What to do in Gran Canaria?
Gran Canaria is a very versatile island and so there are many things to do! There is a fun activity for everyone that he or she will enjoy. Most come here for the sun and the beautiful beaches, but it is also an excellent island for hiking. Below is a list of 10 fun things to do on Gran Canaria!
1. Vamos a la Playa 🏖️
When traveling we try to combine activities with going to the beach. Usually it says “going to the beach or snorkelling” on the program in the afternoon. That is after a walk or visit to Cueva de Cuatro Puertas (see further). Gran Canaria has a lot of sandy beaches, more than on Tenerife. I have made a list of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Gran Canaria that are worth visiting.
2. Visit to the caves “Cueva de Cuatro Puertas”
Be sure to visit during your stay in Gran Canaria Cueva de Cuatro Puertas, It's definitely worth it. The short walk loops past three caves and is 1.1km in total (round trip included). Not really a walk, but we went there for a 45min. The partially man-made caves are well preserved and maintained, although things could have gone worse. The caves were used by shepherds, among others, as stables for their sheep. The floors were concreted in places and walls were sometimes painted white.
There is also a film shot here “Tirma”, so you can still see lines on some walls, which were made for the film. You should not confuse those lines with the real Aboriginal drawings, which you can also find on the walls in one of the caves.
Itinerary Cueva de Cuatro Puertas
The first cave is thus characterized by four entrances (Cuatro Puertas = 4 gates), as the name suggests. Furthermore, you come via a slope to the second part, which was probably a sacrificial site. You will see a U-shaped trench cut into the rocks. The next and third cave calls “Cueva de Papeles” the cave of papers.
You will come further the fourth and most spectacular part from the short walk “Cueva de los Pilares”. A nicely finished path in wood takes you to the caves that were used as a residence. Storage areas can also be seen. It is a very impressive cave complex, but again pay attention with small children! Certainly the last part has steep precipices along the path or from the caves themselves. The plan was to have something to eat after the visit to the caves in Tufia, but to our surprise there was no restaurant in sight. Small Tufia does have a beautiful black beach. Also see: Three short beautiful walks in Gran Canaria
3. Go horseback riding in the mountains
We booked a guided tour and went horseback riding in the mountains (hills) above Maspalomas at riding school El salobre† As there was no more room on the 2 hour ride, we had to make do with the one hour tour. Good actually, because we're not used to horseback riding and I can assure you that 1 hour was more than enough!
4. Rent a boat in Gran Canaria and go sailing on the sea yourself.
In the harbor of Pasito Blanco we rented a boat for 4 hours. Alberto will give you a good explanation and you do not need a sailing permit. Alberto runs the business together with his brother Javier. The boat we rented only had 15hp, but went fast enough to explore some of the coast and even go fishing at sea. You do need a fishing license to fish at sea† Read the report of that day via the link below.
5. Join one of the many excursions from the port of Puerto Rico
Don't feel like sailing yourself? Don't worry, there are many boats that you can join for a reasonable price. Most boats go in search of dolphins and whales. You can see flying fish during a boat trip. According to the many reviews I have read, it is best to choose a day with a calm sea. There were quite a few descriptions in the reviews about seasickness. You can always take a pill against seasickness, but sailing on a calm sea is more fun anyway. You will therefore be able to spot more sea creatures than on a sea with high waves. The boats usually stop somewhere in a bay for snorkelling, another point to keep in mind.
6. Visit the Cenobio de Valerón grain warehouse
When we made the walk to Guayedra beach, on the way back we the largest Guanche site Cenobio de Valerón visited. It is the largest grain warehouse in all of Gran Canaria and was on our route (Google Maps† If you are in the area it is definitely worth a visit. The entrance fee was 3€ per person (under 10 years free). In the past it was thought to be a monastery. Now scientists are convinced that Cenobio de Valerón was a storehouse for grain and other food. There are about 350 cavities carved out of the rocks.
The pantry is strategically located on a very steep mountain, to provide extra protection for the grain against grain thieves. On the route up (there are some steps to do) there are some signs with explanations. You can also see a replication of a cave of the original inhabitants. Two Dragon Trees are planned in 1974. This species used to be part of the typical vegetation in the Canary Islands. The sap of the tree was used for medicinal purposes, the bark to make shields. The trip can be easily combined with the walk to the beach of Guayedra. See: Three short scenic walks in Gran Canaria
7. Aqualand Maspalomas: The water park of “De Mol 2022”
Every time we travel to Tenerife or Spain we visit some water park. This time we went to 2 different water parks. Aqualand is the largest park and also the most expensive option. The water park at Maspalomas has over 50 water slides and a large wave pool. We bought the tickets the day before online (purchasing online on the day itself is not valid!) and thus saved the cost of 2 pizzas including colas for the children. Parking was free. This is where part of the recordings were made for The Mole 2022.
Rent sunbeds Aqualand Maspalomas
We thought the entrance fees were a bit on the high side, but they had a great time. Sun loungers can be rented for €4 each. When you enter, you immediately go to the lounger you want, and not much later someone comes to pay. They then stick a ribbon (the proof of payment) to the sun lounger. By 15:00 pm people start to leave the park and paid loungers with such a ribbon are released. These are therefore rather quickly “taken over” by children who did not yet have a sun lounger.
8. Lago Taurito Aqua Park
This much smaller water park is located in Taurito, a nice seaside town with a beautiful golden sandy beach. We went there on the penultimate day of our vacation. There are fewer slides, but the entrance fee is quite low and the sun loungers are free. The entrance fee is €15 for adults and €3 for children between the ages of 12 and 5. You can also buy the tickets online, but here you must have the ticket printed with you.
9. Rent a SUP or go windsurfing
You can rent SUP (Stand Up Padlde) boards at various places. You can also choose to take lessons. Jessica and my daughter wanted to take windsurfing lessons, but the wind was really bad. Either there was too little wind or there was too much wind. For four days we tried to meet with the teacher, but the communication was not really that. First we were at the wrong windsurf school Playa Inglés. You had to be there to learn to surf and not to learn WINDsurfing, big difference according to the owners.
10. Some suggestions to make your stay in Gran Canaria even more enjoyable
There are many other fun things to do in Gran Canaria that we haven't done yet. Below are some examples:
- Rent a watercraft
- Relax massage on the beach or in Aqualand
- parasailing from a boat
- Learn to dive
Map: 10 fun things to do in Gran Canaria
On this map you will find all 10 activities that you can do in Gran Canaria. I have also added the other things to do on the map.
Our apartment with sea view in Gran Canaria
The apartment has a beautiful view and was located right by the sea on the quiet beach of Playa del Aguila. It belongs to the apartment complex Altamar on Bahia Feliz.Apartment with sea view