If you’re looking for an authentic backpacking experience then Las Palmas de Gran Canaria., Spain, is the ideal place for you. This island is full of diverse experiences, along with unforgettable beach landscapes. This city in Spain is one of the unique and hidden places where backpackers can experience adventure and historical knowledge while at the same time enjoy sandy beaches.
It is easily one of the favorite gems of the world and one of the best island destinations in Europe to go backpacking. With endless beaches that are full of natural attractions and historical landmarks. We share with you 10 best places for backpackers in Las Palmas.
Las Canteras and El Confital Beaches
Las Canteras is the largest beach and is full of golden sand. It has a volcanic rocky reef called ‘La barra that stretches for 4 km. Along the beach, you will find various shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants where visitors and locals enjoy drinks and meals. However, you can also just lie down on the beach to enjoy the sun.
Due to its popularity, the beach gets overcrowded during the summer months between July and October. In January and February, the water gets too cold and most guests will be seen sunbathing.
One tip to note while here is to check out the flags that are raised along the swimming area that signify whether to swim or not. The green flag means everything is okay and you can go ahead and swim. The red flag means all is not well and you cannot swim at all, mostly because there could be a sea storm. The yellow flag means that you have to take extra precautions while swimming.
El Confital beach is another popular beach located on the eastern side along Paseo de Canteras. The beach is easy to access when you follow the signboards. Being a popular beach for the residents of the area, you will certainly not miss an opportunity to enjoy the beach views and sunbathe from here.
Explore the beach and see the wild side of the Atlantic Ocean. You will hear sounds of the ocean roaring, you will also see animals such as seagulls and lizards lurking around.
Casa de Colón
The La Casa de Colón is a museum managed by the Ministry of Culture. It has a special collection sourced from different cultures. There is a wide array of exhibits found here, from the American baroque to paintings and pre Colombian archaeological findings. There is so much to explore and wander in the museum. The idea to establish the museum began in the 1940s where works to restoring it was commissioned.
Explore and enjoy the gallery with a wide array of exhibits from drawings, collected coins, ancient furniture, prints and sculptures. These are some of the collections you will get to see on your tour of the museum, in addition to their history.
Las Palmas Cathedral
The Palmas Cathedral has a rich history as it was the first church to be built in the area. The uniqueness of the architectural aspects of the church stands out. It took almost three centuries for its completion to happen. Construction began in the 16th century and it was not completed until the 20th century.
It has a blend of different artistic aspects because different architects were involved in the process of its design and construction thereby giving it three different styles; the neoclassical, gothic and renaissance.
You can opt to tour this beautiful historical building and marvel at its exteriors and interiors. The topmost area of the building gives you a chance to see striking views of the city at a cost of 1.50 €
The Bandama Caldera is a natural attraction found in between Santa Brigida Telde and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This magnificent crater is an experience you can have by walking along with it as you explore the natural beauty that was formed millions of years ago. The crater was used by the ancient people to store their harvests and would be of great interest to tour and observe as you learn the history.
One of the activities that you cannot miss out on when here is trekking. The area has about 3 kilometers of trekking stretch and some of the natural attractions you will experience include the cave of Bodegas, a viewpoint located at Cornical and las Casa de Fondo.
Also, as you trek you will enjoy the numerous bird species and plants found in the area. If you happen to get injured during hiking or trekking, then the closest hospital to get treatment would be Las Palmas Hospital
Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo
A botanist by the name of Eric Ragnor explored the Island to find the best place to have a variety of plants. He finally settled on Branco de Guiniguada where he spent 7 years creating a garden that would house various plant species. In 1959, the botanical gardens opened its doors to the public.
This garden is home to about 500 species of plants that originally come from the Canary Islands, Spain. During the tour, you will explore the dragon tree and many other plant species.As you explore these gardens, you will feel like indeed you are in a forest.
This ancient museum was founded in 1879 to encourage the culture of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It was one of the earliest attractions in the city. The museum was founded as a result of great demand of the antiques among the local elite.
On your tour, you will encounter prehistoric and historic material remains of the people of Gran Canaria. Some of the items were discovered from the Canarian Island that dates back to as early as 1879.
Most of these collections are donations from private individuals to public institutions. The museum is integral to the study of the pre-Hispanic community that lived in Gran Canaria during the historic and prehistoric times. Items you will find during your tour include idols, animal skin objects, ceramic ware, bone, and wooden tools.
Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
One of the first places you will come upon in this town located on the southeastern part of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the twin towers called the Torres de Catedral and de Santa Ana. The Cathedral Santa Ana was built around 1500 and took more than 400 years to complete.
There is so much to explore in Vegueta from the Museo Canario Museum, the town hall and Centro Atlantico de Arte, a modern Art Gallery. This tour is full of places to see from a market built in the 1800s that is full of shops where you can discover the beauty and culture of Vegueta.
Elder Museum of Science and Technology
This large and interactive museum is located in Parque de Santa Catalina. Like its name, the building is old, dating back to the 19th century. The museum contains exhibitions, including interactive display rooms.
The museum has a cinema and planetarium inside it too and it costs 5 Euros to access these areas. Besides this, the museum has a Robo coaster where visitors pay 1 Euro per person per trip. It opens every Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. During the summer it opens from 11 am to 9 pm. The museum closes every Monday and public holidays.
Poema del Mar Aquarium
If you want to enjoy Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s exciting sea life then be sure to take a tour to Poema del Mar Aquarium. The aquarium boasts of over 350 sea life species and a place to exclusively view the Atlantic Ocean. Accessing the aquarium costs $27.40.There is plenty to see at Poema del Mar Aquarium, from flora and fauna found in seas and oceans from the five continents.
The aquarium has three sections. The first is the jungle where the plants’ species are located. Second is the Arrecife, which is a huge tank that houses exotic fish and beautiful coral reefs. The third and final section is the deep sea where you will savor the ocean through the largest curved glass. The tank boasts of sharks, stingray, tunas and other dangerous sea animals.
Castillo de la Luz
This beautiful historical landmark was built from around 1478 and completed around 1494. It was built on a fort. Take a guided tour to enjoy some exquisite historical views inside the castle. The interesting part of the tour is, you will not realize that you are visiting ruins. This is thanks to the latest renovations where a staircase, elevator, and a glass floor have been incorporated into the building.
The castle has also had several invasions. However, a notable one includes an invasion by British pirates in 1595. The pirates were however defeated by the Castillo de la Luz. Another invasion happened again a few years later by Pieter Van Der. He interestingly went to the extent of setting the castle on fire.
Have you been to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria before? Do you have any tips for first-time backpackers? Let us know in the comments below!