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 8.1 out of 10based on 30 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
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 9 out of 10
Beautiful scenery and walking in the mountains Puerto Mogán a particular favourite great weather
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 26 January 2019 Published on: 02 February 2019 9 out of 10
Leisurely pace. Cleanliness. Decency of people. Good beaches. Good roads. Lots to see and do. Lots of reasonable restaurants. Generally good weather. Ease and value of car hire.
Visa system for non EU citizens. One of our party was Ghanaian with indefinite leave to remain in UK. He was treated appallingly by the Spanish consulate in London. It took 2 applications and 3 trips to London over 2 months to get the visa which arrived literally a few hours before we were due to leave and almost resulted in us cancelling the holiday.
Confirmed stay: 14 January 2019 Published on: 15 January 2019 7 out of 10
Bradley Family (the eldest child is at school)
Puerto Mogán is a delight
Slow service in restaurants is a problem.
Confirmed stay: 03 November 2018 Published on: 04 November 2018 5 out of 10
Church Stretton Couple
Driving up into the mountains
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 22 October 2018 Published on: 27 October 2018 10 out of 10
Location was good . pool was great . Shop and Restaurant by gate was handy . Villa was high standard and quiet .
Pool could have been cleaned .
Confirmed stay: 22 October 2018 Published on: 27 October 2018 9 out of 10
Family (the eldest child is at school)
The beach at Maspalomas was a lovely long streach of beach with great waves. It is worth taking a look at the sand dunes. The bars and restaurants at Meloneras were a great place to spend lunch or in the evening, and there were some nice shops there too.
Reviewer left no comment
Confirmed stay: 20 October 2018 Published on: 21 October 2018 10 out of 10
Lots to do for all ages !
A car is essential !
Confirmed stay: 08 October 2018 Published on: 09 October 2018 9 out of 10
Meloneras. Salobre Hotel esp the evening buffet. Old Town of Las Palmas. San Bartolomé. Moonlight Cinema. The airport at Gran Canaria very well organised and clean.
Shopping area at Maspalomas. Puerto de Mogan overrated.
Confirmed stay: 22 September 2018 Published on: 23 September 2018 8 out of 10
Aberdeen Family (the eldest child is at school)
The outdoor area was great, especially the shaded area, ideal for sitting out of the sun.
The double bed was very uncomfortable. No spare sheets for the beds. Having used other villa companies we found we missed the outdoor games, ie, pool/table tennis and had to go and buy items for the pool which we have had provided in the past.
Confirmed stay: 06 August 2018 Published on: 02 September 2018
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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