5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gran Canaria

There are many reasons to choose Gran Canaria as a holiday destination at any time of the year. Its privileged climate and beaches are just some of the reasons, because this island also has an extraordinary natural heritage, in addition to being an ideal setting for sports, water sports and the outdoors.

The variety of landscapes of Gran Canaria is surprising. There is plenty to choose from among its 236 kilometres of coastline, from its tranquil coves in the south to the most touristy areas such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria is a fantastic option watersports lovers, since the possibilities endless: scuba diving, surfing, sailing, and of course, windsurfing, because the island is considered one of the best places in the world to practice this sport. In fact, it is a regular venue for major international windsurf circuit competitions.

The natural environment of Gran Canaria is another of its attractions, as 46 percent of its territory has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Following the extensive network of existing trails, you can walk or cycle through the different natural parks, and even observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat, as the presence of these animals is frequent in the southern part of the island.

Gran Canaria is undoubtedly a captivating and fairytale-like place, a small Eden in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that makes its visitors fall in love with it. In addition, accommodation options such as the private villas offered by https://villagrancanaria.com/ will allow you to enjoy the wonders of the island from the best location and surrounded by only relax and absolute comfort, as they have fully equipped buildings with gardens and swimming pools that will allow you to enjoy your Gran Canaria Villa holidays to the fullest.

In Gran Canaria you can feel like walking on the moon at Roque Nublo -which the famous Spanish writer Miguel Unamuno referred to as ‘the petrified storm’, or explore the Dunes of Maspalomas at one of the best beaches in Gran Canaria. However, if you want to truly discover all the secrets and the very essence of the island, you must leave the most touristic circuits. Here are 5 facts you didn’t know about the island that are going to make you want to meet her even more.

 

1. Agaete Valley: the only coffee grown in Spain and Europe 

 

Los Castaños’ farm in the Agaete Valley is the only place in Spain and Europe where the Arabica Typica coffee variety is traditionally grown. Open to tourists, the farm offers tours to discover the process of obtaining coffee as well as certified courses. What do you want to be when you grow up: barista, green coffee analyst or the “drink of the gods” taster?

2. Muse of movies and literature 

Las Canteras Beach, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, hosted the shooting of the well-known film “Moby Dick” in 1956. In addition, well-known personalities such as Churchill or The Beatles stayed several times in Gran Canaria. Even the famous novelist Agatha Christie herself, the great “lady of suspense”, lived here for a while to write books such as “The man from the sea” and “The Lady Vanishes”.

3. No, the famous birds don’t live in the Canary Islands, and the archipelago is not named after them

Although popular culture has attributed the name of the island and the autonomous community to the supposed presence of Canarian birds -especially Gran Canaria, the reality has to do with a much more common animal. In the first century, Pliny the Elder referred to islands in the “Dark Ocean”. Following his map, Roman explorers ran into several wild dogs and decided to name the archipelago Ínsula Canaris, referring to the word canis, which dog in Latin.

4. Gran Canaria met Japan before any other place in Spain.

Next to Las Canteras Beach, the Fuji restaurant opened 50 years ago to bring to the country a dish of fish adored by the most cosmopolitan: sushi.  Japan’s fishing fleet had an important base in Las Palmas sp Toshihiko Sato had the brilliant idea of introducing Japanese cuisine. Thus, Fuji became the first place that offered the public these characteristic rolls of seaweed, rice and fish in Spain. In the rest of the country, sushi has become popular only a few years ago.

5. A good stopover on the way to America 

The finishing touches to La Niña, La Pinta and La Santa María ships were carried out in Gran Canaria and La Gomera before leaving. Christopher Columbus knew that the Canary Islands were the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean and so he chose both islands to ultimate details. Despite being a mere passing place, Gran Canaria can count on the honour of having dismissed the historic fleet before entering the “Dark Ocean” and discovering the new world.

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