Gran Canaria is the third largest island of the Canary archipelago. An unmissable destination, full of beautiful beaches, but also of historical cultural attractions and paths immersed in nature.
The island is an ideal destination for every need, suitable for young people, families or couples, but the important thing is to choose the right area to stay.
If you can't make up your mind and you have doubts about which one it is the best location for your stay in Gran Canaria, this guide is for you. Let's see all the opportunities that the island offers based on different factors: chosen period, best beaches, less windy areas, evening life or relaxation.
Where to stay in Gran Canaria
As we have seen for Tenerife also for Gran Canaria a first distinction must be made between the north and the south.
The south of the island is usually warmer even in the winter months, while in the north the climate is more variable especially in winter, when one day you can find 23 degrees but the next day the temperature can drop significantly and it can rain.
So we can make a first consideration: if you want a holiday mainly by the sea, the best area to sleep in Gran Canaria is towards the south west coast, between Arguineguín and Puerto de Mogan, where you will find the most beautiful and most sheltered beaches from the winds and the warmest climate. A good foundation can also be Maspalomas but consider that it is usually windy.
Always keep in mind that the climate is unpredictable and it is impossible to know what the weather will be like in a given period, what is certain is that the south is warmer than the north.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in nightlife, the area with more clubs is that of Playa del Ingles, not comparable to Ibiza, but you will still find a lot of movement. Even the capital Las Palmas it is very lively in the evening, with a less touristy and younger nightlife, especially on Thursday evenings in the streets of the center.
The choice of the right location also depends on how many days you have available, for example in 2 weeks you could divide the trip into 2 stages; Las Palmas to get around the north of the island and a place in the south where you can base yourself to explore the south coast.
But let's see in detail the best places to sleep in Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria North: Las Palmas
Las Palmas is the best solution for those looking for a more authentic and less touristy atmosphere. It is perfect for those who love long walks both day and night.
From here you can move to explore the island and reach the southern beaches by renting a car or by public transport. The capital is in fact well connected with the other locations, through the two stations: Santa Catalina and San Telmo.
If the weather is good and you don't want to move, you can enjoy the beautiful city beach of The pits, with a Californian-style pedestrian promenade.
I recommend looking for accommodation in the neighborhood of Santa Catalina, close to the beach and the bus station. The area is full of restaurants and clubs, on the seafront they are more touristy while inside there are more characteristic taverns and very nice and cheap places.
Do not miss a walk through the historic city center, Vegueta, where the main attractions such as the Cathedral and Casa Colon are located.
Staying in Las Palmas is ideal for families with children but also for those looking for a bit of evening life, there are many clubs frequented by young Canaries and Erasmus students.
If your idea of a holiday is purely sea and relaxation, I would avoid Las Palmas between the end of January and February when the weather is more unstable. But remember that in this period there is the Carnival, an event not to be missed!
Gran Canaria Sud area
Playa del Ingles together with the nearby Maspalomas (practically attached) are the most touristic places of Gran Canaria.
Playa del Ingles is the area of the island with more evening life with many restaurants, clubs, pubs and the famous Yumbo Center, the shopping center that turns into a disco in the evening and where they usually organize gay pride.
Obviously there is no talk of an Ibiza or Mykonos-style nightlife or of typical Spanish bars; I always remind you that Gran Canaria is an island very popular with tourists who are no longer very young, especially Northern Europeans looking for a bit of heat. In fact, the climate in Playa del Ingles is excellent, almost always sunny and it rains very little, but consider that the area is quite windy and the sea is often rough.
The location is also good for getting around the island and visiting the most beautiful beaches, such as Anfi del Mar or Amadores. If you stay here, however, I recommend not to miss the capital Las Palmas which can be reached in about 40 minutes.
Playa del Ingles is practically attached to Maspalomas which can be a valid alternative if you find a good structure. Do not miss the Lighthouse and the famous Maspalomas Dunes, a unique sight.
South-West Gran Canaria
This area of the island (from Arguineguin to Puerto de Mogan) is the best for enjoying the sea and relaxation, even in winter, as the beaches are small coves sheltered from the wind and the sea is calm and perfect for bathing, too. for the little ones.
Unfortunately it must be said that the area is heavily built, with mega resorts that dominate the coast and ruin the landscape, particularly in Puerto Rico, with the hills completely covered with immense structures.
Puerto De Mogan
Puerto Mogan is one of the most characteristic places in Gran Canaria, a good base for visiting the island, perfect for a relaxing family holiday or a romantic couple's stay.
Puerto de Mogan has been nicknamed Little Venice, perhaps an exaggerated name, but the town is really nice, with shops and restaurants, canals, bridges and alleys adorned with colorful flowers.
The beach is ideal for families with children, in fact the bay is protected and the water is shallow, suitable for swimming in complete tranquility.
If you are looking for an area suitable for a family vacation, a good solution is to stay near Puerto Rico, a well-known tourist destination on the South coast.
The beach is nice and above all it is sheltered from the winds, the water is transparent and suitable for bathing. There are several restaurants, clubs and shops. It is the best climate area, sunny practically all year round.
The big advantage of Puerto Rico is the location, between the 2 well-known beaches Amadores or Anfi del Mar, which can be reached in a few minutes.
Advice: Puerto Rico develops in height so consider the position well, it is preferable not to stay too high, so as not to have to go up and down every time.
Finding a less touristy location in the south of Gran Canaria is a difficult task, but a good compromise could be Arguineguin. Great location for exploring the south of the island, close to Anfi del Mar beach and not far from the dunes of Maspalomas.
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