As new parents, we’re quickly finding out about all of the additional things that go into planning, booking and preparing for a holiday with a child and in most cases, one of the biggest first decisions we have to make is where we should go.
We chose Gran Canaria for our most recent family holiday, and we’re so glad we did.
Gran Canaria is a fantastic choice for families as the flight is just four hours from the UK with most airlines flying from a range of major airports. The island benefits from year-round sunshine and has a fantastic variety of accommodation options and plenty of things to do.
One thing that really sold us on visiting Gran Canaria as a family was how easy it was to get around the island. All of the major tourist areas are very walkable and taxis are readily available to take you between locations should you require them.
What Makes Gran Canaria A Great Choice For Families?
There are a lot of things that make Gran Canaria an excellent choice for families;
4-hour flight time from the UK – While there’s nothing wrong with going long-haul with kids, it can be daunting and stressful. We’ve found that four hours is the sweet spot!
Flights from most major airports in the UK – Unlike other family-friendly destinations most airlines fly out of major airports to Gran Canaria multiple times per week.
Year-round sunshine – Being just off the coast of northern Africa it’s rare for temperatures in Gran Canaria to dip below 16ºC – even in winter.
A large number of tourists – As a solo traveller I looked to travel off the beaten path, however, with a child I’ve quickly found myself wanting a range of facilities nearby and staff being familiar with English tourists in case we found ourselves needing any medical assistance (can you tell I’m one of those over-anxious, super nervous parents yet?)
Relatively affordable – Travelling with kids can be incredibly expensive. Luckily, given the number of tourists flocking to Gran Canaria each year prices remain incredibly competitive.
Variety of accommodation options – Whether you’re looking for a private villa, apartment, hotel room or all-inclusive resort, Gran Canaria has you covered.
Plenty of things to do – Keeping kids entertained on holiday can be hard. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do, see and experience in Gran Canaria.
Wonderful beaches – The beaches in Gran Canaria are both beautiful and plentiful, leaving you spoilt for choice as to which one(s) to visit during your trip.
Where To Stay In Gran Canaria For Families?
Once you’ve decided that Gran Canaria is right for you it’s time to start planning which region you’re going to stay in during your trip.
Each area of Gran Canaria has its own unique character, so it’s important to consider what kind of holiday you want before making your decision.
Playa Del Ingles
Playa Del Ingles is the major tourist region in Gran Canaria and boasts a wide range of accommodation options, lively bars and delicious restaurants. Situated just a short 20-minute drive from the airport, it’s got a lovely large beach and is connected to the incredible Maspalomas Dunes.
Maspalomas is the quieter, more sophisticated holiday resort when compared to its neighbour, Playa del Ingles. Instead of large shopping centres and a sprawling line of bars, you’ll find golf courses and designer boutiques – all next to a standout strip of beach.
Not to be confused with the country Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria is a fantastic up-and-coming region in the south of Gran Canaria. The city has two different beaches, and two shopping centres alongside a wide range of hotels and apartments.
Things To Do In Gran Canaria For Families
While Gran Canaria may be a relatively small island, it welcomes more than one million tourists every year.
As such, there is a wide range of activities, events and entertainment to suit families these include;
The Aqualand water park in Maspalomas has a wide range of water slides and swimming pools that are sure to provide you with a fun-filled day out.
2. Boat Tour
Gran Canaria is well known for its incredible marine life and thanks to the range of different boat tour operators on the island you’ll be able to see this marine life up close.
3. Palmitos Park
Palmitos Park is a 60-hectare enclosed area located in Maspalomas. Here you’ll find a lot to keep both kids and adults entertained including a tropical bird park, an orchid garden, a cactus garden, a butterfly garden, and a dolphinarium.
Alongside this, the park also offers a range of activities and shows, such as bird of prey demonstrations, dolphin shows, and parrot shows.
4. Maspalomas Dunes
The Maspalomas Dunes are a protected area covering more than 600 hectares.
The dunes are formed by sand blown in from the Sahara Desert and are home to a unique ecosystem of plants and animals.
The dunes can be easily accessed from Meloneras, Playa del Ingles or Maspalomas on foot and are the perfect location for sunbathing or swimming.
5. Angry Birds Activity Park
The Angry Birds Activity Park is located in Mogán just next to Puerto Rico and is designed to be an area in which families can have fun together.
There is a range of different zones within the park that are designed to stimulate kids of different age groups.
This includes; trampolines, skating ramps, football pitches, basketball courts and more.
6. Poema del Mar Aquarium
If you’re looking to see more of Gran Canaria’s incredible marine life then consider visiting the Poema del Mar Aquarium.
The aquarium also features a number of interactive exhibits, such as a touch tank and a virtual reality experience, that allow visitors to engage with the marine life in a fun and educational way.
7. Play Mini Golf
Gran Canaria is home to a number of different mini-golf courses with the most popular being on the top floor of the Yumbo Centrum in Playa del Ingles.