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Gran Canaria - Canary Islands

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is one of the most popular islands in Spain. Of the  230 kilometers coastline on Gran Canaria 50 kilometers are sandy beaches that has made Gran Canaria famous.

Charter tourism is concentrated mainly in San Agustin, Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, but smaller and quieter locations like Puerto Rico and especially Puerto de Mogan are well worth a visit.

Some of the most popular destinations on Gran Canaria are: Amadores, Arguineguín, Arucas, Bahía Feliz, Cruz de Tejeda, Las Meloneras, Las Palmas, Maspalomas, Playa del Cura, Playa del Inglés, Playa Taurito, Puerto de Mogán, Puerto Rico, Salobre, San Agustín och San Bartolomé de Tirajana.

On Gran Canaria the small valley named Taurito is a strategic location to enjoy calm modern hotels next to the canyon and the saltwater lagoon and a lovely little beach, but without renouncing to the evenings in the port of Mogan which can easily be reached by bus.

Some of the less known beaches on Gran Canaria are: Arguineguin, Amadores, Marañuela, Tauro, Costa Alegre, Tiritaña, La Carrera, Cruz de Piedra, Patalavaca, Taurito, Aguamarina, Mogan, La Verga, Veneguera and Balito Los Seco.

On June 29, 2005 UNESCO classified 40% of Gran Canaria's surface as biosphere reserve in the context of the organization's MAB program whose purpose is to improve the relationship between man and the global environment.

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Gran Canaria is the perfect Holiday Island with an all year around subtropical climate and superb beautiful beaches. The greatest attractions of Gran Canaria are the tropical climate and the beautiful warm beaches. All together makes the island Gran Canaria an ideal all year round holiday destination. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the Capital of the island Gran Canaria and the province Las Palmas. The City Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city on the Canary Islands, and the ninth largest city in Spain. The population on Gran Canaria reaches 715 000 inhabitants, of which half live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria offers a wide choice of beautiful beaches, leisure, sports nightlife and also family fun if you travel with children.  Sea lovers will not have any problem finding companies offering whale watching, sailing, windsurfing, big-game fishing, scuba diving and many other sea related activities in the most popular locations on Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is also a great alternative for those who like to hike. The island is full of beauty and wild nature. Gran Canaria is also the perfect place for golf, tennis, sailing and windsurfing.

The Atlantic Ocean, the excellent beaches on Gran Canaria and the warm winds that always blows on the Canary Islands together with the all year around warm and clear waters and the many fine hotels, tourist apartments and holiday resorts on Gran Canaria makes the island to the perfect holiday destination. In all villages on the coasts of the Canary Islands the sea is the centre of life. Large and smaller luxury yachts sailing across the ocean meets the local fishing boats in the busy ports where fish restaurants attracts the hungry tourists  offering the very best of fresh seafood and fish.

 Climate on Gran Canaria: Gran Canaria always offers pleasant summers, warm and sunny winters, great food, wild nature and everything else that you can imagine for your perfect holiday. The average daily daytime temperature on Gran Canaria ranges from 20 to – 26 degrees Celsius. Never mind the season of the year: Gran Canaria is usually considered a sunny winter holiday destination but the truth is that summer on Gran Canaria is much more pleasant than on the Spanish mainland. On The Canary Islands the temperatures are lower than in the rest of Spain in summer. The sea breeze from the Atlantic Ocean always keeps the worst Spanish summer heat away but in winter when the weather in Europe gets worse The Canary Islands and Gran Canaria still remains warm and sunny and the most attractive holiday destinations in Europe.

And remember that the Canary Islands are a tax free zone in Europe, just like Gibraltar. That means cheaper shopping! Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands are with no doubt the most tropical holiday resorts you can find in all Europe and many low cost flights connects to the airports on Gran Canaria, Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands.

According to UNESCO, Gran Canaria, thanks to its location, special climate and ecological resources is unique in nature and contains a high biodiversity. There are 95 plants that are only available on Gran Canaria and another 100 are only found on the Canary Islands. UNESCO believes that the unique high level of endemic plants makes the area important to preserve. Almost 43% of Gran Canaria’s territory is protected.

With its volcanic origins and hot climate, the most typical characteristic of this island is the diversity of its landscapes. This diversity in turn is one of the main attractions of Gran Canaria, and is the reason why the island is described as a “Miniature Continent”. 43% of its territory is protected by the Law of Natural Spaces, which has led it to be classed as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The island can boast many extensive beaches with fine white sand and immense dunes, such as those in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés in the south, and cliffs, natural swimming pools and small bays in the north.

• Surface: 1,560.10 square kilometers.

• Highest point: Pico de Las Nieves, 1,949 m.

• Protected nature reserves: 33.

 - Complete Nature Reserves: Inagua and Barranco Oscuro.

 - Special Natural Reserves: El Brezal, Azuaje, Los Tilos de Moya.

 - Natural Monuments: Amagro, Bandama, Montañon Negro, Roque de Aguayro, Tauro, Arinaga, Barranco de Guayadeque,

   Riscos de Tirajana, Roque Nublo and Barranco del Draguillo.

 - Protected Landscapes: La Isleta, Pino Santo, Tafira, Las Cumbres, Lomo Magullo, Fataga and Montaña de Aguïmes.

 - Places of Scientific Interest: Jinámar, Tufia, Roque de Gando and Juncalillo del Sur.

 - Nature Parks: Tamadaba and Pilancones.

 - Rural Parks: El Nublo and Doramas.

• Biosphere Reserve: the western half of the Gran Canaria island.

• Typical flora: endemic herbaceous plants e.g. Celosia cristata, Helichrsum macrantha; ragweed (Parthenium hysterophorus); the dragon tree (Dracaena tamaranae); orchid (Cattleya Fianae).

• Typical fauna: blue chaffinch (Fringilla teydea), Canary Island lizard, greater spotted woodpecker, Boettger’s Canary wall gecko (Tarentola boettgeri).

• Population:  815,379 inhabitants*.

• Capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

This city shares the role of capital of the Canary Islands with Santa Cruz de Tenerife and is the permanent base of the Spanish Government Delegation. It is the most highly populated city in the archipelago, and has a historically important old town, Vegueta, where many interesting examples of traditional architecture can be seen.

• Municipalities: 21/ Agaete, Agüimes, Artenara, Arucas, Firgas, Gáldar, Ingenio, Mogán, Moya, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, La Aldea de San Nicolás, Santa Brigida, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Santa María de Guía, Tejeda, Telde, Teror, Valsequillo, Valleseco and Vega de San Mateo.

• Airports: 1/ Gran Canaria Airport .

• Passenger ports: 2/ Port of La Luz y Las Palmas and Port of Las Nieves en Agaete.

• Marinas: 8/ Fishing port of Arguineguín, Port of Las Nieves, Yachting Marina of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Marina of Taliarte, Yacht Club Pasito Blanco, Marina Anfi del Mar, Sports Marina of Puerto Rico, and Port of Mogán.

• Public hospitals: 2/ University Hospital Island-Maternity Complex, and University Hospital of Gran Canaria Dr Negrín.

• University centres: 2 / University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), and Centre of the Spanish Distance Learning University (UNED).

• Conference Centres: 3/ Auditorium Alfredo Kraus, Palacio de Congresos Gran Canaria and Palacio de Congresos Maspalomas.

• Golf courses: 8/ Anfi Tauro, El Cortijo Club de Campo, Oasis Golf, Maspalomas, Real Club Golf de Las Palmas, Salobre Golf, Meloneras Golf and Las Palmeras Golf.

• Museums: 14/ Museum and Archaeological Park Cueva Pintada; Museum- House Antonio Padrón (artist); Museum Néstor (artist); Elder Museum of Science and Technology; Canary Museum (local history); CAAM (Modern Art Museum); Museum-House Tomás Morales (writer); Museum-House Pérez Galdós (writer); Museum-House León y Castillo (scientist); Christopher Columbus House; Sculpture Museum Abraham Cárdenes; Museum of Guayadeque; History Museum of Aguïmes; and Museum of the Holy Diocese.

• Gastronomy: boiled Canary potatoes, chickpeas, meat and potatoes (ropa vieja), fish soup, thick watercress soup, rabbit, dried fish stew, local almond and honey puddings, marzipan and local cheeses.

• Denominations of origin: 1/ Regulatory Authority of Denomination of Origin Vinos de Gran Canaria.

• Public holidays: Carnival, Festivals of the Pine in Teror, La Rama (the Branch) in Agaete, El Charco (the Pond) in La Aldea, La Suelta del Perro Maldito (The Release of the Cursed Dog) in Valsequillo, Almendro en Flor (the Flowering Almond) in Tejeda, Traída del Agua (Bringing Down the Water) in Telde, Saint John in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Telde and Arucas, Festivity of the Virgin of the Carmen in La Isleta, Festival of the Clay, Festival of the Gofio (roasted maize meal), and religious processions in most municipals.

• Places of interest: old town of Vegueta, Auditorium Alfredo Kraus in Las Canteras Beach, old towns of Telde, Agüimes, Ingenio, Teror, Tejeda and Arucas, Molino de Firgas (mill), Tilos de Moya (woods), cave houses in Artenara and Guayadeque, the Botanical Garden “Viera y Clavijo”, Cenobio de Valerón (archaeological site), Hermitage of Las Nieves in the Port of Agaete, Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga (mountain peaks), Nature Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas, Faro (lighthouse) of Maspalomas, Port of Mogán, Barranco (Ravine) of Fataga, Pine forest of Tamadaba, Cruz de Tejeda (viewing area), Crater and Peak of Bandama.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

“Cosmopolitan” is a frequent description of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s fastest-growing cities, a bustling centre of busy shopping streets packed with duty-free bargains, a busy port where ships of a hundred nations call. But a relaxed atmosphere prevails in the oldest part of town, La Vegueta, where one can see why so many observers have compared the capital of Gran Canaria to Havana or Buenos Aires. Visitors should make a stop at the Museo Canario, where an outstanding collection of ancient artefacts inspires you to ponder on the lost race of the Guanches, the primitive people who ruled these islands before Europeans arrived in the 15th century.



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