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. And so, we would like to share with you our idea of a perfect holiday on Gran Canaria.

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 available from that city. And 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. But 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. In fact, 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 actually 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 pool, Gran Canaria

House with orchard, Gran Canaria

Puppy, Gran Canaria

Where we ate

Since we had a fabulous home and a kitchen we mostly made our own meals. But one morning, the owners of our rented house surprised us 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.

Our house on Tenerife

Good morning, Gran Canaria

What we did & saw

Gran Canaria has a lovely mix of landscapes. So 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

Maspalomas, Tenerife

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

Can Cristoba, Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

We hiked a lot

Hiking on Gran Canaria

Hiking to the Bandama Caldera in Gran Canaria

Explored the village we were staying in

Valsequillo, Gran Canaria

Valsequillo, Gran Canaria

Enjoyed our private pool

Our pool on Gran Canaria

Held foosball tournaments

Foosball 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 fact, in a space of one hour, you could drive through a lush place, an arid desert and an alpine forest.

Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Palm Grove, Gran Canaria

Beach, Gran Canaria

Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria

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?


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

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  1. Avatar Christa

    I can’t believe how strange some of the plants look. On your last photo there, the one plant looks like a giant weed. Very unusual flora.

    1. Avatar BPK

      I know what you mean. We were just as surprised as you to see them. Sometimes we felt like ants walking among weeds.

  2. Avatar Larissa

    Sounds like a great place to visit. I love going to tropical islands. I have never been to the Canaries. But after reading this, I might have to. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Avatar BPK

      Our pleasure! I hope you get to visit Canary Islands. You will not regret it.

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