If you want to travel to Gran Canaria and not spend a lot of money, you should know that there are endless options on the island: hiking, strolling through charming towns and villages, beautiful beaches, watching the sunsets and much more. Take note and don’t miss out on the best things to do for free in Gran Canaria.
1. Explore Gran Canaria’s best beaches
Gran Canaria is known for its paradisiacal beaches. All of them are free, and you can find them all along the coast.
- North of Gran Canaria: in the north you can find urban beaches such as Las Canteras or wild beaches such as Bañaderos, San Felipe, El Juncal, the natural pools of Agaete…
- South of Gran Canaria: in the south there are paradisiacal beaches of golden or white sand such as Playa del Inglés, Maspalomas, San Agustín, Anfi, Amadores…
2. Visit the attractions of Maspalomas
In Maspalomas there are several attractions worth visiting. The Maspalomas Dunes are probably the best known and most emblematic place in the south of Gran Canaria. This nature reserve stretches across 400 hectares and includes the beach, a natural lagoon (La Charca) and a large palm grove. A walk along the beach, the dunes and the lighthouse is free of charge, and you can see numerous endemic animals such as grey herons and flamingos, giant lizards and many other species of reptiles, birds and fish.
The Maspalomas lighthouse was erected at the end of the 19th century and is the oldest lighthouse in the Canary Islands. Today, next to the old lighthouse keeper’s house, it serves as a cultural centre in typical Canarian architecture.
3. Touring Mogán: beach, hiking and more
Puerto de Mogán is a small and beautiful village with a fishing tradition. Strolling through its streets is a perfect way to relax and enjoy its picturesque pedestrian streets and whitewashed houses. Also, just a few metres from the beach, you can find bars, shops, beaches, restaurants and more. Discover why Puerto de Mogán has become such a popular tourist destination in recent years and stroll through its quiet streets without spending a penny.
For nature lovers and hikers, the town of Mogán has nine routes of between 7 and 12 kilometres of varying levels of technical difficulty. Explore the rich landscape of Gran Canaria with its “azulejos“, fountains, water channels, ravines and more.
If that’s not enough, you can also climb up to the Puerto de Mogán viewpoint to enjoy the views of the harbour, swim at the beach, visit the old burnt mill of Mogán, go shopping at the Mogán street market on Fridays or visit the church of San Antonio de Padua.
4. Stroll through the old town of Las Palmas
In the island’s capital, you can discover many treasures. The colonial quarter of Vegueta is the historic quarter of Las Palmas, founded in 1478. Wander through its streets and discover the typical Canarian houses from the colonial period, as well as other places of great tourist interest such as the Casa-Museo Colón, the square or the Cathedral of Santa Ana. The Columbus House-Museum is one of the most emblematic museums on the island, where you can relive the voyage of Christopher Columbus on his stop in the Canary Islands, and for free!
5. Hiking and monuments
Hiking is one of the best free activities in Gran Canaria. The must-do route for visitors to the island is undoubtedly the Nublo rural park. The Roque Nublo is a huge rock formation 80 metres high and is the best known emblem of Gran Canaria. Next to it, you’ll find another smaller rock in the shape of a frog. Here you can witness the most spectacular sunsets on the island and, weather permitting, you can see Teide of Tenerife. Don’t miss this volcanic monolith and explore one of the many routes to climb up to the base of the rock.
Other recommended places are the viewpoint of El Balcón in Aldea de San Nicolás, on the way to Agaete. From here, you can enjoy the views of its dragon’s tail-shaped cliffs. And, if you’re looking for more free trails, there are the Pilancones, Cruz de Tejeda, Tamadaba, as well as climbing the Tauro mountain from the Salto del Perro reservoir.
6. Visit the Perez Galdós House-Museum
Another free museum is the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós, located in Las Palmas. This museum is dedicated to the Canarian playwright, chronicler, novelist and politician Benito Pérez Galdós. The entry costs €3, but it’s well worth a visit to his birthplace to learn more about the life and works of one of the most important representatives of the 19th century Spanish-language realist novel. It has two courtyards and several rooms where you can discover photographs, furniture and much more.
In Las Palmas you can stroll along the promenade, admire the scenery or relax in its bars, clubs, restaurants and terraces. You can also visit the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno.
In Gran Canaria there are many festivals throughout the year, where you can attend for free, without spending any money. These include the Carnivals of Las Palmas or Maspalomas, the Canary Islands Music Festival, the Film Festival, Gay Pride and Winter Pride and much more. There are also many free concerts in the Yumbo Shopping Centre or in Santa Catalina, so don’t miss out!
The best free events in Gran Canaria
As you can see, Gran Canaria has an incredible variety of attractions and activities for all ages, from beautiful beaches and natural landscapes to festivals, museums and more. If you’re looking for a plan to have a great time, you can always visit Holidayworld Maspalomas, the only amusement park in the Canary Islands, and walk around its facilities.