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On the northwestern tip of Africa, off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula lies Gran Canaria, one of the three largest islands in the Canaries. This Atlantic beach resort is a fantastic holiday choice whether you're searching for a summer beach break or a spot of winter sun, thanks to its toasty year-round temperatures. In recent years, the island has gained a reputation as one of the most popular gay-friendly destinations in Europe. With a wide variety of resorts on offer, holidays to Gran Canaria are also easy on the pocket. As night falls, the bars, clubs and discos along the southern coast of the island come to life. Gran Canaria is said to have a thriving nightlife, with larger-than-life coastal resorts including Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas offering bars and clubs that are open until the early hours.

 

You can fly straight from all the major destinations in Europe or take an easy boat ride from the Spanish coast in order to reach the Canaries. The nearest airport to Gran Canaria is Las Palmas at a distance of 48km and the flight time from Manchester to Gran Canaria is 4 hours and 45 minutes.

 

Gran Canaria holidays have plenty to offer, especially when it comes to sightseeing. Enjoy your time rolling in the yellow, sandy beaches of Playa de las Canteras or brush up your knowledge of history at Casa-Museo de Colon, which documents Columbus’ voyage to the Americas and the history of the island as an important part of the Transatlantic trade. All in all, Gran Canaria will provide you with a holiday you will never forget.

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Camel Ride in the Dunes

 

 

Camel Ride in the Dunes

Gran Canaria’s incredible diversity is reflected in its natural scenery, with breathtaking landscapes both on the coast and further inland. Choose from awesome experiences, such as riding on camelback across the Dunes of Maspalomas, or taking a jeep ride through the dramatic mountains and lakes of the inland natural parks.

Try Exciting Watersports

 

Try Exciting Watersports

Gran Canaria is a holiday hotspot that boasts more than 80 beaches along its coastline. But it is what lies beneath the warm Atlantic waters that appeals to many of its visitors. Gran Canaria is an absolute paradise for watersport addicts with a diverse range of activities available on every coast, including paddle boarding, scuba diving, snorkelling and dolphin spotting off its spectacular shores.

 
Cocktails on the Beach

 

Cocktails on the Beach

There is a choice of nightlife for everyone on Gran Canaria, from the buzzing bars and clubs of Playa del Ingles pumping out the latest tunes to the far quieter, low-key resorts of Puerto Rico and Puerto Morgan. If you fancy injecting some class into Gran Canaria holidays then head to Meloneras, set on the sun-soaked south coast. Here you will find 5-star fine dining restaurants, elegant cocktail bars, and a moonlit outdoor cinema.

 
Keep the Kids Happy

 

Keep the Kids Happy

As it’s perfect for kids, Gran Canaria is popular with fun-loving families. There are loads of days out that are perfect for youngsters, and the young at heart, including the Wild-West themed Sioux City, Aqualand waterpark and, right next door, Palmitos Park, where visitors can enjoy dolphin shows, parrot displays and learn about ecology.

 
Buggy Safari Fun

 

Buggy Safari Fun

Those with an adventurous streak can head off on an amazing off-road buggy safari. Discover the island like never before as you wind along dramatic mountain trails and roads. Attempt adrenaline-pumping ascents and tackle the enormous rolling dunes in these exhilarating off-roaders. Even if you have little buggy driving experience, the thrill of the ride should hook you! A guide is on hand to offer assistance.

 
Sail a Catamaran

 

Sail a Catamaran

Enjoy the crystal-clear waters of this beautiful holiday island and sail Gran Canaria’s southern coast. Catamarans available to hire are large enough for the whole family and can host birthdays, parties, reunions or simply magical day trips. What better way to see the island than cruising along the palm-dotted coastline with a blue sky overhead! Anchor for lunch, enjoy an idyllic swim, try fishing or take an excursion to one of the coastal villages.

 
Visit Quirky Cave Houses

 

Visit Quirky Cave Houses

Gran Canaria is often referred to as a 'miniature continent' thanks to its diverse, natural landscape. The island boasts serene lakes, rolling dunes, volcanic craters and sweeping sandy beaches. The entire south-western half of the island is a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve. An island tour reveals its fascinating history and traditions. At the Valley of Guayadeque see intriguing cave dwellings chiseled from rock, sip coffee at a rock-café or visit the church inside a cave.

 
Rollercoasters & Rides

 

 

Rollercoasters & Rides

Though small, the Holiday World fun park in Maspalomas is a theme park with a thrilling rollercoaster, 6-D film cabin, bumper cars, bowling alleys, a Ferris wheel, pirate ship and many other attractions to keep the kids busy. There are also regular pony rides and a large soft play area for the little ones. Holiday World is open during the day and evening, it’s a great way to have fun with all the family.

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Teletext travel expert says

Teletext travel expert says...
Something for everyone from summer playgrounds of golden sands to peaceful relaxation in the pine-fringed calas of the east coast.

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