Gran Canaria holiday highlights

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.

Strolling along the palm-fringed 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 great way to burn some energy. 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 and plenty of space to kick back in the sand. 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 on the island and offer outstanding panoramas.

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

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.

Food and 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.