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What you can’t miss in Gran Canaria

Places you really have to visit in Gran Canaria to properly experience the Canary Islands

The huge diversity of scenery that can be found on the island is why Gran Canaria is known as ‘a miniature continent’. And its coastal towns and villages entice us to discover a long seafaring tradition and learn about its rich history in depth. An unmissable appointment with true natural, architectonic and cultural treasures.

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Millions of tourists can’t be wrong when they choose this important tourist resort for their holidays. And not just once. They are so satisfied by it that many repeat year after year. And there’s a reason. Maspalomas is much more than a magnificent beach with several kilometres of golden sand. It is enjoying an exceptional climate at any time of year. It is having the privilege of seeing a massive dune field, every day, next to a pond of brackish water that is home to several species of birds. A protected natural space with a huge variety of accommodation and all the services and comforts you could wish for.

 

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Located at the heart of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, this is one of the best urban beaches in Europe. Three kilometres of fine golden sand and calm waters, thanks to the protection provided by the natural breakwater of volcanic origin, known as ‘La Barra’ (the bar). Parallel to the coast is a lively avenue crowded with shops, restaurants, cafés, renowned ice-cream parlours and lots of other establishments.  Las Canteras is highly valued by the city’s inhabitants, who make intensive use of this urban jewel. That is why the beach has such a friendly, family atmosphere, but thousands of tourists also enjoy the sun and the refreshing waters of the ocean here all year round.

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Las Palmas is a lively cosmopolitan city offering a full range of cultural, leisure and shopping options, perfect for shopaholics, who can find all kinds of national and international brands and products here. In addition to interesting museums, its other numerous attractions include one of the most avant-garde aquariums in Europe, which faithfully recreates the ecosystems of all of the planet’s seas and oceans. And we mustn’t forget the wonderful urban beach of Las Canteras, a real oasis in the city. A special mention goes to Vegueta, the city’s magnificent historic quarter, which conserves signs of the last five centuries of history. You simply have to take a stroll through its streets to see specimens of traditional architecture with stately civic and religious buildings.

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This popular seaside town is on the north-eastern coast of Gran Canaria and, in addition to having a family beach and spectacular natural pools, it produces a very special coffee – one of the most exotic in the world. Don’t miss enjoying a peaceful day in Agaete and trying the fresh produce of the sea. Or seeing the wonderful sunset reflect its light against the striking cliffs crowned with pine forests. Stunning imagery.

 

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You have to experience arriving at the bottom of this amazing volcanic monolith, which stretches up 80 metres and is a real symbol of Gran Canaria. The trail that climbs up between the pine trees is accessible to almost all, and children especially enjoy it. At the end of it lies a wonderful reward: an unforgettable landscape opens up before us, presided over by the also iconic Roque Bentayga and the spectacular Caldera de Tejeda with its deep, rugged ravines.

 

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That fact that it is one of Spain’s Prettiest Towns gives us an idea of Tejeda’s special charm. Stroll through its well-cared for streets and see the traditional houses, sit in the shade anywhere and breathe in the fresh air, try the traditional gastronomy in its restaurants…

Mental note to self: “Don’t forget to buy some famous Tejeda cakes made from honey and almonds as a souvenir or gift. Mmmmm!”

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The Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park in Gáldar is a huge archaeological site containing a hamlet that was first occupied in the 6th century. From the walkway that runs around the village, we can see the excavation work and the original huts and caves close up. The latter include the famous Cueva Pintada, whose walls of tuff were decorated by the ancient Canary Islanders with geometric shapes. The guided tour includes audiovisual aids, exhibition rooms and a shop.

 

 

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This is one of Gran Canaria’s treasures. Just a few kilometres from the capital lies this wonderful space, which is in turn a centre for research, education and environmental awareness. We are surrounded by trails, caves and waterfalls in an idyllic setting as we learn about numerous species of flora that are endemic to the Canary Islands and other areas of Macaronesia (Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde). With a little luck, we might even come across a real living relic from the past: Gran Canaria’s giant lizard, a species that is exclusive to the island and can reach a length of 80 centimetres! At that size, you’d never guess that it is totally inoffensive… And it’s beautiful, too.