This is an easy place to explore on foot, but there are many things that make an excursion worthwhile, and the beaches are fantastic. Christopher Columbus came across Gran Canaria in 1492 and he instantly liked the verdant palm groves and excellent climate. The harbour may be tranquil but the capital Las Palmas is lively. It is an easy walk from the port as Jean shows.
OLD TOWN – Visitors are drawn to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta. You can get the bus there just across the road from the ship. There is a lot to see. The cathedral in the main square is charming and there are many museums and Columbus’ house. Although Columbus never actually lived there it is a museum housing relics from when he stayed there to repair his ship.
Playa del Ingles is the liveliest and best-known beach in the Canaries and is not far from the port. Just turn left off the ship and you will come to it after a 5-minute walk. Just beyond Las Palmas you can explore the stunning desert scenery of Maspalomas.
Further afield explorers will find peaceful old towns like Arucas – famed for its lush banana plantations – and Terror, with its fine collection of traditional houses with intricately carved wooden balconies. Or, Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, which offers panoramic views over the island.click here for the New Canary Island cruise menu including West Africa & Cape Verde
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