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Gran Canaria

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Holidays in Gran Canaria

Endless sandy beaches, green canyons, jagged cliffs and desert-like landscapes: all this can be found in Gran Canaria.

There are few places on Earth offering a comparable geographic and climatic variety and this is why Gran Canaria can accurately be described a „miniature continent“.

Gran Canaria, situated close to the coast of Morocco, is the third largest of the Canary Islands.

Its neighbouring islands are Tenerife to the west and Fuerteventura to the east.

The extinct Pico de las Nieves volcano is Gran Canarias highest peak at 1.949 metres.

Gran Canaria gets its second nickname, the island of eternal spring, thanks to average temperatures of 21 degrees in January and 27 degrees in August.

The year-round mild temperatures make it possible to enjoy beach life in winter and there are plenty of beaches in Gran Canaria; From endless sandy beaches with tourist infrastructure to pristine and deserted bays off the beaten track.

Gran Canaria’s best known beach is between the Maspalomas lighthouse and Playa del Inglés. With its famous dunes it resembles a desert landscape.

In the south of the island there are further popular beaches like San Agustín, Amadores, Puerto de Mogán and Puerto Rico.

In the north of Gran Canaria, the urban beach of Las Canteras in Las Palmas city is one of the world's most beautiful city beaches and is well worth a visit.

Puerto de Mogán

Near the harbour lies a small sheltered beach, ideal for families with children. Those who want to do more than sunbathe can rent kayaks or pedalos or even marvel at the species-rich underwater world on a trip in a yellow-submarine.


The Playa de Maspalomas is a mile long spectacular beach with golden sand and a fascinating dune landscape.

As well as being one of Gran Canaria's most beautiful beaches, it also offers excellent standards of safety, cleanliness and water quality and has a Blue Flag Award.

The Maspalomas resort consists of luxurious hotels, small apartment buildings and the biggest golf course on the island.

It’s neighbouring resort of Playa del Inglés is separated from Maspalomas by a dune-filled nature reserve.

The famous dunes – one of Gran Canaria's top landmarks - can be experienced on foot or on a camel’s back during a camel safari. The dunes are full of fascinating local plants.

At the west of the dunes a protected lagoon called the Charca de Maspalomas provides a natural habitat for migratory birds on their way between Europe and Africa.

As well as the lagoon, Maspalomas is home to another famous Gran Canaria landmark; The Maspalomas lighthouse. At about 60 m, the Faro de Maspalomas, designed by local engineer Juan de León y Castillo , first shone on February 1, 1890. Back then, it guided steamships safely on their transatlantic journey from Europe to Africa and the Americas. In 2005 the Faro de Maspalomas was declared a „Bien de Interés Cultural“ (a site of cultural importance).

Furthermore, Maspalomas offers a range of theme parks:

Aqualand – Gran Canaria's biggest waterpark
Holiday World – Leisure park and fairground
Sioux City - Western Theme Park
Palmitos Park – Zoo and Botanical Garden

Las Canteras

Las Canteras, in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is a crescent-shaped, golden beach almost three kilometres long. It's often described as one of the world’s most beautiful city beaches along with Copacabana beach.

The Canteras is sheltered by a unique natural reef right off the beach which makes the waters at its north end calm and perfect for snorkelling. The south end however, gets waves and is an excellent surfing spot.

Playa del Inglés

Playa del Inglés resort, built in the 1960s, features a variety of hotels, apartments, restaurants and shopping centres. As part of the San Bartolomé de Tirajana municipality, along with San Agustín and Maspalomas, it is Spain’s biggest holiday area. Playa del Ingles' open minded and multicultural outlook is reflected in its varied cultural and gastronomic offer.

During school holidays families with children tend to holiday in Playa del Inglés and in the summer month young couples enjoy the beach and nightlife. In winter, Playa del Inglés is busy with long-term holiday makers escaping cold temperatures at home.

The resort attracts LGBT visitors from all over Europe and is famous for its Gay Pride events every May. In fact, Gran Canaria is one of the world's top LGBT holiday destinations.

Playa del Inglés really offers something for everyone. The area around the CITA shopping centre is tranquil while nightlife-lovers like to holiday near the Kashab entertainment centre and LGTB visitors flock to the Yumbo centre.

The 6 km long beach that connects Playa de Inglés with Maspalomas reflects this diversity. There are special sections for families with children, a zone for nudists and, close to kiosk No. 7, a gay zone.

San Agustín

San Agustín’s beach is about 300 metres long and consists of toasted golden sand. Calm waves and easy access into the water make it ideal for families, divers and snorkellers.


Caribbean flair: the white sand of man-made Amadores beach gives the water its dazzling turquoise colour. Crescent-shaped Amadores is between Puerto de Mogán and Puerto Rico. It's easy to reach by public transport and by car and there is free outdoor parking and a paid underground car park.

The most beautiful way to reach Amadores is on foot along the cliff-top path from the western end of Puerto Rico resort.

In 2014 Playa de Amadores again received a Blue Flag Award.

Puerto Rico 

Once a small fishing village, Puerto Rico now stretches out on both sides of the valley and has a wide variety of restaurants, shops, bars and discos.

The wind-sheltered Puerto Rico is considered to be a water sports paradise and one of the most sun kissed places in Gran Canaria.

This golden beach is perfect for families with children, snorkellers, jet skiers and sailors. A truly unforgettable experience is a dolphin and whale watching boat trip from Puerto Rico’s harbour. About 27 species of whales live in the clear waters of the Canary Islands and with a little luck you'll see swarms of dolphins and also large whales.

Furthermore, the new Angry Birds Activity Park in the centre of Puerto Rico guarantees fun for the entire family.


Luxury hotels, restaurants, casino, exclusive shopping centres and a few apartment complexes make up Meloneras, a resort adjacent to Maspalomas.

A nice promenade leads from Faro de Maspalomas, the lighthouse, to Meloneras beach. The natural beach is just a 20 minute walk away from the famous Maspalomas dunes.

This quiet bay enjoys views over Meloneras Golf; An 18-hole golf course (Par 71) that is one of Gran Canaria’s newest golf courses and is right by the beach.

Roque Nublo (Tejeda)

The majestic Roque Nublo, a basalt lava plug framed by stony giants in the form of a monk and a toad, is Gran Canaria's best-known landmark.

Sung about in many folk songs it is said that one has to see the Roque Nublo at least once in a lifetime. Hardly anyone can resist the magic of the “cloud rock”, which towers 1.813 metres above sea level.

The aborigines regarded this mountain at the heart of the island as a sacred place.

Puerto de Mogán (Mogán)

Its picturesque canals and tiny bridges are the reason Puerto de Mogan is nicknamed „Little Venice“.

The colourful houses with their lush bougainvillea give the fishing village a romantic ambience.

Another tourist draw is the fishing harbour with its yachts, restaurants and cafés. Every Monday and Friday there’s hustle and bustle during the Puerto de Mogán markets.

Other attractions are the ferries connecting Puerto de Mogan with Puerto Rico and boat tours specializing in big game fishing.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Gran Canarias’s vibrant capital boasts a fascinating historic centre, countless shopping options and a stunning city beach.

Highlights of Vegueta, the oldest part of the town, are the Cathedral of Santa Ana (built in 1479), the town hall from 1853 and Columbus' House (Casa de Colón).

Not to be missed is the Triana shopping district, with its beautiful colonial buildings and the countless shops and restaurants. Several cobblestone streets off the Calle Mayor de Triana, invite visitors to take a stroll through this historic district and discover boutique shops.

Puerto de las Nieves (Agaete)

Puerto de las Nieves, close to Agaete, is a scenic place in the north west of Gran Canaria. The small fishing village and its harbour-side restaurants are popular with the locals, especially at weekends. They eat seafood and enjoy the lovely view of the ocean and the steep coast-line of west Gran Canaria.

The town’s landmark, the „Dedo de Dios“ (finger of god) rock, lost the tip of its finger in 2005 during a tropical storm.

Several times a day a fast ferry connects Puerto de las Nieves with Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital of Tenerife island.


Teror is one of the most beautiful and pristine places in Gran Canaria. Cobblestone streets, lush green patios and typical Canarian houses with traditional wooden balconies make it a stunning spot for photographers.

The reason that Teror is also one of Gran Canarias’ most significant places of pilgrimage, is due to an incident which is said to have taken place in 1492. According to legend, on 08.09.1492 the Virgin Mary appeared in a pine tree where the basilica of Teror now stands. Ever since, on the 8th of September the „Fiesta del Pino“, one of the most important holidays in the Canary Islands, is celebrated in honour of the island's patron saint, the Lady of the Pine.

Botanical Garden, Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo

The botanical garden is not only an oasis of tranquillity, but also considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in the northern hemisphere.

Opened in 1959, the 27 hectare Jardín Botánico grows many of the 600 plant species endemic to the Canary Islands as well as a vast collection of spectacular exotic plants and cactus.

Barranco de Guayadeque (Agüimes and Ingenio)

The Guayadeque gorge impresses with high mountain ridges, exuberant green vegetation and ancient cave houses.

Special tip: Between January and March when the almond trees are in bloom, the valley turns into a sea of white and pink blossoms.

For those wanting to learn more about the pre-Hispanic cave settlements in Guayadeque, the Museo de Guayadeque, located at the entrance to the gorge, is a must visit.

A very popular way to end a tour of the valley is to eat tapas at one of the cosy cave restaurants.

Bandama (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

The highlights of the Bandama volcanic caldera, situated 10 km south of Las Palmas, are the viewpoint on top of it's cinder cone, and the hike around the crater rim or down to its flat bottom.

Also well worth seeing are the ancient caves in the north wall of the crater.


The Canary Islands are home to hundreds of unique plant species and Gran Canaria itself has around 100 endemic species.

This vast biodiversity is due to the island's many climatic zones. Laurel forests grow in the north, pines in the mountain areas and semi-desert scrub in the south.


Gran Canaria’s fauna consists mostly of reptiles and birds.

Frequently encountered animal species are: Gallotia lizards, Gran Canaria Skinks, Boettger's geckos and the Osorio shrew.

Great spotted woodpeckers, rose-ringed parakeets, endemic blue chaffinchs, European robins, hoopoes and of course Canaries are among the most common and interesting bird species.

During the winter Gran Canaria is also a favourite stopping point for numerous migratory birds.

Divers and snorkellers find an abundance of marine life, such as turtles, rays, tuna, white seabream, parrotfish and salema porgies, all around Gran Canaria.

More than 27 species of whales call the waters around the Canary Islands home. Among the most common are Risso's dolphins, Atlantic bottlenose and rough-toothed dolphins, orcas and short-finned pilot whales, sperm whales, the mysterious beaked whales and even giant rorquals.

Parque Natural de Tamadaba

What makes the Tamadaba Natural Park so special are some of the best preserved pine forests in Gran Canaria and the El Risco area where rare and endangered bird species live.

Parque Natural de Pilancones

The Pilancones nature reserve is located in the centre of the island, between Fataga and the Parque Rural del Nublo natural park.

Deep canyons and Canary pines dominate the landscape of this bird sanctuary.

Reserva Natural Integral de Inagua

This nature reserve includes the mountains of Inagua, Ojeda and Pajonales and also many hiking trails and forest paths. It is home to various endangered species such as the blue chaffinch.

Reserva Natural Integral del Barranco de Oscuro

This small section of canyon in the municipality of Moya, features not only one of the best preserved laurel forests in Gran Canaria but also around 40 endemic plants.

Reserva Natural Especial de Los Tilos de Moya

This nature reserve is part of the municipalities of Santa María de Guía and Moya. A pretty circular trail leads through the Los Tilos de Moya laurel forest, with its more than 50 endemic plants.

Reserva Natural Especial de Los Marteles

A protected natural area that stretches over several municipalities: Santa Lucía, Agüímes, Valsequillo, San Mateo, San Bartolomé, Ingenio, Telde and Tejeda.

Valleys, meadows, volcanic craters, Canary pines and canyons dominate the scenery.

Reserva Natural Especial del Brezal

A nature reserve in north Gran Canaria that impresses with its dense tree heath and wax myrtle population. Also common are the pretty endemic Canary bellflower and pine forests.

Reserva Natural Especial de Azuaje

This nature reserve is part of the Parque Rural de Doramas and worth a visit due to its fossils and endangered plants.

Reserva Natural Especial de Güigüi

This rugged nature reserve has steep coasts, gorges, euphorbia scrub and palm trees and also fascinating archaeological sites.

The highlight of the area is the remote Playa de Güigüi beach that can only be reached on foot or by boat.

Reserva Natural Especial de Las Dunas de Maspalomas

The golden dunes of Maspalomas are one of Gran Canaria’s most recognisable landmarks and are in a protected reserve along with the Maspalomas lagoon.

Parque Rural de Nublo

Gran Canaria’s largest natural park contains vast pine forests, steep cliffs and one of the island's icons; the majestic Roque Nublo.

Parque Rural de Doramas

This nature reserve stretches out over the municipalities of Santa Mª de Guía, Moya, Firgas, Valleseco, Arucas and Teror.

It contains the Azuaje, Barranco Oscuro and Los Tilos de Moya reserves.

Canarian cuisine consists of Spanish dishes with a touch of Cuban and Venezuelan influence and echoes from its pre-Hispanic past.

In almost every typical Canarian restaurant these tapas are on the menu: 

Papas arrugadas con mojo

Unpeeled boiled potatoes cooked in seawater until wrinkled and coated in sea salt, then served with spicy mojo sauce. There are two kinds of Mojos, green and red, and every restaurant has its own secret recipe.

The base of these cold sauces is a mix of vinegar, oil and garlic which is then enriched with various herbs and spices. Green mojo gets its colour from parsley or coriander and red mojo (picante or picón) from chili peppers or paprika.


An important ingredient in Canarian cuisine; Gofio is a flour made of roasted wheat or corn and is used in every course, from the soup to the dessert.

Two delicious dishes are Gofio escaldado (a warm paste made from broth and Gofio, normally served with bread and red onions) and Mousse de Gofio (made from gofio, almonds, whipped cream, sugar and egg whites).


Most Spanish goat cheese is made and eaten in the Canary Islands.

At the annual „World Cheese Awards“, Canarian cheeses often win prizes and are therefore considered among the best cheese in the world.

Embutidos (Processed Meat)


The best-known paprika sausages of the Canaries are Chorizo from Teror and Chorizo Chacón from Lanzarote. Just like Paté they are soft and spreadable and usually eaten on bread or crackers.

Another local speciality is Morcilla Dulce, a sweet black pudding made with raisins, almonds and cinnamon.

Roast leg of pork

Pata asada is a succulent roasted pork leg, served in slices in a sandwich or as a tapa with bread on the side.


Popular tapas specialities are grilled limpets, fried squid rings, boiled octopus, grilled sardines and anchovies in vinegar.

Sepcar Canarias is a partner of Princess Hotels & Resorts in Gran Canaria. The reliable car rental grants sprecial prices for guests staying at one of the Princess hotels in Gran Canaria. Whether SUV or van, SepCar Canarias sure has the right car for you! For more information please contact the reception of your hotel or SepCar via phone (+34) 928 73 04 99 or email:

Rent a Car - SepCar

The theme park is located in Maspalomas, within the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Holidayworld offers a large number of fun activities for all ages. Enjoy bowling with the family or the panaramic views from the Ferris Wheel!  Top rides for thrill seekers are the Giro Loop, the Sky Drop or the Pirate Ship, while the kids have fun riding Little Train or the Little Octopus. The theme park also has a 4D cinema, roller coaster and Formula 1 simulator. 



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