Gran Canaria Solo Travel: Itinerary & Essential Guide

Are you looking for the perfect place for your next solo trip? The answer may lie in a Spanish island lying off the North African coast.

With its excellent beaches, historic towns and superb safety record, Gran Canaria is a great destination for those travelling alone. I stayed here for ten days in winter and it has become one of my favourite Canary Islands.

Whether you are a shutterbug, beach bunny or history fangirl or fanboy, there is something for every solo traveller.

Get the lowdown in this Gran Canaria solo travel guide. Find out why you should add it to your travel bucket list, where to visit, how to get around and where to stay.

It’s all you need to visit Gran Canaria solo.

man walking across a broad sandy beach carrying a surf board

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GRAN CANARIA SOLO TRAVEL AT A GLANCE

Best Places to Visit

  • Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Puerto de Mogán
  • Maspalomas sand dunes
  • Arucas
  • Agüimes
  • Teror
  • Tejeda

Recommended Places to Stay

Recommended Day Tours

Friendly and welcoming – Gran Canaria is known for its friendly people and welcoming atmosphere, making it easy for solo travellers to meet new people and feel comfortable exploring the island on their own.

Vibrant social scene – There is a vibrant social scene in Gran Canaria, particularly in its capital, Las Palmas, and the popular resorts of Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. The wide range of entertainment options offers great opportunities to meet other travellers or locals.

Diverse landscapes – From pristine beaches to whitewashed mountain villages, sharp-toothed volcanoes to dramatic ravines, there is an astonishing array of landscapes packed into a small island.

a variety of cactus plants in a botanic garden

Balmy climate – The island enjoys a mild climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for solo travellers who want to escape harsh winters or scorching summers.

Transport infrastructure – It’s easy to travel around Gran Canaria by bus if you are not keen on hiring a car. For modest fares, services operated by Global will take you to most of the places that you want to visit on the island.

Plentiful accommodation – As Gran Canaria is a popular tourist destination solo travellers shouldn’t struggle to find somewhere to stay.

Affordable – Gran Canaria is a relatively affordable destination for solo travellers.

Eating out is inexpensive. I rarely paid more than €20 for an evening meal with wine.

Is Gran Canaria Safe for Female Solo Travellers?

Personal safety is one of the most important considerations of solo travellers, particularly women.
 
Gran Canaria is considered to be safe for female solo travellers. Crime, including pick-pocketing, is rare. But, as with any destination, don’t make yourself a target.
 
Keep your belongings safe. Stash your valuables at your accommodation and use an anti-theft backpack when you are out and about. I use this PacSafe backpack which has anti-RFID technology and a hidden pocket.
 
Stick to familiar streets after dark and make sure that you know your way back to your hotel or apartment.
 
Above all, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation.

Gran Canaria Solo Travel Itinerary

With just a week in Gran Canaria, you can easily hit its highlights, from the sand dunes of Maspalomas to the history and cultural attractions of Las Palmas. For a more relaxed stay with quality beach time, I recommend spending ten days.

Here is my pick of the best places to include in your Gran Canaria solo travel itinerary, all of which can be visited using public transport or on an inexpensive day tour.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The vibrant capital of Gran Canaria has the lot.  

The cobblestone streets of Vegueta, Las Palmas Old Town, are packed with historic attractions, including a magnificent cathedral and stunning architecture. But if you are also looking for a spot of R&R, Las Palmas has one of the best urban beaches in Europe, Las Canteras.

pretty small cobblestone square with fountain and beige and ochre colonial buildings
Vegueta

READ THIS NEXT: 10 Amazing Things to See in Las Palmas Old Town in One Day

pretty street lined with whitewashed buildings draped with red flowers
Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán

Puerto de Mogán is the island’s sunniest and most picturesque resort. It’s a photographer’s dream destination.

Unlike its bigger and brasher neighbours, this small resort town has retained the charm of its roots as a fishing village. Sea-filled water channels that run beneath its houses and between the beach and port have led to its nickname, Little Venice

READ THIS NEXT: Top 10 Things to Do in Puerto de Mogán

Maspalomas Sand Dunes

Walking through the sand dunes of Maspalomas you can imagine that you are in the Arabian desert. One of Gran Canaria’s most unforgettable sights, these 400 hectares of golden sand washed up from the ocean are home to a variety of flora and bird life.

The adjacent Maspalomas Beach is one of the island’s best.

rolling sand dunes looking out to sea under a blue sky are one of the best gran canaria solo travel destinations
Maspalomas
bronze sculpture of a camel in a narrow alleyway with yellow walls and cathedral dome view
Sculpture in Agüimes

Agüimes

Featuring a show-stopping church, a perfectly preserved old town and artisans’ workshops, Agüimes in Gran Canaria oozes charm. One of my favourite things about this town was its sculpture trail, hunting down the eclectic collection of artworks that celebrate the town’s history.

And if it’s epic landscapes that you are craving, these are on the town’s doorstep.

READ THIS NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Agüimes, Gran Canaria

Teror

Don’t let its name put you off. Teror is one of the least scary places you will visit in Gran Canaria.

With its rich history and religious heritage and a perfectly preserved old town, this mountain town is instantly likeable. It is home to the most important religious site for Canarians, the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pino which features an extraordinary altarpiece.

view of street and roorftops of teror in gran canaria with a large cross in the foreground
Teror, Gran Canaria

READ THIS NEXT: The Ultimate Guide to Teror, Gran Canaria

a arucas church exterior 5
San Juan Bautista, Arucas

Arucas

Laidback Arucas is one of my favourite places in Gran Canaria.

Architecture buffs flock here to view Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, the town’s architectural masterpiece. Alcohol lovers make a beeline for the Arehucas Rum Distillery. I highly recommend both.

And if that’s not enough, the town has a gorgeous botanical garden.

READ THIS NEXT: Top 10 Things to See in Arucas, Gran Canaria

Tejeda

Tucked into the folds of a volcanic caldera, Tejeda is one of Gran Canaria’s prettiest mountain villages. The town is famous for its almond trees and, unsurprisingly, specialises in almond-flavoured goodies, including mazapanes (almond cakes).

Close by is Roque Nublo, the island’s most famous rock, and Pico de las Nieve.

caldera of tejeda with small village
Caldera of Tejda

When is the Best Time to Visit Gran Canaria?

Gran Canaria has balmy temperatures year-round but visit in spring or autumn (fall) for milder temperatures and less chance of rain. But even in the height of summer, the higher temperatures are moderated by the trade winds.

How to get to Gran Canaria

Several scheduled and charter flights from across Europe land at Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), 11 miles south of Las Palmas and 16 miles north of the main tourist resorts of Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. If you are travelling from the US, you will usually have to connect through Madrid or Barcelona.

Transmediterranea and Naviera Armas operate boat services between Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands.  

Together with Tenerife and Lanzarote, Gran Canaria is also a hugely popular cruise destination.

Getting Around Gran Canaria

The most flexible way of exploring Gran Canaria is by car but this is not for everyone (and certainly not for me). Thanks to an extensive network and cheap fares, it’s easy to get around Gran Canaria by bus.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Explore Gran Canaria by Bus

blue gran canaria bus

Tours of Gran Canaria

To maximise your time on the island, why not join one of the affordable day tours? Excursions are also an excellent way for you to meet other people as a solo traveller. 

I book my day tours through GetYourGuide. I like the booking interface, there’s an easy-to-use app and their tours usually come with a generous free cancellation window.

Here are a few tours that are worth considering:

Treasures of Gran Canaria Tour

This highly-rated day tour from Las Palmas showcases the diversity of the island’s landscapes, from the dunes of Maspalomas to the Guayadeque ravine at Agüimes.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Volcano Heart Tour & Local Food Tasting

This is my kind of day tour. Dramatic ravines, volcanic calderas, fragrant pine forests plus sampling local food and drink specialities.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Gran Canaria Solo Travel: Where to Stay

Choosing the right hotel or apartment is key to the success of a solo trip. As well as being comfortable and welcoming, it needs to be in a safe location.  

Where you stay in Gran Canaria will depend on your itinerary whilst on the island, and the duration of your vacation.

I visited Gran Canaria for ten days and split my time between Puerto de Mogán in the south and Las Palmas. Puerto de Mogán provides the perfect base in which to relax, whereas Las Palmas is the best place to stay if you are exploring Gran Canaria by bus.

If you are looking for a livelier resort, check out Playa del Inglés or Maspalomas, which is the slightly more upmarket of the two.

Where to stay in Puerto de Mogán

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria Mogán

I stayed at this high-end hotel, a ten-minute walk from the beach. This could be the right choice for you if you are looking for an affordable, comfortable 5-star resort hotel with impeccable service.

bedroom in radisson blu hotel in puerto de mogan gran canaria
terrace of hotel room with 2 sun loungers and a table with 2 chairs

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS & PRICES

Here are a few alternatives that I have found that may suit other tastes and budgets:

Mid-range: Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa

If you are looking for a cheaper option that is closer to the beach, take a look at this 4-star hotel set in extensive tropical gardens. Other travellers rate it highly.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

HD Mogán Coral Apartments

For a self-catering option, take a look at these sunny apartments, a stone’s throw from the beach and marina.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

Where to stay in Las Palmas

I opted to stay in the heart of Las Palmas Old Town. But if you prefer to be close to the beach, look at properties near Las Canteras.

Apartments Vegueta Suite

This spacious apartment in the heart of Vegueta is perfect if you want to be close to Las Palmas Old Town and its restaurants and within easy walking distance of San Telmo Bus Station for trips further afield. It was also very affordable considering its location, size and amenities, which include a washing machine.

bedroom in a rental apartment with wooden floor and a bed with grey and beige checked linen
lounge in a rental apartment with a table and 5 chairs, sofa and tv

>>> CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS & PRICES

Here are a few other places I have found that may suit other budgets and tastes:

Midrange – VEINTIUNO Emblematic Hotels

If you want to stay in the Old Town but prefer a hotel take a look at this lovely 4-star hotel. It has a rooftop terrace with views to die for.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

Splurge – Santa Catalina, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

Do you want to stay in a beach hotel in Las Palmas? Santa Catalina might be for you if you are looking for all the facilities, comfort and service you would expect in a 5-star hotel.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS & PRICES

Why You Should Take a Solo Holiday to Gran Canaria

Choosing a solo travel destination can be challenging, especially if you are travelling alone for the first time.

Ideally, you want somewhere that is easy to get around, has a good climate and is affordable. Above all, it needs to be safe, especially if you are a female solo traveller.

Gran Canaria ticks all of those boxes and has something for every solo traveller.

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

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