gran Canaria in local restaurants! You won’t be disappointed.
REASON 5: CHECK OUT THE BEACHES IN GRAN CANARIA
Like most of the visitors going to the Canary Islands, going to the beach is one of the main draw.
With its 236 kilometers of coastline, Gran Canaria has a lot to offer. While the south and east of the island are lined with countless white or black sandy beaches, the very rocky west coast is dotted with impressive cliffs which sometimes rise to almost 1000 meters above sea level.
REASON 6: THERE ARE SO MANY FESTIVALS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR IN GRAN CANARIA
It is in January, the Carnival festivities begin in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as well as in almost all the villages on the island.
The town of Tejeda, declared one of the “Most beautiful villages in Spain”, celebrates its traditional Almond Tree Festival on February 3 and 4. The streets of the village fill up with stalls tasting the famous local pastries with almonds.
The coastal village of Agaete celebrates on August 4 the Rama Festival, one of the main symbols of Gran Canaria in honor of the Virgen de Las Nieves.
September is the ideal month to discover local traditions, as other important festivals are held in Gran Canaria. For instance the procession with offerings to the Virgen del Pino, patroness of Gran Canaria in Teror, another beautiful village in Gran Canaria.
REASON 7: YOU CAN VISIT CUTE VILLAGES NESTLED IN THE MOUNTAINS
We already mentioned some of them earlier in this post. Gran Canaria has so many cute villages which you can visit, some of them are even listed as most beautiful villages in Spain.
Make sure to check the followings places if you are planning a trip to Gran Canaria:
- Firgas: this village became one of the best spot to visit in Gran Canaria thanks to its beautiful pedestrian walkways along a stepped waterfall. This famous roadside waterfall is lined with mosaics for even more charm. The place is called Paseo de Canaria.
- Teror: although the name “Teror” might sound scary, the village is one of the most charming in Gran Canaria.
- Fataga: another a charming village nestled in the mountain. Perched on a steep rocky outcrop in the middle of a palm grove, the village has retained its soul and attracts many artists, somewhat rehabilitating the village. A true gem in Gran Canaria. (see photo above)
- Puerto de Mogán: our #1 place to visit in Gran Canaria. This place is even nicknamed the Little Venice. More info here.
REASON 8: THE PERFECT WEATHER
Gran Canaria, like its neighbours, Fuerteventura or Lanzarote, is sunny most of the year with very little rain. The weather feels like an eternal spring. In other word, it’s perfect! There are little differences depending on the seasons, but anytime in the year is pretty fine to visit Gran Canaria.
Where to stay in Gran Canaria?
Puerto de Mogán
Puerto de Mogán, with its soothing atmosphere and its small white houses wedged between the sea and the cliffs behind is just stunning. The beach at Puerto de Mogán is also very pleasant. As it is located in the south, it gets more sunny days than the rest of the island. From there, you can easily reach Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés, Fataga and even Pico de las Nieves.
At Puerto de Mogán, our favorite hotel by far is Cordial Muelle Viejo. This brand new hotel is directly facing the sea and is located next to the beach right beside a cliff. We highly recommend this place for a perfect holiday in Gran Canaria. Check it out here.
Las Palmas is a place that is central to the historical and contemporary culture of the Canary Islands. In the city, you can discover a surprisingly rich historical heritage, especially in the district of Vegueta, a colonial district which houses the Cathedral of Saint Anne and the House of Christopher Columbus.
The most important museums of the island are also located here, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Museo Canario, which exhibits numerous remains of the Guanches, the first inhabitants of the archipelago.
During the first half of our trip to Gran Canaria we decided to stay in Las Palmas. As you may already know, we always look for places where we can surf nearby. And Las Palmas has 2 of the best surfing spots in Gran Canaria, which was perfect for us. (READ: BEST SURF SPOTS IN THE CANARY ISLANDS)
In Las Palmas we stayed in a brand new hotel called ART LAS PALMAS MUR HOTEL. We totally loved it. It has such a great value for money and is located close to the main beach of Las Palmas. You can book here.
Another beautiful hotel in Las Palmas, probably the most charming one, is Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel. This luxury hotel is located near the harbour of Las Palmas in the historical center of the city. The rooftop pool is breathtaking. If your budget allows it, then don’t hesitate, this is one of the best places in Las Palmas. Book here.
Maspalomas is the most important seaside resort in Gran Canaria. It is located at the extreme south of the island. If you want to enjoy the sea above all and want to spend your holidays in a lively place with a very festive atmosphere, then Maspalomas is probably the right place to stay.
One of the major attractions of this seaside resort is Playa del Inglès, the largest beach on the island.
The offer in terms of accommodations in Maspalomas is quite substantial. You can easily find hotels of all types.
In Maspalomas we recommend Hotel Riu Palace Meloneras. In fact, many hotels are located behind the dunes. So accessing the beach requires a long walk in the hot desert until you can finally reach the sea. However, Hotel Riu Palace Meloneras, is located on the side of the dunes, directly facing the sea. And right behind the hotel, you will find many restaurants and a shopping center. Without a doubt, Hotel Riu Palace Meloneras is one of the best places to stay in Maspalomas. Book here.
All our posts about Gran Canaria
20 THINGS TO DO in Gran Canaria: here
PUERTO DE MOGAN in Gran Canaria: here
MASPALOMAS, the most unique things to see in Gran Canaria: here
BEST THINGS TO DO in Las Palmas: here
TEROR, one of the most charming village in Gran Canaria: here
TEJEDA, a town nestled in the mountains of Gran Canaria: here
AGÜIMES, a beautiful historical town in Gran Canaria: here
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR to visit Gran Canaria: here
BEST PLACES TO STAY in Gran Canaria: here