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Holidays in Gran Canaria: Black lava, green palm trees and golden beaches

Despite the approximately three million tourists who go on holiday in Gran Canaria every year, the areas just out of reach of the tourist centers retain their charm. Gran Canaria is a great place for a beach holiday with a nature feel, due to it's thousands of palm-fringed beaches and beautiful bays. Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary Islands and a popular destination for many tourists. Like its neighboring islands, Gran Canaria has volcanic origins and the volcanic rock leaves plenty to discover in the mountainous interior. A trip to Gran Canaria is ideal both for a typical beach holiday or for a more off-the-beaten-path adventure holiday.

The Top 5 Things To Do In Gran Canaria

While many holidaymakers head to Gran Canaria to relax on the beach, there’s more to this Spanish isle than its famously gorgeous coastline. From the mountainous interior to the volcanic shoreline, there’s plenty to explore.

We’ve catalogued our 5 favourite things to do in Gran Canaria here:

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1. Las Palmas

Gran Canaria might not be your first thought for a city break, but the capital city of Las Palmas has a lot to offer. Find your inner foodie as you peruse local goods in Mercado de Vegueta and Mercado del Puerto, shop for unique clothing and gifts on Calle Triana, and top it all off with a long walk on the famed promenade of Las Canteras beach.  

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2. Playa del Inglés

One of Gran Canaria’s most popular beach spots, Playa del Inglés is a resort area on the south coast of the island. If you’re looking for a laid-back beach holiday with plenty of time for relaxing, pick a resort right by the water’s edge. Those more in the mood for an adventure holiday can try snorkeling, jet skis, and stand-up paddleboarding to take in the surf from a different angle. 

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3. Dunas de Maspalomas

If you’re already heading for a day of sand and surf at Playa del Inglés, you’re in luck—one of Gran Canaria’s other top natural wonders is right around the corner. These rolling sand dunes with a backdrop of the glittering coast are a step up from your typical walk on the beach. Be sure to set aside a solid few hours to truly immerse yourself in this island “desert”.

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4. Roque Nublo

The evidence of Gran Canaria’s volcanic past is all around, perhaps most notably in the black sand beaches that line the coast. However, Roque Nublo, one of the most significant testaments to the volcanic eruptions that helped form the island, is worth a trip. The unique rock formation is found right in the middle of the island, and can be easily tacked onto a sightseeing tour of the mountainous interior region.

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5. Puerto Mogan 

This small coastal town in the south is perfect for those who want a break from some of the more overrun areas closer to the capital. Enjoy a small but quiet beach, beautiful whitewashed buildings, and picturesque narrow canals. A special highlight is a walk along the water, where you can peruse the many brightly-coloured boats. 

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