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Take your hiking boots with you when you visit Gran Canaria. Photo: Shutterstock
Take your hiking boots with you when you visit Gran Canaria. Photo: Shutterstock

Seven top tips for shopping, hiking and good food on Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is a mini continent that offers everything from the city of Las Palmas, with its old quarters and designer boutiques, to lush landscapes with many fine hiking trails in the north.

Designer Juan Roga

Juan Roga makes clothing that hits the mark. His customers include royalty and several politicians.“The clothes have to work for the customers when they are entertaining,” he says, showing off fluttering chiffon dresses that are just the right level of revealing, as well as short elegant suits. Roga also makes wedding dresses.

Calle San Bernardo, 1, 35002 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

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Stylish accommodation

If you want to stay in old-fashioned elegance, you should check in at the Hotel Santa Catalina – complete with five shining stars – in Las Palmas. Here you’ll find red carpets, marble and polished brass. At least for now, as the hotel is being upgraded this year. Keep your cool if you happen to see someone who looks like former king Juan Carlos. It may well be him. The retired king stays at Santa Catalina when he’s on the island. The hotel has five stars and almost 130 years of elegant history.

Hotel Santa Catalina

Calle León y Castillo, 227, 35005 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,

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From 203 euro per night

Hiking

There are many great places to hike on Gran Canaria and the best route runs from Cruz de Tejeda to Barranco de la Mina. The hiking terrain here is wild and beautiful, with magnificent views and creeks that wind their way to the village of La Lagunetas. It’s at its most beautiful in March, when the almond trees are filled with white blossom.

Carnival in Las Palmas is celebrated loudly and with lots of feathers. Photo: Shutterstock

Carnival

The beat of the samba drums. The shaking of feathers and the sparkling lips, chests and shoes. The ostrich feathers several meters high, waving around on people’s heads. It’s carnival time in Las Palmas and there’s no holding back. You have to be the best and even more spectacular than last year. Several thousand spectators eagerly await the most important decision of the year: Who will be the Carnival Queen? Many of them have also dressed up themselves and are dancing through the streets. Carnival is celebrated in various forms on all seven of the Canary Islands and one of the highlights is the parade in Las Palmas. They are scheduled in such a way that you can travel from island to island to catch the highlights on them all. So when the carnival ends at Las Palmas, why not take the boat to Tenerife to continue the party?

In 2018, the carnival in Las Palmas takes place from 26 January to 18 February.

Mercado de Vegueta in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria offers both a visual and a gastronomic feast. Photo: Shutterstock

Mercado de Vegueta

Traditional Spanish food market with foods from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and America. The stalls here are bursting with cheeses, fish, fruit and vegetables. When you get hungry – and you certainly will – you can enjoy some tapas and a glass of wine. Maybe take some traditional Canary Island goat’s cheese home with you?

Mercado de Vegueta

Calle Mendizábal, 1, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas

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How about staying at a former banana plantation on Gran Canaria? Hacienda del Buen Suceso is a stylish old estate that has now been renovated and serves as a luxury rural hotel. Photo: Haciendabuensuceso.com

La Hacienda de buen suceso

La Hacienda del Buen Suceso was the fruit plantation of the Marquesa de Arucas and was built in 1572. In 1997, the Marquesa decided to convert the estate into a hotel. The result is this small, luxury rural hotel in a beautiful location just a 15-minute drive from Las Palmas. And yes, you can sample the bananas growing here. They’re small, sweet and good.

La Hacienda de buen suceso

Carretera Arucas, Arucas

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From €111 per night.

Filmfestival

In March each year, the stars flock to the film festival on Gran Canaria, where awards are given out to the year’s standout performers. The festival is held the month after the carnival ends.

LPA International Film Festival

Text: Inga Ragnhild Holst

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