Gran Canaria is the largest and most popular of the seven Canary Islands. Gran Canaria is a rocky and forested island, with at its center a symmetrical volcano that is well worth a visit. The capital and port on this beautiful island is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This beautiful colonial city is the administrative center of the easterly islands: Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Gran Canaria has about 789,000 inhabitants. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital, has about 378,000 inhabitants. The first impression is that the island has a lot more inhabitants, because some 3 million tourists every year come to enjoy everything is has to offer.
Gran Canaria is one of seven Canary Islands: Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and Hierro. The Canary Islands are located to the south-west of Morocco (on the African continent). The distance between the islands and Morocco varies between 100 and 550 kilometers. Gran Canaria is the second closest to the mainland, at about 200 kilometers. The islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean.
Agriculture is very important to the island's economy. The north side of the island is much greener than the south side. On the north side e island there are many banana plantations. There are also fertile valleys where papayas, mangos and citrus fruit are grown. The trade of (among other things) the island's produce is also important to Gran Canaria. Because of this trade, fishery and tourism, Gran Canaria has a large and modern harbor, which provides many jobs on the island. Finally, tourism is very important to the island's economy. Tourists are drawn by the rugged landscape, the green south, the dry north, the beautiful beaches, the colonial Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the tourist attractions and the gastronomy.
Gran Canaria has one airport: Gran Canaria Airport, which is located 18 kilometers to the south of the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This island is the only island (for tourists) on the easterly islands. Both domestic and international flights are processed by this airport.
Most visitors arrive on Gran Canaria by airplane. There is also a possibility of arriving from Cadiz, located on the south-western coast of Spain. Between the islands themselves there are also a number of ferry services. There are frequent bus services between the airport and, among other places, the capital, this is bus number 60. The bus is the only form of public transport on the island. It allows you to reach many towns, villages and holiday resorts on the island. This means that you do not need a rental car to be mobile. Needless to say, the bus is a less comfortable way of travelling.
Traffic and Parking
A rental car is a perfect way of discovering the island. It allows you to leave the beaten path. Usually, the roads on the island are good. The less frequented roads are also less good, which, combined with the steep peaks and valleys, makes a four-wheel drive more than a luxury. Parking is only problematic on certain popular locations.
Gran Canaria has many hotels. You can choose between very cheap to very luxurious hotels. During the tourist season, it is advisable to book your hotel room in advance, if you do not want to run the risk of not finding what you like.
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