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Top 10 Things To See And Do In Gran Canaria

Top 10 Things To See And Do In Gran Canaria

Picture of Valeria Nikonova
Updated: 9 February 2017
Gran Canaria has more than 80 beaches, from well-equipped resorts to untamed and wonderfully hidden strips of precious sand. But the island has much more to offer beyond beaches. There is a never-ending list of what to see and do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Below is a guide to typical places and secluded things to enjoy doing during your visit to the island.

Roque Nublo

Roque Nublo is a volcanic rock standing 80 meters tall. It is a famous landmark of the island, protected by UNESCO as a natural monument. Located in the municipality Tejeda, a short ride from the city center, it came into existence after a volcanic eruption approximately 4.5 million years ago. Roque Nublo is the most popular destination in Gran Canaria for hiking lovers, and would be an ideal experience for all who desire to see the wonderful views of Tejeda mountain. The usual starting point for a hike in Nublo is the area of Degollada de la Goleta, which is reached by vehicle, and is where hikers descend following a clearly signposted trail.

Tejeda, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, +34 928 666 001


Maspalomas is the second longest beach in Gran Canaria, and is primarily famous for its vast dunes that often grace the covers of travel guides of Canary Islands. However, dunes are a fragile ecosystem, and need to be visited with care. There are three walking routes available for curious visitors, with signposts and information available at the information point at the Playa del Inglés. The highlight of your visit will be an opportunity to ride a camel in the desert and stop by lagoon with fresh crystal clear water.

San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Maspalomes, Gran Canaria

Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo

Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo, located in the northeast of Gran Canaria, in Tafira Alta, proves that Gran Canaria is not as deserted and dry as it seems. The botanic garden showcases the island’s endemic plants, alongside some imported flora. The bust of José de Viera y Clavijo, the Spanish botanist who had an idea of opening a botanic garden on the Canary Islands, proudly welcomes all visitors. The garden has collected about 500 plant species, endemic to the Canary Islands and other Macaronesian islands, with cacti and succulent varieties are available to look at on display. The garden contributes heavily to the program of species preservation through its research work. Its facilities include a library and laboratories, and it also publishes the journal Botánica Macaronésica.

Opening hours: 9am-6pm daily

Ctra. del Centro, Km 7, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, +34 928 21 95 80

Pueblo Canario

The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a home to the Pueblo Canario, an interpretation of a traditional Canarian village. Pueblo Canario is located on the south side of the Parque Doramas and it is a lovely venue to visit with family, and learn more about Spanish culture from free live performances of Canarian folk music, which are held every Thursday and Sunday. Some songs performed are instrumental, while others include live singing. All performers wear special traditional costumes which are pleasant to look at. Pueblo Canario also houses the Museo Néstor, one of the city’s principal art galleries.

Opening hours: 8am-12am daily

Calle Francisco González Díaz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, +34 928 24 29 85

Stroll around Puerto Mogan

Puerto Mogan is a coastal village, located on the southern side of the island, the opposite side to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is a charming small village which never gets too loud, and its small beach is a peaceful refuge where you can recharge your energy. Puerto Mogan oozes a chic ambiance, thanks to its uniform white architecture, beautiful flower gardens and little bridges over the canals. All of this makes a visit to Puerto Mogán a romantic holiday experience.

Callejon Explanada del Castillete, Mogán, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


Vegueta is an ancient 15th century town, full of memories and secret stories of its maritime past, that is comprised of traditional Spanish architecture, cobbled streets and old houses. Vegueta is not a uniform part of the city, as it was built according to a range of styles, from late-Gothic to renaissance. Walk through the Plaza de Santa Ana to see the principal landmark of Vegueta, the Cathedral of Santa Ana. The Museum of Sacred Art is also not to be missed. There are also important art galleries, including the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea San Martín and Casa de Colon, dedicated to the life of Christopher Columbus. After the walk, head to one of the traditional restaurants and sample a typical tapas of the Canarian islands, such as papas arrugadas, local cheeses and pata de cerdo.

Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Sioux City

Sioux City is a Western-style theme park located in San Bartolome de Tirajana, near San Agustin. Sioux City is situated in a unique natural environment, in a cactus-filled canyon. All objects and art performances are an exact replica of the American Wild-West. The theme park offers a number of thrilling attractions for visitors, where they can experience the Wild West. Sioux City offers a variety of fun, exciting shows covering Western themes, with Indians and cowboys, duels and chases that will not leave children and adults alike unamused.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Barranco del Aguila, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canarias, +34 928 762 982

See a film at Moonlight Cinema

Located on the top floor of the shopping mall in Maspalomas, Moonlight Cinema is Europe’s only permanent outdoor cinema. It invites you to relax and enjoy the bright films on the big screen under the magic of the stars and warm surroundings of Gran Canaria. The interior features luxurious sofas, blankets and fantastic service available at the push of the button on your seat. There is a selection of fresh delicious stonebaked pizza, popcorn and nachos to indulge on. A blanket is provided on each seat to make sure that no one will feel uncomfortable against the evening chill.

Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9am-3pm and 7pm-1am, Fri-Sat 7pm-1am

Avenida Cristobal Colon, San Bartolome de Tirajana, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, +34 677 27 03 10

Get extreme with water sports

There are plenty water sports activities that can be done during your stay in Gran Canaria, as the Canary Islands are an ideal place to try that particular water sport you resisted for a long time. You are free to choose from activities such as sailing, yachting, windsurfing, water-skiing, scuba diving and much more. Windsurfing in Gran Canaria is the most popular activity, because the warm air and water temperature are a perfect combination, with the wind blowing from the eastern side of the island.

Follow in the footsteps of Columbus at Casa de Colon

It is a relatively unknown fact that Christopher Columbus had a stopover at the Canary islands in 1492. His initial plan was to stock up on food and other essentials on the western side of La Gomera island. The Canary Islands were located strategically for Atlantic sailing, and it was an essential stop point for many voyagers. If you are into history and interested in the life of Christopher Columbus on the island, you should pay a visit to the Casa de Colón and explore the models of the three ships which comprised Columbus’ fleet: La Santa María, La Pinta, and La Niña.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm

C/ Colon, 1, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, +34 928 312 373