things to do in gran canaria

Last Updated on: 1st February 2024, 04:07 am

Welcome to Gran Canaria, a stunning island in the Canary Islands. If you’re wondering what to do on your next holiday, look no further. Gran Canaria offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions to suit all tastes and ages. Whether you’re looking for some beach relaxation or cultural experiences, this Spanish paradise has it all. In this article, I will take you on a journey to explore the best things to do in Gran Canaria that will leave you mesmerized. Read on, and let the adventure begin!

Exploring the Stunning Beaches

Gran Canaria is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with crystal-clear waters and soft golden sands. Whether you prefer to lounge in the sun, swim in the sea or take part in water sports, there is a beach to suit your needs. In this section, I will introduce you to the top beaches in Gran Canaria that you must visit during your stay, including:

Beach Name Location Activities
Playa del Ingles South coast, near Maspalomas Beach sports, restaurants and bars, nightlife
Puerto Rico Southwest coast Swimming, beach sports, restaurants and cafes, boat tours
Amadores Beach Southwest coast Swimming, sunbathing, restaurants and cafes, boat tours
Anfi del Mar Southwest coast Swimming, snorkeling, water sports, restaurants and cafes
Mogan Beach Southwest coast Swimming, water sports, restaurants and cafes, boat tours
Las Canteras North coast, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Beach sports, swimming, surfing, restaurants and cafes

These beautiful beaches offer visitors a range of activities, including swimming, snorkeling, beach sports, boat tours, and much more. There are restaurants, cafes, and bars to enjoy refreshments, making it easy to spend a whole day enjoying the sand, sea and sun. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the stunning beaches of Gran Canaria!

Hiking in the Majestic Mountains

When I want to immerse myself in nature, exploring Gran Canaria’s magnificent mountain ranges is always at the top of my list. From adventurous treks to serene walks, there are plenty of hiking trails to choose from, each offering breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.

If you’re up for a challenge, Roque Nublo is a must-visit hiking spot. This majestic rock formation sits at an altitude of 1,813 meters and offers 360-degree panoramic views of the island. The hike to Roque Nublo is steep, but the stunning vistas make it all worth it.

Pico de las Nieves is another popular spot for hiking enthusiasts. At a height of 1,949 meters, it is the highest point on the island, and the views from the summit are simply breathtaking. The hike is moderate in difficulty and takes around three hours to complete.

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Discovering offbeat trails

If you’re looking to explore offbeat trails, then Tamadaba Natural Park is the perfect destination. This stunning park located in the northwest of Gran Canaria offers a peaceful hike amidst a dense pine forest. Make sure to take a break at Mirador de la Balandra, where the views of the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking.

Another hidden gem is the Barranco de los Cernícalos trail. This trail is surrounded by lush greenery, waterfalls, and little freshwater pools that you can take a dip in. The hike is moderate in difficulty and takes approximately two hours to complete.

What to pack

When embarking on a hike in Gran Canaria, it’s essential to pack appropriately. Wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry plenty of water and snacks, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen.

Embracing Water Sports

If you’re looking to make a splash on your Gran Canaria holiday, the island’s clear waters offer a fantastic playground for water sports enthusiasts. From surfing and scuba diving to jet skiing and windsurfing, there is an activity to suit every taste and level of experience.


Gran Canaria is a surfer’s paradise, with excellent surfing conditions all year round. The island is home to a variety of surf schools and rental shops, catering to everyone from beginners to seasoned surfers. Some of the best surfing spots can be found on the island’s north coast, such as El Confital and Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas.

Scuba Diving

With crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, scuba diving is a must-try experience in Gran Canaria. Whether you’re a certified diver or a beginner, the island offers a range of diving opportunities. From exploring shipwrecks to discovering vibrant coral reefs, there is something for everyone.

Jet Skiing

Jet skiing is a high-speed, adrenaline-pumping water activity that is popular with holidaymakers in Gran Canaria. You can rent a jet ski for a solo experience or join a guided tour with a group. The island’s coastline boasts numerous areas for jet skiing, including Puerto Rico Beach and Playa del Ingles.


The windy conditions of Gran Canaria make it a top destination for windsurfing enthusiasts. With a range of waves, wind strengths, and difficulties, the island offers an exciting challenge for all levels. The prime windsurfing spots can be found at Pozo Izquierdo and Bahia Feliz.

Adventure awaits on the island of Gran Canaria with its myriad of water sports activities to suit everyone – from surfing and scuba diving to jet skiing and windsurfing.

Discovering Cultural Experiences

Gran Canaria is not only a beautiful island, but it also has a rich cultural heritage waiting to be discovered. If you’re interested in exploring the island’s history and traditions, there are plenty of activities to choose from.

Las Palmas

One of the most well-known cultural spots on the island is the capital city of Las Palmas. The old town of Vegueta is a must-see, with its narrow streets and beautiful colonial architecture. The stunning Cathedral of Santa Ana and the Casa-Museo de Colón, which showcases Christopher Columbus’s voyages, are also worth visiting.


Another charming town to visit is Teror, located in the interior of Gran Canaria. The Basilica de la Virgen del Pino, where a statue of the island’s patron saint is kept, is the main attraction here. The town is also known for its traditional houses with wooden balconies and flower-filled streets.

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Maspalomas Lighthouse

The Maspalomas Lighthouse is another cultural gem worth exploring. The lighthouse, built in 1890, is an iconic landmark on the island and offers stunning views of the coast.

Traditional Markets

To get a taste of local traditions, visit one of the many traditional markets around the island. The San Mateo Market, held on weekends, is a lively affair with stalls selling local produce, handicrafts, and clothing. The Vega de San Mateo Market, one of the oldest markets in Gran Canaria, is held on Sundays and is a great place to find local cheeses, wines, and honey.

Experiencing Vibrant Nightlife

When the sun sets, Gran Canaria comes to life with its lively nightlife scene, attracting party-goers from far and wide.

If you’re looking for a night of revelry, head to Playa del Ingles, where the bustling bars and clubs will keep you entertained until dawn. For a more relaxed atmosphere, visit charming beachside cafes in Puerto Rico, where you can unwind with your favorite drink while listening to live music.

There is no shortage of entertainment options in Gran Canaria, whatever your taste or budget. From karaoke bars to flamenco shows, you’re bound to find something that suits your preferences.

Top Nightlife Spots in Gran Canaria

Location Bar/Club Name Specialty
Playa del Ingles Pacha International DJs
Playa del Ingles Yumbo Centrum Lively gay scene
Maspalomas Scala Heaven Cozy atmosphere
Puerto Rico Harley’s bar Live rock music

These are just a few examples of the many vibrant nightlife spots available on the island, so don’t be afraid to venture out and discover your own favorites.

Indulging in Local Cuisine

One of the best ways to experience the rich culture of Gran Canaria is through its delicious cuisine. The island boasts a diverse range of traditional dishes that blend Spanish, African, and Latin American influences, making for a unique culinary experience.

One must-try dish is papas arrugadas, a simple yet delicious dish of Canarian potatoes boiled in salty water until the skin becomes wrinkled and served with a spicy mojo sauce. It’s a staple in the local diet and can be found in virtually any restaurant or bar on the island.

Another dish worth sampling is fresh seafood, particularly the local fish such as cherne, sea bream, and vieja, which are typically grilled or fried and served with a side of papas arrugadas, of course. If you’re in the mood for meat, try the hearty stews like puchero or cocido, packed with tender meats and seasonal vegetables.

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To wash it all down, try a glass of caldo de frutas, a fruity local wine, or a refreshing tropical juice made from Canarian fruits like mango and papaya. Whatever your palate, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from, and you’re sure to leave Gran Canaria with a happy stomach and a newfound appreciation for its flavors.

Exploring Natural Wonders

Gran Canaria is a paradise for nature lovers, offering a remarkable range of mesmerizing landscapes to explore. In this section, we will experience some of the most iconic natural wonders, unique to the Canary Islands. Let’s discover the sheer beauty of these wonders up close.

The Dunas de Maspalomas

A must-visit site during your stay in Gran Canaria, Dunas de Maspalomas is a natural reserve of golden sand dunes formed by the sea winds. These dunes offer spectacular views of the Atlantic and the island’s interior. You can stroll, sunbathe, and swim in the nearby crystal-clear waters.

The Barranco de Guayadeque

A mystical place, Barranco de Guayadeque is a dramatic and awe-inspiring canyon, offering a glimpse into the geological richness of the island. With its lush green vegetation, hiking trails, and breathtaking panoramic views, this is a must for any tourist.

Preserved Natural Parks

Park Name Location Description
Pilancones Natural Park Southwest of the island A protected nature reserve with rare fauna and flora, featuring picturesque volcanic craters and valleys.
Caldera de Bandama Natural Monument Eastern edge of the Caldera de Bandama A stunning crater formed 5,000 years ago with a unique ecosystem of bird species, and hiking trails overlooking epic vistas.
Los Tilos de Moya North-central region of the island An enchanting laurel forest, providing shelter for rare bird species and featuring numerous trails for hiking enthusiasts.

These parks are perfect for a day trip to unwind amid the beauty of the island and immerse yourself in the natural treasures of Gran Canaria.

Relaxing in Spa Retreats

After a day filled with exploring and adventure, there’s nothing better than unwinding in one of Gran Canaria’s luxurious spa retreats. With a variety of treatments available, from volcanic stone massages to sea salt therapies, you’re sure to find the perfect indulgence for your needs.

Top Spa Retreats in Gran Canaria

Spa Name Treatment Options Location
Seaside Palm Beach Spa Facials, Massages, Body Scrubs, and more Maspalomas
Anfi Spa Anti-aging Treatments, Ayurvedic Massages, and more Tauro
Radisson Blu Spa Hydrotherapy, Sauna, and a range of massage treatments Arguineguin

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For complete relaxation, visit the Seaside Palm Beach Spa in Maspalomas, offering a variety of treatments to soothe your body and mind. Alternatively, experience Ayurvedic massages and anti-aging treatments at Anfi Spa in Tauro. For a more holistic experience, visit the Radisson Blu Spa in Arguineguin, which focuses on hydrotherapy and a range of massage treatments.

With so many spa retreats to choose from, make sure you allocate some time during your visit to Gran Canaria for a little pampering.

Enjoying Family-Friendly Activities

If you’re travelling with your family, Gran Canaria is the perfect destination for you! The island offers a wide range of activities that are suitable for all ages.

First, let’s talk about water parks. Aquasur and Aqualand Maspalomas are two options where you can enjoy thrilling water slides and pools. Moreover, Palmitos Park is a fantastic place that combines a water park with animal encounters. You can see a wide variety of exotic animals, including dolphins, parrots, and butterflies, while also having fun on the water slides.

Another fun activity for families is visiting the Holiday World amusement park in Maspalomas. The park offers a range of exciting rides, including a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, and bumper cars. Additionally, the park has a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, so you can spend an entire day there.

If you want to experience the unique landscapes of Gran Canaria, why not take your family on a camel ride? There are several camel ride options available, including in the charming town of Fataga.

Finally, animal lovers will enjoy the Cocodrilo Park, where you can see a variety of reptiles, birds, and primates. The park also features a crocodile exhibit and a playground for children.

With so many things to do in Gran Canaria for families, all you need to do is pick your favourites and start making memories!


So that’s it, folks! My journey through the wonderful island of Gran Canaria comes to an end. I hope I was able to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the many exciting things to do on this Spanish paradise.

From exploring stunning beaches to embracing water sports, hiking majestic mountains, and discovering cultural experiences, Gran Canaria has it all. The natural wonders and fascinating cultural heritage of the island will leave you spellbound.

Whether you’re travelling solo or with your family, there’s something for everyone in Gran Canaria. The island offers the perfect blend of fun and relaxation, at any time of the year.

So, why wait? Pack your bags and head over to Gran Canaria for your next adventure. Trust me; you won’t regret it!


What are the top things to do in Gran Canaria, Spain?

Some of the top things to do in Gran Canaria, Spain include exploring the stunning beaches, hiking in the majestic mountains, experiencing water sports, discovering cultural experiences, enjoying vibrant nightlife, indulging in local cuisine, exploring natural wonders, relaxing in spa retreats, and enjoying family-friendly activities.

Which are the best beaches to visit in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria is known for its stunning beaches. Some of the best beaches to visit in Gran Canaria include Playa del Ingles, Puerto Rico, Maspalomas, Amadores Beach, and Las Canteras Beach.

What hiking trails can I explore in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers magnificent mountain ranges with some spectacular hiking trails. Some popular hiking trails include Roque Nublo, Pico de las Nieves, Barranco de Guayadeque, and Cruz de Tejeda.

What water sports activities are available in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers a wide range of water sports activities for enthusiasts. Some popular water sports activities include surfing, scuba diving, jet-skiing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.

What cultural experiences can I have in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria has a rich cultural heritage. You can experience cultural activities such as visiting the historic towns of Las Palmas and Teror, exploring the Maspalomas Lighthouse, and immersing yourself in the local traditions at traditional markets.

Where can I find the best nightlife in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers a vibrant nightlife scene with options for everyone. Playa del Ingles and Puerto Rico are known for their bustling bars and clubs, while charming beachside cafes provide a more relaxed atmosphere.

What are some traditional dishes to try in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers a delightful culinary experience with its traditional dishes. Some must-try dishes include fresh seafood, papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce, and gofio, a traditional Canarian flour made from roasted grains.

What natural wonders can I explore in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria is home to spectacular natural wonders. You can explore sites such as the Dunas de Maspalomas, volcanic landscapes, and the mystical Barranco de Guayadeque, which is a deep ravine with cave dwellings and a chapel.

Where can I find spa retreats in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers luxurious spa retreats for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can find top wellness centers and spas in popular tourist areas such as Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas, and Puerto Rico.

What family-friendly activities are available in Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. You can visit water parks, amusement centers, enjoy camel rides, and explore animal encounters at places like Palmitos Park and Sioux City.