The island where good weather lives. This is the slogan of the official website of Tourism in Gran Canaria, and it is not a trivial sentence chosen at random, but rather one of the main attractions offered by this beautiful island to the visitor. Sun, beach, peace… Gran Canaria has guaranteed good weather, as well and many other things.
Surrounded by the amazing Atlantic Ocean, it is the island with largest population among all those that compose the Canary archipelago and has one of the most important cities: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, co-capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands (jointly with Santa Cruz de Tenerife) – and epicentre of the cultural and artistic life of the island.
With unique landscapes, Gran Canaria offers one of the most striking viewpoints routes in Spain, with 16 must visit places from which we can contemplate the authentic magic of this dream island: Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga, Pico de Pozos de la Nieve, Caldera de los Marteles, La Crucita, Pinos de Gáldar, La Sorrueda, El Ingenio, Las Tederas and La degollada de las Yeguas, among many others.
Thanks to this natural richness, almost the middle of the island has been declared Biosphere Reserve and has 8 nature reserves, 2 rural parks and 2 nature parks, 7 areas with protected landscapes and 10 natural monuments among which stand out Los Riscos de Tijarana, Roque de Aguayro, Caldera de Bandama and Barranco de Guayadeque.
Mountain, sea, light… Gran Canaria stands out for its wide variety of landscapes, its moonscapes, its hills and lush valleys, its impressive cliffs opening onto the Atlantic Ocean and its long sand beaches. Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, Meloneras, the charming Mogán town, Amadores beach, San Agustín, Puerto Rico, Agaete and Las Canteras: any of these places is ideal for escaping from it all and find the peace and calm we miss during those long months of work and routine.
The magic of tradition
Although it is one of the most touristic islands in the archipelago, with an average of 3,3 millions of visitors per year, it preserves that spirit of quietness in all its corners. Its people is kind and friendly, and its traditions are worthy of attention: The cuisine of Gran Canaria is one of the richest in the archipelago, and the local celebrations in its small towns are , along with with Las Palmas Carnival, one of the main cultural attractions of this magical destination.
Places such as the Cathedral of Santa Ana, Museo Canario, Casa de Colón, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno or Cueva Pintada Museum & Archaeological Park, are must visits since there you can find the key elements of the history of this island with more than 14 millions of years of existence.
One of the most recommended experiences is to taste different varieties of flor de guía cheeses accompanied by one of its wines with guarantee of origin and quality of Gran Canaria, very appreciated by gourmet travellers that, increasingly, visit every year this Atlantic location. This is why the gastronomic trips to Gran Canaria always end up in Santa Brigida, a town full of charm in the middle of the mountains, in the interior area of the island. With long wine tradition, there we find Casa del Vino de Gran Canaria (The house of wines) where we can enjoy a wine tasting and visit a complete exhibition about the history of wine in this municipality.
For toasting, however, there is not better moment that when you are in one of the thousands of traditional parties celebrated in the towns that compose the island. From its above mentioned and extremely famous carnivals to Fiestas de la Virgen del Pino (Feast of Virgin of the Pine), patron of the island, devoutly commemorated every 7th September in Teror.
It is also worth mentioning the Agaete celebrations which receives, year after year, more and more residents, tourists and bystanders. The main function, attended by many people, is the known Bajada de la Rama,, which was declared Festival of National Tourist Interest and is celebrated every 4th August in honour to St Mary of the Snows. Undoubtedly, the must attend summer party in Gran Canaria.
The magical coast
Besides cheese and wine, the cuisine of Gran Canaria boasts other elements that make it authentic and unique. One of them is the fish, captured in its Atlantic waters and taken to the Arguineguín y Mogán harbours. There we can find the essence of the island in each detail and eat one of the best tunas of the Atlantic: the tuna from Mogán, as it is known in many countries in the world.
But the waters washing the coasts in Gran Canaria offer much more. Blue marlin, barracudas, needle fishes… Fishing in an authentic fishing boat is one of the best plans of the island for anyone who visits it and looks for something different and special. Recreational fishing could be easily practised in these coasts, and in almost all the marinas in Gran Canaria is possible to book tickets in a fishing vessel for enjoying a sea day with a fishing rod.
For those looking for something more daring, this magical island is the best place in Europe for doing water sports. The quality of the coast, its delicious weather, its waters and its winds have turned Gran Canaria into the European capital of windsurfing, There we find some beaches such as Vargas and the wonderful Pozo Izquierdo which are situated in a privileged place, surrounded by the best spots for enjoying this sport.
Diving lovers can also live unique moments immersed in the magical ocean around the island, enclosing the island: there are innumerable scuba diving schools throughout the entire coast, located in the main tourist areas such as Playa del Inglés or Maspalomas, where we can easily find a hotel in Gran Canaria at affordable price. Besides signing on a private lesson or on group intensive courses during holiday, these diving centres usually offer the possibility of renting equipment, vessels and areas where you can dive freely.