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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

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+

Capital Las Palmas
Language Spanish
Time Difference -1 hours
Currency Euro
Voltage 220

Located off North Africa’s coast, Gran Canaria offers year-round sunshine and vibrant Mediterranean influences, including fresh, flavoursome cuisine full of Spanish flare. It’s a popular destination for families and showcases a heap of attractions and not-to-miss activities. The island’s natural landscape is a fascinating mix of volcanic mountains, rocky ravines and tranquil coves tucked under soaring cliffs, while the iconic sand dunes of Maspalomas appear to have been imported directly from the Arabian Desert.

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.

Highlights+
Maspalomas

Maspalomas is a chic seaside town famous for its sand dunes, lighthouse and golf course. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, it comes as no surprise to find upscale seafood restaurants along the prom and around the harbour. The beach boasts Blue Flag status and wonderful settings for sunbathing and leisurely rambles along sweeping stretches of silky soft sands. Built in 1886, the landmark lighthouse, Faro de Maspalomas, still serves as a crucial beacon for ships in the region. Maspalomas is also where you’ll find world-class fairways at Maspalomas Golf Course, edged with dunes and promising stunning views from elevated greens.

Puerto de Mogan

Located on the southwest coast, Puerto de Mogan, nicknamed ‘Little Venice’, is a quaint fishing town and, arguably, the most picturesque spot in the Canaries. Picture a labyrinth of canals crossed with Italian-style footbridges and pedestrianised streets jammed with colourful flowers and rows of whitewashed colonial buildings, encouraging relaxing saunters and browsing. Following a morning’s mooching, head down to the old-world harbour for lunch in one of the many tempting eateries, then follow this with a spot of beachcombing on the town’s secluded bay, shaded by magnificent cliffs. Couples may wish to seek out the aptly named ‘Lover’s Beach’, a short taxi ride away.

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.

Travel Gems+

Local Markets
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.

Adventure
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.

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

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 Documentation+

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.

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.

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

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

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

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, 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.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

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.

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 .

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