Visit Gran Canaria Island of Tales – Canary Islands of Spain and the Best 1 Week Itinerary

Gran Canaria Island of Tales

Are you going to the Canary Islands, to the “eternal spring”? Discover our essential things to do when visiting the island of Gran Canaria! Check-out our best visit Gran Canaria, is one of the islands in Canary islands of Spain.

Second most populated island of the Canary archipelago after the island of Tenerife, the island of Gran Canaria is an island of Spain, located in the Atlantic Ocean between Tenerife and Fuerteventura. You will love visiting Gran Canaria, a true jewel of the Canary Islands! The island is so famous for the incredible diversity of its landscapes that it was recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005.

How to get to Gran Canaria?

The cheapest solution to land at Gran Canaria airport (in the southeast of the island) is to fly from Barcelona-El Prat airport (BCN), taking advantage of direct and low-cost flights (up to €15 one way…).

From Barcelona (BCN) to Gran Canaria (LPA)

Direct flight from Barcelona (BCN) to Gran Canaria (LPA) takes 3 hours 15 minutes. Company flying directly from Barcelona (BCN) to Gran Canaria (LPA) is Vueling (low cost of Iberia).

From Paris to Gran Canaria

Departing from Paris or another city, stopovers in Madrid or Barcelona can last 6 or 7 hours. Or Direct flight from Paris Orly (ORY) to Gran Canaria (LPA) Airport, it takes 4 hours.

From Madrid to Gran Canaria

It takes 2h 55 minutes minutes fly directly From Madrid (MAD) to Gran Canaria (LPA). Direct flight with Iberia and Ryanair (low cost).

From Tenerife airport (TCI) to Gran Canaria Airport (LPA)

It takes 30 minutes minutes fly directly Tenerife airport (TCI) to Gran Canaria Airport (LPA). Direct flight with Binter Canarias and Canaryfly Air Europa.

When is the best season to visit Gran Canaria?

The Canaries are famous for being the islands of eternal spring. The average annual temperature is 20°C (68°F). We advise you to organize your trip to Gran Canaria in June, the temperatures are optimal to enjoy the beaches and escape the tourist influx of July and August.

Where to stay in Gran Canaria?

To stay in Gran Canaria, there is a choice: the hotel offer is abundant and often cheaper than in Europe. Las Palmas, Telde, Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, Teror, Agüimes, Puerto Rico are cities where to sleep in Gran Canaria. As for the type of accommodation, you can opt for a nice apartment on Airbnb or study the best offers offered by this hotel comparator.

Collage Gran Canaria
Photos of places in Gran Canaria, Islas Canarias, España: 1- Dunes between Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas, Gran Canaria; looking in SE direction.27°44′55.40″N 15°34′24.63″W. 2- “Alfredo Kraus” auditorium, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 3- Roque Nublo, with Mount Teide (on Tenerife) in the horizon. 4- Church tower in Gáldar. 5- Original church San Juan Bautista de Arucas, a.k.a. cathedral of Arucas; of neo-gothic style, built in lava in 1909 by catalan architect Manuel Vega March, finished only in 1977. 6- House-museum of Tomas Morales, Canary writer, installed in his natal house in Moya. RoqueNuroconTeidealfondo.JPG: DailosTamancaAuditorio alfredo kraus las palmas de gran canaria.jpg: PepelopexPlaya_del_ingles_dunes.jpg: Wouter HagensChurch_Gáldar_2010.jpg: Felix KönigIglesia_de_Arucas.jpg: Jonay CPCasa_Museo_Tomás_Morales_(exterior)-Moya-Gran_Canaria.jpg: Pepelopexderivative work: Martely (d), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What to do in Gran Canaria?

You will be surprised by the modernity of Las Palmas which has nothing to envy to the big cities of Spain. A city focused on the economy, trade, tourism, but also a colonial city steeped in history.

Visit in the old town during your holidays in Gran Canaria:
  • Colon’s house.
  • Museo Canario, an exciting archaeological museum to understand the history of the Canary Islands.

To the north of Las Palmas, you can enjoy playa de las Canteras, a beautiful 3 km protected beach.

In the south of the island of Gran Canaria, there are the most beautiful beaches and major tourist infrastructures. It must be said that Maspalomas, the flagship seaside resort, enjoys exceptional sunshine and summer temperatures all year round.

In the south of Gran Canaria, you benefit from:
  • From the famous dunes of Maspalomas, a sand desert backing onto the city.
  • From playa del Inglés, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. It is also the beach for the most festive nights on the island.

Dunas de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Your visit is not complete without visiting the dunes of Maspalomas, Gran Canaria. Marcela Střelcová, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After playa del Inglés, continue west to discover other beaches:
  • Playa de Maspalomas, a beach between dunes and luxury hotels.
  • Playa San Agustín, more family-friendly.
  • Playa de la Aldea, peaceful bay.
  • La playa del puerto, the ocean can be dangerous there.

Gran Canaria is also an ideal island for hiking. The center of the island offers a rich network of mountain trails for all levels. Climbing enthusiasts are sure to explore Roque Nublo, a world famous and emblematic site in Gran Canaria.

Visit Gran Canaria in a week

One week road trip on the island of Gran Canaria

Oh the Canaries! This wonderful Spanish archipelago where life is good, whether in terms of temperatures all year round or the beauty of the landscapes. A week to visit Gran Canaria is the ideal length! There is so much to see and do on the island of Gran Canaria. All profiles will be satisfied: whether for relaxation or adventure, everything is possible.

One week itinerary
  • Maspalomas (Day 1)
  • Inland from Gran Canaria (Day 2)
  • The South West of Gran Canaria (Day 3)
  • Los Azulejos and the West Coast (Day 4)
  • The North of Gran Canaria (Day 5)
  • Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and surroundings (Days 6-7)

Day 1: The dunes of Maspalomas

As soon as you arrive, you will be amazed by one of the most unmissable landscapes in Gran Canaria… I named the Dunes of Maspalomas. Don’t be surprised to see huge resorts on the coast, as Maspalomas is among the most popular resorts on the island. Besides, a little aside, this aspect is the black point of Gran Canaria. As in many places in Spain, the coastal landscape is very concrete at times, but above all marred by very large hotel complexes.

Let’s go back to the dunes which are classified as a natural area. 400 hectares of desert present themselves in front of us, with the ocean in the background to complete the whole. 🤩 The Dunes of Maspalomas are very exotic, you feel transported walking barefoot on the hot sand. Depending on the light, the landscape is completely transformed, which is why I advise you to spend the afternoon there and wait for the sunset.

👉 Also enjoy a superb camel ride in the dunes.

Day 2: The center of Gran Canaria, inland

The most motivated will get up to admire the dunes of Maspalomas one last time for the sunrise before taking the road to the mountains. The others will sleep peacefully 😂.

Today, head to the center of Gran Canaria for a 100% nature getaway. You will find that in just 10 minutes by car, you could believe you have teleported to another country.

Roque Nublo Hike

Visiting Gran Canaria necessarily goes through Roque Nublo, one of the symbols of the island of Gran Canaria. It is one of the largest natural rocks in the world! Culminating at more than 1,800 meters above sea level, I advise you to take a windbreaker or a sweater for this short hike so as not to be cold.

The walk to get to the foot of Roque Nublo is splendid. The volcanic landscapes around are magnificent, I really felt like I was in a western movie.

💌 Access: 3 km round trip. Accessible to everyone ! Free parking.

Picnic at Llanos de la Pez

Imagine having a barbecue, or a picnic for disorganized people like me 😆, in the heart of a pine forest. This is what I offer you at Llanos de la Pez. This landscaped area has many barbecues, tables and even toilets.

So, if you are a firefighter, come equipped to cook what you want (food, coal, etc.). So remember to stock up in Maspalomas before hitting the road, as there will be no supermarket in the mountains. Personally, I hadn’t anticipated this shortage of shops in the mountain villages, so I really enjoyed myself with a sandwich bought at the small stand at the start of the Roque Nublo hike. 😋

Do not hesitate to walk through the forest to digest.

Viewpoint of Pico de Las Nieves

There are many watchtowers in Gran Canaria. You will also have several on the roads of day 2 on which you can stop if you wish. I advise you not to miss the Pico de Las Nieves viewpoint, which offers a panorama of Roque Nublo and the surrounding peaks. 🥰

Night at the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda

I absolutely recommend that you spend a night at the Parador de Cruz de Tejeda hotel. It was a real crush! This establishment is far from the image of the hotel complexes that are located on the coast. More intimate, it is nestled high up and therefore enjoys a beautiful view of the valley.

The decoration is not the most modern, but it is a detail that you quickly forget when you discover the SPA of the hotel. The SPA is available for the moment (because of the covid) only for hotel guests, by reservation. You can enjoy an indoor and outdoor swimming pool heated to 32°C, an outdoor jacuzzi and treatments.

If you visit Gran Canaria, this experience is unique to live!

Day 3: Visit Gran Canaria: the South West

Tejeda, the mountain village

Before heading back to the coast, I recommend that you visit the beautiful village of Tejeda. Nestled in the heart of the mountains, its white buildings give it a special charm. 🤍

For lunch, stop on the terrace of the Casa Del Caminero restaurant. The food is decent, with really affordable prices.

Playa de Amadores and Cueva Bufadero de Tauro

Although the resorts encroach a little on the beauty of the landscape, the Playa de Amadores is very pretty – you just have to look at the sea side and not behind you 😂. More seriously, the water that borders it is turquoise, which makes it the ideal place to swim.

A small cave is also located right next to it in which you can swim, it is the Cueva Bufadero de Tauro. I put you the GPS point on the route of day 3.

Sunset at Playa Taurito

Playa Taurito is not interesting in itself. On the other hand, the cave which is located there makes it an ideal place to admire the sunset. To get there, just walk along the beach. Looking at the ocean, the cave is at the very end, on the left.

We didn’t have the chance to enjoy it because it was all gray and it was high tide (double failure 😂). So note that you have to access it on an ebb tide to have the same consideration as in the photo below.

Dinner in Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán is a small haven of peace! There, you will find many restaurants in the heart of the flowery streets or directly on the port. I ate at the Italian restaurant La Cucina. I advise you to book by phone because there are only a few tables.

If there is no more room or you prefer Mediterranean food, head to the Mi Vida restaurant on the port. The vegetal decoration is very pretty and the cuisine more refined.

Where to sleep on the South West coast?

I again chose an aparthotel in the Apartments at Cala Blanca by Diamond Resorts residence. It was the best value for money. Apart from the sea view of the accommodations and the swimming pool, I did not find any particular charm in this place but it is common to all the establishments in the area.

🥳 Small clarification, for those who want to party. I have not tested the night establishments (closed for the covid) but know there is a crazy atmosphere in normal times in Puerto Rico and Maspalomas.

Day 4: The Colored Mountains and the West Coast

You’re in Canary Island, visit Gran Canaria more and more…

Walking in Puerto de Mogán

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend that you take a walk in Puerto de Mogán by day, which is charming at night, but even more so during the day! All its colors stand out much better in the sun 🥰.

⏰ Small precision: get up early because the itinerary of day 4 is busy.

Visiting Gran Canaria: Azulejos de Veneguera

During your week in Gran Canaria, it is essential to go and see the “Rainbow Rocks”, better known as Los Azulejos de Veneguera. The amazing colors of these mountains are due to volcanic activity. This is actually the caldera rim of the Tejeda volcano, after years of erosion. Another reason to agree that nature is well done!

The hidden natural swimming pool, in the heart of the colored mountains

A natural swimming pool is hidden in Los Azulejos de Veneguera. Access is on foot, about 20/30 minutes uphill depending on your pace. Here are the GPS coordinates of the start of the small path: you will see a small sign at this level. You will come across it while walking!

ATTENTION, we do not have a photo because when I went there, the pool was not filled. Indeed, it takes one or more days of rain 🌧 before your visit to the site for there to be water as in the photo below. Otherwise, it’s just a small puddle so the “wow” effect isn’t the same at all. So don’t bother climbing if it has been dry for the past few days. If you don’t know the weather from previous days, just look up to see if there is water flowing (like a small waterfall). I hope luck smiles on you!

For the rest of the day, I leave you the choice between a rather sporty hike or quiet visits by car. I let you guess what I chose… 😂

**Option n°1: Beautiful hike to Playa de Güigüi

Well, this is not the option I chose for the sake of timing, but I still wanted to talk to you about Playa de Güigüi in this one-week itinerary in Gran Canaria.

It is a black sand beach, hyper preserved since its access is difficult. Count between 4 and 5 hours of round trip hiking to have the chance to see it! Some people sleep on the spot with tents in order to cut the journey in two and enjoy the tranquility of the place. So, if you like walking with a certain height difference and you appreciate places without tourists: go for it!

**Option n°2: Visit Gran Canaria and its west coast

Lunch in a cactus garden 🌵
The Restaurante La Gañanía was my favorite address of the stay! I stumbled upon it by accident and I was not disappointed. The terrace is splendid, stuck to a cactus garden. This address is a little paradise out of time, with goats, cats, a dog… For those who are not fond of animals like me, there is also a delicious menu of traditional dishes. I took the plate of tapas which was huge for only 16€!

**Option n°3: A boat trip along the coast followed by snorkeling

Let yourself go for a day aboard a boat that will take you to discover all the cliffs of southern Gran Canaria. During your excursion you will stop at El Parchel, where you can visit the depths of the sea by snorkeling.

=La Aldea de San Nicolas

To sunbathe and take some pretty pictures, I then headed to La Aldea de San Nicolas. Two particularities in this place: the tunnel which juxtaposes the pebble beach and the view of the mountain which adds magic 🤩.

Mirador Del Balcón

The Mirador Del Balcón offers a spectacular view! The ideal timing to get there is the golden hour to have a beautiful light. The place is absolutely peaceful. 🥰 You can stay there until sunset and have a little aperitif there (without leaving any waste behind of course).

After that, we will then go up to the North of Gran Canaria!

Where to sleep in Gáldar?

I wanted to sleep in Gáldar because, in addition to its pretty alleys and its configuration resembling a Cycladic village, it is where most of the natural pools in the north of Gran Canaria are located.

Big crush for the hotel Emblemático Agáldar! Not only is its rooftop swimming pool with a view of the cathedral unusual, but the decor of the rooms is also very pretty and warm. Should I also mention that the breakfast was delicious to finish convincing you?

Day 5: Visit Gran Canaria and its natural pools

The natural pools in the north of Gran Canaria

This day will be devoted mainly to the discovery of natural pools. Some are furnished, some are not. You don’t have to see them all, the idea today is to relax, swim and enjoy the sun ☀️. You can even decide to stay an extra night in Gáldar to avoid changing hotels again tonight!

Punta del Faro

Around the pretty Punta del Faro lighthouse are several natural pools. The first ones are at the bottom of the stairs on this GPS point. Know that it is better to go and enjoy it at low tide so that the water is calm!

Once you are done soaking, climb back up and walk to the lighthouse to enjoy the scenery. Shortly after, there will be a passage to the right of a small abandoned house to go down to Charco de los Espejos. 🥰

Other natural pools

Access to the natural pools below is not complicated so I am just listing the names to type on Google Maps:

  • Playa Caleton de los Cangrejos
  • Playa Punta de Galdar
  • Swimming pools of Punta de Gáldar
  • Natural swimming pool – North of Galdar
  • Swimming pool La Furnia or El Clavo

This list is not exhaustive. There are plenty of others, some of which are not indicated on the apps, so if you feel like an adventurer: look. 🕵🏽 ♀️ Last thing, don’t forget what I told you: low tide is always better for natural pools!

The village of Teror

If you choose to sleep again on Gáldar for day 5, you can move the visit from Teror to day 6 without any problem, when you head to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Teror is a small village in the heart of the mountains, where you can observe the typical architecture of the Canaries. It is therefore pleasant to walk there and drink a coffee on the terrace.
Near the village, a short walk of 1h30 is possible at Barranco Del Àlamo. You will be in the middle of nature with a lot of vegetation and will climb up a wooden ladder, surrounded by greenery, which gives the path a jungle look.

Evening and night in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital of the island of Gran Canaria. You will find many restaurants, bars and in particular two interesting historical districts to visit. It is also the perfect place to go shopping if you wish.

+ Blick von Deck 14 eines Kreuzfahrtschiffs auf Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. 15
View of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Holger Uwe Schmitt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Where to sleep in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?

There are many places to sleep in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. You will find from small hotels until luxurious hotels.

Where to eat in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?

😋 For authentic tapas and a quality Spanish atmosphere, go to Mercado Del Puerto. There are plenty of stands where you can have a drink and eat, at fair prices. I love this kind of concept! I was also warmly recommended the Tasca El Galileo restaurant for good tapas, but I did not try it.
🍹 For a drink, a rooftop terrace is located next to the hotel I mentioned above. The bar is called El Tendedero de Catalina. In normal times, there must be a good atmosphere but there, it was a bit calm, covid obliges…

Days 6 and 7: Visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and its surroundings… what to do in Gran Canaria

Note: We have condensed this program for you over 2 days so that you can organize yourself as you wish depending on the time of your return flight.

The historic districts of Triana and Vegueta

These two historical districts are essential to visit Gran Canaria. I went there in the morning, so I was able to appreciate the sweetness of life that reigns there. Either you can walk independently, or I suggest you book a free tour (yes yes!) with a guide. The 2-hour guided tour will allow you to learn more about the history of the city.

In any case, go visit the Casa de Colón which is a building steeped in history. Among other things, it welcomed Christopher Columbus when he left to discover America, since he stopped over in the Canary Islands. 🤫 Finally, beyond the cultural side, it’s a very beautiful place!

visit las palmas de gran canarialas palmas de gran canaria

What to do as an activity in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

For the rest of the day, we recommend that you choose one of the following activities:

  • Transparent Kayak Tour at Playa de Las Canteras
  • Tandem paragliding over Las Palmas
  • Canyoning outing (be careful, this activity lasts half a day)
  • Bungee jumping from Pont de La Calzada (28 m, above the ocean 🥰).
El Bufadero de Garita

On the road between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the airport, check out El Bufadero. This is a hole where you can watch the ocean raging. The ideal is to go there a little before high tide. I remind you that you can find the tide times on the link that I have already given you in the article. So pay attention to the timing to be able to enjoy the show. 🌊

Cueva de Cuatro Puertas

In Gran Canaria there are a number of caves. The most emblematic are the Cueva de Cuatro Puertas. These caves represent a historical archaeological complex and were man-made.

From what we understand, it is not known today what exactly they were used for. Some say they were once useful for performing sacred rituals. Access is free.

Barranco de las Vacas

Which wraps up this one week itinerary in Gran Canaria, this is one of my favorite places on the island. The Barranco de Las Vacas transports us directly to the United States. 🥰 It looks like the famous Antelope Canyon in Arizona… although it is still smaller.

The Barranco de Las Vacas is a canyon that has been dug by a torrent in the ocher-colored rock, for thousands of years. It measures about fifty meters. The walk to get there is about 10 minutes, accessible to children and fragile people.

📍 Access: park on the side of the road in these surroundings, where you can. The most practical and shortest pedestrian access is located a little further: right there. Go down the slope, go through the tunnel under the bridge and you will fall on it. Try to go early or late to avoid the crowds during the day.

Where to sleep for your last night in Gran Canaria?

I recommend two options:

  • Either to sleep again in Maspalomas (only 20 minutes from the airport)
  • Or sleep inland, at Villa Nestor, which is a hotel with a lot of charm!

Sources: PinterPandai,

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