Amadores Beach
Amadores Beach / iStock / Bareta
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Puerto de Mogan
Puerto de Mogan / iStock / Tomasz Czajkowski
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San Juan, Las Palmas
San Juan, Las Palmas / iStock / Veskua
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Cathedral of Santa Ana
Cathedral of Santa Ana / iStock / Bogan Lazar
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Mojo Picon
Mojo Picon / iStock / Masaly
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Columbus House
Columbus House / iStock / LUNAMARINA
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Hills around Las Palmas
Hills around Las Palmas / iStock / marako85
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Las Palmas, Canary Islands
Port
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Founded in 1478 on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, the sea-faring city of Las Palmas is magical. Cliffs majestically rise in the north; seductive beaches bustle in the south. And the island's position off the coast of West Africa give the city an incomparable flair of cultural diversity. Tangles of centuries-old cobblestone streets lead to Gothic buildings, opulent former homes of nobility, and chatty bars and restaurants.

What We Love

Explore Galore: The museum Casa de Colón (House of Columbus) is a lovely example of Canarian architecture, with carved wooden balconies, interior patios, and a fountain. Inside, you'll find exhibits dedicated to the explorer’s voyages; he anchored here in 1492. See ship models, Columbus diary snippets, and maps from long ago.

Yesteryear Is New Again: Vegueta is the city's oldest neighborhood, with buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries. Today it’s a hip enclave buzzing with bars and boutiques. The area's classic sites — Santa Ana Cathedral, chapel of San Antonio Abad, and Plaza de Santa Ana — are all worth a visit.

Local Tastes: The colorful markets of Mercado del Puerto, Mercado de Vegueta, and Mercado Central are fun to wander. Each has its own ambience and inventory.

Best Known For

A Shore Thing: The city side beach Playas de las Caternas stretches nearly two golden miles. Its adjacent promenade is perfect for a strolling, biking, and eating. Open-air restaurants offer local specialities to go with the awesome views. And the sparkling waters teem with colorful fish promising excellent snorkeling. Further south is a break that beckons surfers.

Who It's Best For

Summer Lovers: In addition to city touring, Las Palmas’ most popular offerings include watersports, sunning, and just lounging on the sand. 

Relaxed Diners: Spaniards linger over meals — and with good reason. Dishes are crafted with fresh local ingredients like fish, avocado, and mango, and paired with Gran Canaria wines.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

En Garde!: Don’t leave possessions unguarded on the beach while taking a dip, or hang your bag on the back of restaurant chairs — pickpocketing is common.