Activities in Gran Canaria: the miniature continent
Gran Canaria is the second most visited island and the third largest of the archipelago and can be reached by plane, as the AENA airport is located not far from its capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The island also has two of the most important ports in Spain and in the European Union, Puerto de la Luz and Puerto de Las Palmas.
The island, which in 2005 was awarded the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve seal of approval, is also home to a lot of pre-Hispanic history that you can learn about thanks to the Maipés Archaeological Park and the Cueva Pintada Archaeological Park, among other archaeological sites. The miniature continent also attracts tourists with its carnivals, opera, astronomical viewpoints, gastronomy, handicrafts and more entertainment. This island full of wonderful beaches, extraordinary trails, almond blossom, incredible cliffs and an important climatic diversity make it the perfect place for all kinds of adventures. There are many places to visit, but we would like to highlight Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, one of the liveliest cities of the archipelago, Mogán and Maspalomas.
Paragliding in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, founded in 1478, is the capital of the island and is located in the northeast of the island. It is a city full of ochre and blue houses where you won't get bored as it offers everything a traveller needs: history, culture, accommodation, food, entertainment and lots of activities! If you are looking for a lively city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is perfect for you. As one of the most populated cities on the island, it has many options for travellers and locals alike. Its stunning architecture and monuments combined with its long beaches such as Las Canteras make this city a must-see. What better way to discover Las Palmas de Gran Canaria than from the sky? Paragliding, and as if it were a painting in a museum, you will contemplate its turquoise waters, the golden sand of Las Canteras beach, the colourful buildings, the mountains and the green mantle characteristic of Gran Canaria. You can also see the port of La luz, La Isleta, which is the volcanic peninsula of Las Palmas and in the distance the island of Tenerife. Before the Paragliding Flight in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the instructor will explain everything you need to know. Once you have the necessary equipment on, you will walk with the instructor and then feel your feet leaving the ground (don't worry if at this stage you feel a little knot in your stomach, it's normal). Afterwards, you will just enjoy the magic of this activity full of incredible views, sensations and calm. Finally, after the duration of the flight, the instructor will tell you when to land. (If you have vertigo, I have good news for you, it is impossible to feel it during the flight ;) For more information read our complete guide to tandem paragliding.
A fact to bear in mind is that the weather conditions in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria allow you to practice this activity all year round! Mmmm... although perhaps what you need is a bit of vitamin O... Ocean. And for that nothing better than kitesurfing in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. With this activity you will not only be able to surf the waves, but also the wind will help you to do some acrobatics that will make this moment of pure fun unforgettable. No matter what level you have, the courses can be from 4 hours to 4 days, in group or private, it all depends on you. If you prefer more options, don't worry, you just have to decide what to do in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and go for it.
Parachuting in the Maspalomas Desert
After a visit to the capital, we head to the south of Gran Canaria where you will find a very touristic locality: Maspalomas, which offers something special. Here in the south you will find three of the most famous beaches of the island: Maspalomas, Meloneras and Playa del Inglés. Maspalomas is one of the most popular towns of Gran Canaria. Here you will also find all services, such as hotels, bars, supermarkets, supermarkets and even discotheques. But it also has many attractions such as museums, the Botanical Park, the Palmeral del Oasis, the Maspalomas Lighthouse and incredible beaches such as the famous Playa del Inglés. But as if it were another universe, this island is home to golden sand dunes of up to 25 metres, the Dunas de Maspalomas. In this 400-hectare desert paradise, where you won't stop taking pictures, you'll find a surface with golden peaks and some touches of green, palm trees and La Charca, a small oasis that is a refuge for birds and invertebrates.
The gold of the Maspalomas Dunes Special Nature Reserve and the blue of the sea create a contrast you'll never forget. But here you will not only find incredible landscapes to observe, you will also find outdoor activities. What would you say if we told you that you can observe this desert from the air while getting a dose of adrenaline? Try Parachuting over the Maspalomas Dunes! The first thing you'll do is receive a briefing from the instructor where you'll learn everything you need to know before the activity. Then, you will be given all the necessary equipment to get you ready for action. The next step is... Jump! You'll feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins and your eyes will marvel at the view of the dunes from the sky! Very tempting, isn't it? If you have any doubts about skydiving you can check out our article on everything you need to know about skydiving. Flying through the air is not your thing? You prefer to enjoy the sand, the water and discover the bottom of the sea? Perfect, the Paddle Surf and Snorkelling excursion is for you. On this excursion you can first explore the coast of Maspalomas and then the marine world thanks to the snorkelling tour. If after jumping or discovering the seabed you are still in the area and want to find out what to do in Maspalomas visit our website to find out about all the activities in the area.
Coasteering in Mogán the little Venice of Gran Canaria
Almost as if it were an imaginary town, Mogán is "decorated" with white houses and shops with blue, red, yellow borders and green arched windows. Palm trees, pink and yellow flowers adorn the streets and in the distance mountains remind you that the town is real and that it is in Gran Canaria, a mini Venice with its little water canals, colourful bridges, staircases and colourful mosaics hidden in its little streets. Mogán has not only picturesque houses or a harbour, symbol of its fishing history, but also hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, shops, bars and water parks. To complete its beautiful landscape, Mogán has golden beaches with turquoise waters and pleasant temperatures all year round. The beaches of Mogán, Amadores and Puerto Rico are the most sought after and popular in the area. And it is no coincidence that this is the case, these paradisiacal beaches have everything you are looking for whether you are travelling with your friends, your family or your partner.
But don't think that we forgot the most important thing... Outdoor activities! Of course, this area in the southwest of Gran Canaria also offers activities for all tastes. One of the activities we recommend you to try in Mogán is Coastering. This is the perfect activity for the adventurous, as it combines climbing, abseiling, swimming and even via ferratas. The first thing you will do once you arrive at the meeting point with the instructor is to equip yourself for the adventure, helmets, lifejacket, wetsuit, harness and you are ready to go. Depending on the type of tour you'll start by jumping off a small cliff or abseiling down to the sea where you'll swim, then slide down ravines, climb rocks or go on a Via Ferrata - nothing better than Coastering if you like surprises! Don't forget to read the complete Coasteering guide to find out everything you can expect from this activity.
Wait, you can't see yourself climbing and jumping off the cliffs of Mogán? Don't worry there are many ways to discover this magnificent place, how about a kayaking and snorkelling tour of the sea caves in Mogán? Sounds idyllic doesn't it? You'll sail through the crystal clear waters and explore the Taurito Caves where you'll find calm and marine life if you decide to snorkel. If you're looking for a more relaxed stay or activities on dry land after a long time on the water... Mogán has it ALL. You just have to decide what to do in Mogán and enjoy!
As you can see, this island has nothing to envy to the big countries. Gran Canaria offers nature, history, culture, social life, entertainment, gastronomy and many outdoor activities for everyone who wants to get to know it. You can enjoy its landscapes from the air by parachuting, paragliding or parasailing. Your feet will explore its soil and mountains when you follow a via ferrata route, do a coasteering excursion or combine climbing, abseiling and hiking with canyoning. You'll feel the water of its best beaches by surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing or feeling the adrenaline of a flyboarding session. And if your body needs a little break while still discovering this island you can go on quad excursions to continue exploring the small continent of Gran Canaria. Now that you know everything that awaits you on this island you just have to decide which area is perfect for you and what activities you want to do. But if you are still not sure, we invite you to visit Lanzarote, Fuerteventura or Tenerife and maybe you will find your ideal island.