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Gran Canaria, Spain: 8 Best Things to Do

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a tropical island famous for its beautiful white sand beaches and sunny weather. There are over 80 beaches with golden sand in the island. Some of these beaches serve world-class waves where surfers from around the globe trot to get a good ride.

beach day
Beach day in Gran Canaria

Generally, it is a modern city with starred hotels and top-notch resorts sprawling by the beaches. Thousands of tourists flock to Gran Canaria year-round to experience its perfectly sunny weather.

Apart from its majestic beaches, there are so many other attractions in Gran Canaria that you would not want to miss on. There is a little something for everyone to surely enjoy. Check out these unique activities that you would not have expected you could do in Gran Canaria.

Ride a camel along Maspalomas

A large part of Maspalomas is a dessert, covering 400 hectares of land. The dunes may seem like something you would skip, but you can always spice up the experience by taking a camel to ride around. Explore more of Maspalomas feeling like an Arabian royal, and take on this one of a kind experience. It’s not everyday that a camel is ready for you to ride on. Plus, it would make for amazing travel photos.

Hike up Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo is a popular destination among foreign travelers because of its 360 degree views. It is in the center of Gran Canaria, which gives you exceptional, breathtaking views. Getting to the top requires only a short hike as it is just an 80-meter tall rock. This site is UNESCO-protected, indicating its relevance to the beauty of the island.

If you wish to go stargazing, this spot is also the perfect place to go up to. Just be extra mindful about trekking in the dark.

waves in gran canaria
Catch a wave in the Gran Canaria

Learn a watersport in Pozo Izquierdo

Pozo Izquierdo has the best waves and wind in the island, making it the ultimate water sports paradise. The most popular sport in this beach is windsurfing, especially in the month of July. Because of its perfectly lined waves, it also makes for a good surf spot. There are several schools teaching surfing, for those who want to give it a try. The beach caters to different skill levels, so there is no need to fret.

Apart from these extreme water sports, you can go on a scuba diving session with certified instructors. Gran Canaria’s underwater marine life is as magnificent as its shores. If you want to do something more relaxed, you may opt to go stand-up paddle-boarding. An area with still waters is perfect for you to simply go around the ocean on a paddle board.

Take a sip of Arehucas rum

Arehucas rum is a traditional drink made in Gran Canaria, which is exported all around the world. The rum is sweetened with sugar cane that is also organically harvested from the island. The distillery is located in the city of Arucas and it is definitely worth the visit for a tasting trip. You may take a tour of the city and try samples of different flavors of authentic Gran Canaria rums.

Hike around the Caldera de Bandama

If you want to visit a natural treasure, the Caldera de Bandama is worth the hike. It is an ancient crater in central Gran Canaria. The hike takes around 30 minutes in average to get down into the crater. It features a scenic walk as you will be surrounded by cacti, eucalyptus and olive trees, and the floras and faunas unique to the Canary Islands.

For those who would rather not take a hike, there is a clifftop viewpoint where you can enjoy looking out at the majestic mountains.

caldera de bandama
Caldera de Bandama, Gran Canaria

Lounge around at Playa de Las Canteras

The most beautiful beach in Gran Canaria is the Playa de Las Canteras. The clear blue waters and fine, golden sand make it the best place to enjoy a day on the beach. It offers an activity for each person’s preference– whether it be water sports or to lounge around.

Las Canteras Beach is subdivided into sections. There is an area in the ocean where waves are surf-worthy, while an opposite area which has calm waters perfect for swimming or diving. Snorkeling is one of the primary activities you can do here, because of its amazing underwater marine life.

For thrill-seeking individuals, there is a section by the reef which is called The Lift. It is a high rock which you can jump from for a little cliff diving action. Las Canteras is truly the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.

Saddle up at the Sioux City Park

Who would have thought that you would find the wild wild west in the Gran Canaria? The Sioux City Park was built as a movie set, which has now been converted into a theme park. Be surrounded by rustic-themed saloons, houses, banks, and barrels. It is exactly how you would picture a gunfight scene of a Wild West film.

If you want to take the experience to another level, you can saddle up and take a horse around into the town. There, you will find restaurants and souvenir shops perfect for every tourist’s needs.

Shop at the Calle Triana

Luxury shopping is a huge deal in the Gran Canaria. There are three connected streets specifically allocated as the shopping district. It is located inside the bustling neighborhood of Vegueta.

The Calle Triana is now home to the world’s finest shopping brands such as Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear, and a whole selection of local luxury brands. You will definitely find something you would want to take home from hundreds of these retail stores. The best part is that you get to shop til you drop while being serenaded by local street musicians. When you didn’t think it could get any better, the Gran Canaria doesn’t stop there. It’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

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