You can take advantage of your stay in Gran Canaria to visit, either by boat or plane, other islands of the Canary archipelago. The flight distance between the islands is less than an hour, with frequent departures throughout the day. Similarly, modern marine vessels make connections linking the islands several times a day.

You can go to discover the magic of Lanzarote, heading down into spectacular volcanic landscapes that seem to belong to distant worlds and where even the heat from inside the earth comes to the surface. You will enjoy its peaceful white beaches and clear waters and savor the breathtaking views of small islands that can be seen from the cliff. The island was declared as one of the universal models of sustainable development by the World Tourism Organization, thanks in large part to the artist César Manrique.

Fuerteventura is an island of long, untouched beaches of white sand set in a coastline bathed by the ocean with calm transparent water that invites you to relax. You will find no better place to enjoy the turquoise sea water glide out on a windsurf and take advantage of the wind. An excursion to Fuerteventura is the occasion to discover the roots of the Canary Islands by admiring the oldest rocks of the archipelago or marine sediments belonging to the time it had not yet begun the process of formation of the Canary Islands!

Gran Canaria is a fine weather island made for sports people! Surrounded by beaches, there is a sea of possibilities to practice sports like surf, windsurfing, kitesurf, diving and sailing. But Gran Canaria is not only the home of surfers and divers, it is also the holy land of mountains lovers, wishing to practice hiking, climbing, mountain biking or cycling routes.

If you prefer discover some typical sports in Gran Canaria, as in the rest of the archipelago, there are people who still play ‘el juego del palo‘ (stick’s game), a kind of jousting bout with sticks, or ‘lucha canaria‘ (Canary wrestling), sports that date way back in time but have never lost their popularity in the island.  The latter in particular is a competition organized over teams with skills passed on from father to son which attracts large audiences.

Another sport which has withstood the passing of time is the Lateen sailing or ‘Vela Latina Canaria‘, with a strong following on all the islands, but above all in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. These boats are no simple sailing vessels but have to be built specifically. The mast is completely out of proportion with the hulk of the boat. The crews have to keep the boat afloat by skilfully managing weights and counterweights. The competitions attract a lot of visitors along the seafront in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at weekends.

The greatest monument in Las Palmas is the Cathedral of the Canaries, whose construction began in the early sixteenth century. It was completed in the nineteenth century. Located in the historical downtown and considered the most important architectural monument of Gran Canaria, it hosts the seat of the Canaries Diocese.

Another famous place you have to discover is the Casa Colon. It is the former palace of the first governors of the island visited by Christopher Columbus during his first trip to America (1492). Today, it houses a museum about the expeditions to the New World.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also hosts numbers of interesting museums such as the Museo Canario where you can see the substantial remains of the time of the Guanches. It is a scientific and cultural institution established in 1879 which houses studies and exhibit collections of archaeological and ethnographic materials and artistic creations. Finally, the Museum of Modern Art, located in the historic district of Vegueta, houses an impressive collection of historical vanguards and current manifestations of art.

How can I get to Gran Canaria?

Por el 12 September, 2012

Port of La Luz (in the capital), the Puerto de Las Nieves (in the town of Agaete) and Gran Canaria Airport are the major infraestructures linking Gran Canaria with the world.

The airport is situated at 18 kilometers from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the island’s capital, and at 25 kilometers from the tourist centers. Currently, it is the fourth airport of Spain and the main airport in the Canary Islands. Gran Canaria Airport houses two terminals, one for flights from the European Union and Spain (International Terminal – A) and one for non-EU and island flights (BC Terminal). Most of the flights come from the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Italy and France.

The island also has a good highway system. The GC-1 motorway connects Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with the tourist area of the south through southeastern coast, the GC-2 connects the capital with Agaete and the Ring of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria runs through the metropolitan area.

One of the best moments to enjoy Gran Canaria is on the early spring, a period that marks the start of celebrations throughout the island.

The most important festivity from a sacred standpoint is the Virgen del Pino’s day, held on September 8th in Teror. Within a setting of traditional balconies, laurels, and ancient monkey puzzles, thousands of devotees place a myriad of offerings at the feet of the image. On these days, a wave of pilgrims begins a night walk to town from all cardinal points on Gran Canaria.

One of the most original parties takes place in Telde the first Saturday of August for St.Brigid, the patron saint of the town. It is a celebration drenched in mud during which you can watch half the town throwing water at each other in buckets or by other bizarre means. Indeed, one of the traditions with which account the Villa de Santa Brigida is the ‘Traida del barro’ (brought the mud) which is a great pottery tradition.

Finally, there are other festivities that can be identified to the customs of the ancient Canarians. The best known of such traditional celebrations is that of La Rama, which has its greatest moment in the Agaete village. During La Rama festivity, a large crowd bearing large branches picked on the hills at night marches towards the sea following quite amusing music bands.