Gran Canaria

With its volcanic origins and hot climate, the most typical characteristic of this island is the diversity of its landscapes. This diversity in turn is one of the main attractions of Gran Canaria, and is the reason why the island is described as a “Miniature Continent”. 43% of its territory is protected by the Law of Natural Spaces, which has led it to be classed as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The island can boast many extensive beaches with fine white sand and immense dunes, such as those in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés in the south, and cliffs, natural swimming pools and small bays in the north.

coast of Grand Canary Island

• Surface: 1,560.10 square kilometres.

• Highest point: Pico de Las Nieves, 1,949 m.

• Protected nature reserves: 33.

– Complete Nature Reserves: Inagua and Barranco Oscuro.
– Special Natural Reserves: El Brezal, Azuaje, Los Tilos de Moya.
– Natural Monuments: Amagro, Bandama, Montañon Negro, Roque de Aguayro, Tauro, Arinaga, Barranco de Guayadeque,
Riscos de Tirajana, Roque Nublo and Barranco del Draguillo.
– Protected Landscapes: La Isleta, Pino Santo, Tafira, Las Cumbres, Lomo Magullo, Fataga and Montaña de Aguïmes.
– Places of Scientific Interest: Jinámar, Tufia, Roque de Gando and Juncalillo del Sur.
– Nature Parks: Tamadaba and Pilancones.
– Rural Parks: El Nublo and Doramas.

• Biosphere Reserve: the western half of the Gran Canaria island.

• Typical flora: endemic herbaceous plants e.g. Celosia cristata, Helichrsum macrantha; ragweed (Parthenium hysterophorus); the dragon tree (Dracaena tamaranae); orchid (Cattleya Fianae).

• Typical fauna: blue chaffinch (Fringilla teydea), Canary Island lizard, greater spotted woodpecker, Boettger’s Canary wall gecko (Tarentola boettgeri).

• Population: 815,379 inhabitants*.

• Capital: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
This city shares the role of capital of the Canary Islands with Santa Cruz de Tenerife and is the permanent base of the Spanish Government Delegation. It is the most highly populated city in the archipelago, and has a historically important old town, Vegueta, where many interesting examples of traditional architecture can be seen.

• Municipalities: 21/ Agaete, Agüimes, Artenara, Arucas, Firgas, Gáldar, Ingenio, Mogán, Moya, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, La Aldea de San Nicolás, Santa Brigida, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Santa María de Guía, Tejeda, Telde, Teror, Valsequillo, Valleseco and Vega de San Mateo.

• Airports: 1/ Gran Canaria Airport .

• Passenger ports: 2/ Port of La Luz y Las Palmas and Port of Las Nieves en Agaete.

• Marinas: 8/ Fishing port of Arguineguín, Port of Las Nieves, Yachting Marina of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Marina of Taliarte, Yacht Club Pasito Blanco, Marina Anfi del Mar, Sports Marina of Puerto Rico, and Port of Mogán.

• Public hospitals: 2/ University Hospital Island-Maternity Complex, and University Hospital of Gran Canaria Dr Negrín.

• University centres: 2 / University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), and Centre of the Spanish Distance Learning University (UNED).

• Number of tourists catered for: 143,983*.

• Number of hotel beds: 47,853.

• Number of beds in apartments, etc.: 95,356.

• Number of beds in rural houses: 774.

• Conference Centres: 3/ Auditorium Alfredo Kraus, Palacio de Congresos Gran Canaria and Palacio de Congresos Maspalomas.

• Golf courses: 8/ Anfi Tauro, El Cortijo Club de Campo, Oasis Golf, Maspalomas, Real Club Golf de Las Palmas, Salobre Golf, Meloneras Golf and Las Palmeras Golf.

• Museums: 14/ Museum and Archaeological Park Cueva Pintada; Museum- House Antonio Padrón (artist); Museum Néstor (artist); Elder Museum of Science and Technology; Canary Museum (local history); CAAM (Modern Art Museum); Museum-House Tomás Morales (writer); Museum-House Pérez Galdós (writer); Museum-House León y Castillo (scientist); Christopher Columbus House; Sculpture Museum Abraham Cárdenes; Museum of Guayadeque; History Museum of Aguïmes; and Museum of the Holy Diocese.

• Gastronomy: boiled Canary potatoes, chickpeas, meat and potatoes (ropa vieja), fish soup, thick watercress soup, rabbit, dried fish stew, local almond and honey puddings, marzipan and local cheeses.

• Denominations of origin: 1/ Regulatory Authority of Denomination of Origin Vinos de Gran Canaria.

• Public holidays: Carnival, Festivals of the Pine in Teror, La Rama (the Branch) in Agaete, El Charco (the Pond) in La Aldea, La Suelta del Perro Maldito (The Release of the Cursed Dog) in Valsequillo, Almendro en Flor (the Flowering Almond) in Tejeda, Traída del Agua (Bringing Down the Water) in Telde, Saint John in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Telde and Arucas, Festivity of the Virgin of the Carmen in La Isleta, Festival of the Clay, Festival of the Gofio (roasted maize meal), and religious processions in most municipals.

• Places of interest: old town of Vegueta, Auditorium Alfredo Kraus in Las Canteras Beach, old towns of Telde, Agüimes, Ingenio, Teror, Tejeda and Arucas, Molino de Firgas (mill), Tilos de Moya (woods), cave houses in Artenara and Guayadeque, the Botanical Garden “Viera y Clavijo”, Cenobio de Valerón (archaeological site), Hermitage of Las Nieves in the Port of Agaete, Roque Nublo and Roque Bentayga (mountain peaks), Nature Reserve of the Dunes of Maspalomas, Faro (lighthouse) of Maspalomas, Port of Mogán, Barranco (Ravine) of Fataga, Pine forest of Tamadaba, Cruz de Tejeda (viewing area), Crater and Peak of Bandama.