The third largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is a popular destination for holidaymakers looking for all that is on offer from this spectacular chain of islands. Anything to be found on any of the other islands is available here: a high-end marina moored with yachts; family-friendly beaches and watersports; stunning landscape that includes rugged mountains and sand dunes; and, of course, a lively nightlife of clubs and restaurants. It’s not hard to see why millions of tourists arrive on Gran Canaria flights every year, keen to see one or more aspects of this diverse destination.
Situated just 100km or so from Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy spectacular weather. The beaches at the southern coast of Gran Canaria are the most popular with sunlovers. The sand here is soft, the sea warm and the sun almost always in the sky. Puerto de Mogan and Playa del Ingles are some of the most popular, with a lively nightlife. But nature lovers and sports enthusiasts also book flights to Gran Canaria. The mountains at its centre are perfect for hiking, and there are botanical gardens, archaeological parks and caves to be explored.
Gran Canaria has a glorious climate all year long with temperatures in the 26 to 28 degree range in the summertime. In winter the range is 22 to 24 degrees. Rainfall in the summer months is almost non-existent, but showers are likely between October and April.
Gran Canaria insider information
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and there is plenty to do in the bustling town. It has a number of museums, but one of the most interesting is the Casa de Colon. This museum examines the relationship between the Canary Islands and the voyage to the Americas. Housed in the former Governor’s house, the exhibitions take place in five separate rooms, charting Columbus’s voyage.
The most popular beaches are on the south of the island. Puerto de Mogan, Playa del Ingles (which translates as the beach of the English, and tells you all you need to know) and San Augustin all have white sand and warm seas. If you’re staying here, be prepared for the other tourists. These are not places for quiet contemplation.
La Cueva Pintada (“the painted cave”) is an archaeological park on the island. The cave, covered with geometrical paintings, was first discovered in 1873. Today, it is well-preserved and the museum and park surrounding it tell the stories of the Guanche to visitors.