It might only be the Canaries’ third biggest isle, but for somewhere the size of Greater London, Gran Canaria packs a lot in. With soft sands in the south, lush forests in the north and huge mountains in the middle, it's is a place that covers all the bases.
Playa del Ingles in the south is the island’s most popular holiday spot. Along with a big golden beach, the resort has the lion’s share of shopping malls and neon-lit bars. And on top of traditional places to eat, you’ll find loads of restaurants that cater for the British crowd. Maspalomas, just next door, moves at a slower pace. Its beach is a bit of a legend thanks to the miles of Saharan-style sand dunes. And it’s backed by a strip of smart hotels and open-air restaurants. There’s a handful of bars, too, although it’s more about cocktails at dusk than rip-roaring nights on the tiles.
If you’re keen to get away from it all, Puerto Rico, also on the south coast, makes a great base. With its horseshoe bay and waterpark, it’s a bit of a family magnet. Plus, it lays claim to the best sunshine record in the whole of Spain. Bahia Feliz, meanwhile, may not have the soft sandy beaches but it makes up for it with charm and character. It's spread out nicely with gardens and parks, and there's a 7-kilometre prom running from top to toe.
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Where we go in Santo Tomas
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