Gran Canaria is filled with leisure options and marvellous beaches, but don't miss the many family-friendly plans that take you closer to nature and the origins of the Canary Islands. We have selected these plans, especially designed for those visitors who want to experience unforgettable moments on their family holidays.

    1

    Visit the Lomo de los Gatos archaeological site

    A fascinating archaeological site just a few metres from Puerto de Mogán

    • Families
    • History

    The Lomo de los Gatos archaeological site sits on a 1,600-year-old indigenous settlement and is part of Gran Canaria's exceptional archaeological heritage. It's located next to Mogán beach, so you don't need to go too far from the island's tourist centres to see it. It comprises a dozen or so indigenous houses alongside houses from the 15th century, as well as other more recent buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries. Another site of great value is the Las Crucecitas indigenous cemetery where you can see graves, cists, caves and tumuli. The site features information panels, footpaths, access ramps and a cafeteria. It can be visited independently or with a guide.

    Location: 10, Calle la Pintilla, 8, 35139 Lomo Quiebre, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +34 638 81 06 21

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    2

    Admire Veneguera's Rainbow Rocks

    Landscapes transformed by natural phenomena

    • Families
    • Photo

    Veneguera's Rainbow Rocks is a must-see if you love geology, the natural world and photography. Take the GC-200 to Veneguera, a narrow, winding mountain road with lookout points every few metres from which you can admire this arid, rugged landscape. Although it might first appear monotonous, it nevertheless has an exceptional beauty if you look for it. Erosion has revealed ignimbrites formed after the explosion of the Tejeda volcano, staining the mountainside with blues, greens, reds and ochres, as if these were ceramic tiles (the Spanish name for this place, Azulejos de Veneguera, refers to this similarity). During the rainy season, the waters that fall into the Barranco del Medio ravine, very near Los Azulejos, form natural pools tinged blue as a result of the same phenomenon. These are known as the Charcos Azules – the Blue Pools.

    Location: GC-200, 35149 Mogán, Las Palmas, Spain

    Map

    photo by Markus G. Klötzer (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    Travel in a yellow submarine in Mogán

    Explore the lost world of Atlantis in a real submarine

    • Families
    • Unusual

    Atlantida Submarine in Mogán allows you the rare opportunity to go aboard a real submarine, the Golden Shark, and explore the ocean at a depth of 25 metres. Although it is a great experience in itself, it becomes even more interesting when you realise that you will be exploring the La Atlantida Submarine Park for a whole 40 minutes. This is an artificial reef made up of sculptures that recreate the ruins of the mythical Atlantis, designed as a seabed regeneration project with a view to recovering native species. A real '2-for-1' deal, don't you think?

    Location: Puerto de Mogán, s/n, 35138 Mogán, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +34 928 56 51 08

    Map

    photo by Bgabel (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Sail in a catamaran off the coast of Puerto de Mogán

    A complete experience on board a catamaran

    • Families
    • Adventure
    • Couples
    • Photo

    Setting sail on a catamaran gives you the chance to observe the coastal landscape, with a good probability that you will also spot dolphins, flying fish and sea turtles. A number of water leisure companies offer 4-hour ocean excursions on board a modern catamaran. Traditional Canary Island cuisine is served on board, and there is a free bar as well as fun on an inflatable banana boat and all the equipment you need to go snorkelling in a specially-chosen part of the island. As if that wasn't enough, you can also take advantage of a 50% discount on the price of other water sports, such as parasailing and jet skiing.

    Location: Playa de Mogán, 35138 Mogán, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Two departures daily: at 11 am and at 3:30 pm

    Phone: +34 640 57 96 09

    Map
    5

    The Arteara necropolis

    Discover what's hidden among this sea of stones

    • Families
    • History

    The Arteara necropolis lies etween the Amurga and Fataga massifs, very near a splendid palm grove and amidst a rough and barren landscape resulting from an avalanche. Here, there are approximately a thousand tumuli used for both individual and group burials. As you will see, this is a brutal, imposing setting, even more so if you know anything of the lives and deaths of Gran Canaria's original inhabitants. Visit the Interpretation Centre and the whole of the necropolis to ensure you do not miss the 'King's Tumulus' and find out what happens there during the equinox. There are also guided tours of the site and special workshops.

    Location: Diseminado, 22, 35108 Arteara, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: + 34 638 81 05 91

    Map

    photo by Abel-Arkeós (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Take a buggy trip from Puerto Rico

    Safari through the mountains in the south of Gran Canaria

    • Families
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    Taking a buggy trip from Puerto Rico is an original, excitement- and adrenaline-charged way to get to know the island's incredible inland landscape. The excursions in small groups of quads and buggies leave from Puerto Rico to enter the mountainous area on the way to Cortadores. Throughout the trip, you will be treated to amazing views out over Puerto de Mogán bay. The company offers excursions that last around 2.5 hours on modern 750 cc vehicles, with protective goggles provided to all – everything you need to ensure a safe adventure.

    Location: Apto. Trinidad, Av. Alegranza, 1, 35130 Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +34 606 58 01 03

    Map
    7

    Finca Canarias Aloe Vera farm

    Are you aware of the benefits of aloe vera?

    • Families

    Finca Canaria Aloe Vera operates several farms and shops to produce and sell aloe vera, a widely-used plant in cosmetics and medicine due to its skin nourishment and cell-regeneration properties. Although you will learn a lot by visiting any of them, we have nonetheless chosen one for the natural beauty of its location, known as the Valle de las Mil Palmeras – 'Valley of a Thousand Palm Trees'. This centre offers guided tours of its plantation of 20,000 aloe vera, as well as its banana, prickly pear, olive, lime and moringa crops, all of which are farmed organically. The farm also has a shop where you can buy produce of the highest quality.

    Location: Carretera GC-60 km 36,5, 35108 Fataga, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +34 638 38 85 93

    Map
    8

    Spend the day at the Mundo Aborigen theme park

    Go back 2,000 years in time and discover the lives of the first Canary Islanders

    • Families
    • History

    At Mundo Aborigen, you can take a self-guided tour of this indigenous settlement that features over 100 life-size figures. Find out what life was like in pre-Hispanic times and all aspects of its culture – housing, occupations, customs, religion and so on. An added advantage is the beauty of the setting. Mundo Aborigen can be found in the Barranco de Fataga ravine in the Ayagaures Natural Park. If you are travelling with small children, they will love being out in the countryside with the dogs, pigs and goats they will come across on the way.

    Location: Calle de San José, 14X, 35108 Fataga, Las Palmas, Spain

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +34 928 17 27 63

    Map

    photo by H. Zell (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Take a walk to the Ayagaures reservoir

    Go off the beaten track and see another side to Gran Canaria

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Unusual

    Visit the Ayagaures reservoir if you fancy leaving the tourist areas behind and getting to know more authentic landscapes and places. It's located in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, about 9 miles from Maspalomas, in a beautiful, protected natural setting. We recommend that you park in the village and walk to the reservoir. There are a number of footpaths you can hike or mountain bike. An interesting fact about Ayagaures is that it is an 'eco-neighbourhood'. In other words, it is self-sufficient in terms of its energy needs and orientated towards environmental sustainability. Before you think about returning, continue up the path and visit Gambuesa, another reservoir which is even less well-known.

    Location: Lugar Ayagaures, 33, 35109 Ayagaures, Las Palmas, Spain

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    10

    Discover the Valley of a Thousand Palm Trees

    A genuine palm oasis just a short distance from Maspalomas

    • Families
    • Adventure
    • Photo

    The Valley of a Thousand Palm Trees, also called the Barranco de Fataga ravine, is a lush redoubt of quietness that charms all those who see it, even from a distance. There are at least 3 ways to experience this oasis. If you only want to appreciate the beauty of the palm grove, head for the Yeguas lookout point on the Fataga road. Here, you can see the Maspalomas coast and a landscape that resembles Arizona's Grand Canyon on one side, with the palm grove on the other. If, on the other hand, you want to explore the ravine, put on your climbing boots and choose one of the many routes between the windmills and through spectacular countryside until you reach the palm grove. Perhaps the most attractive option for children is the last of the 3 – a camel ride to the palm grove with a barbecue included. Whichever option you choose, don't leave without visiting Fataga, a traditional whitewashed village that is really worth a look.

    Location: Mirador de las Yeguas, 35107 Las Palmas, Spain

    Map

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