• France's news in English
Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria

Top ten reasons to holiday in Gran Canaria

The Local · 16 Jul 2013, 17:24

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
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:

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available