Gran Canaria is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culture. There are plenty of places to explore in Gran Canaria, from historic towns to natural wonders. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone on the island. Here you can read our guide on places to visit and see in Gran Canaria, including top sights, points of interest, beaches, museums, nearby sights, where to find them.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
This vibrant city is the capital of Gran Canaria and the largest city in the Canary Islands. It’s a great place to explore with its historic quarter of Vegueta, the famous Santa Catalina Park, and the beautiful Las Canteras beach. Don’t forget to visit the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium and the Elder Museum of Science and Technology.
This natural monument is one of the most iconic landmarks in Gran Canaria. It’s a giant rock formation that stands at over 80 meters high and is surrounded by stunning mountainous landscapes. The hike to Roque Nublo is a must-do for anyone visiting Gran Canaria.
Puerto de Mogán
Known as “Little Venice,” this picturesque fishing village is a must-visit destination in Gran Canaria. With its colorful buildings, beautiful canals, and charming harbor, Puerto de Mogan is a great place to relax and enjoy the island’s beauty.
Located on the southern coast of Gran Canaria, the Maspalomas Dunes are an impressive natural feature of the island. The rolling sand dunes are a great place to take a walk or enjoy a camel ride.
This beautiful town is known for its charming Canarian architecture, colorful houses, and beautiful church, the Basilica de la Virgen del Pino. Teror is a great place to explore the island’s history and culture.
The historic district of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Vegueta is home to some of the oldest buildings on the island. The cobbled streets are lined with museums, art galleries, and cafes, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
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This charming town is located in the southeastern part of Gran Canaria and is known for its historic architecture and quaint streets. The town is also home to the Cueva de los Vientos, a network of underground caves that are open to the public.
Pico de las Nieves
This is the highest peak in Gran Canaria, standing at over 1,900 meters. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking, and the drive up to the peak is also stunning, passing through beautiful forests and mountain landscapes.
This wildlife park is home to a wide variety of animals, including dolphins, parrots, and crocodiles. The park also features botanical gardens, a butterfly house, and a bird of prey show.
This volcanic crater is located in the center of the island and is a popular destination for hiking and exploring. The crater is surrounded by stunning landscapes, and there are several trails that lead to the top for stunning panoramic views.
Gran Canaria offers a wide range of holiday resorts that cater to different tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing getaway, a family-friendly resort with plenty of activities, or a budget-friendly option, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful island.
One of the most popular holiday resorts in Gran Canaria is Playa del Ingles, known for its long stretches of golden sandy beaches and lively nightlife. This area is popular with young travelers and offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly apartments to luxury resorts.
Another popular holiday resort is Maspalomas, located just south of Playa del Inglés. Maspalomas is known for its stunning sand dunes, nature reserves, and beautiful beaches. This area also offers a variety of accommodations, including all-inclusive resorts, apartments, and hotels.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious and peaceful getaway, Puerto de Mogan is a great option. Known as “Little Venice” for its charming canals, this resort offers a quieter atmosphere with a marina, beautiful beaches, and a variety of restaurants and shops.
For those looking for an eco-friendly and sustainable option, Agaete is a great choice. This small town is located on the northwest coast of the island and offers a laid-back atmosphere with natural hot springs, botanical gardens, and beautiful beaches.
Beautiful Towns & Villages
Gran Canaria is filled with natural beauty and charming towns to explore. Here are some of the most beautiful towns to visit in Gran Canaria:
- Teror – This charming town is located in the northern part of Gran Canaria and is known for its colorful houses and cobbled streets. Visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, one of the most important religious sites in the Canary Islands.
- Agüimes – Located in the southeastern part of the island, this traditional Canarian town has a beautiful historic center with cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and a 17th-century church.
- Tejeda – Surrounded by stunning mountain views, this picturesque town is known for its traditional Canarian architecture and beautiful countryside. Don’t miss the chance to try the local almond sweets, which are a specialty of the town.
- Moya – Located in the north of the island, this charming town is home to the beautiful Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, a 16th-century church with a beautiful interior.
- Puerto de Mogán – This picturesque fishing village is located in the southwest of Gran Canaria and is known as “Little Venice” due to its canals and colorful buildings. Stroll through the marina, enjoy the beaches, and visit the weekly market.
Gran Canaria is well-known for its beautiful and diverse beaches. From the golden sand dunes of Maspalomas to the volcanic black sand of Playa de las Canteras, there’s a beach to suit every taste. Playa del Inglés is one of the most popular beaches, famous for its long stretch of golden sand, crystal clear waters, and lively atmosphere. Maspalomas beach, located nearby, is a stunning natural reserve of sand dunes and lagoons, offering a unique landscape for a day trip.
For those who prefer a quieter atmosphere, the secluded and wild beaches of Güi Güi, Amadores, and Agaete are great options. The calm waters of Puerto de Mogán, known as the “Venice of the Canaries,” provide a peaceful setting for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
Surfers and windsurfers should head to the north shore of the island, where the waves are more challenging. The rugged coastline of La Aldea de San Nicolás is a popular spot for adventure seekers, offering stunning views of the sea and the mountains.
Most of the beaches in Gran Canaria offer a range of facilities and amenities, including showers, sunbeds, and restaurants. You can also take part in water sports activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and jet skiing.
Outdoors & Nature Activities
Gran Canaria is a perfect destination for nature lovers, as the island offers a wide range of outdoor activities that allow visitors to explore its breathtaking natural beauty.
- Hiking: Gran Canaria is a hiker’s paradise, with over 1,500 km of hiking trails that traverse its stunning landscapes, from rugged mountain terrain to lush valleys and coastline cliffs.
- Cycling: With its varied topography and mild climate, Gran Canaria is a popular destination for cycling enthusiasts. The island offers a network of well-maintained cycle paths and mountain bike trails for all levels of ability.
- Rock climbing: Gran Canaria’s rugged terrain provides a challenging environment for rock climbers. The island’s steep cliffs and rocky crags offer a range of climbing opportunities for both beginners and experienced climbers.
- Paragliding: The island’s spectacular landscapes and thermals make it a popular destination for paragliding enthusiasts. Visitors can take a tandem flight with a qualified instructor to experience the thrill of flying over the island’s stunning scenery.
- Nature parks and reserves: Gran Canaria is home to several nature parks and reserves, including the Parque Natural de Tamadaba, the Parque Natural de Pilancones, and the Reserva Natural Especial de Güigüi. These protected areas offer visitors the chance to explore the island’s unique flora and fauna.
Water & Theme Parks
The island also has several water parks, such as Aqualand Maspalomas and Ocean Park, where families can enjoy slides, wave pools, and other water-based attractions.
In addition to water parks, Gran Canaria also boasts a range of theme parks and amusement parks. Holiday World Maspalomas and Sioux City are two popular options, offering rides, shows, and other entertainment for all ages. Crocodile Park is another must-visit attraction, where visitors can see hundreds of crocodiles up close and even hold a baby crocodile if they dare.
How to best explore the island
There are many ways to explore the beautiful island of Gran Canaria. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your visit:
- Rent a car: Renting a car is a great way to explore the island at your own pace. You can stop at any point and take in the breathtaking scenery or visit the charming villages and towns.
- Take a bus tour: If you don’t want to drive, you can take a bus tour that will take you to the island’s main attractions. These tours usually come with a guide who can provide interesting insights into the island’s history and culture.
- Join a walking tour: Walking tours are a great way to explore the island’s hidden gems. You can join a guided tour or go on your own and follow one of the many hiking trails available on the island.
- Take a bike tour: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a bike and explore the island on two wheels. There are many bike tours available that will take you through the island’s most scenic routes.
- Join a boat tour: Taking a boat tour is a unique way to explore the island’s coastline and see the island from a different perspective. There are many boat tours available, including dolphin watching tours, sunset cruises, and fishing trips.
- Visit the local markets: Gran Canaria is known for its lively markets where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Visiting the local markets is a great way to experience the island’s culture and pick up some souvenirs.
- Attend a local festival: Gran Canaria is home to many festivals throughout the year, including the Carnival of Las Palmas and the Fiesta del Charco. Attending a local festival is a great way to experience the island’s vibrant culture and traditions.