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Whether you are looking for the fun and relaxation of a beach resort, the challenge of a hiking vacation through stunning volcanoes or a cultural tour through traditional towns, Gran Canaria will not disappoint. Mild winters and hot, dry summers make it a great destination any time of year. Choose this island for some delightful winter sun.
Watersports enthusiasts will rejoice, as the consistent warm winds around the beach resorts of Meloneras and Maspalomas on the south coast support great windsurfing and sailing. Relax and swim in calmer waters at secluded coves like Amadores Beach.
Be sure to explore the island’s largest city, Las Palmas. The imposing, gray Cathedral of Santa Ana in the heart of town is one of the island’s most impressive features, along with the extensive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts at the nearby Canarian Museum (Museo Canario). One of the city’s highlights is the Casa Museo de Colón. This traditional, whitewashed building is devoted to the history of Las Palmas and the role of the Canary Islands in the transatlantic shipping trade.
On the south coast, see the Dunes de Maspalomas. This 1,000-acre (400-hectare) sand dune national park feels like the deep Sahara Desert and has an array of indigenous shrubs as well as migrating birds. Stroll along the marked paths or go on a guided camel safari.
Enjoy a different side of Gran Canaria by moving inland past pine forests and sheer cliffs to the small village of Tejeda. Relax in the fresh mountain air and hike to the Pico de las Nieves to take in sublime views from the highest point on the island. The immense, stone figure of the Roque Nublo to the southwest gives you an insight into the remarkable forces that have shaped this volcanic island.
Gran Canaria’s international airport is located in the capital city of Las Palmas on the island’s northeast coast. From here, drive to most towns and resorts in under an hour.