When it comes to holiday destinations, the term “something for everyone” is overused – but Las Palmas de Gran Canaria really does have that eclectic mix of highlights and attractions that appeals to every demographic. At the end of the day, who doesn’t like beautiful beaches, delicious food, interesting history, a vibrant city ambience, and accessible nature and culture?
5 Things to Love About Las Palmas
This buzzing city is the capital of Gran Canaria and Spain’s tenth largest city. With its fascinating blend of cultural influences, it emanates a unique ambience that feels halfway between North Africa and the Mediterranean. These are the things we think you’ll love most, discovering the rest is up to you!
Much of Vegueta, the old quarter, is pedestrianised, so exploring the narrow cobbled streets on foot is the best way of getting a feel for the history and architecture. You’ll stumble across most of the main historical attractions without even trying, including:
- Santa Ana Cathedral, with its mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture. If you’ve got the energy, climb to the top for great views.
- Casa de Colon (the Christopher Columbus House), where the famous explorer stayed, in 1492.
- Hermitage de San Antonio Abad, the first church of the city, where Christopher Columbus came to pray before setting sail for America.
- Santa Domingo Square and church, the site where the Rosario pilgrimage begins every year.
There are beautiful beaches all over the island, but even if you don’t feel like venturing too far you can get the sand between your toes and the salt water on your skin. The 3.5km-long Las Canteras is renowned as one of the best city beaches in the world. It’s divided up into separate beaches and, depending on what you’re after, each has merit. Some offer water sports, some are excellent for snorkelling, and others are perfect to just relax and sunbathe. The most popular are:
- Playa Grande
- Playa Chica
- Peña de la Vieja
- La Cicer
Playa del Confital is quieter than all the above, and it has some lovely rockpools to explore. But be aware that beyond the boardwalk is a popular nudist spot.
The Great Outdoors
The beaches are a big part of Gran Canaria’s appealing natural beauty, but getting out to explore the hiking and walking trails around Las Palmas will introduce you to some other incredible scenery (they range from very easy to quite challenging). Head out with your sunscreen, water and a hat and breathe in that fresh island air!
The most fascinating natural attraction around this area, though, is the Caldera de Bandama. This mammoth crater was formed 5,000 years ago, at the same time as the Pico de Bandama volcano. At an incredible 1,000m across, the crater is an awesome sight, with lots of chances to observe local flora and fauna.
Well known (and loved!) for its duty free shopping, there’s plenty of luxury designer goods waiting to come home with you from the city. But if something a little more authentic is your style, there’s also a host of smaller, quirkier shops around the main shopping area, Calle Mayor de Triana. There are also some fantastic markets, where you can shop for food and arts and crafts – the main ones are Mercado del Puerto, Mercado Central and Mercadillo de Vegueta, in the buzzy Plaza de Pilar Nuevo. And there’s absolutely no need to shop ‘til you drop here, because there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments in the sun to re-energise!
Have we saved the best for last? Maybe! Traditional Canarian food is divinely Spanish, but with a heavy African influence – making it spicy, piquant, and absolutely mouthwatering. Based around fresh seafood, vegetables and fruits, you can go hard on your holidays without feeling any guilt!
A few “must-tries” to tickle your tastebuds are, pulpo a la Canaria, a simple dish using octopus, chillies, potatoes and spicy garlic sauce; papas arrugadas, a potato dish served with the famous mojo rojo sauce (made from garlic and chillies); and sancocho, boiled and salted fish with, yes, more potatoes and mojo sauce!
Whether you grab something quick from a street market stall, or style it up at a taverna, the local cuisine here will never disappoint.
Where to Stay
Occidental Las Palmas: Set in a convenient location with lovely city views and close to the beach, this hotel offers spacious, light filled rooms and a host of onsite amenities including free WiFi, a restaurant, fitness centre and relaxing hot tub. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature a desk, minibar, TV and kettle.
Santa Catalina: From the warm welcome to the delicious buffet breakfast, Santa Catalina will make you feel at home, only better! Situated within pretty gardens, just a few minutes walk from the Marina, the 5-star hotel amenities include three restaurants, a wellness centre, pool and a rooftop bar. Choose from garden or ocean views, with most rooms featuring a balcony.
Casa Boissier: Just 250m from the beach, these superbly positioned units include free WiFi and a complimentary breakfast. Spacious and well-appointed, they feature air-conditioning, private bathrooms, and contemporary decor, with access to a shared lounge area and fully-equipped kitchen.
How to Get There
To get to Las Palmas de Canaria, you’ll need to fly into Gran Canaria Airport (LPA). The flight time is around 4.5 hours from UK destinations, with multiple airlines, including EasyJet, Jet2, Ryanair and British Airways, offering a good range of services. Prices start from around £30.
If you pre-book a Las Palmas de Gran Canaria transfer with Shuttle Direct, you’ll save yourself the trouble of queuing for taxis or public transport. You can choose a budget-friendly shared service, or a luxury door-to-door transfer.
UK to LPA Flight Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
LPA to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Distance: 26 kilometres
Shuttle Direct Transfer: 26 minutes approx.
Types of Transfer
If you need to get from Gran Canaria Airport to Las Palmas, Shuttle Direct has you covered. Whether you’re on a budget, or money isn’t an object, we’ve got a range of options to suit you perfectly.
Getting from Gran Canaria Airport to Las Palmas is simple and affordable on a shared shuttle bus. You’ll travel with other passengers, so the cost is shared, and because it’s pre-booked, you won’t have to wait around at the airport.
The convenience of a minibus is great if you’re travelling with a larger group of family or friends. It’s affordable and everyone can travel in the same vehicle, with plenty of room for all the luggage as well. Pre-booking takes the headache out of the logistics of travelling with a group.
Waiting in a queue is an annoying way to begin your holiday, so for top-notch convenience without the hassle, pre-booking a taxi from the airport at Gran Canaria to Las Palmas gives you the best of both worlds. When you land, a friendly driver will be waiting to deliver you right to the door of your hotel or apartment in Las Palmas without delay.
If you’re looking for the ultimate door-to-door luxury service, our private Gran Canaria transfers are the answer. As soon as your flight lands, a driver will be waiting to meet you in the terminal, then you’ll be taken straight to your accommodation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle.
Choosing the Right Transfer
When you’re arranging your Las Palmas transfer, the two main things you need to consider are cost and convenience. Only you can decide which one suits you best, but you can’t go wrong if you weigh up these factors before you make a booking.
Cost: For some people, finding the most affordable way to get to their holiday accommodation from the airport is the most important thing. If this is you, then a cost-effective shared shuttle or minibus will suit. It’s very convenient and reliable but it’s cheaper than a private option.
If, on the other hand, a door-to-door service all to yourself is essential, the option of a pre-booked taxi or a luxury private transfer from the airport at Gran Canaria to Las Palmas will give you what you want.
About Shuttle Direct
As one of the most respected and reliable providers of airport transfers in destinations all around the world, Shuttle Direct is proud to be there for countless happy customers. We offer an extensive range of shared and private transfers, ranging from budget-friendly to top of the range, door-to-door services. Pre-book your onward ground transfers before you leave home and let us take care of everything else.