Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Canary Islands, but it is the most populated. Almost half of the population lives in Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria.
The natural diversity of the island makes it gain a nickname – the miniature continent. On such a relatively small area, you can not only sunbathe and enjoy all kinds of water sports on the coast, but also go to semi-arid regions, or completely in the opposite direction – where lush vegetation grows.
All this indicates that interesting places in Gran Canaria are a plenty!
We invite you to a tour of the tourist attractions of this island:
Gran Canaria is an ideal place for families with children thanks to various theme parks. Lovers of mountain treks will surely be satisfied, because there are almost two thousand km of marked hiking paths, of varying difficulty. However, what attracts to Gran Canaria the most is its mild climate. Temperatures throughout the year do not fall below 20 degrees Celsius, so the weather here is a virtually non-stop spring.
For this reason, tourists come to this Canary island throughout the year.
What tourist attractions await Gran Canaria?
Las Palmas – when you fly to Gran Canaria you cannot miss its biggest city and the capital of the region, Las Palmas. Apart from many shops and nightclubs, this town has the most tourist attractions to offer in terms of monuments on the whole island.
Find tourist attractions in Las Palmas on the map:
Historic district of La Vegueta
It is worth going to the historical district – La Vegueta, where the Museum of Christopher Columbus (Casa Museo Colon) is located. One can see there, among others, the reconstructed interior of one of the sailing ships used by the famous explorer and traveler.
The other obligatory visit while in the city is the St. Anna Cathedral with its 13 chapels and a lookout tower, from which there you can see a panorama of the entire city. Lovers of history and ancient remains can go to the Canary Museum (Museo Canario) where you can admire the culture of the Guanches – that is, the population originally inhabiting the islands.
These are not all attractions and monuments that are worth seeing and visiting in Gran Canaria.
Las Palmas is also an extremely picturesque port with one of the oldest fortresses (Castillo de La Luz) and one of the most popular beaches – Playa de Las Canteras.
See the best attractions of Gran Canaria with your own eyes thanks to this video:
Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo
Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo is a botanical garden located just a few kilometers from the capital, collecting endemic Canary plants such as palm trees, dracaena and cacti. Admission to the garden is free, there are also greenhouses with exotic plants, laurel and pine forest and a cluster of succulents and rock vegetation. The area is ideal for walks and admiring a variety of flora.
Dunas de Maspalomas
Dunas de Maspalomas – the second characteristic point on the map of Gran Canaria. A nature reserve that has sand dunes, its landscape is like a real desert. Interestingly, scientists initially thought that the sand grains were brought here with the wind from the Sahara, but after the research it turned out that it was made of fragments of corals, shells and limestone rock crumbs originating from the ocean. The reserve is only partially made available to visitors, because in the remaining area various species of birds are nesting.
Galdar is known mainly as an ancient Guanche settlement. Remains of their life and culture can be seen in a nearby cave (Cueva Pintada), where they left wall paintings. You can see the ruins of the Guanches’ houses in the Museo Arqueologico Cueva Pintada. In the town itself, the Neo-Gothic Iglesia de Santiago de los Caballeros and the historic Ayuntamiento are noteworthy, where a dracaena (dragon tree) grows in the middle of the patio, one of the oldest on the entire Canary Islands.
Aguimes is one of the first Spanish settlements on Gran Canaria. The old town with the white buildings on the background of green vegetation makes the biggest impression here. In the narrow streets you can come across sculptures set directly on the ground. It is worth visiting one of the nicer temples on the island – Iglesia de San Sebastian and the Historical Museum – Museo Historico where there are exhibitions about the ancient inhabitants (Guanches).
The town is located right near one of the most beautiful gorges in Gran Canaria – Barranco de Guayadeque. Here, in the past, the Guanches inhabited the caves. The most interesting is that to this day some people are living in the carved rocks. To see this kind of house with your own eyes, all you have to do is enter a small church carved in the rock or one of two restaurants located in the grottoes of the rock.
Teror as a tourist attraction
Teror – despite the negatively associated name, the town is a center of religious worship. It is here that believers from all over the island take pilgrimages to pray at the feet of Our Lady of the Pine. In the center of the town there is a basilica – the Basilica de la Virgen del Pino, where the figurine of the patron is hidden. Around the square there are eighteenth century houses, one of them housing cultural institution Palacio Episcopal. The whole town is dominated by buildings in the Canarian style with characteristic wooden balconies. Monasterio del Cister monastery is also located in the town, somewhat off the beaten track. During the visit you can buy famous cookies baked by nuns.
Arucas – this place is famous mainly for rum distillery, but not only. Owing to the local fertile land, banana and obviously sugar cane plantations are also located there. You can admire the cathedral made of gray-blue stone – Iglesia de San Juan. Its architecture resembles Sagrada Familia from Barcelona. Take a walk to the city park decorated in the French style – Parque Municipial, where among the rich vegetation fountains and pavilions are set up. In one of them there is a museum – Museo Municipal, which exhibits works of Canarian artists. A little further away from the city is another botanical object – Jardin de Marques, where you can admire over 2,500 species of various plants while strolling among the charming alleys.
Palmitos theme park
The Palmitos theme park is a fun place especially for families with children. This is a botanical and zoological park, where you can see over 200 species of birds, training shows of predatory species, colorful parrots and dolphins. It houses the largest orchid farm and one of the largest butterfly sanctuaries – Butterfly House. In addition, you can also see many other animals, as in any zoo.
Current tourist map of Gran Canaria
Below is a short tourist guide in the form of a map of Gran Canaria, which will help you locate specific attractions listed in our guide:
More attractions, monuments and interesting places that are worth visiting on the island of Gran Canaria check on the official website of the island.
Interesting places on Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria has many interesting places that are unique tourist attractions. Many of them can be seen in a short time. Walking in nice weather is a great idea for a family vacation!
We hope that this short film will bring you closer to delights of the island! Feel free to add reviews and comments from your travels and holidays in Gran Canaria.