The tranquil harbour, verdant palm groves and excellent climate of Gran Canaria’s lively capital Las Palmas delighted Christopher Columbus when he discovered it on his famous voyage of 1492.
Those same attractions now draw modern travellers keen to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta. You can also enjoy nearby Playa del Ingles, the liveliest and best-known beach in the Canaries.
Just beyond Las Palmas you can explore the stunning desert scenery of Maspalomas, or tour further afield to explore peaceful old towns like Arucas – famed for its lush banana plantations - and Teror, with its fine collection of traditional houses with intricately carved wooden balconies.
Other must-sees include lovely Palmitos Nature Park - set in a canyon inland from Maspalomas and famous for its vivid tropical plants, birds and fish - and Bandama, an extinct volcano set 1,900 feet above sea level, which offers panoramic views over the island.