I'm travelling with my parents to Gran Canaria soon to celebrate a birthday. I find the touristy stuff to be sad and boring and I tried to convince them of another location but oh well.
Tips on what to do on the island to get away from the worst tourist traps? I'm 22 y o old if that helps.
As long as you stay out of playa del ingles and maspalomas it's actually pretty good.
Las Palmas is decent, the nature in the center of the island is gorgeous and the small towns also offer nice food.
Rent a car, drive around, go hiking or diving...
It's not really a place with individual incredible attractions. Stay away from the blatantly tourist stuff and have a good time. Just bring a book and some swimming trunks and enjoy yourself drinking, eating, relaxing, hiking, and shit on your parents dime. It might seem lame but its always nice to get away.
It's all relative and you should get in the right mindset. I know to an English person the canaries are kind of boring but to an American it'd be quite enticing.
I just got back from there.
First of all, go to Vegueta. It's the old town of Las Palmas. Great restaurants! Every Wednesday or Thursday night it's pinchos night. All restaurants offer pinchos (mini tapas) and you can hop from restaurant to restaurant to try them all for 1 or 2 euro a piece. And that often includes a drink.
Places we particularly liked:
- La Champiñonería (restaurant, great tapas)
- Manso (rooftop restaurant)
- La Azotea de Benito (rooftop cocktail bar)
The restaurants in the calle mendizabal (street) are generally good. As are the tapas places in the calle obispo codina.
For driving, there are some amazing routes:
- Barranco de la Aldea (grand canyon of the island, stunning views, drive from Aldea de San Nicolas over the GC-210 to Artenara)
- Barranco de Arguineguin (drive from Maspalomas to Soria over the GC-505 and the GC-605. Then turn at the Soria reservoir and follow the GC-605 back)
- Fataga (follow the GC-60 from Maspalomas to Fataga, mountain roads)
- Barranco de Guayedra (follow the GC-200 from Puerto de las Nieves to Aldea de San Nicolas. Amazing coastal route over the cliffs).
You can also go a mountain route from Roque Bentayga to Roque Nublo and then Pico de las Nieves. Amazing hikes and views at all of these points. We did the route in one day.
We also went dolphin watching from Puerto Rico with a company called Spirit Of The Sea. Amazing experience. We saw two dolphin pods and a whale up close.
Maspalomas is horribly touristy, but I do love the sand dunes. The walk from the lighthouse along the shoreline to Playa del Ingles (bluh) and back through the sanddunes is great.
>Las Palmas is decent, the nature in the center of the island is gorgeous and the small towns also offer nice food.
what this man said
when I was there we took quite a nice guided bus tour, but the nature and the eating would probably be a lot more fun with a rented car and a bit of foresight
try to find a spot where you can walk around a bit in the valleys/climb up in some of the hillside buildings, the view is nice