Island of many charms
The third-largest island of the Canaries, Gran Canaria is part of the world’s vintage collection, because it’s been attracting holidaymakers since the 19th century. And, with its collection of long, sandy beaches and hidden coves, its legendary, round-the-clock nightlife and its traditional hamlets, it seems that this spot will be a popular holiday destination for years to come.
Beaches, beaches, beaches
Gran Canaria’s coastline spans 250 miles. Along the way it serves up some truly memorable beaches – from long, lively swathes of sand, such as Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles to more secluded and quieter stretches, like Playa de Amadores and Bahia Feliz. So, whether you’re in the mood for a massive beach with plenty of watersports, restaurants and bars nearby or an almost undisturbed stretch of sand, where you can escape from the crowds – Gran Canaria has you covered.
Dramatic interior scenery
For those who enjoy experiencing nature at its most authentic and untouched, you’ll love exploring the landscape of Gran Canaria’s interior. Guaranteed to please everyone from dedicated hikers to leisurely walkers, there are tonnes of footpaths that crisscross the island – including the ancient caminos reales. They offer an excellent way to discover the desert-like scenery of the south, complete with ravines and cacti, as well as the lush countryside of the north, filled with eucalyptus and citrus trees. You can also check out the dramatic mountain range of Pico de las Nieves with its snow caps and cooler temperatures.
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Playa Taurito is perched on volcanic hills on the southwest coast of Gran Canaria. It’s a purpose-built place that doesn’t deal in gimmicks – instead, what you get here is a quiet little spot with hotels and a few shops. Location-wise, it’s between Puerto Mogan and Puerto Rico, both great options for nights out. And while Playa Taurito may not have all the bells and whistles of other resorts on the island, it does the basics just right, with a sheltered beach that basks in year-round sunshine.
Playa del Ingles
Back in the Sixties, there was an empty strip of coast going spare on Gran Canaria’s southern tip. So Playa del Ingles jumped in and grabbed it. They shipped in golden sand from the Sahara, rustled up some shiny, new shopping centres, threw in a stash of bars, restaurants and clubs – and got themselves the biggest, boldest resort on the island.
This modern, stylish town on Gran Canaria’s southern coast is petite enough that everything’s within easy strolling distance. There’s a pretty, pedestrianised village square lined with pavement cafés and restaurants, while parks and Moroccan-style buildings only add to the charm. From here it’s only a short hop to buzzy Playa del Ingles, 10 kilometres away.
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