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Gran Canaria Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 771

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Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Gran Canaria , created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Nestled off the coast of Africa and enjoying vibrant Mediterranean influences, Gran Canaria is the perfect setting to enjoy all year round sunshine and warm hospitality. The stylish Spanish flare is evident in the passion for fresh, flavoursome cuisine and balanced siesta and fiesta lifestyle. Gran Canaria is a popular destination with families as the island boasts a wealth of family-friendly attractions and not-to-be-missed activities. From exotic wildlife to waterparks, camel rides to moonlight cinemas – there is sure to be an activity to interest the whole family. The island’s natural landscape is a fascinating mix of volcanic mountains, rocky ravines, sand dunes and tranquil coves and beaches tucked away beneath magnificent cliffs. Gran Canaria is perhaps the most diverse of all the Canary Islands and its varied terrain saw it named ‘Land of the Brave’ by its original inhabitants as early as 500 BC. Nowadays the island is home to many quaint Spanish Colonial towns, stylish architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Maspalomas

The iconic golden sand dunes of Maspalomas appear to have been imported directly from the Arabian Desert, however the charming Mediterranean ambience ensures a far more hospitable setting for your luxury beach holiday. Maspalomas is favoured by the island’s more discerning natives and guests as a sophisticated contraction to some of the more garish tourist resorts the Canaries were once famed for. Fortunately, Maspalomas has thrived as a picturesque seaside town, with its legendary lighthouse and harbour-style setting bringing a chic ambience to the quiet town. Overlooking the beautiful blue hues of the Atlantic Ocean, it is no surprise to find a vibrant array of seafood restaurants and elegant eateries along Maspalomas’ main promenade. During the day, the inviting stretch of beautiful blonde sand is the ideal spot to enjoy some sunbathing or family beach games. The clean sand and waters are assured by the region’s Blue Flag status and the uninterrupted stretch invites leisurely walks with plenty of scenic views for company.

Faro de Maspalomas, is the official name for the iconic lighthouse built in 1886. At 65 metres tall, it dominates the otherwise uninterrupted skyline and still serves as a crucial beacon for ships sailing in the region. Maspalomas is also home to many of the island’s best golf courses including the eponymous Maspalomas Golf Course. Fringed by sand dunes and enjoying stunning island views from elevated greens, this is the ideal place to enjoy a round or two baked in glorious sunshine.

General Information
CapitalLas Palmas
LanguageSpanish
Time Difference-1 hours
CurrencyEuro
Voltage220

Health

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling. Sources of information include: www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Sources of information include: www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.


Visa

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information. For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Climate+

Although belonging to Spain , the Canary Islands are actually closer to the African coastline, so the popular archipelago enjoys favourable temperatures year-round. Gran Canaria is a favoured popular winter sun destination, as the island remains warm and dry even in Europe’s coldest months. Equally, the low level of rainfall throughout the summer makes Gran Canaria the ideal luxury beach holiday destination.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Gran Canaria .

  Temp °C Rain mm
January1825
February1824
March1912
April196
May201
June220
July230
August240
September249
October2316
November2122
December1931

Highlights+

Puerto de Mogan

Located on the south west coast, Puerto de Mogan is known as ‘Little Venice’. A charmingly quaint fishing town, Puerto de Mogan is arguably the most picturesque setting in all of the Canaries. Rows of white Spanish Colonial buildings with colourful details, narrow streets adorned with bright flowers and an old-world harbour bordered by an array of inviting eateries, this is one of Gran Canaria’s most alluring destinations. The pedestrianised streets are free-from traffic and invite leisurely strolls over the Italian-inspired footbridges and elegant promenades. Puerto de Mogan is best enjoyed as a daytrip, and be sure to make time for some beachcombing; the town boasts its own secluded bay shaded by a stretch of magnificent cliffs. Couples may want to seek out the aptly named ‘Lover’s Beach’ just 7km from the harbour.

Beaches

A volcanic island bordered by 120 miles of sandy coastline, it goes without saying that Gran Canaria is ideal for a luxury beach holiday. The Blue Flag status of Maspalomas beach is telling of the clean, bright nature of this seemingly endless stretch of sand. Set against a backdrop of soaring sand dunes, there is a sense of being in the heart of a distant desert but with all the amenities of a premier beach resort.

Watersports

Nicknamed ‘The Hawaii of Europe’, Gran Canaria’s volcanic landscape and Atlantic Ocean setting make it a surfer’s paradise. Find world-class reef breaks and thrilling waves on Gran Canaria’s shores whilst beginners can seek out one of the island’s many surf-schools and take on the superior surf at their own pace. Other popular watersports include waterskiing, wind surfing and body-boarding. The island’s sea temperatures remain warm all year round, reaching an average of 24 degrees in the summer.

Waterparks

There are a variety of waterparks located on the island. Aqualand Maspalomas boasts 33 waterslides and a further 13 exciting attractions including mini-golf, children’s play area and Polynesian-themed pool play area. Fun for all the family and conveniently located near our featured hotels, Aqualand Maspalomas is perfect for those seeking adrenaline-fuelled aquatic adventure.

Dining

There is an extensive range of cuisine on offer throughout Maspalomas and Puerto de Mogan’s independent eateries, but the abundance of local fishing makes seafood a speciality which should not be missed. Papas arrugadas is the signature dish of The Canaries and is traditionally served tapas style, as an accompaniment to a main meal. The basic recipe calls for the smallest new potatoes the chef can find, lashings of salt and a rich tomato sauce, but many modern interpretations see this dish served in new and inspiring ways throughout the islands.

Getting There+

Flight Information

Norwegian and easyjet direct from London Gatwick to Las Palmas. UK regional departures also available.

Flight Time

From London Gatwick to Las Palmas: 4 hours, 10 minutes.

Travel Gems+

Puerto de Mogan hosts twice weekly markets, on Mondays and Fridays in the main plaza. Friday sees the grand space filled with an eclectic array of stalls selling leather goods, African carvings, hand-made jewellery, vintage paperbacks, fruit and vegetables and many other items. It is worth seeking out the locally produced crafts including candles and glassware; inspired by the island’s rugged landscape and volcanic heritage. A smaller craft market takes place on Mondays, with a distinctly more artisan ambience.

For those seeking to uncover the island’s hidden highlights during their luxury beach holiday, there are a number of exciting options to explore. Choose from a thrilling 4 x 4 ride over the island’s incredible sand dunes or enjoy a traditional camel ride for an Arabian-style adventure. Gran Canaria boats a fine sailing pedigree and taking to the sea for a luxury catamaran cruise or chartering an elegant private yacht is a fabulous way to enjoy stunning sunsets and discover some of the island’s most secluded coves and bays. Don’t be surprised if you see a few dolphins enjoying the island’s warm waters too, Gran Canaria is a known hotspot for Atlantic bottlenose and common dolphins. The planet’s second largest mammal, Fin Whales and the smaller Pilot whale are also regularly spotted in the deeper waters off the island’s main coast.

Talk to our Europe & North Africa Experts

Our dedicated Europe & North Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Gran Canaria .

Why Choose Elegant Resorts


As the foremost British pioneer of luxury travel – and boasting an ever-increasing collection of prestigious accolades that celebrates this – Elegant Resorts is a tour operator with the expertise, knowledge and reputation to deliver only the very finest tailor-made luxury holidays to our clients, honed by almost thirty years of experience in this niche travel business.

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