• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria
www.grancanaria.com

Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria

The Local · 16 Jul 2013, 17:24

Published: 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:

Today's headlines
Top court set to probe France's burqini ban
Photo: AFP

Is the burqini ban legal? France will soon find out.

Heatwave warnings extended as France keeps sizzling
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Summer is back, and Paris is among the areas hit the hardest.

200 street signs in France mysteriously 'blacked out'
Photo: thecrazyfilmgirl/Flickr

Town officials have come to a dead end.

Woman fined for wearing headscarf on Cannes beach
File photo: Loic Venance/AFP

Headscarves should not be included under the recent burqini ban, but one woman says she was fined and insulted for wearing the hijab.

Paris tourism has lost €750 million since terror attacks
Tourists outside the Louvre. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

A Paris tourist chief has called it "an industrial catastrophe".

Sudanese migrant killed in Calais clashes
Photo: AFP

A Sudanese man has died in Calais after a fight with other refugees.

Three held in France for plotting terror attacks
Police officers during an anti-terrorism operation last month. Photo: AFP

Authorities have arrested seven people this month with links to terrorist networks, three of whom were planning attacks.

Majority in France against immigration
Migrants at an aid centre outside the Calais 'Jungle' camp. Photo: AFP

A new survey shows the French have some of the most negative views towards immigration worldwide.

Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Chilling out by the Eiffel Tower? Why not. Photo: AFP

Paris is on heatwave alert, but you don't have to sit at home in front of the electric fan.

French tribunal confirms burqini ban as 'necessary'
Models wear the burqini. Photo: Saled Khan/AFP

A tribunal has upheld a burqini ban in a Riviera resort, describing it as "necessary, appropriate and proportionate".

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
'To boycott France is to surrender to terrorists'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
21 photos to make you want to come to France right now
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
This is how much the French are obsessed with cheese
National
French MP's call for Facebook ID cards blasted 'as idiotic'
Travel
Summer checklist: Fourteen great travel ideas for France
Travel
Here's why France is still world's top tourist destination
'Wealthy American tourists' snub France over terror fears
National
Where to go swimming in France (and where to avoid)
Society
23 subtle signs you'll never quite master French
2,735
jobs available