Luxury Gran Canaria Holidays
Gran Canaria has been called a continent on an island and to this day visitors continue to be amazed by the diversity of its landscapes. From mountains to jungles to beaches of black, pink or golden sand, it has everything a traveller could want in one place. It’s no wonder that it has become a leading five-star holiday destination. Even for those who have visited multiple times, there is always something new to discover.
When to visit
Gran Canaria is beautiful year round with a gentle climate that’s rarely too hot and never too cold at sea level. There is occasional snow in the mountains and it can get steamy down in the valleys among the banana plantations. The weather is warmest in July, August, and September, when it rarely rains.
To sum up
Gran Canaria is a lively destination with a surprisingly sophisticated culture. Its beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, and friendly people make it a wonderful place to escape for a while.
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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