Stretching Dollars: Free Things to do in Gran Canaria
With so many last minute deals to the Canary Islands, it’s never been more affordable to enjoy a holiday in the sun. Gran Canaria is one of the more popular islands which offers something for all visitors, from its world class beaches to its lively resort towns. For those on a budget, we’ve put together this guide on some of the best attractions that won’t cost you a penny.
This 250ft high volcanic rock formation is one of the island’s most popular natural wonders. It’s easily accessed by a short hike from La Goleta. Once you’ve admired this spectacular natural monument, you can take in the views of neighboring Tenerife and the volcano, Mount Teide.
Considered the capital of the island and the largest city in Gran Canaria, Las Palmas has a significant historical and cultural heritage. The old district of Vagueta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many impressive attractions. Be sure to visit the Catedral de Santa Ana with awe inspiring architecture and an equally impressive interior.
There’s no better way to admire the beauty of Gran Canaria than taking a hike on one of the island’s many trails. These vary in difficulty with something for all abilities. The challenging ascent to the highest mountain, Pico de las Nieves offers breathtaking views of the rugged landscape. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll through the pine forests of Tamadaba National Park and look out for protected and rare bird species.
Sunworshippers can rejoice at one of the island’s most popular beaches, Playa de Maspalomas. This 6km stretch of golden sand is backed by dramatic sand dunes and is home to an antique lighthouse. Alternatively, head to the south west coast and you’ll find Playa de Puerto Rico, where the sand is said to have been blown across from the Sahara hundreds of years ago. It’s also known as the sunniest spot in Gran Canaria and there’s a beautiful subtropical garden which lines the beach.
Barranco de Guayadeque
This magnificent valley is accessible by car and is worth visiting for a unique day out. As you amble across this steep canyon, you’ll notice openings in the cliffside which lead to a series of man-made and natural caves. The site is one of the most important pre-historic burial grounds in Europe and a designated nature reserve. At one time these caves were used for shelter as well as storing food and hosting fertility rituals. Some families still reside in the area to this day, tending to the farmland in the region.
On your next Gran Canaria holiday, be sure to visit some of these attractions. You’ll make the budget stretch further and enjoy some unforgettable experiences.