Las Palmas – Image courtesy of wikipedia
Top attractions in Gran Canaria
Must-see attractions in Gran Canaria include the following. . .
Walk the narrow cobbled streets of La Vegueta, where Christopher Columbus once made plans for his famous voyage to the Americas. Las Palmas' Old Quarter was founded in 1478 and is crammed with an array of architectural gems that date back to the 16th century.
Admire the neoclassical façade on the immense Gothic Catedral de Santa Ana, which took 350 years to build. Visit the 17th century Palacio Regental and the crenellated fortress of Castillo de la Luz, and ponder the world's largest collection of skulls and mummies at the Museo Canario.
Sunbathe or enjoy various water sports at Playa de Las Canteras, go shopping along the pedestrian Calle Mayor de Triana and party-on after dark in trendy nightspots around Parque Santa Catalina.
Experience some of Gran Canaria’s most luxurious hotels – such as the Hotel Riu Grand Palace Maspalomas Oasis – at this purpose-built, low-rise beach resort located adjacent to 400ha of famous giant sand dunes.
Maspalomas is popular with families, and in addition to its magnificent beach and water sports activities offers a wide range of attractions. Check out the flumes, slides and rides of the largest water park in the Canary Islands at Aqualand Water Park (also known as Aqua Sur).
Watch gunfights, bank robberies and Indian rain dances at Sioux City, a re-creation of the American Wild West or enjoy fairground rides at Holiday World. Test your driving skills at Gran Karting Club, Spain’s largest go-karting track, where karts for all ages make for a fun-filled experience.
See white-handed gibbons at Palmitos Park, which also features an aquarium, butterfly house and 200 species of birds. View crocodiles at Crocodrilos Park, spot migratory birds at the seawater lagoon of La Charca and go camel trekking through the photogenic sand dunes – especially memorable at sunset.
Discover a choice of golfing landscapes at Maspalomas’ three golf courses: the Campo de Golf de Maspalomas is surrounded by sand dunes, the Salobre Golf course offers a volcanic setting and the Meloneras Golf course provides magnificent sea views from its greens and fairways.
Browse Plaza Maspalomas for authentic designer labels and head to the Centro Comercial Yumbo for handicrafts. After dark, discos, nightclubs and bars stay open until dawn – although the resort is relatively tame by comparison to neighbouring Playa del Inglés. You can also try your luck at the casino inside the Meliá Tamarindos Hotel at nearby San Agustín.
Playa del Inglés
Playa del Inglés sits east of Maspalomas and is one of Europe's most popular gay resorts, notorious for its rowdy and hedonistic nightlife at a variety of adults-only bars and nightclubs.
The combination of a great beach, good choice of accommodation to suit all budgets and the nearby attractions of Maspalomas makes Playa del Inglés very popular with families, in spite of its reputation. The beach is rated as one of the best in Gran Canaria, with distinct areas for families, gays and naturalists.