What to do in Gran Canaria– 12 months, 12 highlights
There are a couple of things which you can take for granted whenever you travel to Gran Canaria: good weather, breathtaking landscapes, a city full of life and culture and nice people who like to enjoy life. It is easy to find what to do in Gran Canaria any time of the year apart from learning Spanish at our language school. However, there are couple of highlights that you can only enjoy once every year:
January - What to do in Gran Canaria
Christmas is still not over! The religious tradition of the 3 Magic Kings is celebrated in Spain with as much passion as Christmas Day or New Years Eve. When every other country is already getting ready to get back to work, Spaniards start preparing for the big days on January 5th and 6th. The whole city in Las Palmas is outside celebrating. You don’t have to think about what to do in Gran Canaria this day. Parents with kids attend the city parade which includes the 3 Magic Kings.
Those without kids celebrate with friends outside where many concerts and street bars are organized by the city of Las Palmas. While the kids go soon to bed so that the Kings bring them presents during the night, adults keep the party going until late at night. There is nobody staying in home this day. The city major, local celebrities, your family, your friends…everybody is in the historic city center enjoying life. If you like nature, January is an even greater month in Gran Canaria.
The almond trees start flowering and there are many locations in the island that just look like in an impressionist painting.
February + March
It’s time for the EVENT OF THE YEAR: el Carnaval de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. What to do in Gran Canaria? Is a question with a very east answer during this time. The Carnival of the Canary Islands is considered to be the second main carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro. Together with Rio, Cologne and Venice, our carnival is on the Top 4 World Carnivals.
The whole city of Las Palmas celebrates for 4 weeks straight. Everybody, no matter age, profession, everybody is celebrating with a costume in the streets of Las Palmas. And best of all, once the 4 weeks are over in Las Palmas, the Carnival starts in other cities of the island like Maspalomas. You could have almost two months of carnival in a row if you want to.
What to do in Gran Canaria in April
After so much carnival we go back to something quieter. The yearly International Film Festival of Las Palmas starts at the end of March, start of April. Ed Harris, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Daniels… every year international stars and great independent films visit Gran Canaria. If you like movies then you know What to do in Gran Canaria in April. Religious celebrations of the Semana Santa also start all over the city. Also, a great chance to experience the Spanish traditions first hand.
With Christmas and Carnival getting all the attention in the first months, May is the time for smaller festivals, big concerts…you will find What to do in Gran Canaria very easily. And there is still a big international event planned: Maspalomas Gay Pride.
Maspalomas is famous for a gay friendly tourism location who has been growing every year. Canarians are open and tolerant people and we are proud that Maspalomas in the south of the island is a reference location for gay friendly tourism. May’s Gay Pride attracts many people from all over the world. A big celebration for everybody.
June - What to do in Gran Canaria when the summer starts
Another big month for the city of Las Palmas. The foundation of the city is celebrated with many events across the city. But nothing can be compared the night of San Juan (June 24th). The whole city gathers in Las Canteras beach. Last Year’s bad memories are burned and a magical bath in the sea at night to attract health & dreams for the next year is accompanied by beautiful fireworks over the sea.
What to do in Gran Canaria in July
Summer vibes and vacation joy is all everywhere. If you are wondering what to do in Gran Canaria the answer is easy: Folk festivals in all villages of the island are a great chance to experience the Spanish culture. Many cities and villages in the island celebrate their Fiestas del Carmen.
La Virgen del Carmen is also known to watch over our fisherman and sailors. Marine parades where the Virgin sails on a boat across the coastline while hundreds of boats sail with her and hundreds cheer from the beaches of the island is beautiful.
August: 1 awesome thing to do in Gran Canaria
But there is one folk festival that is just the most loved on the island.
La fiesta de La Rama tin Agaete is so great that it has its fans for life. It is just a folk festival that nobody wants to miss. Even people from Tenerife travel each August to Agaete every year to experience this huge celebration.
The tree branches (ramas) are gathered in the mountain and brought to the sea, following an aborigine ritual to pray for water. The city band and thousands of participants celebrate for hours while doing this.
Only a few weeks later La Fiesta del Charco in La Aldea follows.
September – one holy thing to do in Gran Canaria
As crazy as it sounds, we still have one big folk festival to go. La Virgen del Pino is the holy virgin that watches over all citizens of the island of Gran Canaria. On September 7th people from all over the island walk by foot to the remote village of Teror to visit the church where the Virgen del Pino is guarded.
Religious people do this walk with devotion and are excited to worship the virgin once they get to Teror. Others are more interested in the celebration and do the walk accompanied by a bottle of canarian rum. Anyhow it is a great event to start the new school/work year after the summer holidays.
After the villages around the island kept the whole attention during the summer, it is time for the neighborhoods of Las Palmas. Las fiestas de La Naval in La Isleta, las fiestas del Pilar in Guanarteme… Neighborhood celebrations all over the city of Las Palmas.
What to do in Gran Canaria in November
One doesn’t need a reason to come to Gran Canaria in November. It is simply the only location in Europe with temperatures above 20ºC. That being said, there is still one big surprise ready in Las Palmas: the Womad festival (World of Music Art & Dance). This international festival that travels around many locations around the world throughout the year arrives in las Palmas in November. Concerts, food trucks, cultures and artists from all over the world meet in Parque Santa Catalina.
December Christmas and many things to do in Gran Canaria
We Canarians know that Christmas is not about the snow. Our Christmas isn’t white but we love it. The whole city is decorated with Christmas lights, everybody is happy and celebrating Christmas dinners with work colleagues, family and friends that live in or outside Gran Canaria. Best of all, you can go to the beach at the same time. Have you ever swum in the ocean on Christmas Day or New Years?If you want to try it, Gran Canaria is your Christmas location.
In this article we have summarized the biggest events, however the city and the island never sleep and there is a huge amount of other short events going on in the island such as sport events like the ARC (sailing race from the islands to the Caribbean, Gran Canaria Marathon or the Transgrancanaria.
Whever you come we will show the best highlights of the island after class with the activities of our cultural program.