As an island nation, it’s no surprise that there is a plethora of water based activities in Gran Canaria, both above and below the surface. Try wind, kite and regular surfing, learn to deep sea dive or head out by boat for deep sea fishing. Back on land, visit the two national parks – Parque Natural de Tamadaba and Parque Natural de Pilancones – for hiking and cycling; the second ranges from pine forests to cactus plains. For something a little more adventurous, take advantage of the volcanic terrain which has led to rugged rock formations and vertical cliffs, ideal for rock climbing.
Historically a port stop in the Atlantic Ocean, Gran Canaria offers a diverse range of cuisine, mixing Spanish, African and Latin American influences. Fresh fish and seafood are a staple, with calamares fritos (fried squid) a popular dish. An abundance of fruit and vegetables grown on the island, from avocados to mangos to tomatoes; while most dishes are mild, papas arrugadas – new potatoes cooked in their skins with salted water – is served with a spicy mojo rojo sauce. Local specialities include chorizo, goat’s cheese and honey rum.
High on the ‘must see’ list of any Gran Canaria holiday is Roque Nublo or ‘Clouded Rock’. Standing at 80 metres, this volcanic rock emerged around 4.5 million years ago and was once considered a place of worship for the island’s indigenous people. To explore the history of the indigenous Canarii further, visit the Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park in Gáldar. Architectural wonders are few and far between; however, the Santa Ana Cathedral in Las Palmas is an example of Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassic styles with stunning views over the city from the top.
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