Who says the seaside can't be cosmopolitan? The hubbub of Gran Canaria's capital meets laidback shores on holidays to Las Palmas.

City slicking

Las Palmas lives on the north-east coast of the island of Gran Canaria, but it feels like mainland Spain because of its bustling shops, buzzing bars and flourishing port. In the old quarter, Vegueta, you'll find chic bars and boutiques. Lose track of time navigating the maze of old streets behind the beach and sample the best of Canarian cuisine.

Gran Canyon

Visit Gran Canaria's version of the Grand Canyon, the Caldera De Bandama. Drive up to the peak of the towering Pico de Bandama monument and snap a shot of the grassy crater. If you're lucky, you'll be able to see across the water to Gran Canaria's sibling island, Fuerteventura.

Beach daze

When you're done exploring on dry land, plunge into the azure Atlantic waters. The beaches in Las Palmas aren't too dissimilar to the urban beaches of Barcelona – in fact, Playa de las Canteras is considered to be one of the best urban beaches in Europe.

At a Glance

  • Flit between the sea and cafés lining the beach
  • Go shopping at chic boutiques
  • Explore the historic old town