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About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Las Palmas  is the largest city and capital of the Canary Islands, an industrial centre and a harbour. This city, built in 1478, is rich in historical and cultural heritage: a meandering old town with characteristically Canarian black lava pavements and intricate buildings, an impressive cathedral and several few museums. Today, Las Palmas is the ninth largest city in Spain and home to around 400,000 people. Furthermore, it’s the largest European Union city outside its geographic boundaries.

Today, Las Palmas is a neat, beautiful and lively city, exuding Spanish spirit, history and culture. Here you’ll find lots of hotels, restaurants, night clubs and shopping centres. There’s a reason why Las Palmas is called heaven for shoppers – you’re not going to find such great numbers of stores and shopping centres in any other of the Canary islands. Moreover, since the Canaries is a free economic zone, you won’t find lower prices anywhere in Europe - even people from Spain come here to shop and spend a few days enjoying the sun on one of the city’s many golden beaches.

Bathers in Las Canteras Beach
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Bathers in Las Canteras Beach

During the period between February and March, Gran Canaria and its capital become a colourful carnival – this barely-ending celebration was included into the Guinness Book of World Records as the lengthiest carnival in the world. In terms of the number of different events and variety of costume, it’s just as good as the famous carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Since every municipality draws up its own programme for the carnival events, visitors of the country get a chance to acquaint themselves with the different traditions of celebration – from the festive maelstrom that takes place in the capital to more temperate celebration in provincial towns.

The most popular carnival parades and contests take place in Las Palmas. During the high point of celebration, various exotic delicacies are given out in the main street; around 20,000 costumed people take part in the five-hour-long procession, and after all that – the election of the carnival queen.

Carnival in the city of Las Palmas on the Island Gran Canary
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Carnival in the city of Las Palmas on the Island Gran Canary

Gran Canaria is often called the Small Continent; its modest area of 1560 square kilometres contains sandy beaches, desert-like dunes, tropical and pine forests, plains, canyons and mountains. At the centre of the island, Gran Canaria is split in two by the La Cumbre Mountain Range, with Piko de Las Nieves being its highest peak at 1949 metres above sea level.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The Roque Nublo (The Foggy Cliff) Plateau with its single lava monolith on the side is especially famous. The entire island – and even Tenerife’s Mount Teide – can be seen from here. The Northern part of Gran Canaria is geared more and more towards business and industry. Here you can also find the Puerto de la Luz Harbour, which is the largest harbour in the Canary Islands - it’s an important refuelling centre for passing ships.

The Southern part of the island is more adapted for tourism; it’s filled with beaches, water sports facilities and recreational parks.

The landscape in Gran Canaria is very diverse - the southern coast is covered in cacti and other plants that thrive in dry climates; the north is dominated by tropical flora; the central part consists of old, dead volcanoes and pine forests; and the west coast is characterized by insurmountable cliffs and low population density. When it rains, many impressive waterfalls form and while cliffs become multi-coloured.

Where to stay

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