Gran Canaria is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, and vibrant nightlife. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, there are plenty of things to do on this beautiful island. Here you can read our insider guide on things to do in Gran Canaria, including top tourist attractions, sights, leisure, day and night out activities, trips and tours.
Top activities and attractions
Gran Canaria is a beautiful island that offers something for everyone. From its stunning beaches to its charming towns and villages, the island is packed with things to see and do. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or culture, Gran Canaria has it all.
Visit the Beaches
Gran Canaria is known for its beautiful beaches, and there are plenty to choose from. Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas is one of the most popular beaches on the island, with its golden sands and clear waters. If you’re looking for something a bit more secluded, head to Maspalomas, where you’ll find a long stretch of sand dunes and a beautiful lighthouse.
Explore the Towns and Villages
Gran Canaria has many charming towns and villages, each with their own unique character. One of the best places to explore is the old town of Vegueta in Las Palmas, which is home to a number of historic buildings and museums. Another town worth visiting is Teror, with its beautiful church and colorful houses.
Gran Canaria is a great destination for hikers, with its rugged mountains and beautiful countryside. One of the most popular hikes is the trail to Roque Nublo, which takes you to the top of a 80-meter tall rock formation with stunning views over the island.
Visit the Museums
Gran Canaria has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many museums on the island where you can learn about its history and traditions. One of the best museums is the Museo Canario in Las Palmas, which showcases the pre-Hispanic history of the Canary Islands.
Gran Canaria has a great shopping scene, with everything from local crafts to international brands. One of the best places to shop is the Centro Comercial Atlantico in Vecindario, which has over 100 shops and restaurants.
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Take a Boat Trip
There are many boat trips available on the island, from dolphin watching to sunset cruises. One of the most popular trips is the glass bottom boat trip to Puerto de Mogán, which takes you along the stunning coast of Gran Canaria.
Try the Local Cuisine
Gran Canaria has a rich culinary scene, with many traditional dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the must-try dishes include papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce, gofio (a type of flour made from toasted grains), and fresh seafood.
Top Tours and Activities
Gran Canaria is a diverse and fascinating island that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or adventure, there are plenty of things to see and do on the island. By exploring the island’s top sights, taking a guided tour, and using the local transportation options, you can get the most out of your stay in Gran Canaria.
Jeep Safari Tours
A thrilling way to explore the island’s rugged terrain is through a Jeep Safari tour. These tours take you off the beaten path and into the heart of Gran Canaria’s mountain landscapes. You’ll be able to see stunning views of the island, visit small villages, and get a taste of the local cuisine.
Whale Watching Tours
Gran Canaria is a hotspot for whale watching. These tours give you the opportunity to see some of the most magnificent creatures on earth in their natural habitat. You’ll likely spot dolphins as well, as they are a common sight around the island.
With its warm waters and steady winds, Gran Canaria is the perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts. From surfing and windsurfing to scuba diving and snorkeling, there are plenty of options for all levels of experience.
Gran Canaria’s natural beauty is best experienced on foot. There are a variety of hiking tours available, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging treks. These tours take you through the island’s unique landscapes, including pine forests, volcanic craters, and dramatic cliffs.
Gran Canaria’s cuisine is a blend of Spanish and African flavors, making it a unique and delicious culinary destination. A culinary tour is a great way to sample some of the island’s best food and drink. You’ll get to visit local markets, taste traditional dishes, and learn about the island’s culinary traditions.
Gran Canaria has a rich history that dates back centuries. A historical tour will take you through the island’s important landmarks, including ancient ruins, historic churches, and colonial-era buildings. You’ll learn about the island’s indigenous Guanche people, as well as its ties to Spain and other European nations.
Gran Canaria is a great destination for shopping, with a variety of markets and boutiques selling everything from local crafts to designer fashion. A shopping tour will take you to the best spots to find unique souvenirs and gifts.
Gran Canaria has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. A nightlife tour will take you to the best spots to experience the island’s party scene, including live music venues and beachside bars.
With its stunning coastline and clear waters, Gran Canaria is the perfect destination for a beach tour. You’ll get to visit some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, including Maspalomas, Amadores, and Puerto de Mogán. Some tours even include water activities like snorkeling and kayaking.
If you’re looking for a thrill, consider taking an ATV tour of Gran Canaria. These tours take you through the island’s rugged terrain on a powerful ATV, giving you the opportunity to explore areas that are inaccessible by car.
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.
Gran Canaria is a popular destination for those who love water sports, and the island has a variety of activities to suit all skill levels. Visitors can try their hand at surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, and even flyboarding.
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.
One of the highlights of Gran Canaria is its culinary scene, which is a mix of traditional Spanish and Canarian cuisine, as well as international fare. For a taste of local specialties, head to Casa Montesdeoca in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which offers a modern take on Canarian cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. For fresh seafood, try Restaurante El Cofradía de Pescadores in Arguineguín, a fishing village known for its daily catch.
If you’re looking for international cuisine, there are plenty of options as well. For Italian food, try Piccola Italia in Playa del Inglés, which serves authentic pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas. For sushi and other Asian specialties, head to TGB The Good Burger in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which also offers vegetarian and vegan options.
Aside from restaurants, there are many other places to enjoy a meal in Gran Canaria. Local markets like Mercado de Vegueta in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Mercado de San Fernando in Maspalomas offer a variety of fresh produce, cheese, and other local specialties. For a more casual dining experience, try a guachinche, a traditional Canarian eatery where you can enjoy homemade food and local wine.
Gran Canaria is a shopper’s paradise, with everything from designer boutiques to local markets. Shopping in Gran Canaria is fantastic.
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, head to the Triana neighborhood for high-end fashion and jewelry stores, or to the Vegueta neighborhood for local handicrafts and souvenirs. In Maspalomas, the Yumbo Centrum is a popular shopping and entertainment complex with over 200 stores, bars, and restaurants.
Gran Canaria is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a variety of bars, clubs, and discos. In Playa del Inglés, the Kasbah and Plaza shopping centers are home to many popular bars and nightclubs, including Pacha and Cream.
For a more relaxed atmosphere, head to the Puerto de Mogán harbor area, which offers a variety of outdoor bars and restaurants with live music and entertainment.