Las Palmas information

Introduction to the Province of Las Palmas
The province of Las Palmas is actually made up of islands, the most well known of which are Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. It is the eastern half of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands (Islas Canarias), the other half being the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The province has a sub-tropical climate and this, together with its typical island life and great selection of beaches, makes it a highly popular choice for a year-round holiday destination.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the capital of the province and is situated on the island of Gran Canaria. It is a cosmopolitan, bustling city with much to keep the visitor amused and entertained.

Las Palmas has its very own beaches, the most popular being at Las Canteras, and so if you decide to base yourself here, you certainly won’t miss out on beach life. Las Canteras is a 3km long, sandy beach and protected from the elements by La Barra breakwater reef offshore, making its waters perfect for swimming in. Other beaches are Playa del Confital, Playa de la Laja (both great for surfing) and Playa de la Alcaravaneras.

Las Palmas doesn’t lack for history, monuments and culture either. In the Vegueta district of the city, you will find the Gothic Cathedral with its lovely Patio de las Naranjas in the Plaza Santa Ana and several noteworthy museums, including the architectural gem of the Casa Museo de Colon, celebrating the city’s links with Christopher Columbus. A lively craft market is to be found here on Sunday mornings too. In the Triana district is the Chapel of San Telmo along with some great shopping areas.

Las Palmas is famed for its annual Carnival, which takes place every February and comprises nearly three weeks of not stop partying, processions and drag queens.

Around Las Palmas
The island of Gran Canaria is of volcanic origin, with a mountainous interior and a wide variety of microclimates. It has over 100 hundred beaches, the best of which can be found at Playa de Maspalomas in the south of the island (Maspalomas also has a fine botanic Garden and a water park), Anfi, Taurito and those at Bahia de Santa Agueda. Gran Canaria’s famous central feature is Mount Tejeda. The village of Tejeda is a great place to stop and explore this area, which will suit both serious hikers and casual walkers. The nearby stone Cruz de Tejeda (cross of Tejeda) marks the geographical centre of the island. The northwestern part of the island is a lush, verdant area with pine forests, canyons and waterfalls. Make sure to visit the village of Agaete, which sits at the end of a large ravine whose slopes are densely planted with tropical avocados, bananas, mangoes and papayas.

Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and has long been a favourite destination for windsurfers, in fact world-class windsurfing events are held here every year. One of the best windsurfing beaches is to be found at Sotavento. The island is, like Gran Canaria, volcanic in origin, and its vast, barren interior is best explored on a 4x4 jeep excursion. Make sure to visit the pretty village of Betancuria and sample the locally made goats’ cheese. See below for more on the gastronomy of Las Palmas. Meanwhile, for the best family beaches go to the dune-backed golden sands at Corralejo or to the man-made, very safe beach of Caleta de Fuste. In the south of the island, visit the Sodabe Turtle Reserve at Morro Jabe, where there is a project being pioneered to reintroduce the loggerhead turtle to Fuerteventura.

Lanzarote is a favourite destination for many, with its superb beaches, virtual year-round sunshine and spectacular volcanic landscapes. For family beach resorts, head to Puerto del Carmen or Playa Blanca. Other lovely beaches are to be found at Papagayo and Famara. A stay in Lanzarote wouldn’t be complete without visiting the spectacular landscapes of the lava fields of the Timanfaya National Park. To get away from the beaches for a while, don’t miss the town of Teguise, the island’s old capital or the village of Haria. Everywhere you go on the island you are likely to see the works of the artist Cesar Manrique, Lanzarote’s most famous son. To find out more about him, visit the Fundacion Cesar Manrique, in his former home in Tahiche. His works were inspired by the island’s volcanic landscapes and his fantastical home was actually built into bubbles in the lava field.

The Gastronomy of Las Palmas
The cuisine of Las Palmas is quite distinct from that of mainland Spain. Typical dishes that you might come across include Patatas Arrugas (potatoes cooked until their skins are wrinkled and usually served with one of the region’s famous sauces – the spicy Mojo Rojo or the milder Mojo Verde), Sancocho (a sautéed seafood dish), Ropa Vieja (literally “Old Clothes” but a far nice sounding dish of shredded beef steak in a tomato sauce) and Sopa de Ajos (garlic soup). The dessert of Bienmesabe is Arabic in origin and is a delicious gooey almond cream. The goats’ cheese from Lanzarote are renowned for their flavour as is the Majorero cheese from Fuerteventura.

Don’t forget to sample the region’s wines. Those from the La Geria region in Lanzarote are popular. Gran Canaria even has its own beers (lagers), called Tropical and Dorada.


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