Gran Canaria Holidays

Mesmerising sand dunes, unique black beaches and design-led hotels – Gran Canaria holidays are all about easy, breezy, relaxing fun.

Sahara sands blow over the Atlantic Ocean to the Maspalomas dunes creating a desert landscape whose sheer size leaves you feeling like you just landed in Arabia. Walk from your hotel at sunrise as an apricot sky meet endless sands or jeep safari over the golden dunes for an exhilarating ride. Gran Canaria holidays have many guises – palm tree-lined pools in swish family-friendly hotels, an elegant city centre with a maze of shop-lined streets, oceanfront fairways on immaculate golf courses and volcanic ravines with Trejeda mountain views.

We love the laid-back beachy vibes and fun-filled over- and under-water atmosphere. There’s nothing like dining beachfront on fresh fish before diving back into crystal clear waters or making the most of the eastern side winds sailing by yacht past soaring cliffs or by catamaran on a wild dolphin cruise. We can tell you the best places to see those black lava beaches, the top locations for beginner surfers and the most secluded south coast spots where white sands are shared by resident lizards and swimming over waves is a strenuous as it gets.

Most of the time Gran Canaria holidays are about hanging out poolside, heading down to the beach and getting out on the water but we can also point you in the right direction for eventide strolls along upscale palm-fringed boul0evards, towards whitewashed towns filled with authentic charm and on the road to free standing volcanic peaks where fiery sunset picnics end a perfectly balmy day.

Whether you want Thalassotherapy circuits in a spa resort or a design-led hotel minutes from Maspalomas, our Personal Travel Experts are on hand to craft your Gran Canaria holiday.

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Gran Canaria Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Gran Canaria

Lopesan Villa Del Conde Resort & Thalasso

A vibrant village-style resort near Maspalomas promenade, with top wellness facilities.

Seaside Palm Beach Hotel

This pretty resort at the heart of centuries-old palm groves has a laid-back and unique 1970s ret...

Don Gregory by Dunas

This breezy adults-only beachfront hotel comes with a stylish Nordic twist.

Santa Monica Suites Hotel

An environmentally conscious hotel wrapped around Maspalomas’ undulating sand dunes.

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

Backed by mountains and dunes, this luxury hotel is equal parts French elegance and laidback Cali...

Lopesan Baobab Resort

This African-themed resort close to the sands of Maspalomas is made for easygoing holidays filled...

Paradisus Gran Canaria

This inviting all-inclusive resort on one of Gran Canaria’s most appealing beaches is a welcome n...

Gran Canaria by VW

Rediscover the fun of driving on a unique adventure that takes you into some of Gran Canaria’s most remote places. You’ll be at the wheel of your own VW Beetle convertible as part of a small guided convoy into the interior, passing remote mountain villages, shimmering reservoirs, lush aloe vera plantations and steep-sided valleys studded with a thousand palm trees. It’s not just about the stunning scenery, though: it’s about zipping along with the warm breeze in your hair, music playing, and the feeling of freedom that comes from knowing that an expert is in charge of navigation. We guarantee that you won’t want to hand the keys back at the end of the five-hour road trip.

• Duration: full day
• Departs Monday to Saturday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
Drivers should hold a full driving licence, be aged over 18 and wear closed-toe shoes. Children over 4 are allowed as passengers.

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Roque Nublo Hike

Roque Nublo, ‘the rock in the clouds’, was a sacred place in ancient times and remains a symbol of Gran Canaria and a popular goal for walkers. Your hike begins to the west of this 80m-high volcanic outcrop, where you’ll pick up an ancient trail that meanders upward through pine forests, past long-solidified lava flows and strange stone columns. Along the way, you’ll learn about the herbs and medicinal plants that grow beside the path while enjoying the fresh clear air and the rugged mountain scenery. Arriving at the 1750m-high plateau on which Roque Nublo seems to sit, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Teide on the neighbouring island of Tenerife, before pausing for a well-earned rest and a relaxed picnic, giving you time to soak up the unique atmosphere of this pre-colonial religious site. From here, you’ll descend to the village of Ayacata, set in an ancient crater, where the hike ends.

• Duration: full day
• Departs Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group departures

Good to know
The walk covers 7km and is rated difficulty level 2. Suitable hiking boots are essential; hiking poles, water and a sandwich are provided.

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Kestrel Canyon Hike

Spend a fascinating day exploring the lush landscapes of Gran Canaria’s remote north-east. Thanks to a quirk of geology – the particular minerals in the lava of long-ago eruptions – rare plants thrive here, creating a unique ecosystem. As you hike through the ravine, you’ll follow a stream that flows all year round, keeping the humidity high and helping to sustain the jungle-like vegetation. Small animals such as rabbits and lizards abound here, which naturally attracts birds of prey, including hawks and buzzards as well as kestrels. After a picnic where you’ll find the lizards will happily eat bits of your sandwich from your fingers, you’ll continue to the village of Guayadeque, where you’ll be able to explore some old cave houses and taste a variety of the typical products of the area, such as the local sweet wine.

• Duration: full day
• November to April: departs Wednesday and Saturday; May to October: departs Wednesday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

Good to know
The walk covers 7km and is rated difficulty level 1.5. Suitable hiking boots are essential; hiking poles, water and a sandwich are provided.

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Gran Canaria Dolphin Watch

Take a trip on a modern catamaran that’s been purpose-built for dolphin-watching, with two viewing decks, a glass bottom and specialised sound equipment for listening underwater. Aboard the wonderfully spacious and stable Multiacuatic, you’ll head out to sea to spend a couple of hours looking out for some of the 27 species of cetaceans that have been spotted around the Canary Islands, from resident bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales to visiting Risso’s dolphins. As you search, the crew of this Blue Badge-holding vessel – awarded to those who have a clear focus on conservation and the safety of marine life – will share their knowledge of these enchanting creatures with you, adding to the experience. Afterwards, you’ll head closer to the shore for a refreshing swim, the perfect way to round your marine adventure.

• Duration: half day
• Time: 10.30am to 1.30pm
• Departs Tuesday and Thursday
• Operates year round
• Group experience

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Discover Gran Canaria by Jeep

Enjoy a fun-filled adventure on a 4x4 safari through the island’s varied landscapes, from lush valleys to dramatic rocky plains. The action-packed itinerary includes the hamlet of Fataga, with its narrow cobbled streets lined by small whitewashed houses, set in a palm-forested ravine. From here, you’ll venture on to dirt tracks to explore this dramatic setting further, and visit other wild gorges nearby that normal vehicles can’t reach, giving you a unique perspective on Gran Canaria’s geography. You’ll pause for lunch at a typical Canarian restaurant and stop at an aloe vera plantation where you’ll tour the fields of spiky plants and learn how they’re processed to create a host of different products.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Group experience

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Get to know Gran Canaria and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT+1 hour

CURRENCY

Euro

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

Gran Canaria: 4½ hours

RELIGION

Christianity (majority Catholic)

LANGUAGE

Spanish (also known as Castilian)

Where is Gran Canaria? Gran Canaria is part of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of Africa.

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Exploring Gran Canaria There’s the mesmerising wind-sculpted sand dunes of Maspalomas, home to over three miles of golden beaches, a laid-back upscale atmosphere and the island’s largest golf course, which also happens to overlook the dunes. Then there’s the family-friendly beach atmosphere in Playa de Puerto Rico and the romance of Puerto de Mogán. All offer watersports including jet skiing, windsurfing, banana boat rides and pedal boat and kayak rental. In the north, Playa de Sardina del Norte is ideal for diving and is a relaxing place to watch local fisherman go about their day.

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What to do Strolling along the boulevard of Melanoras all the way to San Augustin is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon and if you’ve got kids in tow a trip to the Wild West theme park of Sioux City is a must. Las Palmas is the island’s capital and its old town, Vegueta, is worthy of an afternoon stroll amongst old colonial buildings. From here you can reach the urban beach of Playa de las Canteras where you’ll find a buzzing café culture. If you’re looking for spectacular sunset views, the volcanic Roque Nublo or Mirador de la Pico de las Nieves are the highest lookout points.

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Getting around Local buses (Guaguas and Global) service most of the island day and night and metered taxis are readily available. You can buy tickets on the bus by cash or purchase a bus pass in advance.

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Food & drink Expect Spanish, Latin American and African influences, international and kid-friendly dining and Canarian specialities in both hotels and restaurants. Thanks to daily markets there’s lots of colourful seasonal produce and plenty of fresh crab, lobster and fish. Regional fish recipes include caldo de pescado (fish soup) and vieja sancochada (sea-bream casserole). Tropical fruits are a favourite dessert and honey rum is a favourite drink. Tapas is traditionally eaten before a main meal and in Gran Canaria this mini feast is known as enyesques

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Visas & passports UK visitors to Spain currently do not need a visa. However, in late 2023 (date to be confirmed), British citizens must apply for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System waiver, commonly known as an ETIA, covering a visit for up to 90 days. Passports must have at least three months of validity after your intended departure date.

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Gran Canaria Weather

Mar - Nov

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Gran Canaria Weather by Month

Our experts have curated a wide range of handpicked Gran Canaria offers to make your next holiday extra special. Make the most of great-value savings, exclusive upgrades and bespoke touches. 

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