Quick Guide to Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is one of the larger Canary Islands, which are known for sun, sea, sand and all day breakfasts. Cheap holidays to Gran Canaria are readily available and are most popular in the summer, at the height of the good weather, or in the winter when Gran Canaria is a really great winter sun destination. In fact, the weather here is hot and sunny all year round so there's not a bad time to book yourself into a Gran Canaria hotel.

Fab holidays for:

Lively beaches, Year-long summer weather, Historic Canaries capital


Gran Canaria Airport

Did you know?

The Canaries are not named after canaries, but seals! Gran Canaria translates as Great Island of Dogs and sea dogs is the Latin name for Monk Seals. Confusing!

Other Destinations in Spain

Top 5 of the Island's Best Attractions


If you hire a car you can enjoy the benefits of travelling where and where you want, meaning you're free to seek out that secluded beach (hint: you won't be able to find one at the weekend as the locals know all the best spots - so try in the week) as well as head to any or all of the island's best attractions.

Palmitos Park
What was once a bird park, today the lush landscape of Palmitos Park, near Maspalomas, now has animals ranging from butterflies to orang-utans and dolphins. A great family day out, you won't want to miss the birds, who have definitely not been pushed out of the limelight. Birds of prey star in regular shows which show off their incredible skills, and flying speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, whilst parrots show off their amazing colours, and birds of paradise flaunt their wild plumage.
Sioux City
This wild-west themed park is also close to Maspalomas, and it offers an unusual day out amongst the cowboys and Indians. Expect shootouts in the saloon, bank robberies and rodeos - but don't worry about your safety at Sioux City as they will only have eyes for each other! Plenty of country and western music will add to the atmosphere. For a more grown-up twist, visit for the Friday night barbecue and live music show.
Museo Canario
You'll find a different pace in Museo Canario in Las Palmas. The focus is on the history of the Guanches, who were the indigenous people of Gran Canaria, displaced when the Spanish invaded. There's everything from mummies, skeletons and jewellery to scale models of dwellings and replicas of the painted caves at Galdar.
Maspalomas Sand Dunes
Maspalomas is certainly the place to be if you want a whole range of attractions on your doorstep! These famous dunes are certainly worth a look even if you're staying further away too.
For an alternative look at life on Gran Canaria, visit the village of Teror high up in the mountains. You'll find a huge baroque Basilica as well as plenty of colonial architecture and stunning mountain views. Plus if you go on a Sunday you'll be able to visit the local market, which sells chorizo, sweet treats made by the local nuns and much more - a great place for a souvenir or two from your Gran Canaria holiday.

What to do in Gran Canaria

There is no doubt that the main thing on most people's minds when they are booking cheap Gran Canaria holidays are the beaches. But there's even more sand if you're a fan - try a visit to the famous Maspalomas sand dunes, which you can explore on camel, on quad bike or you can just find a quiet spot for a day's sunbathing - just make sure you don't accidentally drive through or set up camp by the nudist area!

The capital of Gran Canaria is Las Palmas, which is a vibrant city characterised by Spanish colonial architecture that makes up the historic heart. But head away from the centre and you'll find some great beaches too - making this a great destination for your cheap Gran Canaria holiday if you like the best of both worlds. Speaking of the best of both worlds, head to Arucas, where the historic city meets the gently heaving sea. For a quieter alternative, the small town of Baha Feliz has a gorgeous beach and is family friendly.

When to go to Gran Canaria

As the Canary Islands lie just off the coast of Morocco the temperatures are lovely all year round. Expect winter highs of around 22°C with plenty of sunshine, and summer days reaching around 28°C in the shade.

Gran Canaria is a very popular summer destination, but during the cold winter months in the UK it's also a great winter sun haven with plenty of cheap holiday deals available - especially if you can hold your nerve and go last minute. If you'd rather book ahead, the best time of year to find a great deal is from December to February. July and August are the busiest months, when the school holidays and influx of families from all over Europe push prices up. Probably the best months to go are April, May, September and October when the weather is still hot and prices are reasonable.

How to get to Gran Canaria

The easiest way to get yourself a holiday to Gran Canaria is to book yourself a package holiday where the flights and accommodation are booked together. This is great if you want an all inclusive holiday in Gran Canaria as everything is taken care of. Resorts such as Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas and San Agustin are all favourite choices. You may prefer to book your own flights and hotel separately, possibly along with car hire to get yourself around. This way you can stay in out of the way locations and day trips will be super simple.

There are plenty of resorts around the south of the island which are great for a package holidays in Gran Canaria, plus the resort of Las Palmas in the north by the capital. The most popular with us Brits are Maspalomas, Playa del Ingles, Puerto de Mogan, San Agustin and Puerto Rico. You could even try out Cruz de Tejeda, known as the 'pearl of Gran Canaria', for its gorgeous architecture and panoramic ocean views. In all of these you will find a great mix of cheap accommodation, all inclusive hotels, villas and self-catering apartments.

If you're looking to get a little off the beaten track but still want to make sure there will be some shops, bars and restaurants then how about up-and-coming Meloneras, traditional La Aldea de San Nicolas, or out-of-the-way Taurito? Golfers should head to El Salobre, which boasts two 18-hole courses. With the airport in such a central location, nothing is too hard to get to though.