Where To Stay In Gran Canaria

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Gran Canaria is the perfect winter sun destination and somewhere Helen and I have incredibly fond memories.

It’s where we went on our first holiday together as a couple during the summer of 2013, and where began our Youtube channel a couple of years later.

Recently we went back to explore more of the island with our little boy Oliver (age one at the time of travel).

Now that we travel as a family rather than as a couple what we’re looking for from a beach getaway is very different.

Thankfully, the diverse island of Gran Canaria had us covered, and helped us to further discover which regions of the island might be best for what type of traveller.

Where Is Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria is located in the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa.

There are seven Canary Islands in total of which Gran Canaria is the third largest.

However, despite their geographical location making the Canary Islands part of the African continent, they are politically part of Spain.

As a result, the locals here speak Spanish and the currency used is the Euro.

The Canary Islands benefit from an average of 27 days of sunshine every month (even during winter).

Therefore Jet2holidays offers affordable holiday packages to the winter sun destination of Gran Canaria year-round.

How Long Is The Flight To Gran Canaria?

We flew with Jet2 for our holiday to Gran Canaria, the airline operates a number of flights year-round from major UK airports multiple times a week with a flight time of roughly four hours. 

In our case, the departure airport we chose was Leeds Bradford Airport which is the closest airport to our home, but somewhere that sadly many other airlines don’t serve which often leaves us driving down the dreaded M62 to Manchester.

Now we have a child, we’re often looking for family holidays which prioritise convenience over everything else. This is why we choose to book a Jet2holidays package (as opposed to a flight-only booking) since 22kg of hold baggage and coach transfers to our accommodation upon arrival in Gran Canaria are included complimentary.

When travelling as a couple we never really needed baggage and could regularly travel with hand luggage – even on long haul. However, now we travel with a little one hold baggage is very much appreciated.

Thankfully, checking in and dropping off our bags at the Jet2 desk at Leeds Bradford Airport was incredibly smooth and added little to no time or stress to the start of our holiday.

Where To Stay In Gran Canaria

There are several tourist regions within Gran Canaria, however the most popular are; Maspalomas, Playa Del Ingles, Puerto Rico and San Agustin.

Depending on what you’re looking for from your trip to Gran Canaria will depend on which region and subsequently, which resort or hotel suits you best.

Playa Del Ingles

With the most hotels in Gran Canaria, Playa Del Ingles is the most popular and most famous tourist region on the island.

Benefitting from almost 3km of uninterrupted golden sand beaches it’s not difficult to see why this region is one of our personal favourites.

Located on the south of the island, Playa Del Ingles is just a 20-minute drive from the airport. This means those getting a taxi from the airport can often be in their hotel room within an hour of landing.

The lines between the regions of Playa De Ingles and Maspalomas are relatively blurred. However, in most cases when booking a hotel in Playa De Ingles you are going to be significantly closer to the beach when compared to Maspalomas.

Given that this region of Gran Canaria has the largest number of hotels it’s not surprising to find that there’s something for all tastes and budgets. This includes; boutique apartments, self-catering complexes and high-end resorts. 

As such if you’re looking for a specific type of accommodation (a five-star resort with a kids club or an adults-only resort for example) then you’ll find it here. This makes Playa De Ingles suitable for almost any type of holiday-maker.

In fact, the only people we wouldn’t recommend staying in Playa De Ingles are those looking for a quiet, relaxing break.

That’s because, given the popularity of this region with tourists, there’s a lively atmosphere in the extensive number of restaurants, bars, clubs and stores.

Maspalomas 

Maspalomas is a resort town located in the south of Gran Canaria, roughly a 20-minute drive from the airport.

This region of Gran Canaria is set back from the coastline adjacent to Playa De Ingles, and therefore most hotels in this area are at least a 15-minute walk down to the nearest beach.

This region of Gran Canaria is most known for the Maspalomas Dunes nature reserve which contains several ecosystems including the La Church Lagoon, palm groves and a vast expanse of coastal dunes.

Those looking for LGBTQ+ friendly holidays will love Maspalomas since this area is home to the famous Yumbo Centrum Shopping Centre which contains an extensive range of stores, restaurants, gay bars, drag clubs and saunas.

The annual gay pride event also takes place here and is one of the largest in Europe, attracting members of the LGBTQ+ community from around the world in a week-long celebration.

Walking between Playa De Ingles and Maspalomas is possible, however, there are a large number of inclines and declines in this area.

Therefore during the height of summer or for those with mobility issues, walking may not be the best choice.

Thankfully, a taxi between the two areas is often around €4 and €8 depending on exactly where you’re going from / to.

Taxis in Gran Canaria take both Euros and card payments, and most taxi drivers speak relatively fluent English.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is situated on the south-westerly coast of Gran Canaria roughly a 20-minute drive from Maspalomas and Playa De Ingles or a 40-minute drive from Gran Canaria Airport.

Accommodation in this region is embedded into the two hills around the valley, as such, you may find yourself taking a lift or a large number of stairs down to the beaches and harbour here.

However, navigating the difficult terrain is in our opinion well worthwhile given the breathtaking views and number of attractions available here.

Puerto Rico is home to two beaches (Puerto Rico Beach and Amadores Beach) which are connected by a long pathway that runs along the cliff edge.

Walking between the two beaches takes around 20 minutes, however, a taxi will also take you between the two locations for around €4.

In our opinion, Amadores is the better, larger beach of the two. However, there aren’t as many accommodation options available close to this beach when compared to Puerto Rico.

Thankfully, Puerto Rico more than makes up for its smaller beach by offering; the Angry Birds entertainment centre, two harbours and two shopping centres.

The most recent shopping centre to open in Puerto Rico is the Mogan Mall. This incredibly modern shopping mall opened in 2019 and is home to a number of popular brands including; JD, Pull and Bear and Rituals alongside a number of delicious restaurants.

Based on our experience, we’d recommend the region of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria to those who aren’t planning on spending much time at the beach and instead enjoy a range of entertainment options.

San Agustin

If you’re looking for a laid-back holiday to Gran Canaria then consider the region of San Agustin.

This region has a large quiet beach, a traditional outdoor shopping centre and a number of hotels.

San Agustin is connected to the region of Playa De Ingles by a path that runs alongside the beach, past a number of restaurants and hotels.

The walk takes around 40 minutes in total. However, the large incline and decline may make it unsuitable for those with mobility options.

Thankfully taxis also run between these two regions, the taxi rank in San Agustin can be found at the side of the shopping centre and the journey from San Agustin to Playa De Ingles takes around 10 minutes and costs around €6 one-way.

San Agustin is an incredibly popular region with older holidaymakers, looking for a long, relaxing, peaceful break. There’s not a lot to see or do here aside from relaxing on the beach or exploring your accommodation.

Given this, we wouldn’t recommend San Agustin to young couples or families who are perhaps looking for a range of restaurants, bars and entertainment options throughout their holiday.

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