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A consistent climate and nice weather year round means there's no shortage of things to do in Gran Canaria. Here, we pick out seven of the island's highlights. 

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_David Cabrera Guillen

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Gran Canaria is not the biggest of the Canary Islands, but it more than makes up for it in terms of variety. From the bustling capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the largest town in the whole island chain, to the sand dunes in the south and volcanic mountainous terrain around the Pico de las Nieves, the island offers something for everyone. 

Whatever activity you're into, Gran Canaria has got you covered—for cyclists, there's excellent road biking, a large network of mountain bike trails, and gentle cycle paths for families. Watersports enthusiasts will love the waves, the consistent winds and the quiet coves—perfect for exploring by kayak.

Hikers, meanwhile, have a vast array of different paths to choose from. If you're on a self-guided walking holiday, you'll find them easy to navigate, but you'll find no shortage of friendly local guides willing to show you around. And this is before we've even started talking about food, drink and cultural aspects of the island. 

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_Beny Aguiar

Here, we've compiled seven reasons to visit this beautiful corner of Spain's most exciting archipelago. But these are just the start.

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_Jesus de leon

Gran Canaria's eternal spring

Eternal sunshine might be the stuff of Hollywood fantasy, but there is a place where the weather is almost always sunny and springlike: Gran Canaria’s subtropical location means the climate stays pretty constant throughout the year. Temperatures are pretty much always pleasant, fluctuating in the narrow range of 18 to 24 degrees—otherwise known as the perfect temperature for outdoor adventures. There’s very little seasonal variation, and although the water is colder in winter, you can basically sunbathe on the beach all year round. 

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_Nacho González Oramas

The variety of landscapes in Gran Canaria

If Gran Canaria’s climate remains constant, its landscapes are ever-changing. Known as “a continent in miniature,” the island has everything, from white sand beaches fringed by palm trees, to thick forests, to rugged mountains and sand dunes. It’s even been known to snow on the island’s highest points, Morro de la Agujereada, and the appropriately named Picos de las Nieves (peaks of snow). 

The sheer variety of landscape types means that although you can drive round the whole island in under three hours, you’ll never run out of things to explore. 

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_Marcos Cabrera

Incredible hiking in Gran Canaria

One of the best ways to explore Gran Canaria is, of course, by foot, as Gran Canaria offers some of the best hiking routes in the Canary Islands. The island is criss-crossed by well-signposted walking trails that take you through all of its various landscapes, and connect many of the major sights. The 11km path from Tamadaba campsite, in the eponymous national park, is a particular highlight.

Every October since 2012, the island has played host the Gran Canaria Walking Festival—a celebration of hiking and the local landscapes that attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. 

Stargazing in Gran Canaria

Blessed with high peaks, clean air, and very little light pollution Gran Canaria is an ideal place to admire the wonders of the universe. The island also has a special advantage as a stargazing spot, thanks to a cloud phenomenon known to locals as “the donkey’s belly”. Clouds tend to gather around the island’s peaks at about 500m above sea-level. This blocks out the lights from the cities, which are mostly on the coast, while leaving the peaks clear and cloud-free. There are several observatories on the island, all of which offer visits and stargazing tours. If you’re astronomically inclined, this is one of the best places on the planet to indulge your passion. 

Photo Gran Canaria Tourism

Gran Canaria food and drink

Wherever you eat in Gran Canaria the food is unfailingly delicious, but there are a few delicacies that are worth singling out for special praise. The upper reaches of the island are famous for their almonds, and the village of Tejeda, nearly 2000m above sea-level, makes some of the finest marzipan you’ll taste anywhere on earth, as well as bienmesabeor, or “taste me good”, a special local desert made with almonds, honey and orange zest.

Rum, often made from honey, is another local specialty on Gran Canaria, and a visit to the Areucas distillery is the perfect way to spend a bit of down time between activities. And don't forget to try the local wine, enjoyed best straight from the source while visiting the vineyard.

Photo Gran Canaria Tourism

Cycling in Gran Canaria

With its consistent climate and winding mountain roads, Gran Canaria is something of a road cyclist’s paradise. There are a dizzying array of challenging climbs to choose from, almost of them offering stunning views across the island’s rugged landscapes and out to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. For mountain bikers, the menu of trails on offer is arguably even more delectable—the longest ones offer over 1,000 vertical metres of descent, snaking down from the peaks in the centre of the island to the coast.  

Photo: Gran Canaria Tourism_Alex Bramwell

Watersports in Gran Canaria

Of course, as an island, Gran Canaria is naturally equipped with everything you need for watersports. There are surf spots scattered all around the island, so you’ll almost certainly be able to find good waves no matter which direction the swell is coming from. If sailing, windsurfing or kite-surfing is more your jam, the Atlantic winds will float your boat (or board), and if you’re into sea-kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, you’ll find a whole host of secluded coves and beaches to explore. Whatever the activity, if you can do it on the water, you can do it in Gran Canaria. 

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