Huge rolling dunes dominate Gran Canaria’s popular southern coastline. The shelving sands create the perfect environment for safe family fun, and bubbly beach-front bars appeal to visitors of all ages. Experience the big city bustle of the capital Las Palmas and its sophisticated shopping, soak up the sun on endless sandy beaches, indulge in some watersports or tour this tiny, delightful island at your leisure.
Known as the ‘Round Island’ for its circular shape, Gran Canaria’s mountainous centre ripples down towards cultural gem Las Palmas in the northeast and the vast, golden dunes of the southern coast. It’s along these sought-after sandy shores that you’ll find most of our villas in Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria Activities
Gran Canaria caters well for villa holiday visitors with numerous sport and leisure activities. Golf on the island is popular and you can enjoy a round at either the Salobre Golf Resort or at the Anfi Golf. Take a big game fishing trip, or go cruising around the coast on a glass bottom boat – stopping off for a swim or snorkel or before you reach the shore. Whale and dolphin watching are also popular activities along Gran Canaria’s coast. Why not explore the island’s mountainous region on foot on a guided nature trail, or traverse the dunes on a guided camel tour.
Gran Canaria Beaches
With beaches to suit all tastes, Gran Canaria is an oasis of sun-drenched, golden sand. Most beaches are found in the south of the Island, where the climate is warm and dry all year round. In the larger villa holiday resorts you’ll find soft, fine sand, fantastic water sports and beachside facilities. At Maspalomas in particular the beaches offer endless expanses of white sand and sparkling seas, while beaches located close to our villas, ‘Meloneras’ for Salobre Golf and ‘Amadores’ for all Tauro villas, are ideal for anyone wanting to enjoy a day at the beach to relax in the year-round Canarian sunshine. Once you have rounded the southern west corner, the Gran Canaria coastline becomes rocky and lined with secluded bays offering spectacular views.
Gran Canaria History
There are numerous cultural scenes in Gran Canaria’s architecturally rich capital Las Palmas. The historic cobblestone streets lead to the Gothic neo-classical cathedral; Columbus House, and the Canary Island Museum with its exhibitions of pre-Spanish inhabitants of the island. Smaller towns such as Telde and Teror typify the colonial past, and many old villages can be found scattered throughout the island - famous today for their crafts and embroidery. Gran Canaria boasts several religious and historical centres, housing a wide array of artefacts depicting Canary Island life over the ages.
Gran Canaria Shopping
Las Palmas is without doubt Gran Canaria’s largest commercial centre. All the major retail chain and franchise stores can be found in this cosmopolitan city centre. Local markets sell fresh produce, linen, leather and handcrafted goods such as wicker baskets. For quality souvenirs made on Gran Canaria look out for FEDAC shops – public-funded outlets where local artists sell their wares. Gift shops and boutiques are plentiful throughout the island and many goods are duty free. Cigars from the Canary Islands are also world famous.
Gran Canaria Holidays - Points of Interest
Visit the Dunes of Maspalomas for private sun worshipping or to have a real desert experience.
Take a boat trip to Puerto de Mogán - and have lunch at the charming marina on the south-west coast.
Spend a day in the capital, Las Palmas – great for shopping, head for the historic Vegueta area for delightful squares, the cathedral and fascinating museums.
Take a guided walk along the ‘Caminos Reales’, the well-maintained paths in the mountainous centre of the island.
Look and listen for dolphins and whales in a glass bottom boat with underwater microphones.
Try the fantastic Golf Course at the popular Salobre golf resort. This is a challenging, 36-hole course designed by Roland Faure and Ron Kirby.
Visit the Palmitos Park, a lovely wildlife park where you can watch birds and dolphin shows.
Take a trip to the Botanical Gardens, dotted with magical pathways, and unusual features that will let you enjoy a great day outdoors with your children.
Salobre Golf Resort is located in a wonderful position, surrounded by volcanic landscapes of rock and cacti; while the closer beach and facilities of Meloneras can be found just a short drive from the resort.
Maspalomas offers the ideal location for rest and relaxation. A paradise for beach lovers and families, including two huge water parks, shops, glittering nightlife and even camel safaris across the dunes.
Surrounded by mountainous scenery, the popular residential development of Tauro offers the ideal place to sunbathe and swim in your own villa pool, whilst Puerto Rico can be reached within a 10 minute drive.
A beautiful, rural and peaceful side of Gran Canaria in the north of the Island. Explore the botanical gardens and take a stroll along the Puerto de las Nieves fishing port for a more relaxed and typically Spanish scene in contrast to the livelier resorts in the south.
If you're having trouble finding the ideal villa, we're here to help. You'll need somewhere that really feels like your home from home. Where everything is taken care of, so your only worries are which beach or sun lounger you’ll choose today. We've put together some of our top picks, so the villa of your dreams could be just a few clicks away.
James Recommends - Gran Canaria villas
Need some inspiration to help choose your perfect villa? Looking for a pool with a view, a villa in the centre of the action, or a property that sleeps a large group? James can recommend villas to suit you. Browse through our villas that have that specific something you're looking for.
Let's face it, when it comes to reviews you want to hear from straight from the holidaymaker's mouth! They're the ones who've been there, done that and swam in their own private pool. That's why we use independent review service Reevoo – giving you the good and the bad from genuine James Villas' customers. Honesty is the best policy after all…
Gran Canaria reviews verified by reevoo
Sights / Places to go
Scores 8.4 out of 10based on 35 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
6 out of 10
London Family (the eldest child is at school)
The resort, the weather, the shopping centres, golf, beaches, Maspalomas town, The Port of Morgan, quality of fresh food is outstanding (fish and fruit), the daily bread at the villa, the mountain region, and the cleanliness of the island and the fantastic motorways.
Poor (misleading) description of the villa - stating 3 bedrooms when in fact it was only 2 usable rooms, & lack of direct flights to the island at a ‘normal’ time from London - we arrived at midnight in gran canary (so first day is lost) and return flight landed at 11pm in Gatwick so we got home after midnight - however we had to vacate the villa by 10am for a 18:45 flight...9 hours (another day lost).
Confirmed stay: 15 August 2019 Published on: 18 August 2019 8 out of 10
Milton Keynes Family with university age
Range of places to visit. Weather, beaches and own pool.
Some resorts were too touristy and over developed.
Confirmed stay: 08 August 2019 Published on: 13 August 2019 9 out of 10
Glasgow Family (the eldest child is at school)
We've been going to the area for the last 15 years so we are probably a bit bias. Roque Nublo was a new experiance for us.
Melonaras is becoming a better known and with that the area has more visitors. Good for the local are but it makes us want to look for somewhere new.
Confirmed stay: 05 August 2019 Published on: 06 August 2019 10 out of 10
Rugby Family (the eldest child is at school)
Amadores Beach Puerto de Morgan Terror Drive through the mountains Dunes of Maspalomas Old buildings of Las Palmas
Tendency to shut roads with no clear diversion or diversions through impossibly narrow streets
Confirmed stay: 04 August 2019 Published on: 05 August 2019 8 out of 10
Meloneras is a lovely area with a nice promenade with shops and restaurants. Mogan was a great town and nice little port. The hotel on site was very nice but a little sterile. June is a great time to go as it's nice and quiet but weather is great
Puerto Rico, not worth going there. completely soul less town
Confirmed stay: 12 June 2019 Published on: 13 June 2019 10 out of 10
The pool, the peace and quiet, the hotel restaurant
The ants! There were sprays but we weren’t sure if they were safe to use in the house with children.
Confirmed stay: 01 June 2019 Published on: 02 June 2019 8 out of 10
Family (the eldest child is at school)
Puerto de Mogan is gorgeous, fantastic restaurants. We loved Amadores Beach - its perfect for children and adults. It was our second year back to Gran Canaria and we loved it.
We haven't seen many other areas we have loved on the island but we may not have explored it enough.
Confirmed stay: 18 April 2019 Published on: 24 April 2019 7 out of 10
London Couple with adult daughter.
We visited Puerto de Mogán, which was very pretty, with good shops and restaurants. We also drove up into the centre of the island by good roads through magnificent scenery and saw some attractive traditional Canarian villages.
We disliked Maspalomas and Meloneras. Both were unattractively developed, a bit rundown and abominable for parking.
Confirmed stay: 30 March 2019 Published on: 02 April 2019 9 out of 10
King’s Lynn Family (with only pre-school children)
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 18 March 2019 Published on: 19 March 2019 5 out of 10
St Peter Port Couple
Great weather, very good sea food.
Road infrastructure quite challenging. Main roads very busy and crowded.
Interior of Island difficult to access and car parking in main resorts limited compared to say Lanzarote.
Not a very pleasant or relaxing driving experience but that probably says more about my driving skills and age than about the road infrastructure .. very narrow mountain roads are probably not for us anymore!
Confirmed stay: 04 February 2019 Published on: 08 February 2019
Views and opinions in these reviews are solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of James Villa Holidays (JVH). JVH provides no assurances regarding the accuracy of the information and cannot accept liability for complaints, loss or damage resulting from the article. It does not form part of the contract made when a holiday is booked with JVH and the information provided is not intended to be a rider or replacement to the booking conditions. Reference to the service or product of a third party, is not an endorsement or recommendation and JVH accepts no liability as a result of complaints, loss or damage arising from their use.
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