• France edition
 
Sponsored Article
Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria
www.grancanaria.com

Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria

Published: 16 Jul 2013 17:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jul 2013 17:24 GMT+02:00

 
1. Check out the capital
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city of the Canary Islands. Its central square, Parque Santa Catalina, resembles one vast, outdoor café that is buzzing all day and night and central to all of the city’s celebrations. Hop on one of the sightseeing buses that begin their tours here or simply stick around to enjoy the atmosphere with a glass of wine or two. 
 
2. World-class windsurfing
Active holidaymakers will not be disappointed with the wide range of water sports on offer. The island is a world-class destination for windsurfers and the coastal area around Pozo Izquierdo doubles up as a Mecca for enthusiasts. Both trade winds and the energetic sea currents in this area of the island make it a natural home for the annual Windsurfing World Championships. 
 
3. Ride the surf
If you’re at home in the surf, you’ll be in good company along with some of the world’s best surfers and bodyboarders who reside on the island where the World Championships are held. Surfers can feel just as much at home in Gran Canaria as in many parts of California and Australia, thanks to the excellent conditions along the volcanic coastline and great depth, allowing waves to break with brutal energy. 
 
4. Dive the depths
There’s 230km of spectacular coastline where you can scuba dive and discover amazing marine life. The island has a host of diving schools and clubs offering the possibility of signing up to a course or an organised trip. The deep ravines snake their way from the coast to the highest point inland, which also lend themselves to nature activities including climbing, trekking and cycling – the perfect way to find all of the hidden beauty spots. 
 
5. Lounge on the best beaches
The picture-perfect image of Gran Canaria is the home of golden, sandy beaches that stretch over 31 miles. A trip to Canteras Beach (La Playa de las Canteras) is a must due to its great beauty and the pleasant water temperature, making it one of the most important recreation areas for people living in the city. Its waters hide La Barra, a coral reef that calms the waves without isolating the beach from open water. 
 
6. Accompaniment by the Atlantic
Evening entertainment in Las Palmas offers something for every. Dine out on an open-air terrace in Vegueta, which transforms into a melting pot of people eating in the wide range of restaurants, enjoying live music or heading to nightclubs. For something a little bit different, you can attend a classical concert overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The far north-west edge of Canteras beach is crowned by the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, one of the city’s emblematic buildings, designed as a space for meetings and musical events. 
 
7. Enjoy the silence
For a slice of tranquillity, head to Ciudad Jardín. Known as the English district, it housed the first British transport company employees who set up bases in the Puerto de la Luz at the end of the 19th century. Despite its city centre location, Ciudad Jardin, is one of the most peaceful areas of the capital of Gran Canaria. 
A coffee on the terrace of the a beautiful Pueblo Canario or the lovely Hotel Santa Catalina and a visit to the Néstor museum, dedicated to the modernist painter Néstor Martín Fernández de La Torre, will complete a day’s sightseeing.
 
8. Shop until you drop
Vegueta is the primitive nucleus of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This is the place where the Real de Las Palmas was located and where the island conquest began in 1478. When Vegueta could expand no further, Triana emerged on the other side of the Guiniguada ravine. The central axis of the district is the street bearing its name, a busy commercial boulevard in the city, which is ideal for shopping. 
 
9. Sample the local dishes
You may well be surprised by the distinctive and impressive cuisine of the island. Check out papas arrugadas (potatoes boiled in salt water and served in their jackets) along with mojo picon (spicy sauce) or puchero (beef and pork with vegetables, chorizo, potato and sweet potato). Gourmets will go mad for the unique mountain variety of cheeses, with thistle added at the curd stage – a real must for food enthusiasts to try. 
 
10. 365 days of great weather
The excellent geographic condition of the Island and the springtime climate all year round is why the island is often compared to a ‘miniature continent’. There’s something new to photograph around every corner, from sand dunes to rugged mountains, tropical forests and tranquil valleys. Gran Canaria has a fascinating history, amazing food, spectacular scenery and brilliant water sports. There’s also the opportunity to relax and get away from it all.
 
Article sponsored by www.grancanaria.com

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.fr)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Uproar over sale of 'jihadist book' in France
'Islamist propaganda' sold in mainstream French stores has sparked controversy. Photo: Screengran/Amazon

Uproar over sale of 'jihadist book' in France

An apparent nondescript book called “The Way of the Muslim,” which is on sale in 1,000 stores across France, contains incitement to holy war and encourages killing “heretics” leading to uproar and calls for the text to be pulled. READ  

France hands over 'Jewish museum shooter'
Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspect in the Jewish museum shooting in Belgium has been handed over to authorities in Brussels. Photo: AFP

France hands over 'Jewish museum shooter'

French police handed over Mehdi Nemmouche to their counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday. Nemmouche is suspected of shooting dead four people at a Jewish museum in the Belgian capital in May. READ  

France set to pull its nationals out of Libya
Libyan security services and civilians gather across the street after a car bomb attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya on April 23rd, 2013. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

France set to pull its nationals out of Libya

Amid an increasingly dangerous environment in Libya, France has decided to evacuate its nationals for their safety, according to reports on Tuesday. France's decision comes amid warnings and similar evacuations of other foreigners from the strife-torn North African nation. READ  

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash
The rear of a TGV train after it was hit by a regional TER train in south western France on Thursday. Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash

Rats nibbling at signalling cables led to a crash between two passenger trains that injured 40 people in south-west France earlier this month, a new report has announced. And signal failure is not the only problem being blamed on rats this week. READ  

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train
Eurostar is going to start direct train service from London to Marseilles. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train

Getting from London to France's sunny Mediterranean coast is about to get a lot easier because Eurostar has announced it'll start direct service to Marseille next year. READ  

Sarkozy targeted by 'new criminal probe'
Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the subject of yet another criminal probe. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Sarkozy targeted by 'new criminal probe'

Media reports on Tuesday claimed yet another criminal investigation has been launched against ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, surrounding funding for 2007 presidnetial election campaign. But prosecutors have denied an investigation has been opened. READ  

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia
EU and the US are to impose new sanctions on Russia after their leaders agreed Moscow had done nothing to decrease tensions in the Ukraine. Photo: AFP

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia

France and its fellow EU powers along with the US agreed on the need to impose new sanctions on Russia over its presumed role in Ukraine's insurgency, the French presidency said on Monday. The sanctions should be finalised on Tuesday and will come into force shortly. READ  

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping
French fruit growers unload a truck of Spanish peaches onto the road as the "peach war" between the two countries heats up. Photo: Raymond Roig/AFP

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping

France has gone on the offensive in what is starting to look like an increasngly bitter "peach war" against Spain after authorities stepped up the number of checks on trucks carrying fruit across the border. READ  

French envoy's New York home search scuppered
Neighbours in a swanky New York apartment block have scuppered the hopes of France's ambassador to land a new home. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

French envoy's New York home search scuppered

France's ambassador to the United Nations is struggling to find a new home in New York after his attempts to buy a palatial 14-room apartment ran into trouble with prospective neighbours, who were concerned about the number of parties he would have. READ  

Mayor files complaint against 'reckless' US dad
A French mayor has filed a complaint against an American father for tying to climb Mont Blanc with his kids. Photo: screengrab ABC news

Mayor files complaint against 'reckless' US dad

A French mayor has logded a formal complaint against an American father whose "vain" attempt to break a world record by taking his kids to the summit of Mont Blanc almost ended in disaster. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
National
Job applicants in France: Be prepared to send in an anonymous CV
Sport
'Bouligans' to booze bans: Ten things you need to know about pétanque
Gallery
Driving in France: How to stay out of trouble on the roads
Travel
Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris
Gallery
Like cycling? Love France? See the top ten best cycling routes in France
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se