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About Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria is an island with a variety of landscapes to discover, from unspoilt sand dunes to popular beaches and lively resorts. Away from the coast, there are hilltop churches and deep, rocky gorges to discover, as well as vibrant green mountains in the north. It also has world-class wind-surfing. After a day of activity (or lazing on the sands), there's always fresh seafood on the menu at the many waterfront restaurants.
There are plenty of quirky Gran Canaria hostels. Stay in a traditional cave dwelling with rooms excavated into the mountainside and views of the Crater of Tejeda. Or choose a Gran Canaria hostel that grows organic produce on its own farm. Some hostels in Gran Canaria offer yoga sessions, art exhibitions and live concerts, or a hot tub with mountain views. You'll find lots of hostels with female-only dorms and private rooms, and most have shared kitchens or a free breakfast or dinner.
Las Palmas is the capital of the island, a working Spanish city bustling with locals, travellers and passing boat crew. Have a quick dip in the sea before lunch at Playa de las Canteras, then join the islanders for a coffee or a Sangria. Outdoors lovers should head for Tejada. This mountain village teeters above gorges, with steep stone lanes and plenty of hiking trails. The southern area of Maspalomas is home to some of the larger resorts, and there are many popular windsurfing beaches such as Playa de Pozo Izquierdo and Playa de Vargas on the east coast.
The Canary Islanders put on fiestas and celebrations throughout the year – check what's on when you're there. At the dramatic Barranco de Guayadeque ravine, you can take a look around the traditional cave houses. In the south, the Dunes de Maspalomas Nature Reserve is famous for its pristine sand dunes – there are camel rides and even sand boarding. While most visitors head straight to the beach, those in the know take a dip in the tranquil salt water pools of Agaete.
Global operates buses around the whole island. From Gran Canaria Airport, there are regular buses to Las Palmas and Faro de Maspalomas in the south. The main bus station in Las Palmas, Estación de Guaguas, is in the city centre, and buses to other resorts leave from here. You can also hire a car in Las Palmas and most resort towns.