The island is full of life and PLANS! If you don’t know what to do in Gran Canaria, grab a pen and start writing in your notebook the top things to do in Gran Canaria, an island with a lot of charm ❤!
Gran Canaria is also known as a ‘Continent in Miniature’ due to its assorted landscape, wildlife and climate. It's surprising how in about 30 minutes you can be up in the mountains or on the beach! And not just that!
In the capital of the island the catalogue is wide. Las Palmas city is one of the best Gran Canaria destinations. You can visit the old town of Vegueta without missing Santa Ana’s Cathedral and enjoy the stunning views from the top of the building. In Vegueta you can get lost in the narrow and ancient streets or end up in Santo Domingo Square, an old square with a colonial style.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has some shopping areas such as Triana, a long street near Vegueta full of shops, cafeterias and restaurants. In this area you can find handicraft shops such as "La Molina" where you can buy traditional objects from the island or souvenirs.
Las Canteras is also amust see and one more thing to do in Gran Canaria! How about surfing on the beach and then eating in one of the terraces of ‘La Puntilla’? ;) And in Las Canteras avenue a thing that a lot of locals do, is going to Ca’ Ñoño and eating a bocadillo de calamares (calamari baguette).
Another place where locals usually go in Gran Canaria is El Confital, a hidden natural beach just next to Las Canteras and La Isleta. This beach is mostly rocky, with a few parts of golden sand.
Finally, if there is something that islanders love, it is undoubtedly their beloved CARNIVAL! At the end of January and the beginning of February Carnival takes place! Everyone is waiting for it! Islanders really enjoy it. People dress up with costumes, sing with the murgas, dance at to the rhythm of the comparsas and feel the excitement of the Carnival’s Queens and the Drag Queens. Let the show begin!!!!
A little and cozy town in the centre of the island and one of the favorites for travelers. Take a lovely walking tour in Teror and feel like a local.
Stroll in Calle Real de la Plaza and notice the fine balconies at the top of the buildings. Visit la Virgen del Pino, patron Saint of the island, that is inside the Basílica del Pino, one of the most remarkable Gran Canaria attractions.
Tip: visit Teror on Sundays because that day you can find the craft market where you can buy traditional products such as Chorizo de Teror, this is the main dish from this area, #delicious. It's on the top things to do in Gran Canaria!
In addition to this, if you like sweets, we recommend you go to Dulcería Benítez, a traditional bakery where homemade sweets are sold. The most typical: the huevo frito (literally: fried egg) a round pastry with peach jam in the middle that reminds us of a fried egg.
Apart from this, in Teror there is always something to celebrate, Teror is always partying! Fiestas del Agua, Latin Festival, Fiesta de San José y la Cruz… But the most important one, not only for Teror, but for the whole island is, Fiestas del Pino, in honor of the Virgen del Pino.
Although the festivity lasts during the whole month of September, the key day is the 7th of September, the main romería(romería del Pino), a traditional festivity where people give offerings to the Virgen del Pino and walk from different corners of the island to fulfill their promises. Moreover, during this day you can watch the parade with remarkable carriages, people dressed up with traditional Canarian clothes, people singing and dancing Canarian songs…
You will feel like a Canarian!
A coastal and peaceful village in the north. Agaete is the only place in Spain and in Europe where coffee is cultivated and specialists say it is high quality. Visit the Valley of Agaete and try this speciality. Take a direct bus from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Agaete port area.
Additionally, Agaete has a nice avenue to walk along and a port to have a swim in and where you can also appreciate the mountainous landscape.
As a curiosity, in the port, there was a rock that seemed to point up to the sky and was considered a symbol of Agaete, known as ‘El dedo de Dios’ (God’s finger). Unfortunately, this monument was destroyed by a storm years ago.
This isn’t all, Agaete has many more gems such as the natural pools where you can enjoy the sun and the Tamadaba natural park, one of the islands best preserved natural pine forests, a perfect place to explore and hike. Definitely, one of the best things to do in Gran Canaria is to visit Agaete.
Awarded the prize for ‘one of the most beautiful villages in Spain’ by the association “los pueblos más bonitos de España”.
Tejeda is well known for its almonds, in fact, every year in February there is a festivity just for the almonds: ‘la Fiesta del Almendro en Flor’ (the Almond Tree Blooming) where you can taste traditional products, especially almonds.
And if we keep talking about almonds we can’t miss the traditional bakery ‘Dulcería El Nublo’; tip: ask for bienmesabe and almond sweets, what is the most popular? The MARZIPANS! And also Palmeras de dulce de leche.
Tejeda is also a great destination to hike, there is path that takes around in 40 minutes and leads you to one of the most impressive Gran Canaria attractions, Roque Nublo, a noted rocky symbol of the island located at the top of a mountain, speechless views guaranteed. Another worthy rocky monument is Roque Bentayga, highly recommended! Definitely it's among the things to do in Gran Canaria!
By the way, in Tejeda the highest spot of the whole island is located: Pico de las Nieves, 1949 meters high and great views, if you’re lucky you could see “El Teide“ from there, the highest spot in the Canary Islands, in Tenerife.
But this is not everything, the beautiful Tejeda village is worth a visit! Take your time to go to Cruz de Tejeda and appreciate the peaceful views and then go to the Parador Nacional (state-run hotel).
If you want to try local products there is a little market close to Parador Nacional and Cruz de Tejeda, #recommended. In this market you can find a Canarian cheese that was awarded with a prize of one of the best cheeses in the world.
TIP: ask for a bocadillo de chorizo de Teror in the market combined with that cheese #tasty.
Nicknamed as “The little Venice of Gran Canaria”. Definitely, if you are looking at where to go in Gran Canaria, Mogán should be in your list. Take a direct bus from Santa Catalina bus station to Puerto de Mogán.
Stroll around the marine port Puerto de Mogán and you will feel like you are in Venice or even in Amsterdam because this place has a lot of water canals, flowery garden areas, narrow pedestrian streets… An image that could appear in the best postcard!
Also, Mogán is very colorful and you can walk through the avenues and have fresh fish for lunch in one of the coastal restaurants here. But don’t forget about fresh fruits! Mogán is well known for the avocado, mango and papaya.
But what if do you fancy a swim? Don’t worry because Mogán has a nice and little beach with golden sand: Playa de Mogán. Another cool plan is to go to the historical centre to watch the Molino Quemado, the only windmill of the island with 6 blades.
Not only you can enjoy here canals and beaches but also nature. If you go through a steep and winding road you can reach Presa de Soria, a reservoir, the largest of the island.
There you can take a lot of awesome pictures to make your friends green with envy! Write it down on your top things to do in Gran Canaria ;)
Feel like you are in the desert.
The perfect plan for the evening is to go to Maspalomas Dunes! Because the landscape is outstanding and the sunset will be unforgettable. A must see in Gran Canaria!
Park your car near RIU Hotel Palace Maspalomas or take the public bus to the bus stop located close to the hotel and from there you can walk directly to the dunes. When you arrive there you will no doubt feel as if you are in the Sahara desert rather than in Gran Canaria hahaha.
Do you dare to do the ‘croqueta’ and to end up covered in sand? But before leaving this place make sure you go to La Charca, a lagoon near the dunes where you can see Faro de Maspalomas, a 65 meter-high lighthouse.
When the night comes, we recommend to have a walk in Maspalomas avenue, maybe you can come across live music in the street.
Apart from this, nightlife here is full of life, especially if you party in "Aqua Ocean Club", the best open air club of the south. It is located in Melonera’s shopping centre, second floor. It is the best place for party animals and things to do in Gran Canaria.
Municipality of art and sculptures. Agüimes has a special color, mainly in the night.
In the night everything seems more romantic and cozy. It is a pleasure to walk in the quiet centre of Agüimes, Nuestra Señora del Rosario square, and notice there the art.
You can appreciate a variety of sculptures that show the culture and the history of Gran Canaria, many of them made by Ana Luisa Benítez, a famous artist of the island. If you like the sculptures and the art I’m sure it is inevitable to stare at San Sebastián church due to its special beauty.
To keep with the romantic theme, we suggest another place to visit in Gran Canaria like Guayadeque Ravine, because there you can have a real Canarian dinner, no less than inside the Caves!
Guayadeque Cavesare restaurants in caves and they are the perfect place to taste the Canarian cuisine. Tagoror restaurant is one of the favorites. Eating local food must be on your top things to do in Gran Canaria.
We recommend you order some food, keep it in mind! Potaje Canario (vegetable Canarian stew), Gofio ‘escaldao’ (Gofio with fish soup), Ropa Vieja (chickpea stew) and grilled meat, everything served with the typical ‘abocado’ wine that it is a mixture between white and red wine. And to finish the dinner with a sweet moment go ahead and ask for ‘Mousse de Gofio’, you will be surprised.
Nevertheless, we have one more thing to say about Agüimes, our final touch. When you finish your dishes in Guayadeque Caves, go out and walk along the surroundings of the caves you will be amazed because you could watch clearly the stars. Best romantic plan ever! ❤
Arucas or Arehucas?
A lot of people confuse one name with the other! But here comes the explanation: Arucas refers to the municipality of the island, the place, and Arehucas is the rum factory that is located in Arucas.
Now I guess is clearer. Well, visiting Arehucas rum factory is a great experience that you should not miss, one of the favorite Gran Canaria activities to, do not only for tourist but also for islanders.
First, you will have a very interesting guide about the factory that lets you explore it more and at the end you will have the chance to try different kinds of products of Arehucas!
Most particular are these liqueurs: bienmesabe, banana, toffee cream or milk cream. WOW! But if you are not so brave enough to try that different flavors you could try the classic rums: gold rum (carta de oro) or white rum (carta blanca). In the bars or pubs of the island of Gran Canaria there is always Arehucas rum because it is the favorite of the Canarians.
Now is time to change the drinks for food, because in Arucas the typical food is the Canarian banana. In fact, you could observe lot of banana trees from Arucas roads, mostly in Bañaderos neighbor.
“Bañarse”means have a swim in Spanish, so of course, in Baña-deros it is really nice to have a swim, especially if you do it in "Los Charcones", the natural pools of this area.
To feel a peaceful moment it is recommended to stroll in the avenue of Bañaderos and watch the sunset while you drink a cocktail in the gorgeous terrace of Las Salinas.
This sounds good but Arucas even has more to show, you should explore the historical centre of this city and get lost in its narrowed and picturesque streets and finally end up in San Juan Bautista church. Even though this church looks like a cathedral because of its size and majesty it is not but the beauty is the same.
To finish your time in Arucas, it is a good plan to go to La Montaña de Arucas and enjoy there the views, grab your best camera :D!
This is our TOP 8 places to go with a huge variety of things to do in Gran Canaria.
We could write an endless book with all the great things of this island but we prefer that you explore and then you tell us all the things you experienced.
LET’S GO ON ADVENTURE!
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If you like discovering local culture in a funny way, you will love Handy Visits! The tours are full of challenges and small games really fun to do. A unique way to learn more about the place you are. Just go!
Handy Visits is a start-up whom unique value proposition is to offer a new concept of interactive tours in Canarias. Young and local guides will lead you around in town in order to discover secrets and tips unknown at any other tourist, including backpackers.
Una visita genial y diferente, llena de juegos. Experiencia innovadora y para rematar nos invitaron a una tapa de comida típica canaria. un 10!.
They make discovering the old town of Las Palmas a game with lots of group tasks, quizzes and stuff. I had a lot of fun, lost track of time and learn a lot of interesting facts about the city, its conquering and foundation and canarian culture. Way better than just listening to someone telling you the buildings history. 100% recommended
Hice su visita en Teror y Vegueta, fue muy divertida. Elena y Aída son personas encantadoras. El tour tiene una forma especial, y pude conocer la cultura canaria con ellas. No se puede comparar a otros tours que hice en otras ciudades. ¡Muy recomendable!
I did the Teror tour - it was awesome! :-) Elena and Aída are doing a great job showing you around in a funny and entertaining way. Both are originally from Teror and know everything about the city. That makes it super authentic. We also got some water and snacks of local products, which is quite convenient (water) and interesting to experience (snacks). I would definitely recommend it!
Do you like challenges? Say goodbye to those boring tours while you travel to Gran Canaria. Handy Visits is the best option to get to know the island, but in a funny and always-on-the-move way. I took the gastronomic tour in Teror, a lovely village in Gran Canaria. Found out interesting things about the place, explored hidden treasures and solved urban challenges. All this in a great and multicultural company. After this experience, Teror quickly became my favourite place on the island!
Thanks a lot Elena & Aida for the lovely tour in Teror. Discovering the beauty of Teror and got to know a lot of insights with the special interactive tour. You are doing a great job
ENJOY first and save them as a TREASURE later!