What to see in Gran Canaria, Spain – a guide to the most beautiful places on the island

Gran Canaria – 11 highlights of the island

Gran Canaria is one of the largest islands of the Canary archipelago, gaining increasing attention of tourists from all over the world. Besides the numerous ocean beaches stretching for more than 230 km, the resort attracts travelers with its unique natural locations, parks and entertainment complexes, historical monuments. With attractions scattered all over the island, Gran Canaria is capable of surprising even the most preconceived tourists. Read on to find out more about the resort’s attractions.

Gran Canaria in Spain

Timanfaya National Park

One of the main attractions of Gran Canaria is a unique place located on the easternmost island of Lanzarote, which tourists reach by ferry. Here is the unique Timanfaya Park, famous for its Martian landscapes. In the area of the reserve are about 220 extinct volcanoes. Once their violent activity turned the local territory into an uninhabited wasteland. Today the park’s landscapes are more reminiscent of images from a fantasy movie about outer space than the terrestrial terrain.

The main tourist point of the site is Islote de Hilario hill, named after a recluse who lived here for more than fifty years. This is the starting point for bus tours of the complex, during which you can see how volcanic eruptions three hundred years ago distorted the face of the western part of Lanzarote. The guided tour lasts no more than 40 minutes, after which tourists are brought back to the hill, where everyone can stop by the souvenir store or visit the restaurant that serves barbecue chicken if they wish.

  • Opening hours: The attraction is available on a daily basis from 09:00 to 17:45, the last tour is at 17:00.
  • Cost to visit: 10 €.
  • Location: Lanzarote Island, Spain.

Crocodile Park

If you want to see something on Gran Canaria, visit the Crocodile Park. It is home to species of all ages and also the largest crocodile in Europe Paco, which weighs 600 kg. Especially for visitors in the park daily show with the participation of reptiles, during which you can observe the behavior of animals during feeding. In addition, there is an opportunity to watch a parrot show in the park.

In addition to crocodiles there are other animals living in the park: foxes, tigers, raccoons, iguanas, pythons, as well as exotic fish and birds. Many of them are allowed to touch. Often the inhabitants of the complex are confiscated animals, which were saved due to the disclosure of cases of illegal trade in animals. The main drawback of the park – the conditions of detention of individual animals: some of them live in too small cages, which is a rather sad spectacle and causes mixed feelings among visitors.

  • Visiting hours are from 10:00 to 17:00. The only day off on Saturdays.
  • Cost of admission: Adults: €9.90, children: €6.90.
  • Address: Ctra General Los Corralillos, Km 5.5, 35260 Agüimes, Las Palmas, Spain.
  • Official website: www.cocodriloparkzoo.com

Pico de las Nieves

One of the most sought-after natural attractions of the famous island is the Peque de las Nieves. Its main peak reaches a height of 1,949 meters, making it the highest point of Gran Canaria. Interestingly, Pico de las Nieves was formed due to the eruption of an underwater volcano. In translation from Spanish the name of the natural landmark means “snowy peak”. This name is due to the fact that in winter the peak is covered with a thick layer of snow.

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Pic de las Nieves

The observation deck at Pique de las Nieves offers spectacular panoramas of the picturesque surroundings. On a clear sunny day, you can even see Tenerife’s Teide volcano. It is easy to get to the mountain on your own by numerous signs. If you don’t have your own car, you can book a Peak de las Nieves tour at a local travel agency.

Palmitos Park.

If you’re in doubt about what to see in Gran Canaria, we suggest checking out Palmitos Park. This large botanical and zoological complex offers a range of activities for both children and their parents. There is a botanical garden with an interactive cage where you are allowed to interact with exotic birds such as flamingos, spatula, South African ibis, etc. The park also has a flower and scenic garden, where you can view Las Palmas’ largest collection of orchids, as well as appreciate the cactus greenhouse and butterfly house.

And the attraction also includes an aquarium that features both freshwater and marine life. Among the latter, the venomous specimens that attract the most attention are the surgeon fish and the scorpionfish. Palmitos also has a section with reptiles, where lives Komodo varan – the largest lizard in nature, reaching a height of 3 meters and weighing 90 kg. And in the mammal zoo you can meet gibbons, trumpet-tooters, wallabies, meerkats and other rare animals.

Palmitos Park

Perhaps the main attraction of Palmitos Park is its dolphinarium, which covers an area of about 3000 m². The local pool is home to five dolphins that perform acrobatic shows twice a day all year round. For an additional fee visitors have the opportunity to swim with the animals.

  • Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 (admission before 17:00).
  • Cost of admission: adult ticket – 32 €, children’s (5 to 10 years) – 23 €, mini-ticket (children from 3 to 4 years) – 11 €.
  • Address: Barranco de los Palmitos, s/n, 35109 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain.
  • Official website: www.palmitospark.es

Sioux City Theme Park

Some attractions on the island of Gran Canaria are quite original and of great tourist interest. Sioux City Theme Park, built in the spirit of the American wild west, is definitely one of them. The complex was built in 1972 and originally served as a movie set for westerns. Today it’s an amusement park where every nook and cranny is filled with adventure, just waiting for the cowboy to come around the corner and start the real gunslinging.

Sioux City Theme Park

It’s interesting to see the shows staged by actors and dancers on the territory of the complex. During the day there are six different shows. There are themed stores and a restaurant in the park. Even just wandering around the town and experiencing the flavor of the wild west will already be a real experience. The attraction will also appeal to the little ones, for which there is a small zoo in the area.

  • Opening hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday is a day off. In summer the attraction is open from 10:00 to 17:00.
  • The cost of admission: 21,90 € for adults, 15,90 € for children (2 to 12 years).
  • Address: Barranco del Aguila, s/n, 35100 San Agustín, Las Palmas, Spain.
  • Official website: https://siouxcitypark.es/
Lighthouse in Maspalomas

Of the island’s architectural landmarks, the massive lighthouse located in the southern town of Maspalomas stands out. The structure was erected back in 1861, but it took several decades before it began to function. The lighthouse consists of two constructions: the living quarters for the keeper and the tower with a length of 56 m.

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Lighthouse in Maspalomas

The lighthouse stands on the picturesque beach of Maspalomas and serves as a landmark not only for ships but also for tourists. During sunset, you can catch some beautiful shots of the landmark in the background. It has long been a favorite among vacationers due to the wide variety of souvenir stores and restaurants located in the area.

  • Where to find: Plaza del Faro, 15, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain
Ricky’s Cabaret Bar

If you are curious to see a travesty show and have a humorous evening, then a visit to Ricky’s Cabaret Bar is a must. The show mostly features retired people dressed up in bright, shiny costumes. And, judging by the reviews of tourists, they really are able to make the visitors laugh. The program is built on famous hits, and, in general, is worthy of attention. Every night you are expected to see a different show.

Ricky's Cabaret Bar

If you are going to see the performance, we recommend you to book a table in advance, because after 22:00 it’s rather problematic to find free seats. The institution is notable for the friendly atmosphere and helpful staff. The bar is located in the center of Yumbo, on the third floor.

  • Visiting hours are from 8:00 p.m. to 04:00 a.m. Bar open every day.
  • Address: Yumbo Centre, Av. Estados Unidos, 54, 35100 Maspalomas, Spain.
Roque Nublo.

What can you see in Gran Canaria if you drive? Definitely take a trip up the mountain road to the famous Rock of Roque Nublo. Stretching up to 1,813 meters, the landmark is the third highest point on the island. The rock, of volcanic origin, is known to travelers for its unusual finger-shaped spire pointing into the sky. The 60-meter-high spire acquired such contours as a result of the destruction and breakage of large pieces of rock.

Roque Nublo

If you decide to go to the sight on your own by car, it is important to consider that by lunchtime the parking lot at the cliff is sometimes filled to capacity. Also be prepared to walk 1.5 km to the site (and the same amount back). Often at the top you will be caught by a cold wind, so a warm jacket is handy. But the panoramic views from the top of Roque Nublo will certainly pay for all this inconvenience.

Old Town in Las Palmas (Vegueta)

Las Palmas, the island’s capital, was founded in the late 15th century by the Spanish conquistadors. For several centuries, the city was a small settlement, which actively began to grow only by the end of the 19th century. Today, every traveler can trace the formation and development of the capital through its historic district. The old town consists of two neighborhoods – Vegeta and Triana. Vegeta is the older neighborhood with distinctive colonial island architecture, while Triana is a relatively young place that has become the center of the capital’s shopping.

Old Town in Las Palmas

The Old Town is home to several interesting sights, among which are must-sees:

  • The Columbus Museum, the former home of the traveler, where he stayed in the 15th century before conquering the Atlantic.
  • Santa Catalina, the oldest fashionable hotel where prominent guests from all over the world used to live.
  • Museum of Modern Art.

All in all, the Old Town is a rather cozy neighborhood where it’s pleasant to stroll through the narrow, clean streets, check out the miniature cafes with tables outside, and look at the bright facades and carved shutters. There are plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants around which you can often enjoy a performance by street musicians. If you want to feel the atmosphere of the colonial times and briefly be transported to that epoch you should definitely take a look at the historical district of the capital.

  • Address: Plaza Sta. Ana, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain.
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Aqualand Maspalomas

Aqualand Maspalomas Water Park

If you vacation with children, then one day of your vacation can be devoted to a visit to the water park. The entertainment complex offers tourists a variety of attractions, divided into 4 age categories. Here you will find all kinds of slides with steep, twisting and high-speed slides, hill-crowd, boomerang slide, and be able to arrange a lazy rafting on an artificial river. For children there is a small town with swimming pools and separate rides.

The water park has picnic areas, shops with swimming accessories and souvenirs, and several fast food restaurants. Food prices are quite high. For an additional fee you can rent sun beds (4 €) and a locker (5 € + 2 € refundable deposit). The best time to visit the water park is on weekdays, when it’s not so crowded.

  • Opening hours: from September to June from 10:00 to 17:00, from July 1 to August 31 from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Cost of admission: 32 € for adults (if buying online 30 €); 23 € for children aged 5 to 10 (online 21 €); standard 12 € for children aged 3-4.
  • Address: Carr. Palmitos Park, Km 3, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain.
  • Official website: www.aqualand.es
Church of San Juan Bautista in Arucas (Iglesia de San Juan Bautista)

San Juan Bautista Church

The Church of San Juan Bautista is one of the most majestic architectural attractions in Gran Canaria. Located in the northern town of Arucas, it is considered the largest cathedral on the island. The construction began in 1909 on the site of an ancient chapel, but it was not until 1977 that they finished the architectural masterpiece. The church is built of black basalt in neo-Gothic style, due to which it is often confused with the cathedral. Inside, look out for the high altar with the 16th century crucifix, the elaborate stained glass windows and the fine religious sculptures.

  • Visiting hours are from 09:30 to 12:30 and from 16:30 to 17:15.
  • Cost of admission: free of charge.
  • Address: Calle Parroco Morales, 35400 Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain.

Gran Canaria, whose attractions are so varied, is sure to be remembered as a unique place with a distinctive culture and history. Every traveler will find a location to his or her liking and is unlikely to ever forget his or her visit to the island.

Gran Canaria sightseeing tour:

Author: Catherine Unal

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10 Impressive Places of the Island of Gran Canaria in the Kingdom of Spain

Mountain scenery of exceptional beauty, long golden sand beaches, historical sites, water sports activities and a moderate stable climate 365 days a year have made Gran Canaria a favorite destination for thousands of tourists over the years.

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1. Roque Nublo Peak

The Roque Nublo is a basalt cliff about 80 meters high with a summit at 1,813 meters above sea level. The rock was a shrine to the ancient inhabitants of the island: its shape resembles the silhouette of the supreme lord and guardian of the island.

To reach the top, tourists have to climb a winding path. But it’s worth the effort because the views from the top are spectacular. Roque Nublo has been one of the symbols of Gran Canaria from the earliest times.

Near the rock is one of the picturesque lakes, formed by a dam.

2. The Maspalomas Dunes

A small desert of golden sand in the south of Gran Canaria is a breathtaking sight. It stretches along the Atlantic Ocean coast and covers 400 hectares. The Maspalomas Dunes have been declared a natural reserve. You can cross them on a camel or on foot. It is the warmest place in the archipelago.

At the western end of the dunes is another attraction – the old Maspalomas lighthouse, built in 1890. Its height is 65 meters.

3. Port of Puerto Mogán.

The fishing village, also known as “miniature Venice” charms with ancient streets, a network of picturesque channels with bridges, bright houses in the Mediterranean style no higher than 3 floors.

It’s easy to get lost among the bougainvilleas in the cozy bars and cafes on the pier. And in the evening you can walk along the beach, admiring the sunset.

4. Teror Village

This village in the heart of the island is the most beautiful on the island! Its paved streets are lined with old houses with traditional carved wooden balconies, some of which date back to the 16th century.

The main treasure of the village is the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, built in the 18th century and dedicated to the patron saint of Gran Canaria, Madonna del Pino. Inside, the basilica is decorated with paintings and sculptures, the most famous of which is a statue of the Virgin Mary carved out of wood.

And on Sunday mornings, a colorful local market with the freshest produce and delicacies opens in Terora.

5. Playa de Las Canteras Beach

The capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canteras is home to Europe’s best city beach – nearly a kilometer long, surrounded by a natural reef. This location is ideal for a beach holiday, but also hosts various city festivals, fiestas and the annual Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival.

Not far from the beach is an oceanarium with the largest panoramic glass in Europe.

6. Vegueta neighborhood

It is also located in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The narrow streets of the old quarter are over 500 years old. Conquistadors who founded the city, warriors, pirates and travelers walked on these cobblestones. Their stories have left their mark on every corner of this place. The governor’s house was where Columbus stayed during his famous voyages, and it now houses the museum named after him. Otherwise, it is also called the Museum of the Age of Discovery.

Here you can find attractions such as the Cathedral of St. Anne, the bishop’s palace, the town hall. And the Cathedral Square is decorated with old buildings and eight bronze sculptures of dogs.

7. The village of Puerto de Las Nieves

A small fishing village surrounded on the south side by huge cliffs. Locals and tourists alike love to relax here, because Puerto de Las Nieves has the famous ocean pools connected to each other.

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The pier is full of cozy cafes where you can eat inexpensive seafood and relax.

8. The City of Agimes and the Barranco de Guayadeque Gorge

The southern city of Agimes and its old center is a meeting place of different cultures and one of the main attractions of the island. You can stroll through the square with its colonial-era buildings and admire the sculptures. And enjoy traditional cuisine in the cave restaurants – once home to local aboriginals, these caves now serve food with local wines and folk music.

Next to the town is the Barranco de Guayadeque Gorge. In the valley between the rocks grow cacti, agaves, poppies, palms, canary pines and almond trees. And centuries ago, it was inhabited by the ancient tribes of the Guanache. Their burials, necropolises, are still preserved – in hard-to-reach caves.

9. Cueva Pintada Museum and Park

In the north of Gran Canaria there is a place that, like a time machine, will take tourists back in time.

The museum and archaeological park adjacent to it tell the history, origin and culture of the island’s ancient inhabitants who lived there hundreds of years ago.

The highlight of the museum are the rock carvings in the cave, created 2,000 years ago.

10. Caldera de Bandama Crater

The crater of an ancient volcano is the largest on the island of Gran Canaria. You can go down into it, for this there are several hiking routes. However, you need to be a trained person – the walls of the crater are steep.

During the trip you can see the caves where the ancient inhabitants stored grain and other products. Along the way you can see picturesque ruins.

What routes to take on the island

Travel and sightseeing is more convenient, having made a route in advance.

Along the Central district. This route will take the traveler to the sacred rock of Roque Nublo, to the village of Santa Brigida, San Mateo, Tejeda, Artenara, Valleseco and Teror.

Along the Southwest District. It leads to the protected dunes of Maspalomas. The itinerary also gives the guest the opportunity to take a tour of the interior of the island, where you can learn about traditional farming. It is interesting to get to know the island’s capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Along the way are the municipalities of Santa Lucia, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Mogán and Aldea de San Nicolás.

Through the Northern District. Here beautiful mountain valleys, volcanic ravines, small coves and beaches await tourists. The road leads from the municipality of Arucas to Agaete, passing through Figas, Moya, Santa María de Guía and Galdar.

On the East Coast. This coastline is ideal for lovers of diving and windsurfing. The route starts in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, leads to the ancient capital of the island, Telde, and the municipalities of Valsequillo (the local cider is excellent here!) – Ingenio and Aguimes.

Get more information about the tourist opportunities of the island of Gran Canaria at the virtual stand at the online exhibition OTM 2020: ReStart.

Gran Canaria Tourist Board, c/ Triana 93 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain www.grancanaria.com

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