01 March 2019
Gran Canaria, a ‘mini continent’ where no two landscapes are the same, is the ideal place for your next luxury getaway. From soothing spas and rolling golf greens, to stretches of sandy shore and bustling city streets, sun-kissed Gran Canaria is the place to get away from it all.
Gran Canaria is one of the Canary Islands, an archipelago situated off the North-West African coast, and it’s a perfect year-round holiday destination. Average annual temperatures here hover around 24°C giving you comfortably hot summers and warm winters. Hop on a flight from the UK and in just over four hours, you’ll land in Gran Canaria.
Every day you wake up to something different in Gran Canaria. One day you could relax on beaches like the Maspalomas, where you can ride camels on sand dunes, or the secluded Las Canteras, a great snorkelling spot with a volcanic reef. The next you could trek up the Central Massif region’s peaks or explore the Guayadeque ravine’s cave villages. The day after, you may decide to sip cocktails in the bars of its glistening capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria is a haven for busy professionals wanting to escape the stresses of daily life. Whether you’re looking for restorative spa treatments, verdant greens where you can play a few rounds of golf, or to lose yourself as you walk through city streets, Gran Canaria has what you need…
A health tourism hotspot since the 19th Century, Gran Canaria is home to some of the best spas in the Canaries. People visit to feel the benefits of its ideal climate and humidity, as well as to experience its soothing aloe vera treatments. Gran Canaria is believed by many to have the ‘purest aloe vera on earth,’ so tourists flock to its spas to reap the miracle plant’s benefits.
A must is the Spa Centre Aqua Vital in the capital’s 5* Hotel Santa Catalina. Unwind here with treatments like ‘aloe vera and honey peels’ and ‘cranial face massages’. Try sea water treatments at Thalasso Gloria Palace San Agustin in South Gran Canaria, Europe’s largest thalassotherapy centre. Work out the tension with massages, including a sensorial chocolate massage, or by trying the famous thermal circuit at Spacio Telde in West Gran Canaria. Another recommendation is the Seaside Palm Beach Spa in the South, which has idyllic gardens, gyms, saunas, steam rooms and Jacuzzis.
Gran Canaria’s mild climate makes it a haven for golfing enthusiasts. It’s possible to play for 365 days out of the year due to the favourable weather, and you have a total of seven 18-hole golf courses, all within a 50 mile radius, to choose from. The island hosts world-class golfing facilities, with an infrastructure that attracts national and international tournaments, so there are extremely professional facilities at your disposal.
Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas is Spain’s oldest course. Based in Bandama, East-Central Gran Canaria, this 71-par course was designed by the acclaimed Mackenzie Ross and lies in the crater of an extinct volcano. Try Spain’s first ‘pay and play’ golf course with a trip to the 73-par Maspalomas Golf where you can putt through palm groves. Other good courses include the 71-par Lopesan Merloneras Golf course in Las Palmas, where the ocean views are fantastic, and the Salobre Golf Resort which has two 18-hole courses of 70 and 71-par apiece.
If you’re just passing through Gran Canaria – say you’re here on a cruise – and you’re looking for the one place you can go to experience everything it has to offer, let it be Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The island’s biggest city, Las Palmas is situated in the north and many cruises dock in its award-winning port, from where you can access some of its best sites. Top suggestions for attractions to visit include Casa de Colon, an ornate building which serves as a Christopher Columbus museum, the restored stone fortification Castillo de la Luz and the Atlantic Centre of Modern Art.
Las Palmas comes alive as the sun goes down, so expect frenetic nightlife. Stop by chic cocktail bars such as Ginger and Mumbai Sunset Bar, where you can sip heady concoctions by the waterline. You might want to go shopping, as taxes are lower here. Head to Triana Street in the Old Quarter for everything from traditional stalls to upmarket boutiques and the Shopping Centre El Muelle by the Santa Catalina pier. Buy products ranging from perfumes to the island’s renowned aloe vera and palm syrup luxury products, so you can bring a piece of Gran Canaria back home.