Corner of the Vegueta neighborhood in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
If you are passionate about city tourism getaways, now that we are in winter I will propose a very special plan; a getaway to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
We all have in mind the idea of Canary Islands as a sun and beach destination, but I can give you many reasons why it is a destination that offers many more attractions.
I took advantage of a getaway to return to these Atlantic islands flying from Madrid, where in the early morning it was a temperature of 1 degree above zero.
Upon arriving at Gran Canaria It was a temperature of 20 degrees, and I have come to understand why these islands are a priority destination for tourists from Europe.
And I also tell you that it is a destination not sufficiently known and appreciated by peninsular Spaniards.
Indeed, now in winter, when visiting a European city requires going very warm, and almost certainly means not seeing in the sun for several days, and even having to walk in the rain, travel to the Canary Islands It's a glory, I assure you.
I know very well the Tenerife Island, because I lived there for a year, and I have also traveled to Fuerteventura Y Lanzarote, but to Gran Canaria I had only gone to the south of the island in a escape wellness, when I made a route inside the island.
But so far I didn't know The Gran Canarian palms, and now I can assure you that it has been a big surprise.
Specifically I propose to make a three-day getaway to enjoy the cultural side of the city in which you will also have time to enjoy a few hours to sunbathe in its famous Las Canteras beach.
Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Did you know that precisely the tourism in the Canary Islands started on this beach in the city of The Gran Canarian palms?
With six kilometers in length, it is one of the longest urban beaches in the world, and its main feature is the presence of the bar.
This is popularly called a natural reef located in front of a large part of the beach, which you can see during low tides, and which protects it by eliminating the force of the waves.
In addition this reef creates in The pits A true natural aquarium with more than 150 marine species that live in its calm waters.
But beyond sun and beach tourism what can you enjoy in The Gran Canarian palmsI want to discover and deepen the many attractions that make this city a destination for a cultural getaway.
Corner of the Vegueta neighborhood in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
History of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The history of this city dates back to the year 1478, when the area that now occupies the Puerto de la Luz came on Captain Juan Rejón, sent by the Castilla's crown, who is considered the founder of the city.
Actually the urban enclave of Las Palmas was established further south of the port, in the historic Vegueta neighborhood, and then spread through the adjoining triana neighborhood.
The founding core configuration of The Gran Canarian palms You can see it in a curious model that you find in the Canarian museum, in Vegueta, and it served as an example for the construction of cities in America.
In this regard I remind you that Christopher Columbus he stopped at port of Las Palmas during his first trips to America, on the navigational route that taking advantage of the winds aliseos took him to the new continent.
Castle of Light in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
And in that port of Las Palmas their ships were repaired.
During that initial period the city had to protect itself from attacks by Moorish pirates from Africa with the construction of a wall that from the current San Telmo Square it came to him Mata castle.
To highlight in the history of the city the attack suffered in 1599 by the Dutch, who burned the city, although they occupied it for a few days.
In the early nineteenth century came English merchants, who built the current port of light as well as the Garden City, area known as the neighborhood of the English.
And in the middle of the last century it was when the aforementioned was developed tourist activity with the construction of hotels and apartments in the area of the Las Canteras beach.
Santa Catalina Square in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
In recent years Las Palmas is having a new tourist boom, as it is visited by various tourist profiles.
So,Las Palmas has become fashionable as a destination for digital nomads, and, on the other hand, in addition to the traditional flow of German and English tourists, now also French and Italian arrive.
And as a curiosity, in the summer, tourist low season, Las Palmas It has become a holiday destination for wealthy people from various countries of the Black africa, who arrive with their families.
How to get to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
For get to Las Palmas de Gran CanariaApart from flights from numerous cities in Europe, there are direct flights from various cities in Spain.
Cruise ship in Puerto de la Luz in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
These flights arrive at Gando airport, and from there you arrive in half an hour to the city center, which is 25 kilometers away.
The situation of the airport halfway between the city of Las Palmas Y Maspalomas, also allows you to reach this famous tourist enclave in the south of the island in less than half an hour.
Another increasingly common way to get to Las Palmas is aboard a cruise ship.
From September to spring is the peak time of cruises, so almost every day it is usual that in the port of light dock one or two ships, with the great advantage of being in the heart of the city.
Cathedral of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
What to see in the visit of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Facing you visit of Las Palmas, if you are limited in time, as happens to cruise passengers or residents in the south of the island, what focuses the attention of day visitors is the area of the historic neighborhoods of Vegueta Y Triana.
In Vegueta you can walk around the corners where the city was founded, and you must visit the Columbus House Museum, where in historical buildings the passage of the discoverer through the Canarian city is remembered.
You should also visit the gothic cathedral of Las Palmas, the largest building in the Canary Islands.
Colón House Museum of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
You will walk through the Santa Ana square, administrative center of the city, where besides the cathedral you can see the buildings of the Episcopal palace and the Town Hall, current headquarters of Cabildo of Gran Canaria.
In that area of Vegueta you also have the option to visit the Canary museum, with the largest ethnographic collection of the ancient canaries, and the CAAM museum, Atlantic Center of Modern Art, where contemporary works and artistic installations are shown.
On the way to him triana neighborhood you must not stop entering the Vegueta market, where you will be surprised by the very colorful tropical fruit stands.
On your walk along the main street of Triana to the San Telmo Square you will see beautiful modernist style buildings.
Vegueta Market in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
To highlight also the modernist temple of the mentioned square.
What to do in three days in Las Palmas
But one three-day getaway to Las Palmas de Gran CanariaIn addition to knowing the essential historical neighborhoods of Vegueta and Triana, you will have time to discover other very interesting areas of the city.
Thus, it should be noted that Las Palmas is located north of the island of Gran Canaria, in a location with an isthmus that joins the city with a peninsula with three volcanoes.
Las Coloradas behind Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
This area of the peninsula known as Las Coloradas it is a protected natural environment where the Confital beach, a good place to practice surf.
In the urban area of the aforementioned peninsula, the old fishing district of The Isleta, with narrow and steep streets and colorful houses.
Looking forward to your visit, next to the isthmus you will find the great Las Canteras beach, the great heart of city life, where the Canaries go for a walk and tourists occupy the sunbeds for sunbathing in winter.
At the end of the beach is the great Las Palmas Auditorium dedicated to the tenor Alfredo Kraus, where you can enjoy an extensive program of music concerts, from classical to jazz.
Jazz in the Auditorium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
And on the opposite side is the Puerto de la Luz, with a long history linked to the traffic to America and the colonization of Africa.
Always closely linked to British commerce, in the port of Las Palmas The Russian fishing fleet has been based, the Korean ships arrive and, as a curiosity, it is now the base and place of repair of the oil platforms of the Gulf of Guinea.
In addition, in the port area you can visit the castle of light, located in the enclave where it landed Juan Rejón.
This small castle completely restored is the seat of Martín Chirino museum dedicated to show part of the work of the famous Canarian sculptor.
Martín Chirino Museum in the Castle of Light of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
In that area is the Santa Catalina Square, the heart of the city during the time of the Carnival festivities, because the stages for competitions and presentations are installed there.
There you have the tourist office from the city and you can visit the Science and Technology museum located in the Elder building that was owned by a former British consignee.
Going south on the way to Vegueta by León y Castillo street, the longest in Las Palmas, you will pass near the Maritime dock, the largest leisure craft port in the Canary Islands, with more than 1,800 berths.
Before reaching the historic area of Triana and Vegueta, you will cross the Garden City, a less known area of the city, where historically the upper class of the city has been concentrated.
Garden City in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
It is a very interesting area to visit because there you can make a rationalist architecture route, in addition to seeing beautiful and colorful houses surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
You can also see the hotel Santa Catalina, an emblematic establishment of the city with Canarian style architecture.
In the next one Dorama park musical performances are carried out such as the cultural program Music or those of traditional canary music They take place every Sunday morning.
If you have time, it is worth doing these two visits on the outskirts of Las Palmas.
Hotel Santa Catalina in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
On the one hand, go to Canary garden located in the area of Tafira, where the main facilities of the Las Palmas University.
It is a large botanical garden where you can see very interesting subtropical species, and in whose restaurant it is advisable to eat and taste the Canarian cuisine, in addition to seeing the panoramic views of the garden as it is located on top of a cliff.
And another recommendation is to go up to the viewpoint of the Caldera de Bandama Peakfrom where do you have the best panoramic views of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Canary Garden in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Tours and excursions in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Looking forward to your visit, you can take the tour in the City Tour tourist bus, which will take you an hour and a half, and in addition to going through the main corners of the city, you will climb to the upper part of it from where you will have beautiful panoramic views.
A more original alternative is to sign up for a tour in Tuc Tuc, with routes lasting 45 minutes and an hour and a half, you will also pass through the most interesting corners of Las Palmas, being able to take a customized tour.
It is a six-seater vehicle with body of Thai origin and structure with electric motor of Dutch origin.
Tour in Tuc Tuc through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Of course, I advance that with the tour in Tuc Tuc "You will give the note".
In summary, as you can see, my proposal to make a trip to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will be a very well used visit.