Staring out at the stunning Gran Canaria terrain it’s easy to see why people have always flocked here. The volcanic eruptions that shaped this undulating island haven’t been seen for a few thousand years, but there’s still plenty of excitement on this landmass that’s just off the north African coast. There’s also a lot of natural diversity, with many seeing the island as a miniature continent thanks to varying topography: the southern part of the island is the sunniest, the east is flat and lined with white-sand beaches, the west is ideal for hikers who love rocky outcrops and big ascents, and the north is a bit cooler and more relaxed. And, of course, there’s the calm, warm, azure seas that lap against the coast.
Nature is a big appeal of Gran Canaria. The vast number of different bird species make it an ornithological sweet spot, and the rock formations and lush ravines that dot the island are well worth marvelling over. In fact, there are six nature reserves and two natural parks on the island, as well as plenty of other interesting spots for wildlife lovers. Culturally speaking there’s a lot to take in as well: there’s been human habitation on the island for centuries, and the blend of Spanish and north African influences feed into a lot of what makes this place so unique.
Gran Canaria Travel Guide
We’re not sure you’re fully prepared for the subtropical wonders of Madeira. We all know it as the garden isle, perhaps famous for its botanical garden and a dash of Madeira wine. A few of you might even be expecting a slice or two of cake. Which all sounds a little pedestrian, depending on how hard you hit the wine. Sweep all of that sleepy nonsense away and Madeira’s a little Portuguese firecracker. The surrounding waters rarely get a mention, but ask any scuba diver and they’ll tell you the seabed’s just swimming with rays, seals and colourful shoals. Quirky wrecks, snorkelling with dolphins and island hopping to even better beaches are all up for grabs too.
On land, hiking routes weave you through the mountains via the levadas. Madeira’s irrigation system hardly screams adventure, but, trust us when we say, it’s worth following these waterways. Perch (safely) on cliff edges and you’ll be among some of Europe’s rarest seabirds. Explore the shoreline and you could end up chatting to the owner of a micronation. Natural pools practically beg to be swum in. Towering skywalks with glass floors peer down on to crashing waves and Cristiano Ronaldo is practically worshipped as a god. Madeira delivers on the unexpected, and if you do one thing? Well… just try the poncha.
Soundtrack of the country
Having a Gran old Time
Having a Gran old Time
Soundtrack of the city
Weather in Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is dry and hot. There’s very little rain throughout the year, even in winter months, and nights tend to stay warm. With that said, the island is full of microclimates, so you might be switching between t-shirts and longer sleeved tops as you lose a few degrees of heat by going from one place to another. If you’re looking for somewhere to lounge on a beach with basically no worries of rain, then this is the place to be.
Discover the real Gran Canaria
A lot of visitors to Gran Canaria see it primarily as a beach holiday, and frankly we’re not going to argue that spending a week lounging on different stretches of white sand is a bad way to spend your time off. With that said, there’s so much more to do here than relax on the idyllic shores that dot the island, from taking in the splendour of the natural parks to indulging in some fresh, local seafood. If you want to get more out of your holiday than a tan, then don’t worry: we’ve got you covered for itinerary ideas.
More of Portugal
You can have a riotous old time in Portugal. Feast on festivals, dance, culture, street art and Pastel del Nata. Explore ancient cities, conquer castles and generally throw yourself headlong into everything the country has to offer. Yes, you could snap up a reasonably priced fortnight by the pool. But, appealing as that is, it won’t be long before you’re strolling through a buzzing market place, getting swept up in the coastal splendour or tottering over some UNESCO listed cobbles.