Places to Stay in Gran Canaria
All the guidebooks seem to agree that Gran Canaria is a continent in miniature. The terrain varies from the verdant north, to the dramatic mountain peaks of the interior, to the dry south. And of course the alternating white, sandy coves and dark cliffs of the coastline. It's not just the terrain that's varied, the best places to stay in Gran Canaria have something to offer travellers searching for their own fresh experiences, as well as package holidaymakers.
Highlights of Las Palmas
Capital of the island, Las Palmas is one of the best places to stay on Gran Canaria if you thrive amongst a hive of activity. This lively port city is the seventh largest city in Spain, and it feels like the mainland. But with more North African or Mediterranean colour to it.
The older part of town, Vegueta, is where you'll find all the atmosphere. Declared a World Heritage site in 1990, charming Vegueta has the boutique hotels and fashionable bars and restaurants, as well as some of Gran Canaria's most beautiful architecture. Here Thursdays are 'Tapas Evenings', the busiest night of the week.
Las Palmas is also a good bet if you're interested in visiting the island's museums and major historic sights. They have the Catedral de Santa Ana, the Columbus Museum, the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art, and the Museo Canario, which is all about the Vegueta area.
According to a climate research scientist from the US, Las Palmas also enjoys 'the best climate in the world', with temperatures averaging at 20 degrees even in Winter. If you want the museums, and nightlife, and the weather, and the beach, one of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria is near the 4kms long stretch of clean beach that is Playa de las Canteras.
Just south of Las Palmas, Teror is the place to go if you want a picturesque base somewhere a bit quieter than Las Palmas, but you still want to be close to the city's major sights. Teror is busy on Sundays, when there's a big commercial market, and everyone comes in to attend the beautiful, neoclassical Basilica de la Virgen del Pino. But the Saturday farmers' market has a much more welcoming feel.
Arucas is one of the best places to stay on Gran Canaria if you're looking for somewhere with more of a traditional character. It's in the slower north, so the surrounding countryside is lush, and there are less sights to rush around and visit.
For a rural getaway
- If you're looking for somewhere small and charming, book the Hotel Rural Las Calas. It's rustic and traditional, and the perfect 'escape to the hills'. With plenty of local mountain trails to explore - on foot, on two weeks, or on horseback - this is one of the best places to stay on Gran Canaria if you're planning a sun-drenched outdoorsy break.
For those on a budget
- The Hotel de Mondalon is easily one of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria if you're on a budget. Rooms are traditional yet chic and it boasts fitness areas, swimming pool, great restaurant and plenty of family friendly activities.
For the beach
- Grand Hotel Residencia is our only recommendation on the south of the island. Here you will find five star luxury on the beach front with fantastic sport and spa facilities.
- Finca Las Longueras is a traditional finca, but only 2km from the beach. Set amid lush green gardens with a pool, and an excellent table d'hote service, this is one of the best places to stay on Gran Canaria who like their beach break to be low key.