The third largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria is a perennial favourite for those seeking sun, sea and sand. It's a year-round destination with a reliably pleasant climate and a welcoming, easy-going vibe. The island's beaches are undoubtedly its main draw. You'll find long, golden expanses of sand in the south and hundreds of intimate coves dotted along the north coast.
Popular with couples looking for a romantic retreat, Gran Canaria is also a fantastic choice for family holidays. If you're travelling with young children, consider the hillside hideaway of Amadores on the southwest coast; its beaches have calm, shallow waters that are ideal for paddling. The island's capital, Las Palmas, offers a wide choice of bars and restaurants as well as a superb city beach, Las Canteras. Take some time to explore the historic Old Town, in the Vegueta and Triana neighbourhoods.
If you can tear yourself away from the beaches, the island makes the perfect setting some outdoor activities. We recommend taking advantage of the hiking and cycling trails that criss-cross the interior. And if you're looking to spend some time in the sea, there are a host of great spots for snorkelling and scuba diving. Those who like to get their adrenaline pumping can have a go at windsurfing or kitesurfing.
Head inland to explore the island's striking landscapes. The mountainous central region of Tejeda is characterised by pine-clad peaks, almond trees, and impressive, jagged rock formations. It's also worth exploring some of the island's charming traditional villages.From quiet fishing ports to secluded highland towns surrounded by volcanic peaks, they're easy to explore and will allow you to get a sense of island life and meet the locals.