Gran Canaria is known for being the only round Canary Island and is also noted for having many different micro climates which is why you may see it referred to as a ‘continent in miniature’. Because of the different climates, you can travel from the southern desert like dunes which is where it is most hot, to the mountains found in the middle of the islands where it is cooler and maybe even raining and then venture to the west where you will find rocky ground similar to Tenerife.
Gran Canaria sees around 2.2 million tourists visit the island each year, with the majority of the tourists saying south of the island where temperatures are generally warmer. There’s plenty to do on the island from one of the many boat trips to historic towns, wildlife parks and the many beautiful beaches.
The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas which is located in the north of the island, as you would expect from any capital city there is plenty of history to be found here, as well as plenty of bars and restaurants. Las Palmas is also a great place for shopping with many of the top high street shops being found here as well as luxury designer brands. Las Palmas is one of two capital cities for the whole of the Canary Islands, with Santa Cruz in Tenerife being the second.
If you get tired of the hustle and bustle of the busy streets in the islands capital, Las Palmas has it’s own beach ‘Playa de Las Canteras’ which is beautiful and will get you away from the capitals hectic lifestyle. Las Palmas is a big city, but getting around is cheap and easy. The taxis here are some of the cheapest in the Canary Islands and the bus services are very pleasant and easy to navigate.
There are 9 main beaches on the island. Maspalomas is probably the most well known and most popular, it has a section for families, nudists and a gay area. Playa del Ingles which translates to ‘Englishman’s Beach’ is also a popular beach which is surrounded by hotels, shops and bars.
There are 8 golf courses in Gran Canria, which considering the size of the island that’s a lot. 4 golf courses are located in the south and 4 are located in the north, so no matter which side of the island you are staying on you won’t be too far away from a golf course. We personally prefer the golf courses in the north, not because they are better courses but because the north has cooler temperatures which makes playing golf much more pleasant since the south can get very hot.
There are 11 main tourist resorts in Gran Canaria with each one having their own reasons for you to visit:
- Bahia Feliz
- Las Palmas
- Playa de Amadores
- Playa del Ingles
- Puerto Mogan
- Playa Taurito
- Puerto Rico
- San Agustin
For more information about the different resorts take a look at our ‘Gran Canaria Resorts’ page.