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Book Flights to Gran Canaria (LPA)

Interesting facts about Gran Canaria

Part of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is a Spanish island located off the coast of North Africa. It is a great holiday destination thanks to its warm climate and unique environment. Combining beaches, nature, culture, cuisine and nightlife, Gran Canaria an all-round destination that attracts families, couples and groups of friends looking for somewhere to have a vacation to remember. Plan your trip and enjoy a great holiday with this useful Finnair travel guide to Gran Canaria.

Sights in Gran Canaria

The island capital of Las Palmas is great for shopping and culture. Check out the historic area of Vegueta with its quaint architecture and numerous tapas bars, admire Catedral de Santa Ana, see diverse works at the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art and visit varied museums like Museo Canario, which teaches visitors more about the island’s history, Casa de Colón Museum and the Elder Museum of Science and Technology. The urban beach of Playa de Las Canteras is a nice place to sunbathe, swim in the sea and stroll along the promenade. The island’s most famous beaches are, however, located in the south. If you’re looking to wind down and soak up some sun, head to Puerto Rico, or if you’d like some more action and love good food, lively Playa del Inglés is the place to go. Many of Gran Canaria’s beaches offer top-class surfing and there are also plenty of opportunities to explore the underwater world with scuba diving adventures. Maspalomas offers safe beaches for families and the Aqualand waterpark is nearby. The sand dunes of Maspalomas are especially popular with tourists looking to see something a bit different to the norm, and a fun way to see the sand dunes of the south is to go on a camel safari.

Gran Canaria also has several golf courses and great possibilities for biking and water sports. Almost half of the island is made up of nature reserves and parks. Palmitos Park is a large botanical garden exhibiting subtropical vegetation and hundreds of animal species, particularly birds. The mountainous region offers many hiking routes and sights like the Guayadeque Ravine and Agüimes historical village. The rugged area of Valsequillo boasts craggy ravines, impressive rock formations, diverse flora, a historic village with old carvings, a charming church and an old barracks. Discover cave villages where people still have homes, sparkling lakes and beautiful mountain views. The painted cave at Gáldar offers a fascinating peek into the past. 

Things to See and Do Near Gran Canaria

  • Tenerife – Just a short ferry ride from Gran Canaria, Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands. It boasts a hedonistic nightlife, rugged volcanic landscapes, cute fishing villages, beautiful beaches, traditional towns, water parks and the famous Loro Parque Zoo.
  • Fuerteventura – Another island reasonably close to Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura is the second-largest island of the Canary Islands. Mountains are scattered across the island and there are sandy beaches around the edges. A popular tourist area, there are quaint fishing villages, lively resort areas, excellent places for mountain biking, dunes and other places of interest. Highlights include Faro de la Entallada lighthouse, Baku Water Park and Oasis Park.
  • Boat trips – Several operators offer boat trips out to sea to try and spot whales and dolphins. You’ll also see varied marine birds and have fun on the open water.

Shopping in Gran Canaria

Tourists will find a wide array of typical beach items, such as bathing suits, sarongs, inflatable toys and beach games, and there are also many stores in Gran Canaria that sell clothes, souvenirs and other items of interest.

  • Triana – The commercial heart of Las Palmas, this is also one of the oldest parts of the city. There are diverse shops selling a wide selection of goods, and the area is known for being one of the best shopping places in all of Spain. The main street, as well as several side streets, is completely pedestrianised.
  • El Tablero – A fairly new shopping centre on the island, you’ll find El Tablero near Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles. It has a large supermarket and a variety of international brands.
  • Centro Comercial Las Terrazas – Outside of Telde, the island’s second city, this large mall has numerous shops and also top-class leisure options. It is also home to several discount outlet stores, making it a great place for those who love to find a bargain.
  • Los Alisios Shopping Centre – One of the island’s biggest shopping centres, it’s easy to spend several hours browsing in the many stores. You’ll find Spanish names as well as international brands.
  • San Lorenzo Farmers Market – Operational only at weekends, this is a terrific place to see how locals trade and also to source fresh, locally grown produce.

Food and Drink

  • Seafood and fish – As an island, it’s perhaps unsurprising to find that Gran Canaria has a great choice of fresh and tasty seafood and fish available in many restaurants. Head to the restaurants in the fishing villages for the very freshest catches.
  • Cactus fruit – These small spiny fruit grow in abundance in the wild across the island. The larger fruit are peeled and eaten raw, while the smaller fruit are made into tangy smoothies and preserves.
  • Papas arrugadas – Locally grown potatoes have a slightly different taste and texture than you are probably used to, thanks to the volcanic conditions. Potatoes are washed (but not peeled) and boiled in salt water until soft. The potatoes are then drained and sprinkled with more salt and served dry with lashings of a spicy sauce called mojo picón, which is made from garlic, chilli, olive oil, peppers, salt, vinegar and cumin.
  • Flan de la casa – This is a type of egg custard, accompanied by caramel and whipped cream.
  • Cheese – The locally produced goat and sheep cheeses are especially flavourful.
  • Gofio – A type of flour made from roasted wheat or maize, which can be used in soups, ice creams and sauces. It is also sometimes drunk mixed into a glass of milk.

Transport in Gran Canaria

Walking around the resorts is generally hassle-free, with the main hotels, shopping areas, entertainment complexes and restaurants close to the beaches. Exploring the rest of the island, though, will require some form of transportation. Renting a vehicle is often the preferred way for travellers to discover the island’s many charms.

  • Buses – The bus network in Gran Canaria is affordable, efficient and reliable, connecting most parts of the island with relatively short travelling times. Tickets can be bought from the driver.
  • Rental car – Gran Canaria has a good road network, with highways covering most of the island. Roads are generally well maintained and signposting is usually clear. There are several rental companies around the island.
  • Shuttles – Many hotels and resorts operate island shuttles, making it easy for their guests to get to various places of interest. Some offer free services while others charge.
  • Boats and ferries – Regular ferry services connect Gran Canaria with nearby islands in the archipelago, and numerous operators offer boat trips, including snorkelling and diving excursions, coastal explorations and wildlife-watching trips.

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Weather in Gran Canaria

29°C 25.02.2020
18°C 26.02.2020
16°C 27.02.2020
18°C 28.02.2020
19°C 29.02.2020
19°C 01.03.2020
17°C 02.03.2020
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