Gran Canaria is a winner all year round! With a climate that makes the search for sun and warmth the easiest endeavour, sandy beaches that are surrounded by beautiful Atlantic waters and is home to many resorts suitable for all tastes.
Your cruise port is in Las Palmas, Gran Canarias capital which is known for its exquisite shores and sweeping mountainous views.
From cobbled old towns lined with bars and clubs, to scuba diving hot spots rich in marine life and even the annual Las Palmas de Gran Canaria carnival which is a flamboyant display of costumed performances, dancing and music. There are so many things to do in Gran Canaria, no matter if you wish to relax, be adventurous or simply explore your surroundings!
To help make your time in port a little easier, we’ve selected some of our top sights and activities for you to make the most of your days in destination!
Hike the Bandama Caldera, and then stop for wine!
This natural wonder is the remnant a supernova explosion, when all the remaining energy of a volcano is released in one big almighty blow. After which the volcano collapses into its now empty chamber leaving behind a crater surface that can extend for miles.
To hike to the bottom of the caldera will take you around 30 minutes – its a steep climb, so definitely one for the adventurer! However you wont miss out by staying at the top, views are breath taking with scenes of the entire north and east coasts and those stunning mountains to the west. On a clear day you may even be lucky enough to catch site of neighbouring island Fuerteventura.
You’ll most likely be ready for a drink by the time all that walking’s over, so why not pop into The Hoyos de Bandama winery – one of the only wineries in this area that’s open to walk-ins!
Located right by the gate to the paths that surround the Bandama Caldera rim, this winery has 300 years of history. Drop in and try out their award-winning wines by the glass which you can also take home by the bottle.
The tasting area is set on a lovely cooling patio with old wine press and barrels used for tables. Its quirky, rustic and the perfect pit stop after your strenuous walk around the Bandama. – note that if you wish to partake in a full winery tour and tasting session, this will need to be booked in advance.
Casa de Colon
The best place to learn about the history of the Canary Islands, this Colonial style mansion is open to the public every day of the week. Inside you’ll find three rooms providing a walkthrough of the Canary’s history with America, along with exhibits of Christopher Columbus’ voyages!
Known for being the palace that hosted Columbus, this historic mansion once belonged to the first governors of Gran Canaria and was actually where Columbus stayed during his layovers in the Canary Islands when on route to America.
Entry here is just €4 so it’s well worth a visit. Even a simple pass by just to be in awe of the buildings character enriched aesthetic and stunning courtyard make this a must see on your list of things to do in Las Palmas.
Las Palmas Cathedral
If your interests include history, architecture, politics and music, not only will the cathedral itself attract but its surroundings will certainly draw you to its location.
The cathedral is what many consider to be the finest architectural structure of the entire Canary Islands. Originally built in the 1500s, this historic building has since past through four different architects giving its design hints of all late Gothic, neoclassical and baroque styles.
Views from its rooftop are sublime, you’ll be able to see the crystal blue ocean to the east and to the north, you can see all the way to the Puerto de la Luz where your cruise ship will be waiting!
The cathedrals beauty simply must be witnessed from the inside, you can turn up at mass if you wish to partake or simply pay around €3 to go into the Museo Diocesano De Arte Sacro which gives you full access to the museum, cathedral and its amazing art collection.
Jardin Botanico Canario viera y Clavijo
Spains biggest botanical garden! An area of Gran Canaria that’s so beautiful you’ll struggle to ever forget it.
66 Acres of gardens are there to be explored. A space of tranquillity that’s completely fascinating, Swedish founded Eric Sventenius had a dream of a paradise land to be dedicated entirely to the conservation of the rich green life and flora of the Canary Islands – which is exactly what you can experience here!
Protecting over 500 species of indigenous plants, there are picture opportunities at every turn. Spend some relaxing hours here, marvelling at your surroundings and maybe even gaining some inspiration for your own garden back at home.
Las Canteras beach
One of the top urban beaches in Europe, Las Canteras is right in the Capital of Las Palmas and is actually one of Europes most famous city beaches – due to its amazing central location, natural beauty and vast set of amenities along its promenade!
Calm waters and beautiful warm weather can be expected all year round making this ideal for barefoot walks along the shores toe sinking golden sands. There’s also a lifeguard on duty, wheelchair access plus showers and toilets making this an ideal spot for families to spend their days.
Just looking for some peace? Relax your day away on a sun lounger whilst others can go observe traditional fishing to the north end of the beach and even surf amongst its southern part! – This surfing hotspot has a centre right on the beach to provide you with all the essentials to get you started!
This stunning beach is protected by a natural chalk reef which ensures easy swimming here. With a changing tide, Las Canteras beach moves from a surfer’s paradise to a snorkelling sensation in mere passing hours.
Positioned with a western orientation, sunsets here are sublime and a perfect end to your day!
Basket Ball – Herbalife Gran Canaria
Basket ball in Gran Canaria is one of their most popular sports. If you’re a fan yourself or looking to do something that little bit different during your time here, why not go and watch Herbalife Gran Canaria in action!
Playing at the Gran Canaria Arena, it’s a quick 20 minute drive from port – try catching a lunchtime or early evening game or even staying for a late one if your cruise disembarks here!
You can even show some support for England’s very own Luke Nelson, a point guard from London who now plays for the team and has even won the Big West Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Award. It may not rival the NBA just yet, but it promises an electric atmosphere with its fast pace and energised fans who will instantly draw you in and make you feel like one of the locals!
Basketball season here runs from October until May, perfect timing for those who love to cruise here during the winter months.
Ready to set sail?
We love taking any stress away from cruising, so now we’ve got your days activities sorted – let us help you get there too! Take a look at our latest deals to the Canary Islands here