Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria

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About Gran Canaria

A destination familiar to British holiday-makers, the island of Gran Canaria is famous for its abundance of sun, sea and VAT exemptions. However, as well as hosting the usual spate of Irish pubs, English Breakfasts, and other home comforts that have become synonymous with the Canary Islands, those travelling to Gran Canaria can enjoy the best of both worlds. The city of Las Palmas in North of the island is where most natives reside and holds a host of authentic bars, restaurants and beaches that are not quite as full of sun-burnt tourists. In addition, due to its size and the simplicity of its public transport system, excursions to scenic areas of the island, such as the Roque Nublo or Puerto de Mogán, either by hire car or bus, is extremely straightforward. Gran Canaria is also known for its multiple microclimates, the result of which is that although some of the island’s more mountainous areas can get a little chillier at times, the weather is generally excellent all year round.

Flight deals to Gran Canaria


Hotel deals to Gran Canaria


Holiday deals to Gran Canaria


City break deals to Gran Canaria


Mirroring its diverse holiday culture, there is a wide selection of accommodation types in Gran Canaria. There are some fantastic hotels lining


beach such as the Bull Reina Isabel & Spa Hotel which, though a little more expensive, provides excellent service, rooms and facilities, including an exclusive rooftop pool area. If you’re looking to do things more independently then there are multiple Air B&B hosts in the central Las Palmas area, that are reasonably priced and excellently situated to provide all sorts of local amenities. At the other end of the island, more party-friendly hotels are available in and around the Playa de Ingles. The MUR Hotel Neptuno Gran Canaria offers a chilled out atmosphere and easy access to both the beach and the local nightlife, with a free shuttle bus and private back-door entrance to the Yumbo shopping centre – which becomes a hive of activity after dark.

As well as the more well-known Spanish tapas dishes such as papa bravas, tortilla espanola and albóndigas, Gran Canaria offers its own typical Canarian selection. The staple for residents of Las Palmas are the ‘papas arrugadas’ (which literally translates to wrinkled potatoes), served with mojo rojo, a chilli garlic sauce. This local delicacy is served in the vast majority of diners and restaurants across the island and is definitely one to try. For breakfast there are lots of delightful cafés located along the sea-front of Las Canteras beach, that serve cheap coffee and yummy pastries which can be enjoyed with a sea-view. As one would expect on a small island, the seafood selection is both and wide and excellent. Another authentic Canarian food experience is a trip to the old town of Vegueta. On Thursday evenings the cobbled streets are buzzing with local students who come to take advantage of the wide variety of pinchos that are on sale. Pinchos are small tapas-like snacks that are great for eating with one hand, whilst holding a drink in the other. Most bars in Vegueta do great value deals on a drink and pincho for around €2-3.

As fashion hotspots go, Gran Canaria is perhaps not the best example, though if it’s garish board-shorts you’re after, then you are completely in luck. As you might expect, the shops in Gran Canaria cater to its massive tourist demographic, and so post-card and souvenir shops do dominate most areas. On the other hand, also included in these knick-knackeries is the vast array of VAT exempt alcohol, so you can’t be too disappointed. For similar quality on a larger scale, re-visit the Yumbo shopping centre during the day for cheap and cheerful gifts and knock-off brands. However, if you really do fancy a bit of proper retail therapy, then the


at the North end of Las Palmas and


(Av. José Mesa y Lopez) offer a range of typical Spanish and other European brands. For more artisanal purchases, you may want to venture up to one of the smaller mountain towns such as Teror, where you can find local vendors selling everything from paintings to glassware, to furniture.

Gran Canaria plays host to several big events every year that make the perfect centrepiece to any holiday. We've gathered some of our favourites to give you some ideas for the best times to visit:


The Canary Islands are world-renowned for their carnival celebrations, which take place all over the island in the first few months of the year. Each individual event is usually given its own theme, and they are extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. Celebrations include an enormous range of music, dancing, colour and fabulous outfits, and everyone is invited to get involved!

The main carnival dates are*:

  • Las Palmas Carnival (January/February)

  • Mogán Carnival (February)

  • Maspalomas Carnival (March)

*exact dates change annually

Fiesta del Queso (Cheese Festival) (April – May)

A festival that is right up the street of all cheese-lovers. During these months, the small town of Santa María de Guía in the North-West of the island celebrates the making of its famous cheese. The festival features plenty of traditional music, dancing and, of course, cheese-eating.

Día de Canarias (Canary Islands’ Day) (May 30th)

The official public holiday for all the Canary Islands includes an entire day of celebrations all over every town of every island. Celebrations include live music concerts as well as more traditional spectacles such as folk dancing and Canarian wrestling.

Fiesta de la Virgen del Pino (Feast of Our Lady of the Pine) (September 8th)

This festival, which takes place in the mountain town of Teror, is celebrated every year and attended by many local pilgrims from all over the island, who come and pay reverence to the saint. This feast is the most important religious festival on the island’s calendar (apart from Christmas) and the celebrations usually go on for a week.

Christmas Celebrations (December)

Have you ever spent Christmas on the beach? As well as the more demure, the Canarian climate allows for a whole range of Christmas activities to occur outside all over the island, including along Las Canteras beach, the focal point of which are giant nativity sand-sculptures, created from individually invited artists from all over the world.

Useful Information

Key facts

Time zone:GMT +1
Flight time:4 hours 35 minutes
Airport code:LPA
Holiday type:Summer Sun

12 month weather (°C)


Gran Canaria map

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