Gran Canaria is located 100 km east of Tenerife. This is the third largest island of the archipelago, its area is 1532 square meters. km. The island has a rounded shape, and in its center rises the volcanic peak of Pico de las Nieves (1949 m). The landscapes of Gran Canaria are very diverse, for which the island is often referred to as a “miniature continent”. There are long beaches, sand dunes, rocky shores, mountains, volcanoes and dense forests. A third of the island has the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
According to deluxesurveillance, the largest city of the island, and of the entire Canary archipelago, is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is located in the eastern part of the north coast. The city was founded by the Spaniards in 1478, and, 15 years later, on the way of its first trip, Christopher Columbus made a stop here. The main attractions of Las Palmas are concentrated in the historic quarter of Vegueta, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990 for the abundance of buildings of the colonial era. In addition to historical sights, the Vegeta quarter has the best restaurants and bars of the capital. Be sure to take a walk along the narrow cobbled streets of the Vegeta district, lined with old houses with carved balconies and churches. A little north of Vegeta, another area extends – Triana, which leads to the city port. Triana is known for its shopping centers and nightclubs, especially around the oldest hotel islands of Gran Canaria – Santa Catalina (1890), where the Casino was located. Triana is adjacent to the district of parks and mansions – Ciudad Jardin (“Garden City”), where you can relax perfectly. In February, Carnival is held in Las Palmas, which is not inferior in importance to Carnival in Santa Cruz.
In the northern part of Las Palmas, several beaches stretch along the coast. The most popular and cleanest beach in the city is Las Canteras beach. At the northern end of the beach there is a place Confital (Confital), where there is a constant wave, so you can surf here. Along Las Canteras there is a promenade with cafes and shops. On the other side of the isthmus near the city port there is a kilometer-long beach Playa Las Alcaravaneras. Near the beach there are many yacht clubs offering yachts for rent. At the southern outskirts of the city on the coast, the quiet fishing village of San Cristobal is interesting. The restaurants here serve the best seafood in town. In addition, here you can look at the ancient fort, built on the coast. Near the village stretches the black volcanic sand beach of La Laja.
It is interesting to go further south along the east coast of the island of Gran Canaria: to the ancient towns of Telde, Ingenio and Aguimes (Aguimes), where colonial era buildings line the narrow cobbled streets. In the vicinity of Aguimes and Telde there are entire cave complexes where the Guanache tribes lived in ancient times. Further south, near the city of Arinaga, on the coastline of Playa del Carbon, there is the Marine Reserve of the same name. This is one of the best diving spots on the island. There are many volcanic formations under the water: canyons, caves and tunnels. Not far from here, on the southern tip of the east coast of Gran Canaria, is the Pozo del Izquierdo coast, one of the most popular windsurfing spots in the archipelago.
20 km southwest, along the southern coast of Gran Canaria, stretches a series of sandy beaches. This is the most popular holiday destination on the island. This includes resort areas such as Maspalomas, Playa del Ingles and San Agustin. The total length of the beaches of the resort area is about 17 km, hotels lined up along them, restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, golf courses and parks. The most popular and oldest resort in the region is Maspalomas. It is always crowded, noisy and fun. Maspalomas beach is considered the most beautiful on the island, because it is surrounded by sand dunes. In the evening, tours of the dunes on camels depart from the lighthouse. In the evening, be sure to visit the Holiday World amusement park. Here you can ride a 27 m high Ferris wheel, visit dozens of attractions and take part in entertainment shows. The Playa del Inglés resort offers vacationers a 4-kilometer beach, 12 shopping centers and numerous nightclubs. Here is the largest water park of the Canary Islands Aqualand with an area of 130 thousand square meters. m. In the vicinity of Playa del Inglés there is a botanical garden Palmitos Park with an area of 200 thousand square meters. m. Here, in addition to a variety of tropical plants (160 species of cacti and about 50 species of palms), there are 1,500 exotic birds, mostly parrots, that fly freely in the park.
The beach of the resort town of San Agustin is only 680 m long and is suitable for those tourists who want to relax in silence. There are very few tourists in San Agustin, most often locals rest here. Not far from San Agustin is the Sioux City theme park, which is a copy of a small American city in the style of the Wild West.
Northwest along the coast are the resorts of Arguineguin, Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogan (Puerto de Mogan). These resorts are less popular than Maspalomas, and are small towns that have grown on the site of fishing villages. A variety of water excursions are arranged from here: trips along the coast, excursions during which you can see dolphins, and excursions on boats with a transparent bottom or a special submarine.
The west coast of the island of Gran Canaria is famous for its landscapes – a rocky coastline, where several viewing platforms are equipped. The most breathtaking views open from the observation platforms near the city of San Nicolas de Tolentino (San Nicolas de Tolentino). The largest cactus park in Europe, Cactualdea , is also located in the vicinity of the city., where more than 1000 species of cacti are collected, brought here from Mexico, Madagascar, Bolivia and Guatemala. Near the city of Agaete (Agaete) on the west coast, the monolith El Dedo de Dios (“God’s finger”) is of interest – a basalt rock protruding from the sea. Until 2005, the rock was one of the symbols of the island, but, unfortunately, as a result of the hurricane that hit this part of the coast, it was significantly destroyed: its famous “spire” was demolished, because of which the rock was compared with a finger. Nearby is the reptile park “Reptilandia”. Here, 150 species of reptiles are presented in open-air terrariums: crocodiles, snakes, including a 7-meter Chinese python, turtles, lizards (including the largest lizard on the planet – the Komodo dragon) and frogs.
At the northwestern tip of Gran Canaria lies the ancient city of Galdar. It is known for its archaeological complexes: the Cueva Pintada cave, on the walls of which drawings of the Guanche tribes were found, the remains of the settlements of the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, and the Necropolis de Galdar graves, where mummies and objects for ritual ceremonies were found.
On the north coast, the beaches of El Fronton and Playa de la Caleta are popular. (Playa de la Caleta). Waves are constantly observed here, which attracts surfers here. Off the north coast, the town of Arucas is worth a visit, which is called the “Pearl of Gran Canaria”. It is a small city with an abundance of historical sights. The neo-Gothic temple of Iglesia de San Juan, which contains masterpieces of religious art of the 16th century, colonial buildings on Calle Leon Castillo, and the city hall building on Constitution Square are very beautiful. Be sure to take a stroll through the French-style city garden with fountains, pavilions and sculptures. In the garden is the Municipal Museum, which exhibits the work of local artists and sculptors.
In the central part of the island, in the vicinity of the city of Tejeda (Tejeda), the highest points of Gran Canaria are located – the volcanic peak of Pico de las Nieves (1949 m) and Mount Roque Nublo (1813 m), on top of which rises a huge stone monolith 80 m high, formed as a result of erosion. From here you can see not only the entire island of Gran Canaria, but also the island of Tenerife with the Teide volcano. The local places are very picturesque – the slopes of the mountains are covered with tropical forests, in the middle of which there are small villages. Be sure to head to the town of Santa Brigida, in the vicinity of which is the island’s largest volcanic crater – Bandama. Its diameter is 1000 m, and the depth reaches 200 m. You can go down to the bottom of the crater along a stepped slope, the descent takes about 1.5 hours.