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Gran Canaria: The miniature continent
Gran Canaria: The miniature continent

The miniature continent

Gran Canaria is an island in Spain's Canary Island archipelago, in between Tenerife and Fuerteventura Far from a secluded little island - Europeans find their way here in droves!
Often called a continent within a continent for its enormous natural diversity (in a tiny space)  
Hikers heaven, surfers heaven, divers heaven and sun-lovers heaven. Summary: heaven  
 

Gran Canaria is sometimes described as being a small continent on its own. That is both a (admittedly somewhat tired) cliche and a remarkable feat, given that this volcanic island is just over half the size of Luxembourg. Despite our initial skepticism however, just spending a few days on Gran Canaria - the third largest of Spain's Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco - convinced us that there is truth to the too often repeated cliche: from the mountains, canyons and generally rocky terrain in the west, to the flat lands and beaches or sand dunes in the east and south, the terrain of Gran Canaria truly is one of extremes.

At times it is lushly green with lakes and sometimes desperately arid, sometimes you walk through a pine forest and sometimes you are standing under the palm trees looking out at the ocean. Sometimes the scenery is flat and sometimes it is mountainous and rugged. In this small island you can either be at sea level in your swimming pants or 2,000m (6,000ft) towering above it at Pico de las Nieves, shivering if you are still wearing those same trunks.

It is therefore no stretch to say that the nature of Gran Canaria makes it an ideal place for anyone who enjoys a good hike. To make things even better, in between all of the majestic nature you will find plenty of picturesque villages too.

Despite all of the above, most visitors to the Canary Islands still associate the name Gran Canaria with one thing and one thing only: exquisite beaches. It is up to you whether you want to look beyond that, but we can't really fault them. The best beaches are in the south, where the beaches of Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and Amadores draw the crowds. Up north at the largest city Las Palmas, Playa de las Canteras offers everything you could need in an urban beach including plenty of activity at night.

Out in sea, the conditions for (wind) surfing and diving are some of the best of all the European travel destinations. This is considered one of the best wind surfing spots in the world, maybe second only to Hawaii. And while the pros will get their fix here, there are a number of really excellent surfing schools to be found here too. 

2017, 24 of April
 
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