HomeSpainSpanish IslandsExploring Gran Canaria - Guide to the Fairy-tale Island

Exploring Gran Canaria – Guide to the Fairy-tale Island

Welcome to Gran Canaria, a fairy-tale island where time seems to slow down and every moment is filled with awe-inspiring beauty.

Nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, this magical island is part of Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago, offering a unique blend of lush landscapes, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. Ready to embark on an enchanting journey through Gran Canaria? Let’s start exploring!

  • Explore Gran Canaria’s paradisiacal beaches, charming towns and villages, natural wonders & rich history.
  • Experience outdoor activities like stargazing excursions & dolphin watch cruises.
  • Savor the flavors of traditional dishes & seafood specialties or explore family attractions like Poema del Mar.

Uncover the Beaches of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria’s spectacular coastline is adorned with a diverse range of captivating beaches, each offering its own unique charm.

From the bustling tourist resorts in the south to the more tranquil beaches along the east coast, there’s a perfect seaside spot for everyone. Uncover the island’s breathtaking beaches, indulge in sun-soaked relaxation, and immerse yourself in the island’s rejuvenating atmosphere.

Playa del Ingles

Situated on the southern coast of Gran Canaria, Playa del Ingles is a vibrant beach destination that draws visitors from around the world. Renowned for its lively nightlife and party atmosphere, this popular beach is a hub of excitement, easily accessible from Gran Canaria Airport. Spend your days basking in the sun on the golden sands, and when night falls, embrace the exhilarating energy at the Yumbo Center or in the bustling bars and clubs that line the seafront.

Las Canteras Beach

Capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Nestled in the northeast corner of Gran Canaria, Las Canteras Beach is an urban gem located in the island’s bustling capital city, Las Palmas. Recognized as one of Spain’s best urban beaches, Las Canteras Beach is a haven for sun-seekers, surfers, and snorkelers alike. Stroll along the picturesque promenade, savor a mouthwatering meal at a beachside restaurant, and lose yourself in the enchanting rhythm of this beautiful city by the sea.

Maspalomas Dunes

The breathtaking Maspalomas Dunes are a must-see attraction on Gran Canaria, offering a unique and mesmerizing landscape of golden sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. A visit to these magnificent dunes is like stepping into another world, where the soothing sound of the waves and the gentle caress of the sea breeze transport you to a realm of tranquility. To preserve this fragile ecosystem, it’s important to tread lightly and respect the natural environment during your visit.

Experience Charming Towns and Villages

Most popular places in Gran Canaria - Parque de Santa Catalina
Most popular places in Gran Canaria – Parque de Santa Catalina

While the stunning beaches of Gran Canaria are undoubtedly alluring, the island’s charm extends far beyond its sandy shores. Venture inland to experience the island’s rich history and culture, where you’ll find peaceful villages and hamlets nestled amidst lush landscapes, boasting historic quarters and beautiful architecture. Soak up the authentic atmosphere of these enchanting destinations and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Gran Canaria’s heart and soul.


Tucked away in the north of Gran Canaria, Teror is a delightful small town steeped in history and charm. Renowned for its beautifully preserved historic center, Teror’s streets are adorned with colorful wooden balconies that are iconic for the Canary Islands. Wander through the vibrant Plaza del Teror, where you’ll find charming wooden houses and balconies, and join the locals in celebrating Nuestra Señora del Pino on September 8th, a joyful event that brings the town to life.


Arucas Cathedral in Gran Canaria
Arucas Cathedral in Gran Canaria

Nestled in the northeastern part of Gran Canaria, Arucas is a beautiful town brimming with history and architectural splendor. The delightful Church of San Juan Bautista, also known as the Arucas Cathedral, dominates the town’s skyline, showcasing a stunning blend of Late Gothic and Renaissance styles. Stroll through the charming streets, admire the town’s beautiful architecture, and enjoy a delicious meal at Entre Duelas y Tapas, where the flavors of Gran Canaria come to life.


Paseo de Canarias in Gran Canaria
Paseo de Canarias in Gran Canaria

Located in the picturesque north of Gran Canaria, Firgas is an exciting town that offers a truly unique experience for visitors. The stunning Mirador Azuaje lookout provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, while the Fuente de los Tres Caos fountain and the majestic Iglesia de San Roque church are just a few of the town’s wonderful attractions. Embrace the adventure of Firgas by partaking in thrilling activities such as hiking, cycling, and swimming.

Puerto de Mogán

Affectionately known as “Little Venice,” Puerto de Mogán is a stunning fishing village and marina located on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. This charming destination is characterized by its whitewashed houses, vibrant bougainvillea, and quaint canals that meander through the town. Spend a leisurely day exploring the picturesque streets, browsing the local markets, and indulging in the freshest seafood at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Journey Through Gran Canaria’s Natural Wonders

Beyond its beautiful beaches and charming towns, Gran Canaria is a treasure trove of natural wonders just waiting to be explored. From the majestic Roque Nublo to the lush Tamadaba National Park, the island offers a diverse range of awe-inspiring landscapes that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Embark on a journey through Gran Canaria’s natural beauty and experience the island’s captivating charm firsthand.

Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock formation in Gran Canaria
Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock formation in Gran Canaria

Standing tall as the iconic symbol of Gran Canaria, Roque Nublo is a majestic volcanic rock that towers over the island’s landscape. Located within the beautiful Nublo Rural Park, this awe-inspiring natural wonder offers a truly unforgettable experience. Start your hike at Degollada de la Goleta to reach Roque Nublo. Follow the clearly marked trail and you will see your destination. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views that stretch across the island and beyond.

Tamadaba National Park

Tamadaba National Park in Gran Canaria
Tamadaba National Park in Gran Canaria

Discover the pristine beauty of Tamadaba National Park, an incredible protected area located in the northwest of Gran Canaria. Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, this stunning park is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Explore the park’s rugged landscapes, trek through dense forests, and marvel at the panoramic views from La Bandera peak and the El Balcón viewpoint.

Caldera de Bandama

Witness the awe-inspiring power of nature at Caldera de Bandama, a breathtaking volcanic crater located in the north of Gran Canaria. Formed by a powerful eruption millions of years ago, this impressive geological formation is approximately 1.5 km in diameter and 500 meters deep. As you explore the area, take a moment to appreciate the vibrant flora and fauna that thrive within the crater’s unique ecosystem.

Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo

Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo in Gran Canaria
Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo in Gran Canaria

Nestled in the charming village of Tafira, the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo is a stunning botanical garden that showcases the diverse plant life of the Canary Islands. Founded in 1952 by esteemed botanist Dr. Antonio Viera y Clavijo, this enchanting garden is home to over 5,000 species of plants and trees from around the world. Wander through the lush landscapes, discover enchanting waterfalls and ponds, and be captivated by the garden’s incredible beauty.

Delve into Gran Canaria’s Rich History and Culture

The rich history and culture of Gran Canaria have been meticulously preserved, offering visitors a fascinating insight into the lives of the island’s past inhabitants. From the archaeological treasures of Casa de Colón to the vibrant streets of Vegueta Town, each destination tells a captivating story that will transport you back in time. Delve into the island’s storied past and uncover the secrets that lie within its historic sites and cultural landmarks.

Casa de Colón

Casa de Colón in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Casa de Colón in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Located in the historic Vegueta Town, Casa de Colón is an incredible museum that showcases the amazing archaeological heritage of Gran Canaria. It is believed that this was the residence of Christopher Columbus during his visit to the island in 1492. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this legendary explorer as you wander through the museum’s captivating exhibits, and discover the secrets that lie within its ancient walls.

Cueva Pintada Museum

Situated in the charming town of Gáldar, the Cueva Pintada Museum is a testament to Gran Canaria’s rich pre-Hispanic heritage. Housed within an ancient dwelling, the museum proudly displays a collection of artifacts from this fascinating period, providing a glimpse into the lives of the island’s first inhabitants. Marvel at the exquisite pottery, useful tools, and intricate jewelry on display, and let your imagination transport you back in time.

Vegueta Town

Vegueta Town in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Vegueta Town in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Step back in time as you wander the cobbled streets of Vegueta Town, where beautiful architecture and historic charm come together in perfect harmony. The magnificent Cathedral of Santa Ana stands proudly at the heart of the town, showcasing a diverse array of architectural styles from Late Gothic to Renaissance. As you explore Vegueta, take a moment to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that has been lovingly preserved throughout the centuries, creating a truly enchanting atmosphere.

Embrace Wellness and Adventure on the Island

Scuba diving in Gran Canaria
Scuba diving in Gran Canaria

Since the 19th century, travelers have been drawn to Gran Canaria by its soothing climate and the promise of rejuvenation. Today, the island offers a wealth of modern wellness facilities and activities designed to nurture both physical and mental well-being. From exhilarating outdoor activities to calming stargazing excursions, Gran Canaria is a haven for those seeking adventure and tranquility in equal measure.

Outdoor Activities

Gran Canaria is an adventurer’s paradise, offering an array of thrilling outdoor activities that cater to all interests and abilities. Embrace the thrill of windsurfing on the island’s azure waters, trek through its lush landscapes on a guided hike, or explore the rugged terrain on a camel ride. With endless opportunities for excitement and exploration, Gran Canaria is the perfect destination for a holiday filled with action and adventure.

Stargazing Excursions

Stargazing excursion in Gran Canaria
Stargazing excursion in Gran Canaria

As the sun sets over Gran Canaria, the island’s magnificent night sky comes to life, revealing a dazzling display of celestial wonders. Join a guided stargazing excursion and marvel at the beauty of the cosmos through powerful telescopes, as expert astronomers share their knowledge and passion for the universe. Experience the magic of astrotourism in Gran Canaria and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Dolphin Watch Cruises

Dolphin watch cruise in Gran Canaria
Dolphin watch cruise in Gran Canaria

Embark on an unforgettable journey into the world of dolphins and whales with a dolphin watch cruise in Gran Canaria. These exciting boat trips take you out to sea to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, providing an awe-inspiring experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the ocean. With knowledgeable guides on hand to share fascinating facts about these incredible animals, a dolphin watch cruise is an adventure not to be missed.

Parasailing, snorkeling and other water sports

Parasailing, snorkeling and other water sports in Gran Canaria
Parasailing, snorkeling and other water sports in Gran Canaria

For those who crave adventure on the water, Gran Canaria offers a thrilling array of water sports to suit every taste. Feel the adrenaline rush of parasailing high above the waves, explore the island’s vibrant underwater world with snorkeling or scuba diving, or ride the surf on a jet ski or stand-up paddleboard. With so many exciting options to choose from, there’s no shortage of ways to make a splash in Gran Canaria.

Savor the Flavors of Gran Canaria

The culinary delights of Gran Canaria are as diverse and vibrant as the island itself, offering a unique taste of the Canary Islands’ rich cultural heritage. From traditional dishes and seafood specialties to bustling local markets, the flavors of Gran Canaria are sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. Embark on a culinary journey through the island and savor the delicious tastes that make Gran Canaria a true food lover’s paradise.

Traditional Dishes

Traditional dishes in Gran Canaria
Traditional dishes in Gran Canaria

The traditional dishes of Gran Canaria are a delightful fusion of flavors that reflect the island’s diverse cultural influences. Savor the mouthwatering taste of Papas Arrugadas, a local specialty of wrinkled potatoes served with tangy Mojo sauce, or indulge in a comforting bowl of Puchero Canario, a hearty stew made with meat, vegetables, and chickpeas. With so many delicious dishes to discover, your taste buds will thank you for exploring the island’s rich culinary heritage.

Seafood Specialties

Gran Canaria’s abundant coastlines offer a treasure trove of seafood specialties that are sure to delight even the most discerning palate. Feast on caldereta de langosta, a succulent lobster stew, or savor the delicate flavor of pescado a la sal, fish baked in a crust of sea salt. With the freshest ingredients and a variety of preparation techniques, Gran Canaria’s seafood scene is a culinary adventure in itself.

Local Markets

Local markets in Gran Canaria
Local markets in Gran Canaria

The local markets of Gran Canaria offer a vibrant and authentic taste of the island’s culinary culture. Wander through bustling stalls filled with fresh produce, handmade crafts, and mouthwatering local delicacies such as tapas, paella, and other traditional dishes. Discover the hidden gems of Gran Canaria’s food scene at markets in Teror, Arucas, Firgas, and Puerto de Mogán, and immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas that make the island’s cuisine truly unforgettable.

Family attractions in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a fantastic destination for families, offering a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to visitors of all ages. From the mesmerizing marine life at Poema del Mar to the thrilling water slides at Aqualand Maspalomas, there’s no shortage of fun and excitement for the whole family to enjoy. Discover the magic of Gran Canaria and create lasting memories to cherish for years to come.

Poema del Mar

Poema del Mar in Gran Canaria
Poema del Mar in Gran Canaria

Located in the heart of Las Palmas, Poema del Mar is a captivating ocean-themed attraction that offers a tranquil respite from the bustling city. With a modern decor and breathtaking views of the ocean, this enchanting destination invites visitors to immerse themselves in the soothing atmosphere and marvel at the incredible marine life on display. Savor a delicious Mediterranean meal at the on-site restaurant and let the serene beauty of Poema del Mar wash over you.

Aqualand Maspalomas

Aqualand Maspalomas in Gran Canaria
Aqualand Maspalomas in Gran Canaria

For a day filled with excitement and adventure, head to Aqualand Maspalomas, an exhilarating water park located in the heart of Gran Canaria. With an array of thrilling attractions for all ages, from exhilarating water slides to refreshing wave pools and a relaxing lazy river, there’s something for everyone at this fun-filled destination. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, Aqualand Maspalomas guarantees a day of splashing good fun for the whole family.

Palmitos Park

Palmitos Park in Gran Canaria
Palmitos Park in Gran Canaria

Discover the wonders of nature at Palmitos Park, a beautiful botanical and zoological park located just a short drive from Maspalomas. Home to a diverse array of animals, plants, and attractions, this enchanting park offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Wander through the butterfly house, marvel at the cactus garden, and enjoy the spectacular bird show. With so much to see and do, Palmitos Park is a must-visit destination for families visiting Gran Canaria.


As we’ve journeyed through the enchanting landscapes, captivating attractions, and rich cultural heritage of Gran Canaria, it’s clear that this fairy-tale island offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. From its stunning beaches and charming towns to its awe-inspiring natural wonders and vibrant culinary scene, Gran Canaria is a destination that will capture your heart and leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. So why wait? Embark on your own magical adventure and discover the captivating charm of Gran Canaria for yourself.

Discover Canary Islands

There are seven main islands in the Canary Islands archipelago. Discover all of them and check out the places worth to see.
IslandTourist attractions and interesting places
TenerifeLoro Park, Jungle Park, Siam Park, Lago Martianez, Monkey Park and other Amusement parks in Tenerife. Teide National Park, volcano Teide (Pico del Teide), Los Gigantes Cliffs, Masca, Anaga Mountains, Pyramids in Güímar, Casa de los Balcones, Cueva del Viento, Dragon Tree. Popular cities in TenerifeSanta Cruz de Tenerife, Buenavista del Norte, Garachico, Puerto de la Cruz, Puerto de Santiago, Costa Adeje, Taganana, Guía de Isora, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, El Médano, La Orotava, Icod de los Vinos, Arona, San Miguel de Abona, La Matanza de Acentejo, La Victoria de Acentejo, Santa Úrsula, Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas, Los Realejos, San Andrés, Los Gigantes
FuerteventuraDunas de Corralejo, Oasis Park, Acua Water Park, Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos), Parque Natural de Corralejo, Ecomuseo La Alcogida. Popular cities, towns, and villages: Puerto del Rosario, Corralejo, Tarajalejo, El Cotillo, Majanicho, La Oliva, Morro Jable, Costa Calma, Caleta de fuste. Popular beaches in Fuerteventura: El Castillo, Playa de Esquinzo
Gran CanariaTourist attractions: Poema del Mar, El Faro de Maspalomas, Cenobio de Valerón, Pueblo Canario, Necrópolis de Arteara, Casa de Colón. Amusement Parks: Holiday World Maspalomas, Aqualand Maspalomas, Sioux City Park, Palmitos Park, Mundo Aborigen, Camel Safari Park. Natural attractions: Jardín Canario (botanical garden), Pico de Bandama Hill, Barranco de Guiniguada, Pinar de Tamadaba (natural park), Dunas de Maspalomas, Roque nublo, Barranco de Santa Brígida, Cañon del Águila, Doramas Park (Parque Doramas), Parque de Santa Catalina. Popular cities: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Playa del Inglés, Puerto de Mogán, Artenara. Beaches in Gran Canaria: Playa de Las Canteras (Plaża Las Canteras), Playa del Inglés, Playa de San Agustín, Playa de Taurito, Playa de Puerto Rico, Playa de Guayedra, Playa del Juncal, Playa Hoya del Pozo, Playa de Melenara
LanzaroteCueva de los Verdes (cave), Jameos del Agua (cave), Jardín de Cactus (cactus garden), Timanfaya National Park (Montañas del Fuego), Aqualava Water Park, Museo Atlántico Lanzarote (underwater museum), Castillo de San Gabriel (castle), Castillo de San José (contemporary art museum), Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo), Fundación César Manrique (museum and an old house of César Manrique), Los Hervideros, Mirador del río, Volcano El Cuervo, La Geria. Popular cities: Arrecife, Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, El Golfo i Charco de Los Clicos
La PalmaPopular cities: Santa Cruz de la Palma, Breña baja, Breña alta
La GomeraGarajonay National Park, Los Órganos, Casa de Colón. Popular cities: San Sebastián de la Gomera, Chipude, Agulo, Playa de Santiago
El HierroPopular cities: Valverde, La Frontera

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Jessica Alvaro
Jessica Alvaro
Travel has always been close to me. For me, it's the air I can't breathe without. The sun, without which I forget what a smile is.