Gran Canaria is the third largest island in the Canary Islands , and has the largest population. It's often described as a "continent in miniature" because it has so much variety to offer.
The south coast of the island is now dominated by the tourist resorts which generate most of the island's economy.
The centre of the island is mountainous, with the remains of ancient pine forests on the peaks.
Maspalomas in the south of Gran Canaria is the tourist zone, there are the most offert for enjoy in this island.
The official language of Gran Canaria is Spanish. However, one hears many people speaking English, German, and Norwegian in the tourist areas.
The public transportation system is well organized and economical. There are regular buses that go all over the island, most of the ones useful for tourists run through Ave Tirajana in Playa del Ingles and head north to the Atlantico shopping centre or Las Palmas or along to coast towards Puerto Rico.
Rental cars are available in all resorts, both from local companies and large international car hire companies. Most of the large ones such as Avis and Hertz have offices in Playa del Ingles near the motorway.
There are no trains in Gran Canaria. There is an autopista (freeway) that covers much of the island.
The sand dunes in Maspalomas (ask for "Las Dunas de Mapalomas"). San Bartolomé de Tirajana.
The south of Gran Canaria is famous for the variety of beaches. The longest beach is "Playa del Inglés" and "Maspalomas". In the Mogán area there are other famous beaches, such as "Amadores", "Anfi del Mar", "Puerto Rico", and "Playa de Mogán."
Golf The island in home to spains oldest golf club plus 8 more newer courses,mostly located in the south of the island.
The Yumbo Centre is a huge concrete monstrosity that dominates the centre of Playa del Ingles. It has dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs, many catering to the gay community, particularly on the higher floors.
Some of the cheaper bars are located on the Western side of the ground floor, near to the huge ride.
Busy gay bars are Construction on the ground floor and Terry's Show and XL on the first floor. The top floor has dance bars such as Mykonos and Mantrix that are a mix of bar and clubs, and tend to be more expensive. Heaven also has a club here, on the third floor.
There is relatively little crime in the resorts, the main annoyance is drunks causing trouble. As anywhere, one should not leave valuables unattended on the beach.
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, applying common sense for large cities is advisable. Some of the streets can be badly lit and the area around the harbour can be a bit threatening.
On the beach, women vendors may try to put a bracelet on your wrist and then charge an exorbitant fee for it.