A Sunshine State Of Mind: Gran Canaria

Maspalomas sand dunes

Get a much-needed dose of winter sun.

The third largest of seven Canary Islands, Gran Canaria lives up to its reputation as a continent in miniature, boasting dramatic volcanic terrain and lush, tropical forests in the north, alongside desert-like golden bays to the south. Multi-faceted, this is an island that attracts sun seekers, history buffs, culture vultures and outdoor adventurers, too. Plus, its close proximity to the UK (hello, four-hour flight) and year-round balmy climate makes it an ideal destination for holidaymakers coveting a spot of winter sun. So, here’s the lowdown on what to do, where to stay – and how to make the most of your exclusive concierge member benefits while you’re there.

Become a member to plan and book your trip to Gran Canaria.

Sink your toes in the sand

Flanked by wide oceanfront promenades, Gran Canaria’s golden-sand strips are lined with stylish hotels, bistros and boutiques for for easy beach-to-bar lounging.

Head to Meloneras – now one of the island’s most upmarket resorts –to explore the 2km-long promenade’s upmarket boutiques, stylish bars and restaurants, and casino; Playa de Mogán for fantastic marina views, selection of exclusive sailing excursions, and artisan Friday-market wares; and Amadores for its romantic collection of secluded hillside hideaways, beautiful crescent-shaped beach and picturesque promenade. Meanwhile, families will love Anfi del Mar and Taurito for their relaxed vibe, and Playa del Inglés is perfect for a night of LGBT-friendly partying.

Ten tip: let us book you a spot at the popular Amadores Beach Club, where waiters will serve cocktails and food to your sun lounger while you take a dip in the saltwater pool and listen to the resident DJ’s tunes.

Güi Güi beach on Gran Canaria
Get active with hiking and cycling

Gran Canaria’s incredibly varied landscape, year-round sporting calendar and impressive training facilities make the island an exciting prospect for those seeking an active holiday experience.

Numerous hiking and cycling trails will take you up craggy mountains, through lush forests and around volcanic craters. As the island’s highest village, Artenara in the Tamadaba Nature Reserve features dramatic volcano views and impressive archaeological sites – a highlight for any hiker.

Back down by the water you’ll find other fun ways to stay active, including beach yoga sessions and various watersports, from windsurfing and bodyboarding to kayaking and scuba diving.

Ten tip: We can recommend the best hiking trails and cycling routes for you, and also book private tours with a guide.

A beautiful view over rocky peaks and trees in Gran Canaria, with a silhouette of a hiker standing on the edge looking over
Indulge in golf and wellness

Gran Canaria is a golfer’s paradise, with eight world-class golf courses to tee off in style and year-round sunshine ensuring ideal winter golf conditions. The island has a long golfing tradition, highlighted by the fact that it’s home to Spain’s oldest golf course, the 18-hole Mackenzie Ross-designed Real Club de Las Palmas. Founded in 1891 as one of the first golf clubs in Europe, it is still one of the best today.

Emerging as a wellness hotspot thanks to the ancient art of thalassotherapy, the island is also perfect for those seeking some R&R after a round of golf. Gran Canaria’s thalasso spas combine waters naturally rich in minerals with a circuit of massaging jets to ease aching muscles and boost energy levels. Other secret treatment ingredients include aloe – often touted as the world’s purest – sea salt scrubs and algae wraps sourced from the ocean.

Ten tip: Whether you want to improve your swing or simply enjoy the game, become a member to plan and book tee times at fantastic golf courses across Gran Canaria, including Real Club de Las Palmas and Anfi Tauro.

Salobre Hotel pool in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Discover Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s thriving food scene

Canarian dishes are heavily influenced by the island’s oceanic location and proximity to North Africa, with fresh seafood, grilled meat, tapas, fragrant stews and exotic spices featuring high on every menu. Traditional plates to try include papas arrugadas (Canarian potatoes), served with a spicy mojo picón sauce, and ropa vieja stew, made with shredded beef and vegetables. Avid foodies should plan a few trips to local markets, such as Mercado del Puerto close to Las Canteras beach, or Mercado de Vegueta near the city’s old port, to try traditional tapas with a modern twist and shop local suppliers.

Come sunset, head to the rooftops of La Azotea de Benito bar for an aperitivo, followed by dinner at Spanish hotspot Deliciosa Marta or, for something different, try Fuji – an outstanding Japanese restaurant, where we can bag you a table on the terrace overlooking the ocean.

Ten tip: in peak season it’s vital to book ahead – we can help secure restaurant reservations at Gran Canaria’s top dining spots, often with added member benefits, too.

Catedral de Santa Ana facade
Step back in time and connect with nature

Beyond Gran Canaria’s beach beauty lies an island with awe-inspiring landscapes that are filled with cultural treasures. Highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage site Risco Caído, Tejeda’s Roque Nublo, the 15th-century Cathedral of Santa Ana and 18th-century Casa de Colón in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – where it’s claimed explorer Christopher Columbus plotted his first voyage to America. The magnificent Maspalomas – a designated nature reserve comprising 400 hectares of shimmering sand dunes, a palm oasis and a freshwater lagoon, is also not to be missed.

Ten tip: our travel team can plan bespoke, detailed itineraries to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Become a member to discuss your preferences and we’ll take care of the rest.

A group overlooking a landscape view in the clouds

Where to stay

Gran Canaria’s hotel scene has upped its game in recent years, with a range of new and recently renovated five-star hotels built to appeal to a more upmarket, design-conscious crowd.

Best for couples: Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia, Maspalomas

Situated in the midst of Maspalomas’ palm grove, Gran Canaria’s only Leading Hotels of the World member offers an oasis of peace and relaxation for couples, with romantic bougainvillea-draped villas world-class facilities and a highly personal service.

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia pool
Best for families: Radisson Blu Resort, Playa De Arguinegun

This family-friendly hotel offers easy access to several beaches, large suites, two pools, and a kids club – which means fun for youngsters and time out for mum and dad.

Poolside at the Radisson Blu Resort
Best for wellness: Lopesan Villa del Conde, Meloneras

Located in upmarket Meloneras, Villa del Conde’s Corallium offers an indulgent two-hour Thalasso-therapy circuit, as well as a wide range of health and beauty treatments – and all within a sensational ocean-view setting.

Poolside at Lopesan Villa del Conde
Best for views: Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

This classic five-star hotel has been a Las Palmas landmark ever since its opening in 1890. The sweeping views across the city, Doramas Park and Playa de las Canteras beach are a sight to behold, especially from the sleek rooftop pool and bar.

Sunset view from Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, Las Palmas
Best for design: Seaside Palm Beach, Maspalomas

Built by celebrated architect Alberto Pinto, this Design Hotels™ member ups the cool factor of Maspalomas – say hello to a vivacious 1970s-style Miami vibe.

Seaside Palm Beach, Maspalomas pool at night

Become a member to plan and book your trip to Gran Canaria. We can take care of every aspect of your trip, from return flight and hotel bookings to discount car hire with our partners and local restaurant recommendations.

Ten Members receive benefits when they book holidays and flights with us, including car hire benefits and vehicle upgrades. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip, a short-haul business mission or a week-long holiday, we can recommend, organise and book the perfect getaway.

Subscribe to our Newsletter to keep getting inspired. Become a member and start enjoying all the lifestyle benefits and take advantage of the exclusive offers on well-loved brands. Monthly Membership available.

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