Nestled in the heart of the Canary Islands the "miniature continent" of Gran Canaria boasts some of the most spectacular scenery, golden sandy beaches and lush green ravines to be found anywhere in the archipelago. This beautiful island is a holiday haven popular year round with families, young people seeking a vibrant nightlife, or anyone looking for fun and relaxation in the sun.
The majority of visitors to the island come to soak up the sun in some of Europe's most famous stretches of sand, such as Maspalomas and Playa Del Inglés, and relax in one of the many popular holiday resorts, all of which can be found in the south of the island. In contrast to the long swathes of golden sand around the edges of the island, the centre and west of Gran Canaria has a dramatic, mountainous landscape waiting to be explored. The volcanic peak of Pico de Las Nieves, the highest point on the island at 1,949m, and the famous landmark monolith of Roque Nublo both lie at the very heart. The north of Gran Canaria is home to its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria which, as Spain's ninth largest city with almost 400,000 inhabitants, dominates the north-east point of the island.
See and Do
Gran Canaria has a wealth of attractions and activities to explore and keep you entertained. For sun worshipers, the beaches of Maspalomas, Playa Del Inglés and Playa de Canteras are highlights of almost 60 kilometres of beach that can be found all round the island. Gran Canaria is equally as popular for people who want a more active holiday and, with the island being known as the "Hawaii of the Atlantic", you can be sure that water-sports plays a big part in the appeal. With world renowned surfing, wind-surfing and scuba-diving on offer you may well spend as much time in the ocean as on land. For people who like to stay dry, there's plenty to keep you entertained. Pull on your hiking boots or strap on your bicycle helmet and explore the spectacular mountainous landscape. For the golf enthusiast, Gran Canaria is home to Spain's oldest golf course, and several newer courses, and along with the fine weather and picturesque sea and mountain views, the island is the perfect location for a golfing holiday.
If you'd rather a lazy day taking in the sights, the natural attractions of the Roque Nublo monolith and Cueva Pintada archaeological park, along with the caves of Cenobio de Valeron and the botanical gardens of Jardin Canario should be seen by all visitors to the island. If you want to indulge in a bit of Canarian culture, don't miss the magnificent Cathedral de Santa Ana, Casa de Colon and the beautiful gardens of Pueblo Canario which can all be found in Las Palmas.
Gran Canaria boasts a sub-tropical climate, offering year round warm weather and almost constant sunshine. Average temperatures during the winter months are a very pleasant 20C rising to around 28C in the summer. It's not uncommon for temperatures to reach the mid-to-high 30's, even pushing above 40C in summer thanks mainly to the hot summer winds blowing in from the Sahara. Rain is relatively low and quite unevenly distributed on the island with the southern tourist hotspots being particularly rain-free for most of the year. If it does rain it tends to be for short periods in the cooler months of January and February with July, August, and September normally rainless.