There’s plenty more to Gran Canaria than fun nightlife, luxury hotels and brilliant beaches – though those are all compelling reasons to book a trip. The third-largest island in the Canaries archipelago is a land of complete contrasts – there's upscale resort life but also great natural diversity, from the green and leafy north to the verdant, mountainous interior, right down to the desert environment of the south.
Gran Canaria holidays offer something for all tastes. Adrenaline-fuelled activities such as cycling, scuba diving, sailing, water-skiing and windsurfing keep thrill-seekers happy. Then historical spots like the island's capital – Las Palmas de Gran Canaria – will satisfy culture vultures. Be sure to have a wander round the old quarter of the city, Vegueta, to take in the time-stamped architecture and sample some traditional food. The glitzy south coast resorts, meanwhile, are a haven for luxury-loving couples and families alike, and play host to the impressive Maspalomas dunes.
Food fans will be delighted by a vast array of global and local cuisine, from fine-dining restaurants and authentic tavernas to beachside seafood snack bars, with balmy ocean breezes and pink-streaked sunset views as a backdrop. There's also a great market in the Puerto district of the capital city, which foodies will love. You might decide to book your holidays to Gran Canaria with some serious beach action in mind, but if you look just a little further afield, the island opens up into a multi-faceted destination with plenty of unusual and enthralling corners to explore.