Gran Canaria is the last of the islands in the Canary Islands archipelago that I have left to introduce to you. We had, in fact, introduced you to Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in their respective articles (you can click on the names of the islands and find them again), and we only have the island in the centre of the archipelago left. Gran Canaria has a special place, already geographical and is also the second most populated island in the Canary Islands behind Tenerife. The island is unique and is often likened to a “small continent” as its landscapes are so different. Discover the beautiful dunes of Maspalomas, a lively sea, mountains and its natural park. In this article, we will introduce you to this unique island and show you why Gran Canaria is perfect for group trips and team building activities.
An island with a focus on nature
Like many islands in the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria makes the part for nature, including being recognised as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. On the island, it is possible to marvel at many types of landscapes, mountains, canyons, a mini desert and of course the seaside. The dunes of Maspalomas in the south of the island are a must see. This small desert, where spreads beautiful dunes as far as the eye can see, is not unlike Corralejo in Fuerteventura. Walking around here is for sure a expansion and offers you a magnificent view of a deep blue sea. In the centre of the island, you will find completely different and much greener landscapes. You’ll also find hilly and mountainous landscapes with notably in the centre of the island its peak the Pico de las Nieves culminating at over 1900 metres! And find a few kilometres away the island’s emblem, a volcanic monolith, the Roque Nublo, as well as its Parc Rural Del Nublo, ideal for hikes as its landscapes are so worth the diversions. Perfect for a team building activity off the beaten track!
Authentic towns full of charm
Gran Canaria has many charming towns and villages, whether in mountains or by the sea, the island promises an authentic group trip! A must-see is the village of Tejeda in the centre of the island in the Cumbres area. This charming village, located at 1050 metres above sea level, offers a unique and splendid panorama over the Parque Rural del Nublo! If you are more looking for a seaside village Agaete and Puerto de las Nieves are for you! Discover a charming port and enjoy tasting the island’s culinary specialties! Moreover, you will be charmed by this typical port with its typical houses and its pebbled beach overhung by cliffs!
On the trail of the island’s history
Discovering the pre-European era
The island of Gran Canaria has a rich history and a good number of places to discover it! Two historical aspects of the island are to be discovered its colonial past and its past before the arrival of the settlers when the Guanches – Canarian aborigines – were the inhabitants of the island. Artenara located at more than 1200 m above sea level and the highest town on the island allows you to learn more about the island’s pre-colonial era. TheArchaeological Complex of Acusa is a must-see with its troglodyte houses that bear witness to the lifestyle of the island’s ancient inhabitants. To the north of the island is the Gáldar Painted Cave Museum and Archaeological Park. This place is a must-see to learn more about the island’s pre-European era and allows you to discover rock paintings in a striking moment!
Discover the legacy of the colonial era
Located in the north of the island, Teror is a must-see in order to learn more about the culture and history of Gran Canaria. The village is known for its eighteenth-century basilica, La Virgen del Pino, patron saint of the island and the entire archipelago. Its historic centre and the Plaza de Teror, which forms the nerve centre of the city, are one of the most important cultural heritages of the Canaries. Arucas still in the north of the island is a must see with its town centre of vividly coloured housess and its spectacular and amazing church built of black lava stone! The historic centre of La Vegueta is located in the north of the island and is the historic centre of Las Palmas the capital. Becoming in the late 15th century the “core” of Las Palmas, there are plenty of places and monuments to see! Not to be missed are the must-sees: the Casa de Colon, the Santa Ana cathedral, or the halls built in 1856. In short, the district has become a historical mecca, but also one of culture and leisure in the capital!
The capital and largest city of the Canary Islands
Las Palmas is, as we have just said, the capital of Gran Canaria and the most populous city of the archipelago with its 380,000 inhabitants. The city is bordered by the 4km of blonde sandy beach of La Canteras Beach known for being one of the most beautiful urban beaches in the world. The city is divided into two parts: the historic heart of La Vegueta classified as a UNESCO heritage site that I introduced you to just before and its port area with its beaches and restaurant serving fresh fish and seafood. In short a historical, cultural and dynamic city. Perfect for doing a whole bunch of team building activities!
An island that doesn’t forget the beaches
Like the other islands of the Canary archipelago, Gran Canaria has many beaches! It is possible to find beaches with black sand due to the volcanic nature of the island such as the beach of Tauro and its sublime expanse of jet-black sand contrasting with the turquoise waters of the sea. The two wilderness beaches on the island are the beaches of Faneroque and Güi Güi. Its pristine beaches are surrounded by cliffs and have breathtaking scenery. If you’re lucky, Güi Güi even offers a view of the Teide mountain located on Tenerife! If you are more looking for a beach that doesn’t leave you indifferent, then don’t miss the beach of Maspalomas and its beautiful dunes. This beach offers you a end of Sahara with your feet in the Atlantic Ocean like nowhere else!
Focus on water sports and beach activities
With 60 km of beach, the island is obviously ideal for practising and learning water sports. Surfing, kitesurfing, paddle, sea kayaking and especially windsurfing, the island is known to be a perfect place for their practice. Moreover, its fine sandy beaches of several kilometres are perfect places for the organization of beach volleyball tournaments or Olympics on the beach! In short, a perfect island for the organisation of team building activities!
As you have seen in this article, Gran Canaria is an island apart and unique. With its various landscapes and cultural past, this mini continent can delight anyone looking for what to do in Gran Canaria. Whether you’re looking for relaxation by the sea, adventure in the mountains, indulgence in authentic villages or cultural discoveries, you’ll be delighted in Gran Canaria. Thanks to its diversity, the island is ideal for your group trips and team building activities! So don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more! As a travel agency specialising in Spain and the Canary Islands we would be delighted to help you with your travel plans to Gran Canaria and Spain!