Gran Canaria has a history steeped in myths and legends. A lot of people believe Gran Canaria is actually the lost land of Atlantis. Others believed they are the Fortunate Islands from Greek and Celtic mythology. Evidence suggests that Gran Canaria was inhabited since as far back as 500BC, but there are different theories about the actual origins of these inhabitants. The Guanches original Canarios came from North Africa and are related to the Berber people. The original Guanches lived in primitive huts, using highly unsophisticated weapons and tools. Archaeological evidence supports this. They did use rocks and stones to build shelter, covering the dwellings with branches and leaves. They did manage to make earthenware as well, without ever using a pottery wheel.
The Canary Islands were all but forgotten about for around 1,000 years after the fall of the Roman Empire. It was rediscovered in the 14th century, when around 30,000 peaceful Guanches still lived here. However, they were all enslaved, with the islands all being taken over by the 15th century. The Guanches showed a lot of resistance to the Spanish, but they had to capitulate at the hands of Pedro De Vera. Many preferred to commit suicide rather than handing themselves over. The survivors were enslaved and converted to Christianity. When Cuba gained freedom and independence from Spain in 1889, Gran Canaria started fighting for its own independence. This was eventually achieved in 1927. Before then, in 1912, however, the Council?s Law came into being. This started the building of the airport and motorway network that make Gran Canaria such a wonderful holiday island nowadays. After its independence, Gran Canaria continues to develop, eventually coining in on their climate, history and sheer natural beauty. They knew that this would be a selling point for tourists all over the world, and they were very right.
The best time to visit the place is during the summertime which makes the holiday more memorable.s34TeUrPJuI
Gran Canaria is a hugely popular tourist destination. There are lots to do and there is no way you will spend even a single minute being bored on this island. If you do worry about what you can do once there, or if you are one of these people that likes to plan in advance, the following visits are absolute must sees if you are in Gran Canaria. One place that shouldn?t be missed is the sand dunes in Maspalomas. These are absolutely stunning and a true wonder of nature. You could also visit the Palmito Park. Here, you will see a range of beautiful animals, including a wide variety of exotic birds, and many exotic plants. Being on the coast, you may also be able to see dolphins in their natural habitat. Also, there are regular shows involving the dolphins, but also parrots and birds of prey. Children will absolutely love this park and you could easily spend an entire morning or afternoon here.
Valsequillo is another beautiful area of Gran Canaria. Here, you can see fantastic rock formation and very steep ravines. Here is a pine forest, but also a range of palm groves and there are many almond trees. These bloom in January and February so if you can make it there in those months, you will really be treating your eyes ? and your nostrils for that matter. There is a beautiful historic centre, including the Church of the Archangel Michael, barracks of the cavalry, carvings made by the Flemish and much more. Food is absolutely fantastic in Valsequillo, and you can enjoy gorgeous cheeses and wines, but also almonds and honey of course. If you are wondering how you can get around the island to visit all these things, you may be happy to learn that one of the best ways is to hire a bike. There are lots of trails specifically designated for bikers, and it is also perfectly safe to bike on the roads. Do be prepared for some steep climbs!
Getting around Gran Canaria can be done in a number of different ways. The public transport system is very reliable and very well priced. Buses travel all over the island and they are very fast. However, there is no train in Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria is a great place for fantastic food and beverages. There are restaurants for all tastes and cultures, but the original Canarian cuisine is quite scrumptious too. In terms of wine, there are plenty of nice local wines and you could also try the Rioja. You could try La Case Vieja, which is to the north of Maspaloms. Here, you can try some real local cuisine, including fish, Gofio, octopus, squid rings, and local potatoes, as well as delicious grilled meat. In Las Palmas, where most people spend their holidays, there are some amazing fish restaurants, particularly along Las Canteras beach or the La Isleta neighbourhood of El Confital. One dish that is really recommended is the Chancletes al Limon, local fish in a lemon drizzle. But anybody that enjoys fish should find Gran Canaria is an absolute delight. If you prefer to keep it somewhat safe, Ciao Ciao is a real recommendation. This is an authentic Italian restaurant near the Las Meloneras beach. The Olivia is also a very good restaurant that serves mainly local food.One thing to be particularly weary of when you are in Gran Canaria is that almost every restaurant will have waiters standing outside who will try to convince you to eat in their restaurant. You will quickly get used to this and become more comfortable with either saying no outright, or by negotiating a good deal. It is quite easy to get a number of free drinks or dishes by agreeing to eat in their restaurant.In terms of drinking; Gran Canaria has a host of options available to you. The Playa Del Ingles is a great place to find a whole host of bars, restaurants and clubs. There is also a lot of availability here for the gay community, which is very much accepted. Most gay bars are on the upper floors. Another great location for non alcoholic drinks, mainly tea, is Cafe Florin, where you can enjoy really good English tea as well as access the internet.
Gran Canaria?s nightlife is bright, lively and noisy. The fun starts late and goes on throughout the night. Most bars stay open until about 2am, and nightclubs until 6 am. The real fun doesn?t start before midnight, so be ready to stay up late. It can be hard to keep track of which clubs are popular and which ones are not, with things changing every holiday season. However, one club that has stayed popular for years and years in Las Palmas is the Plaze De Espana. This is always lively until the early hours of morning. It is here that most locals start their evening. Another great place is the Cuqsquias, where you will find great (and free) live music, including Jazz and enthusiastic DJs. This is the place for people who appreciate music and are not simply out to get completely drunk. The south coast is where all the young people seem to go. The only time that anyone is asleep here is during siesta. The whole area is full of bars, discos, clubs and more. The night-life areas are heavily promoted by people handing out flyers and make sure you look at these to help you decide which bar or club best matches your taste. If you simply want to try them all, then it can only be hoped that you are planning a long vacation! Gran Canaria also has a fantastic gay scene, known as the Yumbo. There is also the Kasbah, said to be the haunt of the most beautiful people. Plaza is a great place for dancing, where all the latest music is played. If you prefer a nice and quite atmosphere, there are also some really good casinos where you can enjoy yourself. There are also some really stylish and modern bars around Meloneras, where you can chill out, sit back and watch the sunset.
Shopping in Gran Canaria is an absolute delight. Do remember that the currency here is the Euro. Unfortunately for tourists, this means that items that were once very cheap are now quite a bit more expensive. However, Gran Canaria is a free trade zone, meaning there are lower tax rates. Hence, duty free prices still exist. Do remember the strict rules on how much alcohol and tobacco you are allowed to carry back with you. If you go on holiday, you will probably want to buy a range of souvenirs. In Gran Canaria, the most popular souvenirs involve banana leaf baskets, embroidery, pottery, miniature wooden balconies and felt hats. There are FEDAC outlets on the weekly markets, where you can buy these types of souvenirs at very reasonable prices. Las Palmas, the main city in Gran Canaria, has a great commercial centre, where you can find franchise and chain stores.
There are small fabric stores to real old fashioned tobacco sellers to huge Internationalclothing stores. Naturally, the shopping malls also have many caf?s and restaurants, as well as a cinema and a number of discos. There are also many stores where you can buy designer gear, usually at some lower prices than you would normally pay for them in other European cities. One of the great things about Gran Canaria is that it is relatively safe, so you should be able to purchase your goods here and walk around the towns without worrying about getting mugged or robbed. However, common sense is always applicable, particularly at night in the dark. The only area of Gran Canaria that knows some crime levels to be weary off is Playa Del Ingles, where back snatching is not unheard of. Also be careful about the African women who place a bracelet around your wrist and then charge you huge prices for them. Don?t fall for this and scream Molestado if they are becoming particularly pushy.
Disabled visitors to Gran Canaria should always look for resorts that are able to cater for those who are disabled. Most large resorts do have special provisions in lace and there are also taxis available that can take on a wheelchair. If you need specialist nursing care, for instance, it is best to have put systems in place before you travel here, just to be on the safe side. If the resort you are choosing has mobility provisions in place, these would generally include such things as elevators, wheelchair ramps, and wider doors in the hotel rooms or apartments. Although this allows you to get around in your resort, you may have some issues getting around the island itself. Because it is made up of quite a lot of rugged terrain, as well as a lot of sand, people in wheelchairs may struggle significantly to get around. Also, travelling up or down a hill in a wheelchair can pose quite a lot of difficulties. Some provisions are also in place for those who are hard of hearing.
Mainly in the highly touristic areas, parks and museums, there will be facilities in place such as loop telephones. Guide dogs are also welcome, although you should check with your resort whether you can bring your guide dog. One very important thing to remember in terms of guide dogs is that not every airline will allow you to bring your dog. Hence, you will need to make some rigorous checks first about what is and isn?t allowed. The best place to start if you require information about disabled facilities is the tourist information service and your travel agent. These should both be able to give you solid information on whether or not there are provisions to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. With the right information, you should be able to have a great holiday.