- Base yourself in the northern surf city of Las Palmas, also the capital of Gran Canaria.
- Wander the coast to find the hidden rock pools that begin to surface at low tide. The best place to look is around El Roque and the northeastern coastline.
- For surfing, stick to the northern beaches: El Confital, El Lloret, Boquines, El Roque.
- For more picturesque white sand beaches, check out the southern and western part of the island: Amadores Beach, Anfi Beach, Aguadulce.
- Take a trip to the 'desert' on a walk through the seemingly endless sand dunes of Maspalomas.
- Head inland for an afternoon hike through the mountains, where the vegetation is green and lush.
- Swim out to the rock wall that runs parallel to Playa de las Canteras and feel as though you're in the middle of the ocean. I recommend going at low tide so you can walk along the rocks.
- NIGHTLIFE: Mojo Club plays fantastic old school remakes and is the hangout for surfers, tourists, and locals in Las Palmas.
- For budget travelers, Pura Vida Hostel is probably the best hostel on the island, and a great place to base yourself for a few days (or weeks).
- Bother spending time at Playa del Ingles. It's overrun with tourists (the bad kind).
At first glance, Gran Canaria doesn't seem to be your typical image of island paradise. It's persona is rather dark at times between the dry coastal landscape in the east, the sleepy and run-down candy coloured towns, and the numerous cold but wondrous black sand beaches. However, after getting better acquainted with a few of the 100+ different beaches on the island, you'll find that there's a spot for everyone and the island actually is paradise in it's own unique way. Between the influence of North African and Spanish culture and the island's prominent surf lifestyle, Gran Canaria has an interesting personality of it's own. A typical day on the island will include all-day beach explorations to surf towns and crystal clear rock pools, hikes around the mountains, and sunset surfs where the world becomes pink and orange. Before you know it, you'll have unexpectedly fallen in love with the island and it's simple way of life. Welcome to the Canaries.