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8 of the best things to do in Gran Canaria in 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

Gran Canaria is a popular tourist destination thanks to excellent weather, easy access from mainland Europe and a fantastic range of year-round deals and package holidays.

The third largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, it’s home to an impressive range of high-end resorts, idyllic coastal villages and charming inland towns, while the capital, Las Palmas, is a beautiful Spanish city replete with magnificent architecure, plenty of culture and a popular city beach.

An island shaped by roughly 10 million years of volcanic activity, Gran Canaria is also a haven for nature lovers, with volcanic craters and mountains offering hiking and trekking opportunities.

A slew of golden beaches and the rolling dunes of Maspalomas are unmissable sites, while the chance to try your hand at water sports or see well-preserved archaeological sites means there’s plenty to fill a holiday other than lounging beachside.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Gran Canaria.

Spend time in the capital

The city of Las Palmas has plenty of attractions

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Las Palmas is by far the largest settlement on Gran Canaria, and as such it contains a little bit of everything that makes the island so great. Many will start with a visit to the urban beach of Las Canteras, a stretch of golden sands that extends for almost two miles, or a stroll around the old town, known as Vegueta, to see a range of medieval and Renaissance architecture and the Casa de Colon, a museum with exhibits on the voyages of Christopher Columbus.

The city also has its own modern art gallery and science museum, and a museum dedicated to the island’s pre-conquest history (as well as several notable religious buildings, such as the Santa Ana cathedral). The city’s main park is the leafy, shaded San Telmo, while Mayor de Triana is the most notable shopping street. Alternatively, get on your bike to explore areas like Triana and the seaside San Cristobal, a quaint old fishing neighbourhood.

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Cross the Maspalomas dunes

The dunes have been a protected natural area since 1994

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The sprawling dunes of Maspalomas are certainly one of the most striking sights in Gran Canaria. Extending from the waters of the Atlantic towards the popular resort town of the same name, these sands provide a 900-acre landscape of rolling dunes that looks like it was…

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