Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, off northwestern Africa. It's known for its black lava and white sand beaches. Its southern beaches include bustling Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico as well as quieter Puerto de Mogán and San Agustín. In the north, capital city Las Palmas is a major stop for cruise ships.
Gran Canaria is the third-largest island in the Canaries’ archipelago, but accounts for almost half the population. It offers a dramatic variation of terrain, ranging from the green and leafy north to the desert in the south. In the centre, the sheer drama of the mountains more resembles the Tibetan highlands than a relatively small island. The rugged coastline is interspersed with white sandy beaches and popular holiday resorts. The volcanic landscapes, the unique Macaronesian flora and the extensive pine forests make Gran Canaria worthy of this great honour from UNESCO.
Gran Canaria can keep the adrenalin pumping, with scope for hiking, cycling and watersports, while cultural activities and sights are abundant in the historic cosmopolitan capital of Las Palmas. Sail out to watch whales, walk in the Canary pine forests, have fun at a water park, wander the shopping streets, visit museums, or just relax on a beautiful beach.
Gran Canaria is a fantastic family destination with almost 60 kilometres of beaches and a Biosphere Reserve in the west. It's a miniature continent where you'll find things to do that make every day special. Sail out to watch whales, walk in the Canary pine forests, have fun at a water park, wander its shopping streets, visit museums, or just relax on a beautiful beach.
Many airlines fly into the island from around Europe. If you wish to travel by boat to Gran Canaria from the Iberian Peninsula, there are several maritime companies just for this. Buses, taxis and car hire are all available on the island to get around easily.