Gran Canaria: Beyond Beer & Resorts

Gran Canaria is more than just beer and resorts. It is very popular with sun-seekers from northern Europe. And for good reason. It has fairly good weather throughout the year. Most people who visit the island, usually purchase pre-packaged all-inclusive holidays at major hotel chains. We’ve tried these types of holidays a few times in other parts of the world but we much prefer to build our own eclectic holidays away from tourists and resorts. We would like to share with you our idea of a perfect holiday on Gran Canaria.

Palm grove on Gran Canaria

Not that Las Vegas! It's Gran Canaria.

How we got there

We flew from Barcelona to Gran Canaria. There are plenty of flights. We found Ryanair and Norwegian Air to be the most affordable choices.

Let's go to Gran Canaria!

How we got around

We rented a car for an unbelievably low price. Be careful when renting and read the small print. Some prices seem too good to be true and they may be when you add extra fees some companies charge.

Cheap car rental on Gran Canaria

Where we stayed

We don’t usually stay at big resorts. We much prefer renting from locals away from tourist hubs. We love to immerse ourselves in local culture and see what life feels like for the people who live there. So we rented a lovely house for a lot less than a hotel room would cost us. The house was big enough to sleep six people and it had a garden and a pool. It was located in a sleepy village on an orchard complete with a chicken coop and a puppy. 

House with a pool on Gran Canaria for a bargain price!

Our Gran Canaria house had an orchard

Our Gran Canaria house came with a puppy!

Where we ate

Since we had a fabulous home and a kitchen we mostly made our own meals. The owners of our rented house surprised us one morning with fresh eggs from their hens. And one rainy evening, they brought us a delicious local soul food dessert. Because we hiked a lot, we had a lot of picnics in beautiful outdoor settings.

Farm fresh eggs from our Gran Canaria host

Good morning from Gran Canaria

What we did & saw

Gran Canaria has a lovely mix of landscapes. Don’t spend all your time on a beach or you will  miss out on some amazing variety of sights. Here is what we saw and did:

Sand dunes of Maspalomas

Sand dunes in Gran Canaria

Statue of Triton

Selfie in front of the statue of Triton in Gran Canaria

Playa de la Laja beach walk

Beach walk at Playa de la Loja in Gran Canaria

Basilica de San Juan

Basilica San Juan in Gran Canaria

Tower of San Cristobal

Tower of San Cristobal, Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

We hiked a lot

Hiking in Gran Canaria

Hiking to the Bandama Caldera in Gran Canaria

Explored the village we were staying in

Exploring Valsequillo on Gran Canaria

Valsequillo, Gran Canaria

Enjoyed our private pool

Gran Canaria

Held foosball tournaments

Foosball wars on Gran Canaria

We island-hopped

After a week on Gran Canaria, we took an inter-island flight (30 mins) to Tenerife where we spent another fabulous week.

From Gran Canaria to Tenerife

Cool fact: there are also camel rides available on Gran Canaria if that is something you are interested in doing.

Camel rides

Why we love Gran Canaria

We have been on many islands but we have never encountered one so versatile when it comes to landscapes and microclimates. Because of this versatility, Gran Canaria is sometimes called “the little continent”. In a space of one hour, you could drive through a lush place, an arid desert and an alpine forest.

Maspalomas dunes, Gran Canaria

Lush part of Gran Canaria

Meloneras Beach, Gran Canaria

Near Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria

Rocky beach on Gran Canaria

Have you been to Gran Canaria? What was your impression? Or do you plan to visit? What is your number one thing you would like to do or see there?

BPK

For more detail about Canary Islands, visit our other blogs:

Other blogs coming soon:

  • Canary Islands on a Budget: Full Costs
  • Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Top Sights
  • Best Hikes on Gran Canaria (with Kids)
  • Top Hikes on Tenerife (with Kids)
  • Gran Canaria Landscapes: Photo Essay
  • Tenerife Landscapes: Photo Essay
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