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Gran Canaria Hotels and Apartments
Gran Canaria Holidays and Hotels
Hotels in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria’s range of beachfront hotels caters for all budgets and trip types. From fun-packed, family-friendly resorts with all the trimmings (mini golf, foosball tables, ping-pong, and the like), fully equipped apartments for more intimate stays, and design-led hideaways – you are spoilt for choice. Plus, you are mere minutes from the shore.
Whether you want a lively group getaway or a restful, all-inclusive holiday, this ‘continent in miniature’ provides. Resorts situated on the golden sands have sizeable pools, first-rate golf courses, spas and more. And, there are adults-only and LGBTQ-friendly accommodation too. The third largest isle in the Canaries’ archipelago, Gran Canaria, has fully emerged from the shadows of Tenerife, boasting year-round sunshine, dance-till-dawn nightlife and natural assets. There’s little wonder the idyllic island lures holidaymakers from around the world.
Where to stay
Playa del Inglés
This golden stretch of sand (called: ‘beach of the English’) is Gran Canaria’s star playa, where the island’s mega resorts and grand-dame hotels crowd the coast. Base yourself at this beachy resort and you can hop from sunbathing (with breaks for jet-skiing, banana boating, or flyboarding, if you’re brave) to exploring Gran Canaria’s throng of bars and clubs. Those venues include run-till-late British and Irish pubs, cabaret joints and banging Balearic export, Pacha.
This Canarian capital lies to the north of the island. Cruise ships frequent its port and there are cheap budget-to-luxury places to stay in, suiting all holiday types. It’s a cosmopolitan centre with playas and parques, galleries and museums and shops galore along Calle Mayor de Triana. Hit picturesque Vegueta, the Unesco-protected historic quarter, on Thursday for lively tapas nights.
Holiday resort Puerto Rico is on the mountainous west coast of the island. It’s been designed for dream holidays – especially if you’re travelling with kids. Its safe, sun-kissed crescent of beach is made of sand imported from the Sahara, no less. This former fishing village has grown into a thrilling entertainment hub with amusement parks, golf courses and shopping malls. And, beyond the Angry Birds theme park, lies Maspalomas’ shapely sand dunes.
What to see
Gran Canaria’s diverse charms make it a true ‘something for everyone’ holiday destination. Adventure-seekers can hike or bike the mountainous interior, scuba dive off Puerto Rico and ride camels through Maspalomas’ dunes. Cultured sorts can tour the Casa de Colón Museum (where Christopher Columbus may have stayed, once) and the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art. The curious can seek out cave villages in the Guayadeque ravine, the striking monolith Roque Nublo and Spanish Colonial pilgrimage town, Teror.
But, with 82 beaches to choose from, you’ll spend most of your time on the sand. Pitch up at sociable spots Playa del Inglés, Amadores or Anfi Del Mar to let the kids loose; or hit Las Canteras for some downtime. If sandcastle-building gets dull, kids’ entertainment includes animal encounters at Palmitos and Cocodrilo parks, and pulse-racing waterparks packed with slides.
You’ll need stamina to keep up with the Canarians. The action in bars and clubs kicks off around midnight and carries on well into the wee hours. The liveliest nightlife is to be found in Puerto Rico, Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés; a brace of British and Irish pubs, and big-ticket clubs – Pacha and Ministry of Sound. This Spanish sophisticate also has elegant wine bars (look for the home-grown stuff), roof terraces with views and killer cocktail bars.
El Tendedero de Catalina, Eiffel bar and Atelier shake things up. For joyful silliness, theme bars such as Puerto Rico’s Wig Wam, and drag institution Ricky’s Cabaret add a spritz of glitter – Gran Canaria even has a lively and inclusive LGBTQ scene. And, if you’re not drawn to the bright lights, most holiday resorts will have open-till-late bars – just a flip-flopped stroll from your room.
What to eat
Gran Canaria’s celebrated more for its natural beauty than its culinary clout, but it’s gaining a rep for fine-dining restaurants. Seafood is, of course, spectacular (sea-bream casserole is a favourite), and the melting-pot community adds Latin American, North African and Eastern flavours.
Dishes and delicacies from the mainland crop up in hotels’ lavish buffets, but do look for independent eateries. Las Palmas has laidback spots with sunny terraces. Sip coffee in chic cafés, end a very late night with a Basque brunch or clock up the churros at breakfast.
We’ve got two words for you: duty-free. Gran Canaria’s calles and coastlines are lined with independent boutiques and megamalls for guilt-free buying. In the capital, spree along Calle Mayor de Triana, then hit Las Arenas for a wide selection of shops. Open-air Los Alisios, just outside Las Palmas, is the biggest mall in the Canaries, letting you shop in the sunshine. Spain’s largest Primark is here, too. You can even pick up more authentic, handmade souvenirs. If you’re not dropping, Yumbo and Kasbah malls turn into clubs after dark.
Fast Facts about Gran Canaria
- Direct flight time: 4.5 hours from London
- Gran Canaria Airport to Las Palmas: 24 minutes
- Gran Canaria Airport to Puerto Rico: 34 minutes
- Gran Canaria Airport to Playa del Inglés: 20 Minutes
- Time Zone: WET (no time difference)
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Average price of a domestic beer: €2
- Average price of a bottle of wine: €4–6
- Number of Brit tourists per year: 890,000