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Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Canary Islands and has the largest population. It's often described as a "continent in miniature" because it has so much variety to offer.
Las Palmas - the largest city, situated in the northeast section of the island, one of the capitals of the Canary Islands.
Playa del Inglés
Telde , situated between Las Palmas and the Gran Canaria Airport (LPA).
The capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the northeast of the island, is one of Spain's largest cities. The south coast of the island is now dominated by the tourist resorts which generate most of the island's economy. The centre of the island is mountainous, with the remains of ancient pine forests on the peaks. Maspalomas in the south of Gran Canaria is the tourist zone, with the largest variety of options for enjoying the island. If you ever need Tourist Information or Specific help, the TI Center is in Yumbo Center.
The official language of Gran Canaria is Spanish. However, one hears many people speaking English and German in the tourist areas.
The public transportation system is well organized and economical. There are regular buses that go all over the island, most of the ones useful for tourists run through Avda. Tirajana in Playa del Inglés and head north to the Atlantico shopping centre or Las Palmas or along the coast towards Puerto Rico.
Rental cars are available in all resorts, both from local companies like and large international car rental companies.
There are no trains in Gran Canaria. There is an autopista (motorway/highway) that covers much of the island.
What to see
The sand dunes in Maspalomas. San Bartolomé de Tirajana.
Palmitos Park, Barranco de Los Palmitos s/n. 35109 Maspalomas Gran Canaria. Various animals (esp. exotic birds) and exotic plantations. Also dolphins. Has shows with parrots, dolphins and birds of prey (eagles, hawks, etc).
Teror. Nuestra Señora del Pino
Valsequillo. This area is very green with imposing rock formations and steep ravines, It has pine forests, palm groves and almond trees.The historic center and surrounding neighbourhoods offer valuable traces of history like the Church of Saint Michael Archangel, the former Cavalry barracks, and Flemish carvings.
The varied gastronomic offer includes traditional cheeses, wine, honey and almonds, all of which make up one of the major attractions of Valsequillo.
What to do
Biking. The island is a paradise for bikers, with lots of trails for mountain biking, from easy to very difficult and long ones. There are also many possibilities of road biking, both in the mountain region and along the coast. There are bike renting centers in the island.
Surf Canaries Surf School. Gran Canaria is a perfect place to learn to surf. A surf class will set you off safely with the right technique.
Gran Canaria is a paradise for hill walking with its inhabited cave villages, lake side walks, spectacular mountain scenery and wonderful flora & fauna especially in the Spring. There are a great variety of hikes on outstanding trails, many of these are off-the-beaten-track and the climate is excellent for trekking.
The south of Gran Canaria is famous for the variety of beaches. The longest beach is "Playa del Inglés" and "Maspalomas", the almost 4 km stretch of beach between Playa del Inglés and Meloneras is a serviced nudist beach. In the Mogán area there are other famous beaches, such as "Amadores", "Anfi del Mar", "Puerto Rico", and "Playa de Mogán".
Described as the "Hawaii of the Atlantic", the surf on Gran Canaria can be incredible. On the right day the surfers will put on a free and spectacular display, often in the north of the island but also in the south on the right conditions - Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and Arguineguin. It is also a great place to learn to surf with fantastic beaches and a couple of really good surf schools.
The island is home to Spain's oldest golf club plus eight newer courses, mostly located in the south of the island.
Gran Canaria is one of the best places in Europe to come Scuba Diving, as it is one of the most Southerly spots, and has some of the warmest waters. While not 'tropical' in climate, the waters have plenty of brightly coloured species such as Parrotfish, wrasse and Damselfish. There are also some big species to thrill .. angel sharks (an endangered species), several types of ray including butterfly rays and mobula rays, and the odd turtle can liven up your diving.