With sprawling mountain ranges and rolling hills defining the stunning landscape here, Gran Canaria is unquestionably one of the most scenic islands in the Canaries. In fact, such is the natural diversity and beauty of the island, it’s earned the nickname the ‘Continent in Miniature’. From sea level to almost 2,000 metres in the air, the sights and sounds of this idyllic island can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
You may choose to explore the breathtaking vistas on foot, making use of the endless hiking trails. Alternatively, for the less adventurous traveller, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views even when sunbathing on the beaches. We’ve compiled a list of three of the most memorable views and where to see them – will any of these spots inspire your next scenic jaunt?
Roque Nublo – The Roque Nublo hiking route is one of the island’s most popular trails, and offers some of the best views of Gran Canaria. Roque Nublo itself is a natural crag which itself stands at 80 metres high and at some 1,813 metres above sea level. This makes it the second-highest peak on the island, but the views here are second to none. Historically, Roque Nublo held great religious importance to the people of Gran Canaria, being a renowned place of worship for many years. It has since been declared a protected natural space, and remains one of the most popular places to visit on the entire island.
Along the five kilometre route, you will be treated to memorable vistas across the surrounding landscapes. Highlights include views of the great dams, including Las Niñas and Chira, as well as views of the volcanic landscape of Caldera de Tejeda.
Maspalomas – Arguably Gran Canaria’s most famous landscape can be found on the very southern tip of the island at the dunes of Maspalomas. Due to the vast range of ecosystems found within the dunes, Maspalomas has been a protected Nature Reserve site since 1987. Despite all of the commercial activity which happens around the area, this Sahara-esque landscape has retained its natural beauty, and is enjoyed by millions of tourists every year. The feather in the cap of this area is the lighthouse which sits at the end of Maspalomas beach. Featured on countless postcards and travel brochures, the old lighthouse only adds to the enchanting views found here.
There are many different ways to enjoy the scenic charm of the area. Get up close and personal with a stroll across the dunes, following the designated paths installed to protect the beauty of the dunes. Alternatively, there is an information centre and viewpoint located at Hotel Rui Palace in Playa del Inglés, which offers one of the best views of the 400 hectare site.
Mirador del Balcón – If you’re looking to take your scenic adventure of Gran Canaria to new stomach-churning heights, take a trip to Mirador del Balcón. The famous viewing platform can be found lurking precariously off of a cliff edge along the La Aldea de San Nicolás coastline on the western edge of the island.
Brave the walk onto the platform as you float above the crashing Atlantic waves and you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs affectionately known as ‘Dragon’s Tail’. Do note, due to the exposed nature of Gran Canaria’s western coast to the Atlantic winds, conditions can be quite blustery on the platform. It is possible to enjoy the views of the coastline from the car park set just a few metres back from the platform, but stepping out onto the viewpoint is the best way to fully appreciate the scenic beauty found in this part of the island.