Theme Week Canary Islands – Gran Canaria

Friday, 13 May 2011 - 04:14 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Environment, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  6 minutes

Hotel Santa Catalina © Pepelopex

Hotel Santa Catalina © Pepelopex

Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, with population of 846,000 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago. Also, it is third most populous island in Spain after Tenerife and Majorca. Located on the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometers (~93 miles) off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1350 km (~838 miles) from Europe.

The capital city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Canteras Beach lies in the heart of the city. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also known for its annual Carnaval. It was the first stop of Christopher Columbus’ expedition on his way back from the Americas, a commemoration of which is the Hermitage of San Antonio Abad, where the navigator prayed, and the Casa de Colón. Other attractions in the capital city include the Museo Canario (the most important archaeology museum in the archipelago), the Cathedral and the Plaza del Espíritu Santo.

The town of Agüimes, on the eastern part of the island, has been carefully restored, and its town centre, centered around its old church and a peaceful square, now evokes the quiet living of a traditional Canarian town. The district also has some of the best preserved cave dwellings, in the protected area of the Guayadeque Ravine, where even the church has been built into the hillside and visitors can find a number of popular cave restaurants. The district also includes the most renowned scuba diving area on the island: the marine reserve at the playa de El Cabrón just outside the town of Arinaga.

The island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with long beaches and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines and picturesque villages. A third of the island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The number of annual visitors is 2.2 million. Most of the tourists visit the southern part of the island. The north tends to be cooler while the south is warmer and sunny. The east coast of the island is flat dotted with beaches while the western coast is rockier and mountainous. The island possesses 32 Natural Protected Spaces, that they emphasize the Rural Park of Nublo, The Doramas Jungle, the Azuaje Ravine, Tamadaba, Pino Santo, etc.

Marina Las Palmas de Gran Canaria © Pepelopex Prisión de Barranco - Old Jail © Odynny Parque San Telmo © Pepelopex Panorama Las Palmas port © Matti Mattila Museo Nestor Las Palmas © Pepelopex Monumento a Benito Pérez Galdós and Teatro Pérez Galdós © Odynny Las Palmas panorama © Matti Mattila Downtown Las Palmas © Maksim Las Palmas Cathedral © Runghold Historical center of Vegueta © Crux Columbus House - Vegueta © Cesar Gonzalez Collage Las Palmas de Gran Canaria © Martely Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno © Alavisan Catedral de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria © El observante Castillo de la Luz © Alavisan Alfredo Kraus Auditorium © Pepelopex Santa Cruz de La Palma © Philipp Tropschug Hotel Santa Catalina © Pepelopex
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Monumento a Benito Pérez Galdós and Teatro Pérez Galdós © Odynny
Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north. In the south there is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, as well as many beach resort communities. Resorts are concentrated in the central eastern part of the southern coast in the Maspalomas area, which includes the towns of San Agustín, Playa del Inglés, Sonnenland, Maspalomas and Meloneras. The Dunes of Maspalomas are located between Playa del Inglés (“The Englishman’s Beach”) and Maspalomas. Another tourist attraction is the lighthouse at Maspalomas situated at the western end of Maspalomas.

In Tarajalillo, an Aeroclub exists from where tourist flights can be taken over the island. Still further to the west along the southern shore, in the Municipality of Mogán, are the communities of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán, a village referred to as “Little Venice” on account of its many canals. Other attractions include Cocodrilos Park, Roque Nublo (an 80 m monolith), Cenobio de Valerón with about 290 caves, Cueva Pintada the most important archaeological park in Canary Islands and the botanical gardens Jardin Canario (in Tafira Alta) and Cactualdea (in La Aldea de San Nicolás).

El Dedo de Dios, or “God’s Finger” was a rocky spire jutting from the sea in Puerto de las Nieves, and was previously the signature attraction of the Canary Islands until it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Delta, that crossed the archipelago on November 2005. Other well-known rock formations are El Cura (also known as El Fraile), The Frog (La Rana), Bentayga, the Roque de Gando, and the Peñón Bermejo. The highest peak of the island is the Pico de las Nieves, at 1,950 metres (6,400 ft).

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facepage pages/Twitter accounts. Read more on Island Government Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria Tourism and Wikipedia Gran Canaria. Learn more about the use of photos.




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