Long stretches of beaches, a vibrant culture and charming villages make Gran Canaria a year-round, sun-drenched dream of a holiday destination. With a long history of tourism, the Spanish island is a bastion of European vacation breaks; holidaymakers return year after year, attracted by outstanding coastline, appealing resort towns – which come with jam-packed fun activities and amenities – and awesome natural scenery.
If you want to take time out, lay on a sunlounger and soak up some rays then Gran Canaria’s endless sandy shores are the spot for you. This is the place to come if you want to spend your days on the beach, splashing in the refreshing water and sampling food from beachside cafes for lunch with your family and friends.
Nightlife on the fun island is all about the good times – some of the most popular nightlife spots attract partygoers who want to dance until the early hours. But, if days spent exploring rustic villages and walking in the stunning countryside before having a quiet meal at a traditional restaurant is more your scene, then Gran Canaria’s mountainous interior scattered with sleepy settlements has you covered as well.
Map of the best places to stay in Gran Canaria
There’s also many new chic designer resorts, for those who are looking for a little more of a bijoux beach atmosphere with stylish boutiques and upper-end shopping. The best places to stay in Gran Canaria come in varieties of fun, family-orientated holiday resorts, cute and quaint apartments and luxury resorts, which just leaves you to work out what part of Gran Canaria is for you. Here is our guide to help you decide.
Playa del Ingles
Playa del Ingles’s main draw is its huge golden beach with undulating dunes and calm, clear waters. The town is busy with a popping nightlife that attracts visitors from across the area to dance the night away. The Kasbah Centre is the nightlife spot to go to for chic bars and a vibrant gay scene – and then unwind the next day in beachside eateries.
Lined with holiday apartments and big hotels, the crowd here is young and carefree although families enjoy summer holidays here too, as the holiday apartment complexes have big swimming pools and fun activities.
The Playa del Ingles shopping scene is also busy: there are arcades and designer boutiques where you can pick up anything you might need your holiday.
Where to Stay in Playa del Ingles
Occidental Margaritas – Situated in a tropical garden with fantastic facilities for families, there are two outdoor pools to choose from here, as well as a children’s pool. Spend days poolside enjoying drinks from one of two pool bars and treat yourself to the sauna or a treatment in the health and beauty center. You can also catch the free bus to Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles beaches. The Occidental Margaritas features evening entertainment for adults and children – plus a kids club for your little ones.
Hotel The Anamar Suites – Hotel The Anamar Suites boasts a wide variety of room types, from suites to apartments, meaning you can find the perfect space with the right facilities to suit your trip. Rooms at this 4-star offering are modern and clean and come complete with views out across the sea. There’s a swimming pool here that’s open year-round (heated in the winter months) and it’s just a short stroll to the center of Playa del Ingles resort town, as well as the beach itself.
With its huge stretch of pure white-sand beach protected by rolling dunes, the popular resort town of Maspalomas is all about fun. There is a wide selection of watersports to try here, or you could just choose to watch other people paraglide from the safety of a beach side bar.
The town’s biggest icon is the 69-metre lighthouse, which beacons travelers to the Boulevard El Faro to enjoy a cocktail or two before dinner at one of the many restaurants.
Surrounding the town there are waterparks and theme parks to spend time having fun in the sun with your family. Then you can head back for a much needed rest at one of the many family-friendly, mid-priced hotel complexes.
Where to Stay in Maspalomas
Seaside Palm Beach – This pleasant hotel with a real feeling of luxury is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and is set just a hundred meters from Maspalomas Beach. Here, you can enjoy swimming in the cool, lagoon-style swimming pool and try out activities like yoga, tennis and even water aerobics. There’s also a gourmet Italian restaurant for evening meals, where you have the option to eat out on the terrace; whilst over at the cocktail lounge, you can sip on your favorite fruity drink.
Palm Oasis Maspalomas – A large holiday hotel complex fanned around a sprawling outdoor swimming pool and dotted with numerous palm trees, Palm Oasis Maspalomas is perfect for families. The hotel is well looked after and comes with apartments, so you’ll all have room to spread out – and even cook for yourself if you like. Facilities are modern and feature marble floors and minimalistic design. Staff are professional and welcoming and will make sure that you have a good stay.
The island’s cosmopolitan capital Las Palmas brings a mix of urban city and beach hangout to your Gran Canaria holiday. The capital’s trendy bars, high street shopping and historic monuments add an interesting twist to a beach break. It’s home to two stretches of sandy beaches: one is perfect for sunbathing with plenty of room for everyone, and the other ideal for snorkeling and surfing.
The elegant old quarter, known as Vegueta, with its charming cathedral that sits high up on the hill and its traditional sights, is perfect to explore in the cool of the morning.
There’s a big selection of hotels and guest houses to choose from in the city, and some very reasonably priced accommodation can be found which doesn’t break the bank. Take a bus to many of the other top towns or visit the volcanic crater nearby.
Where to Stay in Las Palmas
Sercotel Hotel Cristina – Right on the beach at Las Canteras, you can wake up at this hotel with views across the sea. Large rooms and bathrooms mean top-notch comfort and facilities, and the whole place is clean, bright and well maintained throughout. Situated close to Porto de la Luz – where you can easily take the ferry to surrounding islands – this hotel is in a convenient location for getting around – plus you’ll find this 5-star offering in a less touristic part of the beach.
Cantur City Hotel – A modern hotel with stylish features throughout, Cantur City Hotel is an option for those looking for a more swanky stay than the usual. There’s a sleek sun terrace on the roof, as well as a hot tub where you can spend some time unwinding; plus, you can splash around in the refreshing outdoor pool. They’ve even got a pillow menu here – you can actually choose the pillow that bests suits you! Elsewhere, the hotel’s restaurant features a picturesque terrace with views of Las Canteras beach.
Hotel Parque – Just across the road from Parque San Telmo, this hotel is set in a fantastic location; it’s close to the Old Quarter of Las Palmas, which makes for a perfect time wandering its picturesque streets and trying out its cafes and bars. There’s also a bus station just across the road, so you can explore the island easily. The hotel itself is quiet, comfortable and decidedly budget-friendly, with spacious rooms and generous servings at the onsite restaurant.
Fun loving Puerto Rico might not be the sultry Caribbean island of the same name, but with its lively nightlife and easygoing vibe, you could be mistaken for being there. Set on steep slopes shaped by volcanic activity, the town reaches to the sky with soaring hotels that have stunning views.
The town’s two beaches consist of Amadores Beach, which is all about the watersports, and then there’s a curving white sand beach for chilling out on, too.
The family-focused resort town is brimming with bars and restaurants, lush parks and outdoor activities such as mini golf and trampolines, as well as a nearby water park. Puerto Rico’s charm is its fun-loving way of live which keeps people coming back year after year.
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico
Gloria Palace Amadores – With a dramatic clifftop location halfway between Puerto Rico and Amadores beaches, stay at this 4-star hotel if you want to unwind in luxury and enjoy some real peace and quiet. This hotel claims to be one of the largest thalassotherapy centers in Europe (that’s treatment using sea water). They’ve got it all here – Turkish baths, a seawater swimming pool, and various treatments to try out and really help you feel the benefit of your time at Gloria Palace Amadores.
Hotel Riosol – A great choice for young people and those traveling with children, this place has great amenities, with a wide selection of pubs and restaurants nearby, as well as a compact shopping center. The view from the hotel across the sea is stunning; it’s also easy to take boat trips from the nearby harbor to other destinations, making the most of your Gran Canaria trip. There’s also a fun outdoor swimming pool, as well as a sports court and gym.
Puerto de Mogan
The rather charming marina around which Puerto de Mogan sets this holiday destination apart from other modern resorts. The beautiful waterside, pretty architecture popping with colour, and blooming floral arches make this one of the most attractive spots on the island.
As the town tumbles down the valley to meet the water’s edge, small waterways and canals have been created giving Puerto de Mogan the title “the Venice of Gran Canaria”.
The attractive little golden beach is perfect for snorkeling and there is plenty of shade to be found under the lines of palm trees. You can travel from the town by car, bus or ferry – but it will be hard for you to move an inch if you stay in one of the the town’s stylish holiday apartments.
Where to Stay in Puerto de Mogan
Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa – Hotel Cordial is a large, sprawling hotel complex uniquely designed with the concept of a Canarian village. Spend your days here walking around the luscious, botanic-style gardens (featuring 450 different species of plants), swimming in one of the two outdoor pools, or treating yourself to one of the many spa treatments on offer. The rooms at this 4-star hotel are stylish and modern and feel clean and comfortable. Hotel Cordial also features an onsite restaurant where the food is delicious.
Agaete stands out from the rest of the towns on Gran Canaria. Home to the island’s biggest festival, one day a year the town comes alive with thousands of revelers and then falls back into its sleepy situ once again. This is a town that has hidden gems that aren’t revealed straight away: it is the only place in Europe that has a coffee crop, a stunning sunken garden and a stone age necropolis.
Agaete is popular with day-trippers, but many don’t get to discover the true life of the town; as night falls the energy picks up in tavernas and town squares. If you like staying in a town with authenticity and character, as well as accommodation that doesn’t break the bank, then this is the destination for you.
Where to Stay in Agaete
RK Hotel El Cabo – Soak up the sun on this hotel’s super stylish rooftop terrace whilst surrounded by the panorama of mountain scenery. Elsewhere at RK Hotel El Cabo, you stay in simple and chic, tastefully designed rooms, boasting a Canarian color palette of blue and white. With its location right in the middle of the town, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying local restaurants, bars, and cafes. Downstairs in the lobby, there are two lounge areas – one even has a kitchen and coffee machine for guests to use.
Set up high above sea level, surrounded by beautiful nature and popular with hikers, Tejeda is one of the smallest villages on the island. Dainty white houses edged with trees and local stalls selling farm produce – this is a rustic and truly charming spot for your Gran Canarian break. Make sure to try out the marzipan with honey and almonds – this is Tejeda’s specialty.
The countryside around the village is a magnet for explorers, the breathtaking nature along the old pathways gives a glimpse into the history of the island. Here you can stay in a unbelievably elegant house tucked into the surrounding countryside.
Where to Stay in Tejeda
Hotel Rural El Refugio – A traditional style building with terracotta tiles and whitewashed walls surrounded by the scenery of the rugged mountains, this Canarian country house has views that overlook the impossibly picturesque countryside. Decorated in a rustic style, spend time lounging with a drink on the scenic terrace or cool off in the refreshing outdoor pool. This is the perfect place to stay if you like hiking or horse riding; Tamadaba National Park is just a 15-minute drive away from this charming hotel.
The holiday town of Arguineguin is ideal for a simple beach break. The old fishing village has grown up to become a modern resort town; with its selection of calm beaches, a huge amount of dining options and an array of hotels and apartments, this town really does have it all. Soak up some culture at the weekly market or try out a spot of scuba diving off the coast here.
The port at Arguineguin is still busy with working fishing boats whose fishermen work tirelessly to catch fresh fish, which is served up in the town’s restaurants. As for transport, you can take the bus to other resort towns, or hire yourself a scooter or car to travel along the coast.
Where to Stay in Arguineguin
Radisson Blu Resort Gran Canaria – At this branch of the international hotel chain, you can expect top quality service and a luxury setting. Each room at this hotel comes with a large balcony that overlooks the sea, perfect for relaxing after a day of… relaxing! There are two large outdoor swimming pools, as well as two children’s pools, plus a whole lot of entertainment and activities for adults as well. The location – right on Patalavaca beach near to Aquamarina – means you’ll never be stuck without fun things to do on your holiday.
The magnificent mountain village of Fataga, set up high up in the middle of the island, is a picture of Canarian charm. Narrow lanes and whitewashed houses with terracotta tiles are edged with lush blooming gardens. The surrounding valleys are coated in pine forests and palm groves and is ideal for hiking – or even taking a camel ride!
There are restaurants and shops in the village that serve the visitors, and some lovely little hotels and guesthouses with views of the surrounding landscape; staying in Fataga will show you the traditional side of the island, as well as its vast wealth of nature.
Where to Stay in Fataga
Finca Tomás y Puri – An authentically Spanish budget stay, these apartments will truly make you feel as though you are staying in a home away from home. Set up high in the mountains, you can enjoy a sunrise or sunset from the terrace of this hotel, out across the rolling hills. This place is in a great location for a spot of hiking in the mountains, or you can hike down to the beach below. There’s an outdoor swimming pool to refresh yourself in after a day in the hills; the food served up by the owner is reasonably priced – and delicious.
San Agustin is a sleepy town set along sun-drenched sandy beaches which are ideal for swimming. Although not as big as other resort towns, San Agustin has great transport connections to the airport and to other neighboring towns, as well as everything you should need on your holiday.
Shopping centers, international restaurants and a family-friendly, laid-back atmosphere make it the perfect compromise between bustling resort town and tiny village. Take time out in a mid-range holiday apartment and spend afternoons reading by the pool, or sipping coffee in a local cafe.
Where to Stay in San Agustin
Melia Tamarindos – Surrounded by sprawling green gardens and just a three-minute walk to Playa De San Agustin, rooms at this 5-star hotel look out across the water for a beautiful view. With its rustic and authentic decor and rooms that are fresh and airy with large beds, service here is top notch. You can’t help but have a very relaxing holiday. There’s a wide choice of food on offer, from breakfast buffets to delicious evening meals, so much that you won’t ever need to leave!
Gloria Palace San Agustín – With a serene rooftop pool where you can soak up some superb sea views, the simplistic design of this hotel helps create a relaxing atmosphere. The large selection of rooms on offer means you’ll find something perfect for your holiday needs. Most of all, you’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do: spend your days playing in one of the outdoor pools, sunbathing on the terraces, or rent a bicycle and pedal out into the countryside. There’s also a free shuttle bus that runs to both the beaches of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, but Las Burras beach is just a few minutes walk from the hotel itself.
Modern Meloneras attracts stylish visitors with chic shopping and upscale restaurants all set along an elegant shoreline with an exclusive feel. Upmarket and peaceful, the resort town oozes sophistication; designer shopping and swanky cocktail bars attract more mature holidaymakers without budget worries.
The hotels on offer come in the form of 4- and 5-star holiday villages, where guests can stay in bungalows and all-inclusive resorts. There is a bus station in the town, but you can also catch a boat to explore the rest of what the area has to offer.
Where to Stay in Meloneras
H10 Playa Meloneras Palace – You can really spoil yourself by staying in this utterly stylish urban hotel, featuring impressive restaurants and effortlessly classy interiors. Set right next to Meloneras beach, as well as Maspalomas Golf Course (making it great for golf fans), everything about this hotel is spotlessly clean and meticulously maintained. Views out across the sea can be enjoyed from the rooms themselves and are, needless to say, breathtaking. Plus, there’s a kid’s club here, so you can have an adults-only day of enjoying the luxury of a spa treatment or a day to yourself swimming in the pool and generally kicking back.