ISLAND HOPPING in the CANARY ISLANDS

When going to the Canaries, you don’t have to limit yourself since island hopping between the various Canary Islands is really fun and so easy.

Playa de los Lagos in El Cotillo
Golden beaches alongside the turquoise waters: That’s what all the Canaries have in common.

While most visitors pick just one destination for their beach vacation, you can have it all: Hop on a ferry or go on a plane and travel crisscross between Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote as much as you please.

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Break a Leg – My Bumpy First Encounter With Gran Canaria

It was last June, Europe’s borders were slowly opening and the Canary Islands lost their high-risk status. I finally had the chance to book a flight, look for accommodation, plan a trip. Life was like it used to be in the olden days.

It was on a Wednesday that I landed at Gran Canaria’s international airport south of the capital Las Palmas. This city would be my base, however, it had to wait another night for me. The first day was dedicated to Agüimes, a small town about 30 minutes inland at the foot of the island’s famous mountains.

Barranco in Gran Canaria where I did break a leg
Not a busy spot, indeed.

Agüimes is very picturesque, however, there is not that much to do. I spent the afternoon walking around, awing and taking pictures of alleys and well-maintained houses and many statues telling stories about the town’s history and culture. Then, the next morning, I wanted to walk to the famous Barranco de las Vacas, a gorge with rock formations as beautiful as in Utah.

And then it happened. I broke a leg.

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Best Things to do in GRAN CANARIA in one week

Spending your entire trip to one of the largest of the Canary Islands just on one of the – admittedly fantastic – beaches would be such a waste of time – hence, here are the best things to do in Gran Canaria even if you have only one week.

Beach of Alcavaneras in Las Palmas
Gran Canaria has idyllic beaches, yet, there is much more to see.

After a bumpy start on my first trip to the island, I came back a couple of months later and can now happily show you around, lead you away from the tourist ghettos on the southern shores to some fantastic gems in the mountainous hinterland as well as the very pleasant capital Las Palmas. By the way, she’s not only the largest city of all of the islands, but she’s also surrounded by some of Gran Canaria’s best beaches.

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Visit to the Sunday Market of TEROR and the charming town of ARUCAS

There are a couple of colorful farmers’ markets in Gran Canaria, yet, none of them can beat the Sunday market in Teror which you can easily combine with a visit to the posh city of Arucas.

Best of Teror in one picture: The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, the iconic wooden balconies, and the traditional Sunday market.
Best of Teror in one picture: The Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino, the iconic wooden balconies, and the traditional Sunday market.

Then, to top things off, take a short bus ride to Los Charcones De Bañaderos where you can cool off in lava pools before enjoying an afternoon party at the bar and restaurant Los Charcones.

Some of the very best Gran Canaria has to offer in one single day!

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Day Trip to AGÜIMES and SANTA BRIGIDA – going to the heights of beauty

The villages Agüimes and Santa Brigida are both worth a day trip – albeit for different reasons. What those two villages in the central mountains of Gran Canaria have in common, though, is their enchanting beauty.

Santa Brigida in the mountains of Gran Canaria
Picturesque alleys lined with charming old houses – that’s one thing Agüimes and Santa Brígida have in common.

From Gran Canaria’s capital Las Palmas, they are some of the easiest day trips you can go on by public bus.

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Day Trip to GALDAR and PUERTO de las NIEVES – enticement in rocks

Our second day trip from our base in Gran Canaria’s capital Las Palmas took us to Galdar and eventually to Puerto de las Nieves.

After a day trip to Galdar enjoying the Pools at Puerto de las Nieves
The happy ending of a great day: Taking a refreshing dip in the pools at Puerto de las Nieves where the lava shields you against the crashing waves.

After awing at the historic and natural wonders of Galdar, we spent the rest of the day frolicking at the calm saltwater pools that rocks’n’lava have created on the outskirts of Puerto de las Nieves.

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ARTENARA and TEJEDA – a Day Trip to Gran Canaria’s Highest and Most Beautiful Villages

It really doesn’t matter what else you are planning to do on the island of Gran Canaria – the day trip to Artenara, the island’s highest village, and Tejeda, one of the most beautiful hamlets in all of Spain will be the absolute highlight of your trip – literally.

Mirador de unamuno, one of Artenara's lookouts
View from the Mirador Unamuno.
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Day Trip to the DUNAS DE MASPALOMAS and PUERTO DE MOGAN

Even if you follow my lead and do not spend your entire trip to Gran Canaria at the tourist hotspots Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, or Puerto de Mogan, you definitely should visit the south coast on a day trip.

Renata Green on a day trip to the Dunes of Maspalomas and Puerto de Mogan.
The world-famous dunes of Maspalomas in the south of Gran Canaria won’t blow just your mind….
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Guide to LAS PALMAS – Your Perfect Base to Explore GRAN CANARIA

Las Palmas is probably the most underrated place on the island – yet, it’s the perfect base if you want to explore Gran Canaria beyond the notorious tourist areas in the south.

Looking at the Plaza de Santa Ana and the town hall from the Catedral Metropolitana de Santa Ana de Canarias.
View of the Plaza Mayor de Santa Ana and the town hall from the roof of the Catedral de Santa Ana.

Apart from having a charming historic center with cool venues and some of the island’s best beaches, it is a great hub for visiting the entire island even by public transport.

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