Gran Canaria is famous for its beaches, nearly 60kms of them along the 140 miles of coastline. The area of Maspalomas is a huge stretch of sand and dunes stretching from Playa des Ingles, one of the liveliest resorts, to the Maspalomas lighthouse and is a busy sun bathing spot for tourists. You can even opt to try out a camel ride in the dune area, simulating the Saharan desert experience just a few hundred miles away across the Ocean.
Near Maspalomas along the southern coast there are a number of smaller beaches such as San Augustin, Amadores and Puerto de Mogan. The beaches on this southern coast are popular with tourists but if you want somewhere a little quieter then the beaches, coves and cliffs on the north of the island such as Agaete are the place to leave the hustle and bustle behind. In the middle of the island there are mountainous peaks where you will find the start of deep gorges leading down to the coast.
As you would expect for an island of this size the ocean plays a huge part in the activities of the tourist and on many beaches water sports are in abundance. From organised sea trips to yachting, surfing, diving and deep sea fishing there is a wide choice of things to do for the water lover. No fewer than thirty world champion medallists in water sports have been based on the island including the multi world windsurfing champion Bjorn Dunkenberck. The new surfing derivatives of Stand Up Surfing and Kite Surfing are also growing in popularity and building up a following on the island.
If your holiday means a little less activity and a more relaxation then Gran Canaria is the place to do just that: plenty of small coastal villages to visit or take a gentle stroll to investigate the wide choice of eating establishments from small cafes to elegant restaurants. The Island has some great museums, some of the more interesting being the Science and Technology museum, Christopher Columbus house and the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art, all being located in the capital Las Palmas. If music events are your preference then Gran Canaria holds the Canarian Classic Music Festival, an International Film Festival and WOMAD the World of Music and Dance among others. The fist three months of the year are carnival time in Las Palmas with a number of festivities dominated by Latin American music and different dance festivals.
Since the 1950s Gran Canaria has become dependent on its tourist trade and prides itself on being able to provide something for all types of visitors. The top of the island caters more for business travellers with conference venues for both large and small organisations. The south of the island is the hub for tourism with its great beaches surrounded by hotels and restaurants to suit all budgets, water parks, zoos, shopping centres, bars and clubs. However it is easy to get away from all activities with the islands great network of over 300km of rural footpaths.
So whether you want a quiet break, an action-packed week of sport, some culture or a musical experience you can be sure that the sun will be shining and you will get a friendly welcome in Gran Canaria this winter.
Author: Mark Bartley – Take yourself online and compare the current crop of cheap flights to Gran Canaria and experience the dream of a warmer winter on the beach.