dealchecker's guide to Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is an island in the Canary Islands, and it offers a sun-drenched spot for a holiday all year round, with a range of hotels - whether you're looking for a resort hotel in one of Gran Canaria's most popular locations, or something a little out-of-the-way. This volcanic island offers a fascinating and fun place to visit.

Although it's one of the largest of the Canary Islands, this island isn't actually very large, so expect cheap Gran Canaria hotels to be within easy reach of both the airport and the attractions. These include dramatic sand dunes, volcanic hills and a pretty great nightlife too, especially in the height of the summer. Gran Canaria hotels are busy year-round as the island is a playground for both the young and old.

Whether exploring 16th century settlements is right up your street, you prefer to dance the night away, you're just after some sunshine or you're on a quest to sample the delicious local food, there will be plenty of Gran Canaria hotels you can find that put you close to your heart's desires. You'll find that Gran Canaria flights are available year-round from many UK airports, so get booking and head on over to see what all the fuss is about!

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Choosing a Gran Canaria Hotel

As Gran Canaria has been a popular package holiday destination for decades, you can expect a whole host of hotel options at your fingertips - so use our search to help you get the best deal on the hotel you've got your eye on. There are plenty of cheap hotels in Gran Canaria and thanks to the competition between them you can expect them not to stint on quality or service - great for cheap holidays in Gran Canaria.

What most people are looking for from their Gran Canaria hotel is proximity to the beach! There are so many different resorts available it's definitely worth researching their vibe and attractions before you go - and see our quick guide too for a great outline! You could also consider getting away from it all by booking yourself into a more remote hotel. Add in some cheap Gran Canaria car hire and you're all ready to head off exploring all the small beaches that dot the coastline.

Here's our speedy rundown of the resorts to help you pick a hotel in Gran Canaria that's in the ideal location for you. Bear in mind that to get the best hotels at the best prices, it's worth booking as early as you can!

Playa del Ingles This very large resort offers a huge beach as well as a whole heap of things to do by day and night. The nightlife here is the best on the island.

Maspalomas Is widely said to have the best beach on the island and with miles of sandy dunes, we can see why! It's also close to Playa del Ingles if you fancy being able to indulge in a few nights of partying, but don't want to be amongst the madness 24/7.

Puerto Rico This is the second busiest resort in Gran Canaria, with plenty of beach space, but beware that it's quite a hilly resort.

Bahia Feliz Is closest to the airport and has a fairly Moroccan feel. It's often quite windy with smaller beaches, better for windsurfers than sunbathers.

Meloneras An up-and-coming beach resort that will be bigger in 2014 than in 2013 as it's under development. Currently there's a focus on international visitors and daytime activities, with the beach and new marina adding to the up-market feel.

Playa del Cura A small resort away from the crowds, the downside is that there is little in the way of entertainment - but see what your hotel in this part of Gran Canaria offers!

Amadores Has a sheltered man-made beach, great for families with small children. It's a short walk from Puerto Rico and Mogan Marina.

San Agustin Is close to Bahiz Feliz, offering slightly swankier accommodation, but with less character or charm.

Taurito Close to popular Mogan, it often gets overlooked. Located in a valley the beach is sheltered and has plenty of space, although there are no watersports here.

Mogan Once a tiny resort, now it's much more developed but there's plenty of the old charm remaining as well as canals, a marina and of course plenty of beach space.

When to Visit Gran Canaria

There is no bad time to visit Gran Canaria, thanks to the wonderful spring-like weather all year round. Expect summers to see daily highs of around 30°C, whilst in winter the average daily high is around 20°C. There is also plenty of sunshine, so expect temperatures in the sun to be even higher. You'll also find there's plenty of opportunities for sunbathing throughout the year - so make sure you pack your suncream! Some resorts are windier and great for watersports like windsurfing and surfing, whilst others are really sheltered.

To get the best prices on your Gran Canaria holiday, avoid the peak summer period of July and August, as well as the peak winter sun holiday times of December and January. In spring and autumn you'll find fewer crowds and less traffic, although don't expect all the nightlife to be in full swing!

Gran Canaria is also known for year round festivals ranging from music to religious events, and hotels in Gran Canaria will be able to tell you more about events when you're there. Some of the most popular are the Carnival before Lent, the Water Fight in Lomo Magullo and an intriguing-sounding Burial of the Sardine. For the biggest parties of all though, make sure you visit for Canarias Day at the end of May.

Food and Drink In Gran Canaria

Gran Canarian food is full of Latin American and African influences making for a delicious and varied culinary experience! If quality seafood dining overlooking the sea is your thing, you'll have plenty of options in Gran Canaria, and you can gorge your way through succulent, fresh grilled fish dishes, oysters and melt-in-the-mouth squid. The region's fish soup, caldo de pescado, features many of the favourite fish of the island. Give it a try for an authentic taste of the Canarian sea!

You won't be able to resist piling on a dessert or two in Gran Canaria. They're wildly popular and you'll find the island's favourite, Bienmesabe Canario, in any good bakery for cheap. Prepare to be blown away by the almond and lemon confection!

There are also plenty of home comforts in Gran Canaria to make your stay comfortable. You can grab traditional British staples in Irish and English pubs scattered around the island to feel right at home while abroad!

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