Las Palmas, a popular choice for visitors, is the island's main city and offers an excellent choice of beachside restaurants, shops, and nightlife. It's only 20 minutes' drive from Gran Canaria Airport. As the island is fairly compact, you can drive from end to end in about 40 minutes, making car journeys a quick and efficient way to see the breadth of gorgeous Gran Canaria. On the opposite side from the capital is Playa del Inglés, a hub for sun seekers of all persuasions. Whether you appreciate a family-friendly atmosphere on golden sands or are looking for great clubs and bars, Playa del Inglés is a superb choice. Nearby Maspalomas, featuring stunning dunes and a majestic bird sanctuary, is ideal for nature lovers, and the sleepy fishing port of Puerto de Sardina is a tranquil escape on the island.
When you rent a car on Gran Canaria, the best things to see and do will be at your fingertips. Visit Tejeda, a village at the foot of a volcano. Hike up to the peak for sublime views of Gran Canaria, looking out for unique rock formations, flora, and fauna as you ascend and collect enviable snaps for your photo album. When you need a break from exploring, head to the beach at Playa del Inglés or Las Canteras near Las Palmas. Here, you can engage in thrilling water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing, or just lie back with a cocktail and soak up the sun. Gran Canaria is well known for its nightlife, particularly at Las Palmas and Playa del Inglés. There's a thriving LGBTQ+ scene here, with Gran Canaria's gay bars being renowned.
This volcanic, sunny island enjoys pleasant weather year round. It's a popular spot for European visitors looking to escape their rainy hometowns and catch some rays in winter. It's definitely hottest around July and August, but the thermometer never strays far from the 20s throughout the year. While midsummer is ideal for hitting the water, spring and autumn are ideal for driving and general exploration, with fewer crowds then. The island's exquisite cuisine draws on traditional Canarian ingredients mixed with mainland Spanish influences. Try mojo, a signature sauce packing a spicy and garlicky kick that's served with many savoury dishes, and paella. Spanish omelette and grilled fish are popular, too. Of course, being a place so favoured by international visitors, Gran Canaria has plenty of home comforts as well, including British-style cafés serving full English breakfasts.
|Language||Spanish, English (very common around the resorts)|
|Time-Zones||Western European Time|
You'll be pleased to know that car rental and driving on Gran Canaria are a breeze – its driving regulations are similar to those of mainland Spain. You'll just need your full driving licence. The usual speed limits are 120km/h on motorways and 50km/h in towns, but keep an eye out for signage indicating otherwise. Whereas the blood-alcohol limit is 0.05%, as always, you should avoid alcohol completely when getting behind the wheel. Drivers and passengers are all required to wear seatbelts, and children under 12 are not allowed to ride in front passenger seats. Driving is generally very easy, and traffic is usually light. Even in the mountains, the roads are well maintained and fitted with safety barriers, though taking extra care on the winding roads is a good idea. The island boasts amazing views, and renting a car lets you experience them easily.