Canary Islands Guide - Gran Canaria
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Gran Canaria Island
By Lucy Corne

I once wrote an article describing Gran Canaria as ‘tapas for travellers’. Much like the traditional Spanish way to snack, the island offers a smorgasbord of attractions – a taste of what each island has to offer, but without having to hop on any boats or planes. While not the largest, Gran Canaria is the most populous of the islas, with the bulk of its inhabitants living in the vibrant capital, Las Palmas.

 
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Here you’ll find fine restaurants, excellent museums and some late, late nightlife. The jewel in the city’s crown is undoubtedly its outstanding beach.

Many overseas visitors are not aware of the capital’s perfect sand though and as in Tenerife, the south is where the tourists flock, with its golden beaches and year-round heat. Maspalomas attracts families and beach lovers, while Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico draw in a younger crowd seeking all-night parties. Probably the prettiest resort is Puerto de Mogán, a pristine port clad in bougainvillea and dotted with tasty seafood restaurants. The western coast is lined with towering, forbidding cliffs and seldom-visited black sand coves, which give way to quaint fishing villages as you venture north. And if you’re seeking the final ingredient to this meal, head inland a vast landscape of craggy mountains punctuated with picture-perfect hamlets and a few weird rock formations.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Anyone who has spent long in the quaint but diminutive towns across the Canaries will find Las Palmas to be a breath of fresh air. With a population bordering on half a million, it’s by far the largest settlement in the archipelago and the eighth largest city in Spain.

Photo Below - Views of Las Palams
Views of Las Palams on gran canaria

Las Palmas is the capital of both the island and the province, which also includes Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. But much more than a home to government offices, Las Palmas is also the guardian of some must-see cultural and historical gems. Start your visit where Spanish pioneer Juan Rejón started the original settlement – in the charming Vegueta district in the southern reaches of the city. The centrepiece of the old town is undoubtedly the imposing Catedrál de Santa Ana. Construction began in the 15th century, but some 400 years passed before it was considered complete. Architecture buffs will adore the melange of styles found throughout the huge structure.

Continue: page 2 Gran Canaria - more info on Las Palamas and its beaches.

 

 
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Canary Island photographs provided by Lucy Corne.
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