Luxury Gran Canaria Holidays
Gran Canaria is like a continent in miniature, alive with varied natural beauty, from the stunning sand dunes of Maspalomas, volcanic mountainous interior to the world-famous fabulous golden sand beaches.
Gran Canaria is a big player when it comes to quality. It perfect climate makes it a year round paradise for winter breaks as well as for main summer holidays. It has a great offer of luxury resorts as well as boutique intimate hotels and all facilities present high standards of comfort and service.
The good test of up market holidays is a varied offer of SPAs and Thalasso centres and the choice in Gran Canaria is enormous. Golf holidays on Gran Canaria offer unforgettable experience, with 7 magnificent courses, all developed by top designers, the island is a golfer’s paradise.
For the completely different experience stroll through the winding narrow cobbled streets of Vegueta, the old quarter of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria or climb the scenic roads in serpentine twists up into the spectacular central massif of this volcanic island, passing terraced fields and enchasing villages. The dramatic Pico de las Nieves, almost in the centre of Gran Canaria towers almost 2,000 meters high and presents amazing far-reaching views over the sacred rock Roque Bentayga and the landmark of Gran Canaria, Roque Nublo. From this vantage point, you have only to gaze about you to see why UNESCO has declared almost half of the island as a Biosphere Reserve.
Gran Canaria has a good motorway network and most other roads are in good condition. It’s easy to hire a car and pick it up at the airport. Driving is on the right hand side of the road. There are also good bus services within the cities.
There are a wide variety of hotels on the island, including old buildings adapted for the purpose and large modern complexes built beside the beaches. It is not hard to find a 5-star luxury hotel in Las Palmas but there are several worth considering in more secluded areas, with extensive gardens and beautiful sea or mountain views. Some of the island’s best hotels adjoin its award winning golf courses.
Gran Canaria is full of amazing places to visit, but these are some of the best:
• Maspalomas Lighthouse - an impressive 19th century lighthouse still in active service today and located right beside the island’s most impressive sand dunes.
• Puerto de Mogán - a charming southern village built around an impressive network of canals; the perfect place to spend a romantic afternoon.
• The Painted Cave of Gáldar - a museum built around an ancient pre-Hispanic settlement where striking geometric cave paintings can be seen.
• Palmitos Park - a huge botanical garden full of exotic plants and brightly coloured birds, where birds of prey perform in shows.
• Caldera de Bandama - a natural volcanic crater. There are stunning views from the top and down inside there are prehistoric rock carvings.
For luxury shopping in Grand Canaria, the best place to go is Meloneras, which is home to a number of high-end brand boutiques. There are huge shopping malls in Las Palmas and Playa del Inglés and it’s worth exploring the Calle Mayor de Triana to find many interesting smaller places, some of which sell unique items clustered together.
The Canary Islands have special economic status, resulting in duty free shops in Las Palmas where goods can be purchased well below standard market rates. Many good deals can be found, but shoppers should be aware of restrictions on how much they can take home with them.
Festivals and events
Starting in January, the Canary Islands International Music Festival brings together local talent and some of the best classical acts from around Europe for a series of events centred on the impressive Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. This venue also hosts an opera festival in May and a jazz festival in July, while in March the island is home to an international film festival. In late February, the most popular festival begins: Carnival. There are numerous events held right across the island with music, costume, competitions, and the spectacular Gran Cabalgata parade.
Visitors interested in traditional life on the island should be there on the 3rd of October when islanders honour their patron saint. Veguata is the best place to see parades of people in national costumes.
Luxury holidays really should be accompanied by luxury food and Gran Canaria has six superb Michelin starred restaurants. They’re all in Las Palmas except for Casa Brito in Visvique. Travellers will also find many small eateries serving delicious, freshly caught fish, and fusion cuisine has become something of an island specialty.
Gran Canaria Essential Facts
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