The best of Gran Canaria in 5 days
The island of Gran Canaria is truly remarkable and unique. To fully appreciate its essence, you need to take your time and explore its volcanic landscapes, secluded coves, and authentic inland towns and villages, as well as the typical tourist destinations. And what better way to do this than with five full days? All you need to do is decide what to pack. Our itinerary is a step-by-step guide to ensure you see everything there is to discover in Gran Canaria in an unforgettable five days.
Itinerary day 1
In the neighbourhood of Triana you will find one of the main shopping streets in the city, Calle Triana, as well as several interesting buildings. Check out the modernist bandstand in San Telmo park, the Pérez Galdós museum, and the majestic Gabinete Literario building in Plaza de Cairasco.
Adjacent to Triana, Vegueta is home to some of the city’s most interesting cultural institutions, including the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, an intriguing art museum; the Canary Islands Museum; and Casa de Colón, where Columbus stayed before his voyages. You will also see the impressive Las Palmas Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Anne.
You will find this inviting tavern at number 3 Calle Montesdeoca. Pop in for a bite to eat. It may seem like an ordinary tapas bar, but its original creations have an international flavour.
After a cultural morning, what better way to spend the afternoon than relaxing on Las Palmas’ famous beach? The promenade that runs along the beach is peppered with restaurants and cafés, and ends at the modern Alfredo Kraus Auditorium.
Round off your first day of your five days in Gran Canaria by sampling some haute cuisine at the hands of the Padrón brothers. Their style is based on innovation and locally sourced market produce.
Itinerary day 2
Start the second day of your tour with a hike in a totally unique landscape — the Bandama volcanic crater. This will be your first introduction to the volcanic landscapes of the island, and you should go right down to the base of the kilometre-wide crater to fully appreciate the majesty of the place.
This viewpoint affords spectacular views of the landscape of Gran Canaria, as it is located in the foothills of the highest mountain peak on the island. Ascending to the very top is worth the effort even on cloudy days, as you will get to look down on the sea of clouds that surrounds the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
First, head to El Encuentro to replenish your energy with some of the delicious traditional dishes, such as the typical gofio escaldado dip, fried baby octopus and papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce. Then why not take a walk to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pino.
Your next stop is one of the largest natural crags in the world that is very symbolic for the island. This volcanic rock was an important place of worship for the indigenous Canarian people.
Like Teror, Tejeda is another must-see town in inland Gran Canaria. It was added to the list of the prettiest towns in Spain in 2005. After a stroll around the town, make your way to the Texeda Brewery and Restaurant. Young chef Borja Marrero is making his mark with highly creative signature dishes.
Itinerary day 3
The third day of your 5-day tour of Gran Canaria begins in Arucas, a town famous for its honey rum. It also has an interesting historical centre with an impressive church and elegant houses on the streets of León y Castillo and Heredad.
Head along the north coast of the island to this unique historical site, declared a Monument of Cultural Interest in 1978. Cenobio de Valerón is an ancient grain store that was impressively dug into the side of the volcano by the ancient peoples that inhabited the island.
Almost a hundred years after it first opened, this restaurant in Gáldar is still hugely popular for sampling traditional Canarian cheeses and tasting some of the best wines the archipelago has to offer.
Just a minute’s walk from La Trastienda de Chago restuarant, the Painted Cave Archaeological Museum and Park is is an archaeological site where you will uncover the secrets of an ancient village (which you can observe from a walkway), and some fascinating cave paintings.
Next stop is the west coast where you can take a dip on Playa de las Nieves or, even better, in the natural pools of Las Salinas, which are three former salt ponds interconnected with volcanic tubes.
This restaurant’s menu includes baked fish, paellas and meat dishes, and the price-quality relationship is very good. Here, at the heart of Agaete’s port, you will end the third day of your five-day tour of Gran Canaria.
Itinerary day 4
This part of Gran Canaria’s east coast is one of the most popular diving spots on the island, thanks its wealth of sealife and diverse habitats.
After your dive, replenish your energy at this restaurant overlooking the Bay of Arinaga. It specialises in rice dishes, such as the succulent lobster paella and silky rice, as well as show-stopping desserts, like the decadent Cardhu whisky cake.
In the afternoon, head back down to the south coast of the island to explore one of its main tourist hubs. Make sure you visit the town’s imposing lighthouse (reopened to the public in 2019) and the spectacular golden dunes. You simply cannot leave without a going for a swim in the inviting water.
A day of diving, sightseeing and swimmming deserves a good dinner to round it off. We suggest you try the amazing chargrilled meats of Aloha 37. But make sure you leave a bit of room as this restaurant serves up some sensational desserts.
Itinerary day 5
After a day of diving and and swimming in the waters of the Atlantic, all that’s left is a boat trip for a spot of dolphin and whale watching. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is offered by several companies in the town of Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria, and some of them stop for you to take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the ocean.
Known by locals as Venice of the Canaries, Puerto de Mogán proves it is possible to build on the coast without ruining the landscape. You will love the enchanting white houses with their coloured borders and bright bougainvillea.
What better way to end your five-day tour of Gran Canaria than by embarking on a culinary journey at Los Guayres restaurant? Chef Alexis Álvarez uses local produce to recreate traditional island dishes with a surprising innovative twist.
On the last day of your five day tour of Gran Canaria you are going to continue exploring the south coast. Next to Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés is another of the island’s popular tourist destinations. The three kilometres of golden sands and tranquil waters are popular with families, nudists and surfers.
This restaurant located in the port of Arguineguín and is a must if you are after freshly caught fish at a great price. The menu also includes typical Canarian desserts.