Gran Canaria is a beautiful island located in the Atlantic, just 130 miles from Africa's coast.
Its capital is the busy town of Las Palmas. Its attractions include the beaches and the resorts, which include Puerto Rico, which is ideal for families, Playa del Ingles, Playa Taurito and Puerto Mogan, along with the sophisticated Maspalomas and San Augustin.
Gran Canaria manages to cater well for tourists while keeping its local traditions alive. You'll notice the friendly people, the incredible culture and the raft of attractions. This destination is known as a holiday-maker's paradise for its diversity, gorgeous weather and incredible scenery.
You may prefer the sunnier south side of the island or the cooler north, but either way you'll find acres of sandy dunes, verdant mountains, fantastic bars, shops, restaurants and clubs and incredible world-famous beaches. The south tends to be the most popular and busy part and it's where you will find Puerto de Mogan (also known as Little Venice), the stylish resort of Maspalomas, Puerto Rico, San Augustin, Meloneras and the highly popular Playa del Ingles. If you prefer rugged landscapes and spectacular views, however, you'll be best off organising car hire in Gran Canaria and heading off to explore.
You can organise Gran Canaria car hire at Las Palmas Airport (LPA). Car hire is a great way to explore as much of the island as possible, from the volcanic craters and the pine forests through to the beaches and highlands. It will also allow you to visit the various resorts and towns. You can use your car to go to the Cueva Pintada park, with its fascinating archaeological treasures, or Palmitos Park, which has a luscious botanical garden. Head up to Artenara in the hills and admire the stunning views or visit the picturesque village of Tejeda.
Gran Canaria is popular all year round for its sunshine and holiday activities. The island is often described as having an 'eternal spring', which does indeed describe its year-round appeal beautifully. The island has lovely refreshing breezes, which makes its summers much more pleasant than on the mainland of Spain. There are also a variety of micro-climates, including snow on the peaks sub-tropical weather in the forests.
Gran Canaria is highly cosmopolitan and it boasts a cultural calendar with events taking place throughout the year, including dance, international music, cinema festivals and theatre and, of course, the famous carnival. There are many town celebrations and religious feasts that are celebrated across the island. The majority are associated with patron saints or the end of the harvest period in the more agricultural areas. They will be marked with fancy-dress parades and colourful processions.
The capital of Las Palmas is located in the north-east part of the island. The ancient town was founded in 1478 and its cultural centre - the oldest quarter of Vegueta - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Puerto de la Luz is one of Europe's most important harbours, giving the city a hugely cosmopolitan feel. Visitors will enjoy the cafes, boutiques and high-end shops as well s the restaurants and museums. Some of the most popular places to visit are the Modern Art Museum, the Cathedral of Santa Ana and the Casa Museo de Colon. Head to Triana to see the Casa Museo Pérez Galdós and Cuidad Jardin (garden town). Other notable destinations include Santa Catalina and its spectacular beach and La Isleta and its Castle of the Light (Castillo de la Luz).
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