The welcoming climate of Gran Canaria is just the start of the wealth of attractions this fantastic port possesses. The weather here is always great with the island on average receiving approximately just ten days of rain per year; an incredible statistic and one that continues to attract sun worshippers throughout the year. The cruise port here is based in Las Palmas, the largest city in the Canary Islands and an impeccably beautiful area to welcome passengers. Expect sunny days and warm waters here but above all, like most Canary Island cities, Las Palmas has a distinctively traditional Spanish feel, full of charisma and steeped in rich history. The city was founded in 1478 by the Conquistadors and Christopher Columbus himself even ventured to the island during his renowned voyage of 1492.
The first thing passengers will notice upon arrival is the fascinating palm groves that provide the perfect backdrop to the serene harbour location. There are two choices here, stay within the realm of Las Palmas lively tourist attractions or venture towards the old quarter of Vegueta; the choice is yours but whichever you decide will certainly provide an exciting day of exploration. Slightly further afield from Las Palmas is the wonderful beach setting at Playa Del Ingles. This is an area that attracts holiday makers year round due to the blissful ambience and amazing beach scene; one of the finest in the region. Head slightly further and you will find Maspalomas and the captivating desert scenery. An incredible sight of pure desert as far as the eye can see meets the seafront for a fabulous photographic opportunity. Both Maspalomas and Playa Del Ingles provide plenty of bars and dining options as well as the chance to enjoy a lazy day in the sun. These areas are also the ideal locations from which to take in the famous old town parts of Arucas and Teror, both famous for their unique attractions. Arucas boasts notorious banana plantations whilst Teror is famous for the many traditional structures and innovative balcony designs pouring over the narrow streets.
One of the most visited locations in Gran Canaria is Palmitos Nature Park. This is a fantastic point of interest and set in an iconic canyon just inland from the area of Maspalomas. As well as being wonderfully picturesque, the area is also renowned for its array of birds, fish and tropical plant life. The Bandama is also here; a remarkable extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level. This really is an impressive sight in itself but also provides a unique point from which to capture the diverse views over the island.
Depending on your preference, there are many different excursion opportunities here to enjoy. The majority of cruise operators will provide a diverse range of choice to be as adventurous or as relaxed as you wish. Family cruising here is extremely popular and there are many options to keep the children entertained. If you want to spend time at a beach at the south of the island then Maspalomas is definitely the place to go and most cruise operators will run a shuttle transfer service to the area to drop you off at the opening of the beach for a day soaking up the rays. Alternatively there is also the Aquasur Waterpark which is in fact the largest water park in the Canary Islands and boasts an impressive array of attractions for the young and the old.
For something more serene whilst taking in the magnificent sights of Gran Canaria then perhaps opt for a more leisurely paced tour. One of the most popular excursions with all cruise operators is a leisurely tour of Gran Canaria providing the chance to take in many areas including the modern location of Puerto Rico, aboard a panoramic coach trip. You may prefer however, to get active and if this is the case, take in a cycling tour of Las Palmas, the only real way to uncover all the fabulous delights of the old towns. There is also the chance for a camel ride at Maspalomas or even dolphin watching, setting sail from Puerto Rico to discover these fascinating creatures.