Gran Canaria is a beutiful miniature continent due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, where centuries of rich history meet natural spots of great beauty. Gran Canaria are close to Europe, 210 km from the northwest coast of Africa. With a wide range of beaches as diverse as the changing sceneries waiting to be discovered. The island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
A restless island that changes its aspect at the turn of the road.
Gran Canaria enjoys the best climate in the world.
Most of the tourists visit the southern part of the island, annual visitors is 2.2 million. The north tends to be cooler while the south is warmer and sunny. The east coast of the island is flat dotted with beaches while the western coast is rockier and mountainous. The island possesses 32 natural protected spaces, that they emphasize the Rural Park of Nublo, the Ravine of Azuaje, Doramas’ Jungle, Pino Santo, Tamadaba, to mention some of them. Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north.
Just below the airport in the town of Vecindario there is a large shopping center “Commercial Atlantico” that includes IKEA Gran Canaria, Carrefour and shopping mall. Vecindario is the town where the “locals” live and there is a significant price decrease from the south. Only a short walk from the shopping mall is an open air market on Wednesday mornings.
In the south there is a large bird park as well as many beach resort communities. The resort communities start in the central eastern part of the southern coast in the Maspalomas area which includes the towns of San Agustín, Playa del Inglés, Sonnenland, Maspalomas and Meloneras. The Dunes of Maspalomas are located between Playa Del Ingles and Maspalomas.
Playa del Inglés is a popular destination for European tourists with bars, restaurants and businesses centered primarily in the shopping center.
Still further to the west along the southern shore, in the Municipality of Mogán, are the communities of Arguineguin, Puerto Rico and Puerto De Mogan, a picturesque village referred to as “Little Venice” on account of its many canals.
Other famous rock formations are El Cura (also known as El Fraile), The Frog (La Rana), Bentayga, the Roque de Gando, and the Peñón Bermejo. The highest peak of the island is the Pico de las Nieves, with 1.950 m
The capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the north of the island, has a vibrant city life. Las Canteras Beach lies in the heart of the city. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also known for its annual Carnaval.
Gran Canaria was the first stop of Christopher Columbus’ expedition on his way back from the Americas, a commemoration of which is the Hermitage of San Antonio Abad, where the navigator prayed, and the Casa de Colón. Other attractions in the capital city include the Museo Canario (the most important archaeology museum in the archipelago), the Cathedral and the Plaza del Espíritu Santo. The town of Agüimes, on the eastern part of the island, has been carefully restored, and its town centre, centered around its old church and a peaceful square, now evokes the quiet living of a traditional Canarian town. The district also has some of the best preserved cave dwellings, in the protected area of the Guayadeque Ravine, where even the church has been built into the hillside and visitors can find a number of popular cave restaurants.
Other important towns are Telde and Vecindario (within the municipality of Santa Lucía de Tirajana) and Gáldar. In Arucas there is a Neogothic temple, known as “Arucas’ Cathedral”, as well as a large fertile plain where bananas are grown.
In Gáldar and its surroundings there is also a banana-growing plain and some remarkable archaeological remains, such as Cueva Pintada or Cenobio de Valerón’s communal silos, ancient tombs, and the port of Sardina del Norte (one of the island’s ports where, as in Las Palmas’, Christopher Columbus used to get supplies for his ships). In Teror is kept the catholic image of Virgen del Pino, the patron island.
Heading west along the southern coast is the fishing city of Arguineguín in the Municipality of Mogán. The market is held on Tuesdays in Arguineguin. But remember that many of the products sold on the market can be bought cheaper in the shops, not least at the shopping center in Puerto Rico. The market is fun if you like to haggle, but do not expect that you make a good purchase.