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With everything from rolling sand dunes and rich forests to sleepy villages and excellent cities, Gran Canaria certainly lives up to its nickname, the ‘miniature continent’. On a holiday in Gran Canaria, you can hike among almond blossoms, climb mountains and soak in volcanic spa pools. And, if you feel like doing nothing, there’s an impressive selection of sun-kissed beaches in a kaleidoscope of colours.
Between the mighty dunes of Maspalomas to the unspoilt sands of Güi Güi beach, you could easily spend your entire Gran Canaria holiday on the beach. But drag yourself away from the sea and head inland, and you’ll be rewarded with a bounty of things to do. Among the pine-covered mountains and volcanic caldera craters, you’ll find Roque Nublo, a popular hiking and climbing spot with a striking volcanic rock that was once a place of worship for the island’s indigenous people. The Caldera de Bandama volcanic crater, meanwhile, has a dramatic hike between two ravines.
After a day outdoors, reward yourself with some classic Canarian cuisine. Here, African and Latin-American flavours flow through essential recipes from Spanish kitchens – think tasty seafood stews, grilled sardines and local staple, papas arrugadas (salt-crusted potatoes), served with spicy sauces. Finish on a sweet note, with helado de gofio, an ice-cream made from local stone-ground flour.
Soak up more island culture in the trendy capital, Las Palmas. Across two scenic bays, the city is packed with historic sights, cafes and trendy tapas bars. With beautiful urban beaches and a chic marina, it’s a cosmopolitan spot to shop until you drop or kick back with a cocktail in the sunshine.
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