With sizzling temperatures, gorgeous beaches, great nightlife, and historic towns, this Mediterranean jewel has plenty to tempt you to its shores...
The island, born out of volcanic activity, sits some 100 miles off the west coast of Africa and enjoys an abundance of sun and a rolling landscape of sand dunes that have blown over from the Sahara Desert.
The resort of Maspalomas is where you and your family can explore the dunes. The sandy hillocks are for those on foot only - expect to see walkers, camel trekkers, and some nudists.
The island - the third largest of the Canaries - is fairly small and roughly round in shape, with a mountainous middle that rolls down to clean and sandy beaches, passing whitewashed villages and tourist resorts along the way.
Reaching your resort from the capital's Las Palmas Airport (LPA - also known as Gando) is simple with transfers or car hire, and most of the popular resorts are centred on the south coast of the island. Holidaymakers can choose from lively Playa del Ingles or Puerto Rico, hit the dunes in pretty Maspalomas, or just lie back and top up the tan in Puerto Mogan (which is Puerto de Mogan and Playa Mogan), Playa Taurito, San Agustin, Amadores, Bahia Feliz, Meloneras, Salobre or Sonnenland.
Whichever resort you choose, you will be greeted with typical Spanish hospitality and you'll find long sandy beaches on which to spend your days, and a variety of friendly restaurants in which to relax in the evenings. Families, groups and couples will find their ideal destination among the mix of quiet, exclusive resorts and bustling, energetic hotspots. And there's a great mix of accommodation in Gran Canaria, with villas, self-catering apartments, high-end hotels and spa hotels to choose from. There are all-inclusive options here too, though eating out is very good value if you aren't catered for day and night.
Gran Canaria holidays can be crammed with activity, if that's what ticks your holiday boxes, and there are opportunities galore to hit the waves and enjoy watersports.
The sport of shopping is popular here too, with Yumbo Centrum in Playa del Ingles providing gift and clothing shops and the Maspalomas Plaza contributing a higher-end shopping experience. The local markets, held all over the island (there's a great market at Teror every Sunday morning), are magnificent spots in which to soak up the atmosphere while picking up bargains, and the capital of Las Palmas offers a bustling shopping scene. Las Palmas is a worthwhile day trip and many hours can be spent enjoying the old town or savouring the beauty of Santa Ana Cathedral. And don't forget that Gran Canaria offers duty-free shopping, so you can stock up on goodies here.
If you are now sold on Gran Canaria holidays, TravelSupermarket can help you to find cheap deals to this delightful holiday isle. Use our search tool now to get your Gran Canaria adventure underway.
Find out the best time of year to book your Gran Canaria adventure, whether you want sky-high temperatures or something a little cooler...
The Canary Islands bake in year-round sunshine and enjoy pleasant warm temperatures even in the depths of the British winter. Feel the warmth on your skin in January in Gran Canaria with an average daily temperature of 18C. Bake in averages of 25C in July. It's likely to rain every few days between November and February, though it won't be enough to spoil your sunshine break.
Fiestas and carnivals are all part of island life in Gran Canaria, and there are a variety of annual events to tempt visitors. Find out what's on...
Maspalomas Carnival; February/March: The whole island goes mad for this fun-filled spring Carnival. If you're on the island you simply must visit the sand dunes and beaches of Maspalomas to witness one of the liveliest and most colourful events you're ever likely to see outside of the Rio Carnival.
Lomo Magullo Water Fight; August: This entertaining event dates back to the 1970s when the locals would hunt for water to sate the thirst of their crops. There is clearly plenty of water to go around these days - leave your camera and your inhibitions behind and prepare for a drenching in Lomo Magullo.
Virgen del Pino Fiesta; September: The picture-postcard town of Teror hosts one of the island's most important fiestas, which celebrates Gran Canaria's patron saint: Our Lady of the Pines. Respects are paid at church and then the street party begins.
There's something to satisfy every holiday taste in Gran Canaria, whether you're looking for adventure, culture, romance, or just a little time out...
Active types: Rock climbers and hikers should head to one of Gran Canaria's most famous landmarks - the Roque Nublo, or 'Rock in the Clouds'. Towering 80m above the ground, the views you are treated to on reaching the summit make it worth your while.
Nightlife: If you're a die-hard partier then Playa del Ingles caters for every taste and you'll be treated to a variety of clubs and bars. Nearby Puerto Rico has a more laid-back vibe, while still having a selection of lively bars.
Kids and teens: Maspalomas is home to Holiday World which has something for all ages. The little ones will enjoy the funfair and pony rides, teens can head to the bowling alley, and mum and dad can enjoy lunch in one of the restaurants or bars.
Romance: The picturesque resort of Puerto Mogan, or 'little Venice', offers the perfect setting for romance. With its winding streets and yacht-filled marina, couples can relax here away from the hustle and bustle, and enjoy waterfront, candlelit dinners by night.
Babies and toddlers: The shallow waters and sloping sands offered by the beach at Maspalomas is the perfect place for tots to safely play and enjoy the sun.
Free and cheap: Budding explorers may like to visit Casa de Colon, located near to Las Palmas. Supposedly a stop-off made by Columbus en route to the New World, the museum charges a small fee and is filled with nautical exhibits, maps, navigation instruments and other objects relating to the famous explorer.
Shopping: If you're looking to shop till you drop, Gran Canaria offers plenty of options. The Calle Mayor de Triana in Las Palmas is just one of these, offering half a mile of stores for you to wander around at your leisure.