Last updated on February 13, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Canary Islands

Where to stay in Gran Canaria – best region for couples, families and nightlife

Gran Canaria is the second most populated island in the Canary Archipelago. Dubbed the “Miniature Continent” it is a place of true diversity in terms of everything from culture and topography to climate and biology.

Planning a trip to the island is no doubt a great idea and you will have no shortage of activities and scenery for your itinerary. However, figuring out where to stay in Gran Canaria can be quite a challenge given all the different location options that you have to choose from. 

If you are looking for a little nudge in the right direction you have come to the right place. In the sections below you will find information about the island’s major towns and where to stay depending on what kind of experience you are looking for.

The best thing? It’s all updated, no old stuff around.

In this guide you will see

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Gran Canaria Airport
Gran Canaria Airport

Before flying over, have a check to Gran Canaria News for the island events and for the latest news browse the Island Connection

Best resort areas to stay in Gran Canaria

The best resorts and hotels in Gran Canaria are located south of the Airport, only 20 to 30 minutes drive to the final destination.

This is the beauty of this island, easy and quick access to your room. In no time you will have your feet on the beach.

The south of the island gets the best sunny and warm weather, even in winter with an average temperature of 20-22C degrees.

The south is very popular between December and February with Scandinavians that travel to Gran Canaria to avoid the freezing winter back at home.

Between June and September, the temperature in the south gets into the 30s. The sea breeze still chills down the evenings and nights

In summer, the capital Las Palmas tends to be a bit cooler, especially Playa Las Canteras.

Here below a map with the major destinations

Best resort areas to stay in Gran Canaria
Top destinations to stay in Gran Canaria

Here below a quick summary of best resort areas to stay in Gran Canaria:

  • Where to stay in Gran Canaria for couples: Puerto de Mogan (romantic) and San Augustin (laid back)
  • Best place to stay in Gran Canaria for families: Arguineguin (with small children) and Puerto Rico (for grown-up kids)
  • Where to stay in Gran Canaria for nightlife: Playa del Inglés (clubbing and young crowd)
  • Top destinations in Gran Canara for everything: Maspalomas (for any kind of holiday)
  • The surprise destination: Las Palmas (cheaper and with all you need)

Where to stay in Gran Canaria for couples

Islands are to couples what theme parks are to children; a place of true wonder.

Gran Canaria is no exception to this rule. However, for you to tap into the island’s romantic vein, you need to be wise about where you choose to stay.

Here are two great options to consider.

Puerto de Mogan Beach
Puerto de Mogan Beach

Puerto de Mogan (romantic Little Venice)

Located on the South-Western coast of Gran Canaria, this upscale market district and fishing port can only be described as enchanting.

It gets its nickname “Little Venice” from the canals running through the town which give it the almost tangible romantic vibe. 

This spot is the ideal romantic getaway location on the island for many reasons.

The first is the picturesque streets lined by beautifully preserved historic architecture. This makes for a perfect setting for a romantic walk with your partner.

You also have a lot of shops and markets to check out on your way for souvenirs including the Mercedillo de Mogan Flea Market.

The numerous resorts on the water also mean that you will have an endless supply of beach trips and breathtaking sunsets to enjoy. 

You and your partner also have a lot to look forward to in terms of ideal eat-out spots for a romantic dinner date or two while on the island.

One great option, in this case, is Caravaggio Italian Restaurant & Pizza. You got a slice of Italy with the canals why not top it off with a nice Italian dinner. Their pizza and wine options are definitely going to ensure that you and your beau have a great night. 

The other great option for your fun night out is Casito Mediterraneo. Now, this is the very definition of a romantic boutique experience. From the architectural wonder that houses the restaurant to the decadent dishes and amazing marina views, you will be transported to a magical world.

San Augustin (laid back with easy access to nightlife)

Puerto de Mogan may have all the pizzazz and excitement for a memorable trip but if you are looking for something more laid back then San Augustin is the best place to stay in Gran Canaria for couples. 

Sun Bathing in Gran Canaria
Sun Bathing in Gran Canaria

Despite its status as a resort town and as a result its notoriety as a popular tourist hotspot, San Augustin has managed to maintain a pretty chill and laid back vibe.

This is ideal if you just want to have some nice quiet time alone to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

For this, you have a number of resorts chuck full of awesome amenities to choose from.

And when, or should I say if, you ever wish to leave your hotel, there is so much to do in the town.

This includes having a romantic seaside picnic on the black volcanic sand beaches, bike tour or watching the Maspalomas Carnival if you happen to be there at the right time. 

While enjoying the local night scene, you could try out one of their many amazing late-night restaurants. One of these is Restaurante Gorbea. This beautiful upscale restaurant is as romantic as it gets with its mood-setting décor and amazing terrace vibes. The food is also really awesome and is based on ethnic Spanish cuisine. 

Another great restaurant to try while here is Restaurante Duomo di Milano. This classic Italian restaurant is ideal for those romantic dinner dates where you want a nice simple setting, as well as amazing food and wine with which to pass the night.  

In addition to these activities and attractions, you get easy access to night clubs and bars for a fun night out as a couple. You will find these in Playa de Ingles which is just one taxi ride away.

Best place to stay in Gran Canaria for families

Gran Canaria is one of the most family-friendly of the Canary Islands.

This is because of its perfect combination of exciting attractions, beautiful beaches and overall child-friendly vibes.

There are, however, two areas of the island that will offer your family the best possible experience. These are:

Amadores Beach in Puerto Rico
Amadores Beach in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (water sports for grown-up kids)

If you are travelling with older kids especially teenagers, it can be really hard to keep them interesting.

You will have to have an itinerary filled with activities more exciting than what they have on their phones. That is what makes Gran Canaria’s Puerto Rico ideal when you are travelling as a family with teenagers.

Here, you will have a wide variety of things to do and places to see as a family that will have everyone excited to be outdoors.

Watersports, in particular, are a great way to spend time together including windsurfing, kayaking, and scenic boat rides. 

The kids might also enjoy a trip to Ocean Fun Park. With the numerous inflatable water part facilities, it is pretty much a guarantee for a fun-packed day. 

When the inevitable munchies kick in after a long day of exploring together, stop by at Minanas. It is popular with local families for the perfect child-friendly ambiance and equally amazing dishes. Their lamb chops, in particular, are very popular so if you get stuck on the menu you have an idea of what to go for. 

Another popular family-friendly restaurant is ViP Pizza. They are kids; you will literally never go wrong with pizza. This joint in particular stands out with its characteristic Italian pizza options and overall great ambiance.

Arguineguin (relaxed and easy-going for small children)

When travelling with younger children, on the other hand, the aim is to find fun activities for them to expend all their energy on.

Arguineguin view from the top of town
Arguineguin view from the top of town

It is also important to find somewhere that in addition to having exciting attraction is more or less relaxed.

This makes things significantly less chaotic which ensure that the whole family, not just the kids, get to enjoy the trip. 

The one location in Gran Canaria that perfectly matches this description is Arguineguin.

This quaint little resort village is the real embodiment of chill beach vibes. There is plenty to do and see here but it would be a real crime to visit without checking out the promenades.

These are ideal for taking nice walks as a family and allow you to take in breathtaking views including the sunset. 

The little ones would also enjoy a trip to nearby Palmatos Park which is a short taxi ride away. Here, you will get to take fun walks in the botanical gardens and watch a beautiful dolphin show in the dolphinarium. 

Finally, you can have a foodie adventure with your little ones in which case they would definitely really enjoy Casa Norberto.

This local restaurant is ideal for families with its wide menu that caters both little kids and adults. This is a simple place to enjoy the night with lovely service. And at a great price too.

Best family resort in Gran Canaria

Here below 3 fantastic resorts if you are looking for a family-friendly place to spend the holiday.

All these hotels have typically a kids club and swimming pools for every age.

The Lopesan Baobab Resort has been long one of my favorites, and for many reasons. The service is fantastic and with great attention (in a positive way) to the kids. The breakfast is amazing, a perfect way to start the day. So many pools to choose from. For any kid age and some quiet time too. There is always something on with the kids club. Really a great choice in Gran Canaria, just 20 minutes from the airport and next to the Maspalomas dunes.

Check availability at the Lopesan Baobab

Lopesan Baobab Resort
Lopesan Baobab Resort

The Suites & Villas By Dunas is another kids-friendly resort next to the Maspalomas dunes, however at a much lower price range. There is a space for kids, a new splash pool and even a playground, and a space for the grown-up, with a gym and even a small night-club. Four pools to make happy everyone. Again, fantastic service.

Check the incredible deal at Dunas

Suites and Villas By Dunas
Suites and Villas By Dunas

The Radisson Blu Resort in Arguineguin is a fantastic option to stay on the beach. There are 4 pools, from the small kids’ option to the quiet adults-only one. Service is once again very attentive to any need. The rooms are spacious and perfect for some family time.

Check availability at Radisson Blue

Radisson Blu Resort in Arguineguin
Radisson Blu Resort in Arguineguin

Where to stay in Gran Canaria for nightlife

Gran Canaria is not exactly known for having the wildest party scene or nightlife on the Canary Archipelago.

That reputation has been left to islands like Tenerife and Lanzarote.

However, it does hold its own with towns like Playa del Ingles and partially Maspalomas, both offering travelling night owls a chance to truly enjoy themselves. 

Super heroes at Playa del Ingles
Super heroes at Playa del Ingles

Playa del Inglés (most famous clubs)

Playa del Ingles has the most famous night clubs and is the ideal destination if you are looking for a very lively night scene.

Do not be deceived by the town’s relaxed vibes during the day. This is because at night the place really comes to life and if you love a great night scene you will love Playa del Ingles. 

For the most part, the club and bar patronage features a very young crowd.

This, of course, contributes a great deal to the overall energy that you will get to enjoy from the different spots.

A great example of this would be Moods Club Canarias. Here, it is all about dancing and having fun with the popular spot having one of the largest dance floors and liveliest set of entertainers on the island.  

However, even as an old soul, there is a lot to do whether it is visiting more laid back pubs, going for live music shows or having a gourmet night out at one of the many awesome restaurants.

You could try The Tipsy Hammock Bar. This cocktail bar is popular for its craft cocktails and a wide variety of other drinks. They also have food including pizzas and burgers if you wish to make a whole all-rounded night out of it.

Best place to stay in Gran Canaria for everything

Different parts of Gran Canaria have different things to offer. From wild nights in Playa des Ingles to romantic vibes in Little Venice.

It really all depends on what you want from your trip. What if I told you that you did not have to choose which experience to have which one to forgo?

What if you could enjoy relaxed beach vibes, upscale yet affordable accommodations, fun days and wild nights all in one place?

Well, that is exactly what Maspalomas has to offer.

Maspalomas dunes
Maspalomas dunes

Maspalomas (for every experience)

This town will allow you to enjoy the best of Gran Canaria without having to travel around the Island too much. 

With its world-famous Sand Dunes of Maspalomas, the monumental El Faro De Maspalomas lighthouse and the Maspalomas Botanical Gardens it is clear that there is no shortage of attractions.

This makes the town perfect for everyone from families and couples to friend groups and solo backpackers. 

It is also the perfect balance between lively and quiet, especially at night.

It has its fair share of night-time establishments including night clubs, bars and late-night eateries.

These offer the young and the young at heart a lot of options on where to have fun.

At the same time, it tends to be pretty quiet and calm around the hotels and resorts which means that you don’t have to worry about booming club music and rowdy patrons ruining your precious relaxation time. 

Speaking of parties and fun, Maspalomas also happens to be the islands unofficial LGBTQ capital.

This is because it is home to numerous clubs and social scenes catering to the community. So if you want to explore this side of the island then Maspalomas is the place to go.

A surprising and different stay in Gran Canaria – Las Palmas

Las Palmas is rarely mentioned as a destination to stay in Gran Canaria, I guess, mostly because of its city feeling.

View to Las Palmas beach
View to Las Palmas beach

But, in some respect, I find Las Palmas quite underrated, especially if you are after a long stay on the island.

The beach on the west side of the city, Playa de Las Canteras, is actually a beautiful one, with the possibility to practice also some surfing too.

Internet speed has increased consistently in the last few years making Las Palmas one of the new nomad destinations in the world.

This city is also well renowned with Scandinavians that spend the European winter here avoiding the freezing temperatures of Northern Europe.

I find Las Palmas a great spot to stay long term, a few weeks or even a season. It has all the city facilities with a great holiday vibe.

Trekking in Gran Canaria
Trekking in Gran Canaria
Photo credits on a few photos in this post
Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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