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Off the coast of Spain, the Canary Island archipelago gleams beneath the sunshine, and none of the landmasses shine brighter than Gran Canaria. Flights to Gran Canaria take around four hours from London, so it doesnt take long before you arrive on such a gorgeous island. Attracting thousands of fascinated guests every year during the holiday season, the island is renowned for being a miniature continent in itself. The terrain varies dramatically, stretching downward from the green and lush northern parts to the southern arid desert. In the middle, a tiara of mountains extends into the skies, bringing joy to hikers and climbers of all nationalities who come here. Perhaps brightest of all shines the collection of lavishly built resorts, which can be found on the wonderfully rugged coastline.
Like the island itself, a holiday here ideally reflects the plethora of choice and variety that is on offer. While life in a holiday resort in Gran Canaria is nothing short of perfect - complete with gorgeous stretches of sand and bodacious nightlife - you haven't experienced the island properly until you have checked out its historically cosmopolitan capital of Las Palmas. Similarly, while horse-trekking in the desert is all very well for a day, you won't have made the most of your time here if you neglected to explore the beautiful rural park of Doramas.
"Visit Playa de los Amadores near Puerto Rico, a man-made beach reminiscent of the Caribbean. It’s easily accessible by jumping on the bus."
Ben, Cabin Crew
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Those who love exploring cities will find everything they need in Las Palmas, a historically cosmopolitan city that has become used to welcoming people from all over the world. As a meeting point for traders, pirates and other seafolk throughout history, it has long had a unique identity concocted from all the corners of the globe. There is authentic Spanish atmosphere and architecture to enjoy throughout the streets, with must-see places including the Parque Santa Catalina where carnival celebrations are held every summer, the resplendent Playa de Las Canteras beach and the imposing Catedral de Santa Ana where you can explore several centuries of history. The town has plenty to offer the avid shopper, and lots of little cafes where you can stop for a cool drink.
One of the benefits of coming to Gran Canaria is that it could potentially be only the start of your adventure. Island hopping throughout the Canaries is a fantastic way of getting to know each of these highly individual landmasses for what they are, with fascinating cultures, beautiful cities and rugged coastlines to explore. For example, if you're particularly into your windsurfing, a visit to Fuerteventura is most definitely in order, as the island regularly hosts competitions for the sporting community. Or you might feel the draw of Tenerife's impressively mountainous centre and collection of natural parks, along with its famous volcanic beaches.
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