Gran Canaria, known as “the continent in miniature”, impresses visitors with the richness of nature and many holiday attractions. Among the best things to do in Gran Canaria, you will find the impressive Maspalomas dunes, breathtaking views from Mirador del Balcon or beautiful Amadores Beach. You don’t even have to leave Europe to go to Puerto Rico 😉 From volcanic landscapes & mountain trials to stargazing trips – Gran Canaria has it all – a very long list of must-see places and sightseeing!
Top 10 Things to do in Gran Canaria: At a Glance
- Amadores Beach
- Mirador del Balcon
- Maspalomas dunes
- Puerto Rico Beach
- Caves of Valeron
- Cascada de Soria
- Roque Nublo
- Playa del Ingles
- Barranco de Las Vacas
- Tagoror restaurant
Are you planning a holiday on this island and don’t know what to see? Discover the 20 best attractions & things to do on this Spanish island. These places can’t be missed!
TOP places & things to do in Gran Canaria
This is our list of amazing places we visited during our holiday on the island – your GRAN CANARIA BUCKET LIST:
1. El Bufadero
This is one of Gran Canaria’s most visited water features. Located just 20 minutes drive north from the airport, is a perfect starting point on your adventure in Gran Canaria Spain – one of the best places to visit on the island. The Bufadero de la Garita is a stunning example of how powerful nature is.
Be careful when exploring this area – it’s not suitable for kids due to the basalt rocks. But it’s definitely worth to visit El Bufadero and spend a
2. Caves of Valeron
Cenobio de Valerón is a massive basaltic arch, covering a volcanic tuff, in which about 300 caves were excavated by Guanche people. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Gran Canaria. Situated in the north coast of Gran Canaria, they back to the stone age. Cenobio de Valerón is one of the most important pieces of architecture on the island but still, nobody knows the purpose of the caves!
So, if you ask: “who originally inhabited these caves or what they were used for?” you are not the only one asking this while visiting Cenobio de Valerón in Gran Canaria 😉
3. GC-200 Road
There are few amazing roads in Gran Canaria but GC-200 is one of the most spectacular roads – the views are just breath-taking. This is one of the best roads in Europe we have driven on. From hairpin bends to sheer cliff-edge drops you have all you need to enjoy the drive! This is a very popular tourist activity in Gran Canaria with many stunning points of interest along the road.
GC 200 starts at the end of the GC 1 motorway at Puerto de Mogán but the best part of it is between Puerto de las Nieves and Mirador del Balcón. Enjoy! 😊 One of the best and free attractions in Gran Canaria!
4. Mirador del Balcon
No time for a break! After an amazing drive on the GC-200 (you might be suffering from a travel sickness by this time 😉), you will experience another stunning view – just from the edge of Mirador del Balcon – a
Make sure you walk down the step-stone steps to the balcony, which hangs out over the ocean! You will be rewarded with spectacular views! This is one of the best places to visit in Europe – it’s just stunning!
5. Puerto Rico Beach
Situated in the south-west of Gran Canaria, Puerto Rico’s beach is a crescent of golden sand imported from the Sahara. It looks stunning! The beach of Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria is one of the best family-friendly beaches as you can enjoy sunny weather for most of the year! What else would you expect from Puerto Rico?! 😉 This part of Gran Canaria is really busy with tourists seeking sun, beautiful beaches and a
Would you visit Puerto Rico during you holiday on Gran Canaria? 😊
6. Amadores Beach
Amadores beach is located in the southwest Gran Canaria. It is a man-made beach perfect for relaxing in the sunshine and swimming. The beach is sheltered by two dykes, so its waters are mostly calm.
Amadores Beach is the most stunning beach in Gran Canaria, and one of the best beaches in Europe! With crystal clear water and white sand, along with the restaurants, it makes a perfect place to spend a whole relaxing day. This Blue Flag beach is the largest artificial beach on the holiday island of Gran Canaria
7. GC-505 Road
This is another stunning road on the island with spectacular views. The best part of the road starts at Las Filipinas and ends at Cascada de Soria. Just under 10km of harpin bend & mountain s-shape curved road, you will love every of the 20min on the road 😊 Make sure you have a strong car as you will be climbing a lot (read our guide to renting a car in Europe)! The altitude difference is around 900m!
8. Cascada de Soria
This one of the best things to do in Gran Canaria when… it’s raining 😊 As this doesn’t happen too often, it is very unlikely that you will see the Cascada de Soria waterfall. As we didn’t see it.
Nevertheless, it’s if worth to drive to this amazing location in Gran Canaria. There is a little car park, from which you can go for a walk to admire breath-taking views.
9. Casa Fernando
On the way back from Cascada de Soria make sure you stop at Casa Fernando and have the best smoothie in Gran Canaria! 😊
After a little break, walk down the hill to see an old dam called Presa de Soria.
10. Roque Nublo
Must see when visiting Gran Canaria! Roque Nublo is a volcanic rock – an incredible and magical landmark of the island. You can easily hike to the monolith – the trekking path to Roque Nublo goes along the mountain peaks and it takes about 30 minutes – it is considered as very easy.
There is a small car park but it gets very busy late afternoon as many people want to see the sunset from there – and it is stunning! You can also stay for the night to do stargazing if you fancy 😊
11. Maspalomas dunes
A must-see on Gran Canaria! A wonderful, unique place in the scale of all the Canary Islands! The Maspalomas dunes stretch along the ocean at a length of 6 km and they occupy over 400 ha – so there is enough sand for everyone! 😉 The whole area is a great nature park and it’s partially shared with tourists. This stunning space, covered with golden sand, looks out of the world! Where else in Europe can you see dunes this size? The highest ones reach a height of up to 20 meters!
But hurry up! The famous Maspalomas dunes might be lost to the island of Gran Canaria early next century – according to years of study
12. Playa del Ingles
If you are looking for a vibrant nightlife and sandy beaches, Playa del Ingles is the place for you! This is Gran Canaria’s most famous holiday resort and a massive party place visited by many Northern European tourists. It is also one of the island’s oldest party resorts going back to the 1960s. There are also many great restaurants in Playa del Ingles, so it’s almost impossible to be hungry while visiting this part of Gran Canaria 😉
If you love to party, Playa del Ingles on the Gran Canaria is where you should stay, otherwise, find a bit quieter place
The beach itself is nice but we preferred Amadores Beach as the water over there is much clearer.
There are many amazing places with tapas on Gran Canaria Island 😊 With so much choice of tapas available it can be difficult to know which one to choose 😉 Pimientos del Pardon, Canarian Potatoes with mojo or Jamon Ham – we love all of them!
14. Mirador Degollada de La Yegua
Located on the GC-60 from Maspalomas towards Fataga. Degollada de las Yeguas is one of the best miradors on the island. There are a small carpark and designated viewing area with breath-taking views! A must-have during your car trip in Gran Canaria – an amazing place on this island.
With a clear sky, you can see the sea and sand dunes of Maspalomas on one side and the Valley of 1000 Palms on the other – a stunning and very popular lookout point. Btw., the drive on the GC-60 is pretty amazing too! 😉
This small village, located in the middle of the island in the so-called “Valley of Thousand Palm“, has preserved its true Canarian charm until today.
Cottages here are built in a traditional style with covered patios & narrow cobbled streets. Make sure you take a walk there as it’s totally worth it! An unhurried lifestyle an amazing atmosphere create a magical place where time seems to stop 😊
16. Mirador de Fataga
Just 5 km north from Fataga, after a 10-minute drive, you will get to another stunning viewing point – Mirador de Fataga. The views from there are also fantastic so it’s definitely worth spending there a bit of time. Mirador de Fataga is a very popular stop and meeting point for all quad and bike lovers – a great opportunity to stretch your feet whilst admiring the fab view. There is also a small shop so you can get some refreshments if you need.
What do you think? Would you visit this popular spot on Gran Canaria? 😉
17. Barranco de Las Vacas
Always wanted to see Antelope Canyon in the USA? Well, we have
This stunning canyon formed from porous volcanic ash and then finished off and smoothed by water looks really breath-taking with its coloured stones and flowing curves. But this gorgeous, hidden gem it’s not easy to find!
Barranco de las Vacas really is one of the most unique landscapes in Europe!
How to get to Barranco de las Vacas?
First thing – you will need a car! The Barranco is located near Agüimes province on the GC-550 road. There is no sign on the road so you will have to trust your sat-nav or just look for a grey bridge (you will be driving over it 😊).
Unfortunately, there is no official parking, but you will most probably see a
Once your parking is sorted, you will have to jump through the barrier and walk down into the ravine – there is no path, but you will see where people are usually walking 😊
Then, walk under the brick bridge and after 2 minutes following the path you will get to the Barranco de las Vacas. Is it not wicked?!
We really loved this stunning place – it’s a must-visit place in Gran Canaria and should be added to any travel bucket list!
18. Ermita de Guayadeque
Do you fancy living closer to nature? No problem! What about visiting Ermita de Guayadeque, a unique place in Gran Canaria where you can see a whole village of cliff dwellings! Really spectacular 😊
There is also a little chapel carved into the rock! Even driving through the gorge is a very a unique experience – a must-do on your Gran Canaria bucket list.
19. Montana de Las Tierras
At the very end of GC-103, you will find this amazing spot called Montana de Las Tierras (Mount of the Lands). This tourist attraction is not crowded at all. In fact, it is a perfect place to be one-2-one with nature. You can really feel that time just stopped there – this, combining with spectacular views, makes it a great place to start your hiking trail so you can re-charge your batteries.
Got hungry after the hike? Head to Tagoror Restaurant! 😊
20. Tagoror restaurant
Have you ever dreamt about eating dinner in a cave? You can feel like Fred Flintstone if you visit Tagoror Restaurant. Yes, if you a food-lover this is a top place to visit on your holiday 🙂
With a total area of over 800 m2 carved into the mountain, there is a lot of space to taste delicious tapas. You can’t find a more unique place in Gran Canaria! It took over 11 years to complete this place thanks to Bartolomé Rodríguez López, who started the work back in 1972.
Make sure you visit Tagoror Restaurant and try the best Canarian cuisine – you can even stay for the night in one of the Guayadeque Rural Villas.
All you HAVE to know about Gran Canaria island:
What is the best time to go to Gran Canaria?
Gran Canaria is great for a year-round holiday. It doesn’t really see much in the way of rain and between May and November, you can expect to see some rather pleasant and warm temperature, often around the 26°C mark.
Can you drive around Gran Canaria?
Getting around in Gran Canaria is easy enough if you are happy to hire a car and drive. Steering wheels are fitted on the left-hand side of the car and you will need to drive on the right-hand side of the road. It might also be worth noting that there is likely to be some mountain roads that you will need to drive along too.
Are there mosquitoes in Gran Canaria?
There are mosquitoes in Gran Canaria, but if you are staying in a tourist resort then chances are that you will not even notice them. If you do happen to come across any mosquitos then they will not be carrying any infectious diseases as they can in other areas.
Where should I stay in Gran Canaria for nightlife?
If you are looking for nightlife in Gran Canaria then you are going to want to head to the south of the island rather than the north. The best areas are Playa Del Ingles, Maspalomas and Puerto Rico. All of which are packed full of spots to spend the evening.
Is the sea warm in Gran Canaria?
For those who love to splash in the sea during their holidays, the island is a great destination. The sea temperature is usually around the 18ºC to 25ºC, depending on the season. You will usually find that it is at its warmest in September and October. This is because the sea is calm and the water can be heated up by the sunshine easier.
What is the hottest month in Gran Canaria?
The warmest month in GC is August when the temperatures average out at 24°C. There are roughly around 10 hours of sunshine during this month and there is very little chance of any rain.
Is there a volcano on the island?
The island of Gran Canaria is known to be of volcanic origins. However, the volcano that can still be found on the island hasn’t actually erupted for millions of years and is actually now a tourist hotspot instead.
Which area of Gran Canaria is best?
It really does depend on what you are looking for as to which area of the island is the best for your break. However, some of the most popular choices include Playa Del Ingles, Maspalomas and Puerto de Mogan.
Is it worth it to visit this Canaries island?
From majestic cliffs & divers beaches to volcanic landscapes and one of the most spectacular roads in Europe – Gran Canaria has it all to make a fantastic holiday on this Canary Island in Spain! It’s one of our favourite islands in Europe and the region of Macaronesia (Canaries, Azores and Cabo Verde). It is definitely worth spending a holiday in Gran Canaria. Where else can you walk on amazing dunes and after one-hour drive hike in the mountains?
But be quick! This hidden European gem will soon become THE place to go on holiday! Make sure you visit this island
Planning a trip to Gran Canaria soon? Make sure you use the below resources:
* Find a cheap flight to Gran Canaria
* Rent a car at Gran Canaria airport, but before you do that read our guide about renting a car in Europe
* Book accommodation: 3* Hotels in Gran Canaria start at €33!
* Read our other Spanish articles: Alicante, Ronda or Lanzarote
Where to stay in Gran Canaria island?
There are many amazing places to stay during your holiday on Gran Canaria island. Please see below some of the TOP hotels we have selected for you:
“Located just 50 yards from Aquamarina and Patalavaca Beaches, the resort offers a spa. The rooftop restaurant has spectacular ocean views and serves local and international cuisine.”
“Adults Only is a 4-star property located in Puerto Rico, 10 minutes’ walk from the nearest beach. It features a shared swimming pool and a rooftop terrace with a hot tub. Free WiFi is available.”
Need more inspiration? Browse the map to find a hotel in your favourite part of the island:
Which of the best things to do in Gran Canaria did you like most?
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