- Canary Islands
- Where to stay
- Things To Do
- Best Tours
Gran Canaria is known by many as a "Miniature Continent", due to its diverse climate and landscape, which varies depending on where exactly you are on the island. You can go from the endless dunes of Maspalomas to the busy capital of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in just under an hour, for a completely different image of the island and a totally different vibe.
Gran Canaria is large enough that you can stay for weeks and even months and still discover new places to go and see, but it's still small enough that you can easily get around by bus or by car without spending so much time on the road. For beach lovers, you have some amazing hidden gems like Playa de Guigui and also fully developed beaches, with all the facilities, like Playa Amadores.
Most of the resorts in Gran Canaria are situated in the south of the island, where the weather is constantly good all year round and you can make the most of this island's subtropical climate.
The north and center of the island do gen a bit more hours of rain, but they are more green and vibrant and offer more hiking opportunities, so it depends on what you are looking for from your holiday.
Best Luxury Hotels in Gran CanariaRadisson Blu Resort & Spa Mogan • Hotel Riu Palace Oasis • Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel
Best Apartments in Gran CanariaMonte Feliz (San Agustin) • Club Vista Serena (Maspalomas)
Best Hotels for Families in Gran CanariaH10 Playa Meloneras Palace • Hotel New Folías • Riu Vistamar - All Inclusive
Best Cheap Hotels in Gran CanariaTagoror Beach Apartments • Monte Feliz • Playa Del Sol - Adults Only
The good thing about Gran Canaria is that it has something for everyone and every taste, from luxury hotels to all-inclusive hotels oriented towards families, but there are also quiet and relaxed places to stay in Gran Canaria, like the valley of Agaete or San Agustin. If you're looking for a self-catering holiday in Gran Canaria, maybe an apartment will be a better option for you, since the prices are usually better and with an apartment, you do get a full kitchen, where you can whip up a quick breakfast in the morning if you want to save more money.
Our guide on where to stay in Gran Canaria is meant to show you the different areas on the island that you can choose, depending on the type of holiday that you desire. Once you've decided on where you want to be on the island, you can start looking for hotels or apartments that match your needs, but since you will have narrowed down on an area, it will be a much easier task to find what you are looking for.
Many people are searching to find the best resort in Gran Canaria, but this depends on whether you want a party holiday or a lazy and quiet holiday, as the island has something for everyone and some places can also bring together the best of both worlds.
The Yumbo Centre is considered by most people the epicenter of nightlife in Playa del Ingles and in Gran Canaria.
Playa del Ingles is a very popular destination for gay tourism in Gran Canaria, with lots of events taking place here during the year, like the Maspalomas Gay Pride or the Dunas Festival. The are is a mix of all cultures and nationalities, with tourists coming during these events from all over the world, even Australia or the USA.
Playa del Ingles is for sure the liveliest resort in Gran Canaria and the best choice if you are into partying all night long. There are lots of bars and concerts and events all year long, with the Yumbo Center being a popular place for those who want to party until morning hours.
From Playa del Ingles you are also very close to Maspalomas and San Agustin, so there are lots of places to explore during the day, within immediate reach from where you are staying.
Water sports are also extremely popular in Playa del Ingles, well known as a good place for surfing, windsurfing & kitesurfing. The Aqualand Water Park is also located here and it's a great day out especially for families, with lots of rides to enjoy for all ages.
In terms of shopping in Playa del Ingles, you have several commercial centers like Centro Comercial Tropical and Centro Comercial Anexo II. For a more local experience, you can try going to the San Fernando market, which is just a short taxi ride away from Playa del Ingles.
Maspalomas is famous for the incredible natural surroundings and the natural reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas, from where you can walk towards Playa del Ingles or towards the lighthouse, called El Faro de Maspalomas, which makes for a very photogenic place on the island.
Maspalomas is a worldwide popular destination for LGBT tourism, due to its proximity to Playa del Ingles and the Yumbo center.
Maspalomas is also a popular place to stay for naturists since it is home to one of the most popular nudist beaches in Gran Canaria.
The central point of the place are the dunes, with kilometers of golden sand to enjoy a private day on the beach. You can read more in our article about the Maspalomas Sand Dunes, but this is a favorite place for birdwatchers as well, so it should not be missed even if you are not staying in this part of the island.
If you are here on a family holiday, you may want to visit Palmitos Park, which is great for a day of exploration with the kids, who will enjoy seeing the animals and the shows.
The promenade between Maspalomas and Meloneras also offers a great place to walk in the evening and enjoy the views, plus you will find many restaurants and shops along the way.
Puerto Rico is ideal for families due to a large number of family-oriented hotels and plenty of restaurants where you can try the local cuisine. The resort has easy access to two great beaches, Puerto Rico Beach and Playa Amadores. With clean and calm waters, these beaches are ideal for kids and for days of chilling in the sun.
Puerto Rico is the ideal choice if you want a chilled holiday in the sun, with everything you need close by. Both beaches - Puerto Rico and Amadores are close to bars and restaurants, there are plenty of facilities like sunbeds, parasols and even lifeguards on site. If you want all the comfort that a resort can provide, then this is the best place for you in Gran Canaria.
From Puerto Rico, it is easy to get to Arguineguin, a fishing village where lots of locals still live and you can get a sense of the local atmosphere. On Fridays, you can make a short trip to Mogan and visit the popular market, where tourists come from all over the island.
There are lots of boat trips or fishing trips that you can do from Puerto Rico and the resort has plenty of activities and things to do for kids, from mini-golf courses to an Angry Birds Activity Park, which guarantees a few hours of fun for the kids.
The best place is the Puerto Rico Shopping Centre, which is right in the heart of the action. Europa Shopping Centre is also another great spot for food and shopping, with many great restaurants and bars. Currently, the Puerto Rico Shopping Centre is undergoing total renovations, so it will take a while until it reopens.
Puerto de Mogan is sometimes named the Little Venice of Gran Canaria and the place does have a certain charm, unique on the island.
The view of the marina with the many white boats makes for a luxurious atmosphere and everything around, from hotels, shops to restaurants are more upscale compared to the rest of the south.
The atmosphere is chilled and relaxed, ideal for a romantic couples holiday in Gran Canaria.
The beach is a great place to spend the day. Playa de Mogan is quiet and relaxed, with golden sand and clear calm waters, due to the breakwater. It is safe for kids and although there are no sun loungers, you will always find your own private spot, where you can sit and just enjoy the lovely view.
If you want to do a bit of walking, we advise you to go up the mountain to Mirador de Mogan and enjoy the full view of the marina. It is lovely, especially in the evenings.
You can also explore more the town's surroundings, starting with the Mogan Ravine (Barranco de Mogan).
Puerto de Mogan is a great place to choose if you don't know where to go in Gran Canaria and you want to explore the island because you have easy access to all of the southern towns and resorts, but also the west coast and the center so it's great for day trips and discovering the beauty of the island.
Shopping Center Plaza Mogan has a lot of restaurant options, from tapas bars to Indian and Mexican restaurants. Puerto Mogan hosts one of the island's largest markets on Fridays when visitors from all other resorts come here for a day trip.
At Mercado Mogan (or Mercadillo Mogan) you will find everything, from souvenirs to cheap clothes and even fake handbags and watches, plus food stalls where you can enjoy a bite to eat while watching other people shop.
Close both to Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, you will find the small resort of San Agustin. This is a great choice if all you want to do is to relax and maybe pop in for one evening in one of the resorts nearby for a night of fun.
The Melia Tamarindos Hotel is probably the best choice in San Agustin, offering amazing rooms and quality services, plus a very nice and good restaurant.
Paseo Costa Canaria will take you all the way over to Playa del Ingles, so you still have easy access to the nightlife scene if you want to get a taste of the club scene here. San Agustin combines the best of both worlds: the need for a quiet and relaxing holiday in Gran Canaria, with the option to enjoy the best nightlife on the islands, only a few minutes away by taxi.
Las Palmas is well known as a favorite destination for digital nomads, due to the fact that it is part of Spain, it enjoys lovely weather and there are many co-working spaces in town. The nomad scene is constantly growing, you have events like Nomad City happening, and also the Nomad Cruise frequently comes to the harbor in Las Palmas. The internet in the city is fast, you have at least 2 co-living spaces and plenty of co-working spaces or even cafes that can accommodate visitors who come with their laptops for the day.
The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital of the Canary Islands, along with Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The city is very modern and vibrant and full of life, so you will see some buildings with edgy architecture, along with typical Canarian buildings, a mix of styles that is very representative of the city's way of life.
You can fill your days simply by walking through the city, going from the famous Las Canteras beach to beautiful parks and gardens like the botanical garden - Jardin Canario or the Doramas Park. The city also hosts a few museums, including a Canarian Museum, where you can find out more about the history of these islands and their culture and traditions.
In Las Palmas, you will some of the best restaurants in Gran Canaria, like El Churrasco, a great steakhouse where you can have a fabulous meal.
In terms of co-living spaces for digital nomads, you have 2 options: CWC CoworkingC and Restation.
Las Palmas is a great choice as a base for digital nomads especially during the winter months, when people may be wanting to escape the cold in continental Europe, but you may also prefer to be closer to home than in some other popular destinations in Asia. Gran Canaria is located just 4-5 hours away by plane from most European capitals, so if you need to fly to Europe frequently, this is a good option for setting a base.
The largest shopping center in Las Palmas is called Las Arenas and here you will find most of the big brands, the usual that you can find in big shopping malls.
On Sundays there is also a flea market at the San Telmo Park, so you should visit if you are there on that day, just to see if you can find something unique and different.
In Meloneras and Costa Meloneras, you will find a large concentration of premium hotels, so it's the right place to be if you want to have a premium experience in Gran Canaria.
Meloneras is a great area for a honeymoon in Gran Canaria and it could also be the best place for those looking to organize their wedding celebration or vows renewal while on the island.
Meloneras is located right next to Maspalomas, so you are close to the main nightlife area in Gran Canaria, only a short taxi ride away and you'll be in the middle of the action.
Tucked away between Puerto de Mogan and Puerto Rico, Taurito is a small resort with a very laid-back atmosphere.
As opposed to the larger and noisier resorts like Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles, Taurito is a great resort for families with kids coming to Gran Canaria on holiday.
The resort has a small beach that is usually peaceful and quiet, ideal for sunbathing and relaxation.
Lago Taurito is a small waterpark ideal for kids, so if you're looking for a place where you can have a relaxed family holiday in Gran Canaria, Taurito might be the best spot for you.
As you've seen already, you have plenty of choices when you're trying to decide on where to stay in Gran Canaria.
This island just has so much to offer, from green and lush landscapes to fantastic beaches and authentic villages, that still keep the charm from the good old days, when mass tourism hadn't arrived on the island.
Located in the northwest of Gran Canaria, Agaete is a beautiful little place to spend your holidays, where you can enjoy some of the most amazing sunsets in Gran Canaria.
Agaete some really amazing views and visitors used to come here to see the natural monument known as Dedo de Dios (God's Finger), which was unfortunately destroyed back in 2005 during the Delta tropical storm.
The large harbor known as f Puerto de las Nieves is also located in Agaete and it's the starting point for the Fred Olsen ferry that links Gran Canaria to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
We would recommend staying in Agaete especially during the summer months, but also in September and October. If you're visiting Gran Canaria in winter and you're looking for the area with the hottest weather, then you should stay in the south of the island, where you have the best chances for sunny times and high temperatures.
The best areas to stay when visiting Gran Canaria are: Maspalomas, Playa del Ingles, Puerto Rico, Puerto Mogan, Meloneras, San Agustin and of course Las Palmas.
The south of Gran Canaria is the most popular for tourism and gets the best weather. The nicest parts are Maspalomas and Meloneras, due to their proximity to the Maspalomas Dunes.
Meloneras is the most upscale resort in Gran Canaria, where you can stay in the best hotels on the island.