At a glance
Explore the island’s stunning interior on ancient footpaths – the caminos reales
Discover the cobbled streets and whitewashed houses of Fataga
Unwind on the perfect sandy blue flag beach
Destinations in Gran Canaria
Top things to See and Do in Gran Canaria
Massive Maspalomas Beach
Stretching six kilometres long, this golden sandy beach impresses with its sheer size, even boasting dunes that top out at 10 metres in height. And, to go along with its proportions, you’ll find plenty of lively entertainment in the restaurants, bars and neon-lit clubs of the nearby resort.
If size isn’t your main concern, you can head over to the smaller, yet more spacious beaches at Playa de Amadores and Puerto Rico. Here you can alternate hours of sunbathing, with laid-back evenings in the sleepy, traditional Canarian towns.
Escape to Lovers Beach
To truly unplug and get away from it all, take a 20-minute walk from Playa de Puerto Rico and you’ll come across Lovers Beach. This one-mile curve of golden sand doesn’t allow radios or ball games, so you can relax and unwind in relative peace. And, when you’re ready, head over to a nearby restaurant or café to plug back in.
When it comes to bargains, street markets are usually a good place place to start. And, on Gran Canaria, the market held in Teror every Sunday is a must-visit. Here you’ll be able to shop for deals on all sorts of culinary treats like home-made honey, pinwheel cheeses and arm-shaped chorizo sausages. On Fridays, the Puerto Mogan street market is also worth a visit. Take a browse around its stalls, filled with everything from handicrafts to fresh local produce.
In order to take advantage of Gran Canaria’s status as a duty-free zone, you can shop for perfumes, alcohol and electrical equipment in the stores at Yumbo centre in Playa del Ingles and the Centro Civico in Puerto Rico. But, as you stock up on must-have items, don’t forget to keep an eye on your duty-free allowances.
When it comes to high-end brands, you’ll find all the big names in the boutiques of the waterfront Triana district in Las Palmas. These chic shops are filled with the latest in haute couture, exquisite jewellery, intricate watches and Gucci sunglasses. You’ll also be able to pick up designer labels like Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli in the boutiques that line the beach promenade in Meloneras.
Those in search of more sophisticated and laid-back evening entertainment options, you can find what you’re looking for at Amadores, San Agustin and Puerto Mogan. Here you can enjoy sunset suppers, cosmopolitan cocktails and strolls in the moonlit Canarian night. Maspalomas also offers some cosy restaurants and a jazz bar or two. Plus, Las Palmas’ chic eateries on the Plaza Santa Catalina and cocktail bars on trendy Plaza de Espana will surely not disappoint.
As far as lively nightlife is concerned, Gran Canaria has plenty of choices on offer. For starters, Playa del Ingles is the hub of all partying on the island. The scene here features beachfront bars to get things rolling and the Kasbah centre – with its masses of pubs, pumping clubs and karaoke spots – to make sure that the night doesn’t stop until morning light. The Yumbo centre is also overflowing with heaving clubs, this time waving the rainbow flag. Puerto Rico also holds its own in the excitement department, with its tonnes of bars and clubs and its super-early happy hours.
A bit of a speciality item, rather than a main-menu staple – due to how time-consuming it is to prepare – this dish is a hearty broth made from vegetables and salty fish. Served with potatoes, rather than bread, Sancocho is definitely worth a taste.
Flor de Guia cheese
A culinary treat that’s truly unique to Gran Canaria, this creamy cheese is made on the northern side of the island. A mixture of sheep, goat and cow’s milk that’s been curdled with the juice of cardoon flowers, you’ll find many ways to enjoy this cheese on Gran Canaria, where it tops pizzas, is shaved over salads and is served all by itself with a glass of local red wine.
A dessert worthy of the name, this creamy concoction is made from sugar syrup, ground almonds, eggs and cinnamon. Whilst this delicious treat makes for an ideal after-dinner sweet, don’t be surprised if you have to loosen your top button after a serving or two.
No Gran Canarian culinary experience would be truly complete without a glass of this amber-coloured liquor, served neat over ice or as a swizzle, with lime juice and sugar. Every bar on the island will keep a bottle of honey rum on hand and many a friendship has been formed over a sip or a swig of this stuff.
El Monte wine
This locally grown red – it’s produced in the vineyards surrounding Las Palmas – tends towards the light and fruity, rather than the heavy and complex. It’s the perfect accompaniment for many Canarian delicacies, such as Flor de Guia cheese. For a tasting of this varietal, head over to Casa Del Vino in El Galeon.