Gran Canaria: things to see in and around Las Palmas

February 2, 2014 by  

Las Palmas is the most popular city of the Canary Islands, and with a population of over 300,000 people, it is the ninth largest city in Spain. Nearly 20 per cent of the Canary Islands’ inhabitants live in Las Palmas, and it’s also the largest city of the European Union that lies outside of a continent. Located about 150 kilometres off the northwest coast of Africa, Las Palmas enjoys a sub-tropical climate, and according to some scientists, the most perfect climate in the world.

La Palmas on Gran Canaria Photo: Ricardo SB on Flickr

Street cafes in La Palmas on Gran Canaria

Founded as a city in 1478, Las Palmas was considered the only capital of the Canary Islands until the late seventeenth century and the birth of Santa Cruz. First named “Real de Las Palmas” by founder and head of Castilian forces Juan Rejon, Las Palmas has been a popular holiday destination for holidaymakers all over the world for hundreds of years.

Offering a variety of theatre, opera, concerts, cinema and dance, Las Palmas’ culture is something to be adored, and rarely missed by visiting tourists. Shore excursions to the island are also very popular, so visit Cheapflights.co.uk to find flights to Gran Canaria and experience Las Palmas first hand!

Sand dunes at Maspalomas in Gran Canaria Photo: Pedro Szekely on Flickr

Sand dunes at Maspalomas in Gran Canaria

South Western Delights

Setting off towards Playa del Ingles, you’ll be leaving the pier behind and arriving at the beautiful town of Maspalomas. The sand dunes, a local attraction and hot spot for celebrities, are admired throughout Las Palmas, and if you’ve brought a camera with you on your shore excursion, then this is the place to use it!

Moving on to Puerto del Mogan, you won’t find another town in Gran Canaria as picturesque. From its cobbled streets and traditional houses to the old harbour and fishing restaurants, you’ll certainly need an entire day to fit in all the culture this place has to offer.

Puerto del Mogan in Gran Canaria Photo: Anne Roberts on Flickr

Puerto del Mogan in Gran Canaria

Las Palmas and Bandama Crater

If you’re a lover of art, crafts and culture, then Las Palmas in Gran Canaria’s cosmopolitan capital. Your first point of call will be “Playa de las Canteras”, home to some of the most outstanding views in the Gran Canaria, as well as the best urban beach in Europe.

Once you’ve soaked in the sun, you’ll move on to Barrio Vegueta, the old Quarter of Las Palmas. This spectacular setting is a maze of old cobbled streets and historical stone squares, and why not call in at the museum of Christopher Columbus on your way through? Last but not least, you’ll end your shore excursion on one of Gran Canaria’s most beautiful and natural sights, the famous Caldera de Bandama. Not only is this an extinct volcanic crater situated in the heart of Gran Canaria, but it’s one of the very few inhabited craters left in the world!

Bandama Crater on Gran Canaria Photo: Erik on Flickr

Bandama Crater on Gran Canaria

Camel Trekking

Camels might not be associated with Gran Canaria, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find any on this magical island! The sand dunes are camel territory, and this is where you’ll be spending the afternoon with your favourite furry mode of transport. Not only will you have a tour guide teaching you the history of the local land, but you’ll also be able to stop off at the promenade, where you’ll be served refreshments on the seafront.

Camel Trekking on Gran Canaria Photo: alobos Life on Flickr

Camel Trekking on Gran Canaria

Surfing

In Las Palmas, you will also find nine official surf spots for all skill levels, making it the perfect destination for anyone keen on riding the waves. If you’ve never tried it before but are looking to give it a shot, head over to La Cicer at Canteras Beach. You’ll find a surf school here, where you’ll get trained professionals ready to teach you how to master the tubes.

However, if you feel in control of a board and are ready for a challenge, you should instead head down to El Confital – it is renowned around the world as having some of the best waves on the planet!

Surfing on Gran Canaria Photo: Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa on Flickr

Surfing on Gran Canaria

Local Restaurants

What’s the best measure of the quality of a restaurant? Well, to us, it is whether or not the locals like to eat there. And they love La Oliva, which is famous for its fantastic Mediterranean food. Sitting beneath the palm trees on the sea front, it has a great atmosphere, even better views, and even better food. Some of the best calamares fritos on the island are served here.

Another popular one is Restaurante Bosmediano. An authentic, traditional fish restaurant, it specialises in massive dishes of seafood alongside Canarian dishes such as papas arrugadas. For a unique experience, try the fried moray eel!

Papas Arrugadas on Gran Canaria Photo: by espinr on Flickr

Papas Arrugadas on Gran Canaria

Many thanks for this article to  Cheapflights.co.uk, the UKs leading flight deals publisher.

Photo credits: Sand Dunes by Pedro Szekely, Puerto Mogan by Anne Roberts, Las Palmas by Ricardo SB, Bandama Crater by Erik, Camel Trekking by alobos Life, Surfing by Juan Ramon Rodriguez Sosa, Papas Arrugadas by espinr

For more holidays in the Canaries

Plan your winter sun holiday – time to head for Bali, the Canaries or the Caribbean
Discover the secret side of Lanzarote
César Manrique and the volcanic island of Lanzarote

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com - Read the original article here

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Comments

5 Comments on "Gran Canaria: things to see in and around Las Palmas"

  1. Corinne on Mon, 3rd Feb 2014 4:58 pm 

    I’ve been checking tickets…I want to get out of this gray weather so, so bad! Love the fishing boat…that’s where I want to stay…not in a resort!

  2. Davos on Wed, 5th Feb 2014 6:39 pm 

    I surely wish to head over to Las Palmas in the coming months, especially with all the serene beauty & wonderful architecture surrounding it.

  3. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs on Wed, 5th Feb 2014 10:27 pm 

    Wow, sand dunes at Maspalomas looks amazing!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs´s last blog post ..Friday Lens Affair #55

  4. Ben on Wed, 19th Feb 2014 6:15 am 

    Hoping I could start in Las Palmas on my schedule so that I could visit that place by the close of February. Thanks for the post

  5. Heather Cowper on Wed, 19th Feb 2014 3:15 pm 

    @Ben Hope you have fun if you get there

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