This wonderful place is situated 150 km off the coast of Western Sahara in the Atlantic Ocean.
Seven major islands and six smaller form the Canary Islands. It is the second largest island of the Archipelago. People used to call Gran Canaria a “mini continent” because it has various climates, landscapes and it is located between three continents-Europe, Africa and America.
Are you thinking about visiting Gran Canaria? It’s a great idea! Here is some extra information.
- About Gran Canaria
- The weather in Gran Canaria
- Places in Gran Canaria and what to do
- Las Palmas
- Poema del Mar Aquarium
- Pozo de Las Nieves
- The Heart of the Volcano Tour & Local Food Tasting
- Puerto de Mogan
- Snorkeling and Boat Trip
- Playa del Ingles
- Beginners Surf Course in Playa del Inglés
- Offroad Buggy Tour
- San Augustin
- Puerto Rico
- Dolphin and Whale Tour
- Tamadaba Natural Park
- Insider Tips for Gran Canaria
- The cave restaurants of Guayadeque
- Mirador del Balcon
- Rum factory in Arucas
- Visiting Canary Islands? Check out these posts:
About Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is located in the Canary Islands archipelago southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura.
In Gran Canaria you can experience a “mini-continent”. The island is full of contrasts, which means that in the same day you can see magnificent beaches and vast dune fields, as well as mountain peaks covered with Canary pine forests, whose green contrasts with the dark volcanic underground.
The weather in Gran Canaria
You have found the perfect destination – all year round!
As early as March, you can look forward to pleasant temperatures with seven hours of sunshine a day. Even at Christmas the water temperature is still 20°C. No wonder Gran Canaria is one of the most popular holiday destinations outside the high season.
Gran Canaria’s subtropical climate is mild and sunny all year round, with an impressive 300 days of sunshine. The ideal time to visit is from April to October, when daytime temperatures range from a pleasant 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. It should be noted that the north is slightly cooler than the south.
Gran Canaria, like all the other islands of the Canary Islands archipelago, lies within the trade wind belt. This means that visitors will always enjoy a pleasant subtropical climate, despite an average humidity of around 70%. The wind ensures that it never gets oppressively hot! Gran Canaria has a permanent spring!
Temperature extremes on this third largest of the Canary Islands range from a comfortable twenty to thirty degrees Celsius throughout the year. A remarkable feature is the volcanic mountain range: Up to two thousand meters high, it acts as a weather divide, creating a wetter northern part and a drier southern part! When clouds approach from the northeast, they rain down on the mountain slopes or hang low over the slopes of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – “donkey bellies” as the locals say.
If you want to go hiking or biking, don’t forget to wear warmer clothes in the higher mountain areas, as the temperature drops by about one degree Celsius for every hundred meters of altitude. It can be considerably cooler in the interior. Most of the rainfall occurs in the higher mountain regions.
In summer, the difference in temperature and climate between the north and the south can be even more pronounced, when the Saharan winds cause temperatures in the south to rise above 30° C, although this phenomenon rarely lasts more than two days.
In addition to the two main climatic zones, Gran Canaria has numerous microclimatic zones. They are created by the different altitudes as well as by the deep ravines (barrancos) in the interior of the island!
The various climates, good wind conditions and the warm temperature of the water make Gran Canaria a real paradise spot. It’s a perfect place for sailing and other water sports. On its shores (about 240 km long) you can do everything- from shopping to partying.
The infrastructure of Gran Canaria is also well developed. This is a result from the good weather conditions. No matter what you want to do there you can do it. You can swim, sail, dive, and go fishing in the waters of the ocean. You can also enjoy the luxury of the yachts that are offered for rent.
Places in Gran Canaria and what to do
Its capital is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also known as “Las Palmas”. It is in the north part. The population of the city is about 400,000. It is divided into four main areas.
The first is the district of Vegueta which is 500 years old. It is famous for the museums, theatres, the Cathedral.
The second area is the tourist area where we can see a beautiful beach with lots of restaurants and shops situated on the shore.
The next area is the port and the last is the University with more than 20,000 students in it.
Poema del Mar Aquarium
Visit Poema del Mar and be amazed by the spectacular biodiversity of the blue planet. Immerse yourself in 35 different freshwater and marine ecosystems and marvel at the colorful diversity of life.
The oversized aquarium is truly impressive, especially the aquarium cylinder. It is definitely worth spending an hour or two in the aquarium. Visitors are usually well spread out so it doesn’t feel crowded and you have a good view from all sides.
Have an unforgettable experience exploring the different habitats with all their curiosities and abilities of countless species of animals in the Amazon, the depths of the ocean, as well as fluorescent corals, deltas, beaches and mangroves.
Explore La Jungla – a luminescent space that replicates the macrothermal jungle of Barro Colorado in Panama’s Canal Zone – and marvel at the extraordinary biodiversity that manifests itself in a seemingly endless array of plant species.
Dive into the Arrecife, a large cylinder with more than 400,000 liters of water, and observe many colorful corals and fish species typical of Indo-Pacific aquarium systems.
Dive into the Deep Sea – a unique exhibit with perspective views from multiple vantage points into the deepest part of our oceans – and experience the wonders of these dark waters firsthand: Some 3,000 specimens of up to forty different species swim here!
Discover El Veril – An exhibition of Canary Islands flora and fauna makes this special aquarium an almost tangible natural phenomenon!
Price: 27 (children under 4 years free)
Opening hours: 09:30 – 17:30
Address: Poema del Mar, Sanapú Port, 35008, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Pozo de Las Nieves
Not far away is Pozo de Las Nieves. Experience the magic of Gran Canaria by climbing to its highest point and be enchanted by its atmosphere. It is the highest peak on the island – 6431 feet (1,955 meters) above sea level.
The Mirador del Pico de Las Nieves is the highest viewpoint on the island and is located in the middle of the island – 1,949 meters above sea level. From here you can see the entire island, which has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The deep ravines with lush vegetation and mysterious rock formations are a feast for the eyes.
It is really worth to drive or ride to the top of the mountains to experience the spectacle of a sunset over the sea of clouds! A semi-circle of stone next to a parking lot opens up to the evening sun at the highest point of the mountain. This viewpoint has been designed with simplicity in mind; no obstacle will obstruct your view during an unforgettable experience of watching a breathtaking sunset. On the contrary, on cloudy days this place offers even more spectacular views than usual: you will have the feeling that Gran Canaria, together with Tenerife in the background, looks like a floating wonderland!
There are green forests, deep valleys with many tropical fruits and flowers. In winter, the landscape is covered with white snow.
The Heart of the Volcano Tour & Local Food Tasting
Experience breathtaking views of the Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve on this tour from Lomo Quiebre. Your guide will pick you up and take you inland through impressive canyons, volcanic calderas and huge rock faces. Discover rural villages with typical Canarian cave houses and the untouched nature of the island away from the beaches.
Walk over the highest point of the island at sunset and enjoy the view of a sea of clouds. Sample a variety of produce in the middle of an ancient volcanic plain – this is also where the locals like to go for a culinary treat.
Marvel at some of the greatest geological landmarks, such as the Roque Nublo volcano or the striking Roque Bentayga rock formation, as well as the Tejeda Basin with its green pine forests and the Tamadaba Mountains.
At the end of the day, you will enjoy a relaxing drive back to the starting point – full of new impressions from the interior of this fascinating island paradise!
Duration: 10 hours
Cancellation policy: 24 hours notice
The excursion includes:
- Pick up from your hotel and return to your hotel after the activity.
- Your guide is an AEGM/UIMLA member.
- You will travel in an air-conditioned vehicle.
- There will be a delicious “zero kilometer” product tasting during the tour.
- The experienced guide will also take photos during the tour.
So you have everything you need:
- Don’t forget the snacks!
- Water should also be handy.
- A jacket can be useful,
- A long-sleeved shirt can protect your skin from sunburn and scratches.
- And sneakers are recommended.
Other important information for this activity:
- This activity requires an easy hike through a canyon (3 km).
- This activity is accredited and carefully supervised by a certified mountain guide.
- The minimum age is 5 years, so this is a family friendly excursion!
- Rain or shine, this tour will take place!
- However, please note that weather conditions and the nature of the terrain may affect the route. The guide reserves the right to make changes.
Puerto de Mogan
When we talk about the resorts in Gran Canaria we need to say that Puerto de Mogan is probably the most beautiful one. It is situated on the south-west coast of Gran Canaria.
It is a great place and it is nowadays called Little Venice. It is full of nice yachts and has many little bridges. The window panes of the houses there are painted in beautiful shades of green, yellow and red. You can see flowers and greenery anywhere in the city.
In the past, Puerto de Mogan was mainly dependent on fishing. There are still a few fishermen who go out early in the morning. However, many residents have realized that tourism can also be a lucrative business. Many small shops and restaurants have sprung up, serving culinary delicacies to Central European tourists or selling souvenirs of their stay. In the center you can have a meal in extravagant restaurants; there are bars and shops everywhere.
The beach there is well protected from the Atlantic wind and waves so you can perfectly enjoy resting there. The beach of Puerto de Mogan is simply beautiful – with its golden brown sand it literally invites you to sunbathe! On weekends and during holiday periods it is a bit busier than usual, but during the week you can always find a quiet corner to relax.
Snorkeling and Boat Trip
A great coastal tour with plenty of snorkeling opportunities awaits you. The experienced guides (owner of the boat) will explain everything you need to know before and during the dive, from how to use the equipment to the fascinating underwater world.
While snorkeling you can see many species of fish. You will also be served delicious Spanish food on the boat: from omelettes to potatoes, there is something for everyone! And if that’s not enough, you can always get more.
I can really recommend this unforgettable tour on the water to everyone – regardless of age!
Duration: 3 hours
Cancellable free of charge until 24 hours before
You can look forward to an excursion that will provide you with snorkeling equipment, food and drinks. Don’t forget your swimsuit, towel and sunscreen!
Playa del Ingles
Most tourists stay in one of the resorts on the south coast when they visit Gran Canaria, others go to Playa del Ingles, which is full of dunes and beaches of golden sand.
It is one of the most famous and visited beaches of Gran Canaria. It is visited by more than 2.000.000 tourists every year.
Playa del Inglés is located in the south of the island. With almost three kilometers of golden sand and calm waters, it borders the Maspalomas Dunes Natural Park and offers numerous hotel complexes and apartments for accommodation. Along the beach there are several areas for family activities such as volleyball or beach soccer, as well as special offers for children.
As a large part of the tourist center of Playa del Ingles, this beach extends from the southern part to Punta de Maspalomas. The northern end of the beach is an ideal family beach with many accommodation options, umbrella rentals, showers, etc., while further towards the Punta you will find more wild nature – including surf spots & nudist areas!
Beginners Surf Course in Playa del Inglés
You will receive a very comprehensive surf lesson. The course lasts a total of four hours, during which time you will be under constant supervision.
While surfing is all about the physical activity, you will get a fantastic introduction to the sport. The value for money is very good.
Experience a day as a surfer in ideal weather conditions in Gran Canaria and visit the most beautiful beaches of the island to find the best waves to learn.
Your surf course starts with a theoretical introduction at the surf school at the foot of the spectacular sand dunes of Maspalomas. A fun video sequence will quickly prepare you for your upcoming trip into the water.
Then it’s off into the water! Your instructor will accompany you and make sure you get the most out of your course – together they will find the perfect spot for you!
Duration: 4 hours
Free cancellation 24 hours before
Included in the package:
- Full surf equipment with board, harness, life jacket and long or short wetsuit.
- Surfing lessons with qualified instructors
- Refreshments such as fruit and water between lessons
- Photographs of the exciting moments of the surfing experience
- 10% discount on all shop items
- Liability and accident insurance
The beach of Maspalomas, in the south of Gran Canaria, is one of the few places where the sky, sea and sand come together in a paradise.
Close to the historic lighthouse, tourists can visit the numerous shops or take a break while enjoying the view of the sea. Every day, the wind and the sand create a new landscape with breathtaking sunsets over the ocean.
This quiet Atlantic beach offers visitors comfort and various services for a relaxing vacation. The exceptional atmosphere will delight anyone looking for a relaxing vacation – there are many accommodations to choose from!
The dune landscape is reminiscent of a desert: let yourself be enchanted and forget the hustle and bustle of the city!
Offroad Buggy Tour
Experience an off-road tour of a special kind in Gran Canaria and discover the breathtaking mountain scenery that awaits you here.
This tour is suitable for those who are on vacation in Gran Canaria and want to experience an action-packed adventure. With the buggy you will explore some of the most adventurous roads of the island, an experience that will remain in your memory for a long time.
The ride starts in the valley of Ayagaures and leads to the viewpoint of Pedro Gonzales, which offers an impressive panoramic view of the valley with the reservoir and the surrounding mountains. Continue on dirt roads to more spectacular canyon scenery.
During the two-hour buggy ride, you will not only see magnificent views from different vantage points, but also charming villages in the south of Gran Canaria, as well as other fascinating natural landscapes such as the reservoirs or the valley of Fataga.
Duration: 2 hours
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour
Included in the tour:
- Pick up and drop off only in certain areas
- Buggy Tour
- Insurance included
A relaxing beach vacation in Gran Canaria awaits you at the beach of San Agustin in the resort of the same name. Here you will find a wide range of accommodations and services without being overrun by tourist crowds.
Just a few kilometers from the busier Playa del Inglés is the volcanic sand beach, more than 600 meters long. The beach’s golden waters also have little current and gentle waves – ideal for splashing around with kids!
The quiet sandy beach is ideal for a relaxing day in the sun and also offers one of the largest thalassotherapy centers on the island.
The beach promenade also attracts with numerous cafes, restaurants as well as bars for the small hunger in between or to treat yourself after a long bathing day in the evening. For the necessary relaxation, rented deck chairs including umbrella, free parking and showers are also available.
There is also a good bus connection between Maspalomas and the beach area – so nothing stands in the way of a dream day!
Quality of life with an ocean view!
Start your day with the ocean and enjoy a delicious breakfast on the beach. The Puerto Rico Resort offers you many advantages for a relaxing stay in the sun.
Puerto Rico, located in the south of Gran Canaria, is known for its white houses that stretch along the slopes to the coast. The sea here is calm all year round and invites you to watch dolphins during a boat trip or excursion from the marina.
Puerto Rico’s 280-meter-long golden sand beach in Mogán is ideal for families: while the children splash around in safety, parents can relax in the warm sand. The sheltered beach is always calm and can be used for swimming at any time.
Puerto Rico Beach is equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, and with a variety of shops and services nearby, you can spend the whole day here! You can retire under the shady trees to read a book or take a kayak tour through the water while keeping your drinks cool.
Numerous shopping centers offer culinary delights as well as cafes & bars to make your stay in Puerto Rico even more enjoyable. The golf course, only five minutes away, is ideal for beginners and the good public transport connections make it easy for residents of Gran Canaria to choose this place as a holiday destination!
Dolphin and Whale Tour
Come aboard a catamaran in Puerto Rico to see dolphins and maybe even whales, flying fish, turtles and rays. Enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline from the water and complimentary soft drinks throughout the cruise.
Begin your cruise with a convenient hotel pickup and transfer to the Port of Puerto Rico. Once you’re on board, head out into the Atlantic to explore the waters off Gran Canaria. Keep an eye out for dolphins and pilot whales!
Whether through the glass windows below deck or directly from the sun deck, you can get up close and personal with these incredible animals! When your boat reaches a small cove, you can swim and snorkel.
For everyone else, there are plenty of opportunities to relax: kick back with a complimentary drink or use the onboard slide. After approximately 45 minutes you will return to the port and your accommodation.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Free cancellation until 24 hours before
The tour includes:
- Catamaran dolphin ride
- Use of a snorkel mask
- Soft drinks and water during the swim
Search here for accommodation in Gran Canaria:
Tamadaba Natural Park
Gran Canaria, one of the islands in the Canary Islands archipelago, is a true paradise for nature lovers. There are numerous tropical landscapes to discover and the entire island has even been declared a Biosphere Reserve.
In Gran Canaria, the Tamadaba, Pilancones, Inagua and Oscuro ravines, the Nublo and Doramas nature parks and the Maspalomas dunes are particularly well known, all of which are nature parks or protected areas with breathtaking flora and fauna.
The Tamadaba Nature Park covers an area of 7,500 hectares in the west of the island. It is located within the Western Gran Canaria Biosphere Reserve, declared by UNESCO.
The area of the National Park is the beauty of the west coast of Gran Canaria.
Here visitors can admire endemic pine forests, dizzying cliffs on almost inaccessible coasts or experience an extraordinary biodiversity in the ravines.
A twenty-minute drive on the highway from Artenara will take you to Llanos de la Mimbre – the park’s mountaintop recreation area, where you can picnic under the pine trees before enjoying the spectacular views from the summit of Pico de la Bandera.
Further down, the road from Aldea de San Nicolás leads to the Mirador del Balcón – an unobstructed view of dragon-tailed cliffs or the secluded Playa de Guayedra beach at the foot of a palm-lined ravine.
Insider Tips for Gran Canaria
Do you want to hike off the beaten track in Gran Canaria and experience unforgettable adventures? Then we have some insider tips for you!
The cave restaurants of Guayadeque
If you drive around the island by car, you will discover numerous small and large caves in the mountain slopes.
It is hard to imagine that people lived there in the past and still do today.
Particularly well preserved caves can be found in the Guayadeque ravine near Agüimes. These caves are still inhabited by Canarios, both on weekends and all year round, as many of these caves were formed by geological faults, making them natural dwellings.
For those who want to deepen their knowledge of the valley, its vegetation and the first cave dwellers, we recommend the Guayadeque Museum. It was built as a “cave museum” in the rock and is definitely worth a visit.
An absolute highlight are the cave restaurants of Guayadeque. In this impressive canyon there are no less than three restaurants in natural rock formations.
If you are in Gran Canaria, you must visit the Tagoror cave restaurant. Here you will find a wide variety of freshly prepared dishes that are always delicious. Especially recommended are the regional specialties such as roast pork or octopus with wrinkled potatoes.
The restaurant is located at the end of the Guayadeque ravine, a popular destination for tourists and locals, on the mountain “Montaña Las Tierras”. Here you can not only eat delicious food, but also enjoy the magnificent view and linger in a cozy atmosphere.
However, the cave restaurant is often very crowded on weekends, as it is also very popular with the locals. So, if possible, choose a weekday to maximize your culinary experience at the Tagoror Cave Restaurant!
Mirador del Balcon
Another spectacular spot is the Mirador del Balcón, located on the GC-200 coastal road between Agaete and Aldea in western Gran Canaria. The viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Located on a hilltop near the small village of San Bartolomé de Tirajana (about 40 minutes from Maspalomas), the Mirador de Balcón offers breathtaking views of the Maspalomas dunes and Dragon’s Tail.
The road to the Mirador is steep and winding, but well worth the effort! The trail leads through a picturesque landscape of pine forests and rocks glistening in the sun. At the end of the trail is a parking area from which a short walk leads directly to the viewpoint!
The view from the Mirador de Balcon will simply blow you away: You’ll feel like you’re standing on top of a cliff, enjoying the vastness in front of you. The sand dunes of Maspalomas spread out in front of your eyes – different colors depending on the time of day and the angle of your view! In the background the mountains of Gran Canaria rise majestically and in the distance you can see the sea.
Rum factory in Arucas
In the idyllic village of Arucas, rum lovers will find a special attraction: an old rum factory that has been producing the famous Canarian Arehucas rum and honey rum according to a typical recipe for more than 100 years.
A visit to the factory with a tasting of the delicious sugar cane liquor is a must!
You will enter a true temple of culture when you visit the Arehucas Rum Distillery. Here you can live a unique experience for your senses and be enchanted by the aromatic spirit that links Gran Canaria to the Caribbean.
As you enter the distillery in Arucas, you will be greeted by a statue of Don Alfredo Martin Reyes. He took over the old Destilería San Pedro in 1935, which dates back to 1884, and has been producing only rum ever since.
Today the distillery is internationally known for its cultural importance around rum. The old buildings house the oldest rum distillery in Europe, where the delicious drink matures.
More than 4,300 American white oak barrels are housed here – the heart of the company!
Three and a half million bottles are produced each year – enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool!
All the factors of the climate, the beauty of the nature, the perfect infrastructure turns Gran Canaria into one of the best places for living on Earth.