Canary Islands - territorially it is Spain, but are located near Africa)The list of Canary Islands includes:
- Tenerife - the most popular among tourists and the "biggest island")
- Gran Canaria - the second most popular and largest island
- Lansarote - known in narrow circles of travelers
- Fuerteventura - little known
- Palma - often confused with Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands)
- Gomera - a "tourist trap", here they take "hamsters" by buses on the 1st excursion
- Hierro - few people have even heard of it
Sights of Gran Canaria
To understand the beauty of Gran Canaria island you need to drive along and across it by car, otherwise you simply will not understand the charms of this magical island. There is no greenery here from the word "absolutely", but there are such landscapes and canyons that it is "breathtaking". Gran Canaria can be called the Spanish/European Grand Canyon, which is located in Arizona (America). In Gran Canaria, you don't need to see the cities, beaches or even the lookouts, you just need to drive along the main view roads...
What to see in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?
- Plaza de Santa Ana + pedestrian street Calle Triana ⭐ - nothing special, but you can walk around, as the city doesn't even have a normal promenade... You can also check out the Vegeta market below. Parking can be used Parking Mercado de Vegueta - paid large.
- Parque Doramas (Tempio Gianmarco tocco parking lot)
- El Bufadero ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- scenic spot or natural pool. There is a big free parking lot next to it. You should come here for sure) Since photos and videos will not convey the atmosphere, you need to see and even swim in this pool yourself
- Botanical Gardens of Viera and Clavijo ⭐⭐ - a half-dried park, with paths that are in disrepair. The park is open until 18, but you can enter the park until 17, and it is unlikely that you will be allowed in at 17. You should not come here specially. And there is not much to see here... If you decide to go, then the upper part of the park with a lot of steps bypass the side, it is better to walk along the bottom without going up to the top. To do this you need to come to the lower parking lot of the park and accordingly the lower entrance to the park.
- Acuario Poema del Mar Aquarium ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - it is the best aquarium, not only in Spain, but also in Europe!!!! Nearby there is a large cheap parking lot. The route around the aquarium is one-way circular - it's convenient to walk and not think "what you've seen and what you haven't...". There are not many people, so you can enjoy just the fish, sitting on soft pouffes.... There are a lot of outlandish exhibits that you can not believe whether they are in reality) Time of visit 1,5-2 hours. The whole aquarium is covered and inside is a comfortable temperature when the street is +33. The cost is 27 euros for an adult.
- Promenade between La Puntilla and La Cícer (Playa de Las Canteras) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ is a promenade along the Atlantic Ocean with many cafes and benches along the water. Walking time is 1 hour one way. It is worth a walk. La Cícer has the best view of the ocean waves and La Puntilla has a gorgeous view of the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria viewpoints
In fact there are several (3-4) main view roads, which will be discussed below.
Route #1: The GC-65 road ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ with the Mirador El Guriete viewpoint ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ is very scenic. On this road you can go up from the highway GC-1 to the village of San Bartolome de Tirajana and then go down the second, no less beautiful road GC-60 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ with the observation deck Mirador Astronómico de la Degollada de las Yeguas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Descend to the town of Maspalomas with Dunes Viewpoint /Mirador de las Dunas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. You can walk along the dunes if you wish. You can even walk to the nudist beach, but the faint-hearted should not do it. The beach along all the dunes are nudists, including homosexuals who do not hide their orientation in public...even in the nude - the sight is not pleasant to say the least.... In the same you can visit the Palmitos Zoo, which is nearby. The whole route №1 - GC-65 + Mirador El Guriete (1 hour of travel), GC-60 + Mirador Astronómico de la Degollada de las Yeguas (1 hour of travel), Palmitos Park (4-5 hours of visit, so you need to come no later than 12-13 hours of the day), visit the dunes Dunes Viewpoint /Mirador de las Dunas (1-2 hours). Near the dunes there is a free parking lot at C. Finlandia, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas. In total, this is the route of one full daylight hours from 9-10 am to 20-21 pm.
Parks in Gran Canaria
Palmitos Park ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- a biopark with performances of dolphins, birds and other animals. It's actually a small zoo. But the atmosphere is relaxing...unlike many other zoos!
There is a large free parking lot near the entrance to the park. The zoo works from 10 to 18, but the entrance is possible only until 17. The assortment of animals in the park is not large and therefore the main thing here is the show, for viewing will need a couple of hours exactly. Below is a photo - the schedule of dolphin shows (at 13/30 and at 16 hours) and birds. The park pays a lot of attention to interactivity, i.e. personal contact between visitors and animals. The entrance fee for adults is 35 euros per person. For an additional 25-35 euros you can get 1-2 photos with dolphins respectively. During the photo you will have the opportunity to touch a dolphin. For an additional 95 euros, you and a few other people will be shown a VIP dolphin show. Basically it will be the same as the free show, only the dolphins will be close to you and you will be able to touch them sometimes. This price also includes 2 photos. The photo with the dolphin is definitely worth the money, and the kind of "VIP" show...depends on having an excess of money)
This park also has an interactive armadillo and parrot show where you can touch them. You can also touch a snake. We didn't see anything new here, but for some reason we liked it even more than in Loro Park in Tenerife...
Route #2: Mirador del Pico de los Pozos de las Nieves ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ + Mirador Degollada de Becerra ⭐⭐⭐⭐ + Mirador de Cruz de Tejeda ⭐⭐⭐⭐ + Mirador Pico de la Gorra⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ + GC roads- 200 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐+GC-2 (landmark Agaete or Bodega Los Berrazales) + Mirador del Balcón ⭐⭐⭐⭐(views of Parque Natural Tamadaba) + road GC-210 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ + Mirador del Molino ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Don't look at the map below the route is about 3 hours, in fact these rides come out to be at least 7 hours! The viewpoints above are more like markers for the route of the ride. The exceptions are Mirador del Pico de los Pozos de las Nieves, which is a 360 degree panorama of the entire island, and Mirador del Molino, which is a beautiful panorama of the Presa del Parralillo reservoir. Otherwise, the locations are helpers for choosing the beautiful GC-2 and GC-210 panoramic roads.
In the Agaete neighborhood, there is a coffee house/winery called Bodega Los Berrazales with tastings. There are also several other coffee "plantations" with tastings and buying fresh coffee. We stopped by there, but we highly recommend not doing so - it's a waste of time and money. A tasting of 3 wines and a cup of coffee is 10 euros per person, and coffee (150-200 mg) costs 20 euros. On their same showcase is a sample of their coffee beans, which are absolutely nothing - different sized beans, with an admixture of small broken ones. They have no idea about the degrees of roasting here.... The wines are all sour and two are not even flavorful. Only the views at Agaete Valley view point are beautiful. But there are many similar views on route 2, so we don't recommend allocating time here.
The entire GC-200 road used to be considered beautiful, but a large section of it is closed permanently due to landslides. Now the current continuation of the GC-200 road is the GC-2 highway, and it is worth driving along them. The road winds serpentine along the ocean, skirting gorges and ravines with Canarian landscapes. The Mirador del Balcón panoramic point is essentially a remnant of the old and the views along the way are just as good)
Next we head along the GC-210 road to the viewpoint on the reservoir - Mirador del Molino. The whole road is an indescribable delight of views, but for the driver)))))) Only passengers can look around, as the road consists of serpentines and turns, sometimes by 180 degrees.... The whole walk with getting home took us 9 hours!
The haze in all the photos is not a permanent phenomenon, but something else like dust and sand from Africa, which came with the 36-degree heat in mid-October 2023.
Торговые центры и рынки Гран Канария
- Рынок Mercado del Puerto ⭐⭐ - маленький рынок, с 2-мя фруктовыми точками. Специально сюда ехать не особо есть нужда, целесообразнее съездить в торговый центр El Corte Inglés José Mesa y López, там и то фруктов больше.
- Mercado De Vegueta ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - это шикарный рынок фруктов и овощей. Прилавки ломятся от ассортимента. Сюда обязательно приехать, хоть за покупками, хоть на экскурсию... Ощущение, что попадаешь на азиатский рынок)
- Mercado Central de Las Palmas
- El Corte Inglés José Mesa y López ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Хороший магазин брендовой одежды и супермаркет с большим ассортиментом.
- Centro Comercial Atlántico Vecindario ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Достаточно нормальный ТЦ и супермаркет Carrefor.
- Торговый центр Centro Comercial Las Arenas ⭐⭐⭐ Центр достаточно нормальный, а супермаркет Carrefor тут не очень понравился.
- Торговый центр Centro Comercial Alisios
- Centro Comercial Las Terrazas ⭐⭐⭐- считается "типа" аутлетом, брендов мало представлено, есть аутлет El Corte Inglés тоже низкого качества - больше секон хэнд напоминает.
Стоит ли ехать на Канарские острова? Для опытных путешественников тут есть, что посмотреть диковинное, но точно не на длительный период. На Гран Канария больше 4-5 дней делать нечего! И то это при обязательном условии аренды машины, так как везти машину на такое количество дней паромом не целесообразно...