Last updated on December 20th, 2023
I have just returned from Gran Canaria island where Mark and I spent 2 weeks taking a break from our cozy life in Tenerife, and thought to write this post with my thoughts on how many days in Gran Canaria is enough for a meaningful trip.
It was not really a vacation for us (as we still had to work a few hours each day) but we managed to have a fantastic holiday during this time, going on a few road trips around Gran Canaria, seeing the best between Las Palmas and Guia and then Agaete, and in the end spending 5 fantastic days in the south of the island in this beautiful and quiet 5-star hotel.
When leaving, there were still quite a few places left that we didn’t visit as this island had much more to offer than we initially thought. For us, 2 weeks time in Gran Canaria was a perfect time to absorb the island’s essence in its entirety and have an extra layer of rejuvenation to the trip. But for someone else, it may be too much time.
So let’s quickly talk about how much time is enough for a Gran Canaria holiday, considering different travel goals and budgets.
Visiting Gran Canaria Soon?
If you are planning a trip to Gran Canaria in the nearest future, I have a few helpful recommendations:
Unique Experiences to Have in Gran Canaria:
- Full Day Across the Island Trip (top pic highlights tour!)
- Rainforest & Eco Farm Tour (unique place in the entire archipelago!)
- Volcano Crater Tour (to the heart of Gran Canaria!)
- Coastering Beyond the Beaches (to explore ocean cliffs)
Beautiful Hotels in Gran Canaria:
- Salobre Hotel & Resort (with 7 pools best for tranquility)
- H10 Playa Meloneras (best 5* hotel on a budget)
- Santa Catalina Royal Hideaway (for a historical luxurious stay)
- Grand Horizon Boutique (upscale with kitchens, best for luxurious long-term stays)
Thinking to Go on a Road Trip?
How Many Days to Spend in Gran Canaria to Experience the Island?
If you look to experience Gran Canaria beyond the typical resort experience, you’ll need to plan at least 7 full days for a trip (10 would be ideal). It is an optimal duration that allows to travel around the island at a relaxed pace while fully immersing yourself in the island’s character.
Within this timeframe, you’ll unlock Gran Canaria’s treasures and can visit both cities (do not miss Las Palmas) and smaller towns (where historical charm meets modern energy) as well as spend a bit of time on one of the beaches.
Also, since distances are rather short, it is easy enough to combine a trip to villages like Tejeda and Teror and join one of the must-do tours in Gran Canaria like snorkeling in Puerto de Mogan or visiting the banana plantation.
If this is not your first trip to the Canary Islands and you had similar experiences on one of the other islands, then you’ll still have plenty of other things to do like seeing the iconic sand dunes of Maspalomas and the lush forests of Tamadaba or witnessing the beauty of Tejeda municipality with the biggest natural crag in the world.
By dedicating 7 to 10 days to your Gran Canaria journey, you’ll have a very personal exploration, crafting a tapestry of memories.
How Many Days Are Enough for a Road Trip?
To make the most of your road trip experience in Gran Canaria, I’d say you need to allocate approximately 5 to 7 days. This timeframe strikes a good balance between leisurely exploration and covering the island’s key highlights.
Anything below 5 days (to speak frankly) is just too little time. You’ll either end up hopping places or just skipping many of them. Anything above this time can be already too much time as you’ll find repetitive scenery and things to do.
With 5 to 7 days at your disposal, you can make a loop (by car) around Gran Canaria at a relaxed pace, dedicating time to detours to nearby beaches and inland villages. However, it is better to choose for your stay small boutique hotels or airbnbs where you won’t end up spending much time (like in resorts) and have enough time for the road.
7 days road trip itinerary around Gran Canaria will provide enough time to incorporate in your itinerary a few outdoor activities (including one of the hikes either to a famous rock Roque Nublo or to Caldera de Bandama volcano crater) and time spent on the beach. With 5 days you’ll need to prioritize and skip many activities/places.
With 5 days of road tripping in Gran Canaria, you’ll have just enough time to drive through places making stops along the way. But there won’t be much time for slowing down, walking around, and exploring each place in depth.
If you are like me and enjoy taking it slowly, particularly in destinations that introduce local culture (in Gran Canaria, there are quite a few of them, like Vegueta and Triana neighborhoods in Las Palmas, Arucas or Agaete towns, or Guayadeque Ravine for example), you do want to plan to devote at least full week to a road trip on this island. And in my guides, I show where exactly to go to maximize the time.
How Many Days to Spend on the Resort?
As much as your budget allows with only a couple of things to keep in mind. The quality of the time in Gran Canaria resort-hotel often depends on the resort itself and time of the year when you travel.
Some hotels in Gran Canaria (like Lopesan Costa Meloneras or Lopesan Villa de Conde Resort) have numerous swimming pools and large territory with many activities where it is easy to get lost and spend a week or more not noticing how much time passes.
However, in July and August and around Christmas holidays these same hotels surprisingly offer many deals that attract disruptive clientele who believe they are exempt from common courtesy or rules. This can become a reason why many people will not enjoy a long stay in such hotels and it may be better to choose more upscale and secluded properties.
Other hotels (smaller ones like Marina Suites in Puerto Rico or a budget 5* hotel H10 in Meloneras) do not have much to offer in terms of activities or amenities (but they have all-inclusive). This is why they may be also not the best picks for long stays unless you plan to get out and sightsee. Hotels of this type suit better those who need a nice not overwhelming short getaway in Gran Canaria for 3-4 nights.
If you are looking to stay in the resort only and have no interest in sightseeing, it is better to look into large resorts (including adults-only) and preferably outside busy July and August. This will guarantee a tranquil experience.
Smaller hotels (including 4-star hotels in Gran Canaria) can be quite boring for a long stay on their own. They are not like hotels of the same type in beach towns of Turkey or the Caribbean for example and do not offer much besides small pools and limited restaurant options.
If you look for a peaceful one week or even 2 weeks resort stay in Gran Canaria, check out (my absolute favorite) Salobre Resort or Grand Horizon Boutique hotel (this second one has rooms with kitchens). Even in the highest tourist season they stay quiet and offer an immersive experience for all, adults and children alike.
For more hotel and resort options, there is a separate post to Gran Canaria luxury hotels.
FAQs About Length of Stay in Gran Canaria
Are 3 Days Enough for a Visit?
Honestly? No, 3 days is definitely not enough time for Gran Canaria Island.
This period can provide a taste of the island’s beauty and charm, but you will surely feel rushed. With only 3 days, you’ll have to prioritize your activities and sights and will be able to see only southern or northern part.
Technically you can drive around Gran Canaria within 3 days and cover only major points of interest but be ready to skip a lot along the way or be really in a hurry.
Is 1 Week in Gran Canaria Enough Time?
One week in Gran Canaria is a good starting point that provides a satisfying and well-rounded experience, allowing to see many of the island’s highlights.
During 7 days, you can visit key attractions, enjoy the beaches, and even take a day trip or two.
While you won’t be able to cover everything in depth, a week provides a good balance between exploration and relaxation. If you’re looking to delve deeper into the island’s offerings and have a more leisurely pace, consider extending your stay to around 10 days.
Are 2 Weeks in Gran Canaria Too Much Time?
Initially, I thought it was going to be too much time. After living in different towns of Tenerife for almost a year and going to Gran Canaria for 2 weeks felt at first like the trip was going to be boring.
I thought the island was small and the scenery was not going to surprise. But it actually did! Especially the cliffs in Agaete, a few archaeological sites with a series of caves, and sand dunes in Maspalomas were very different from any landscape in Tenerife. Sand dunes in particular reminded me of the desert surrounding Dubai.
So, overall, spending a solid two weeks in Gran Canaria opens up the perfect opportunity to fully explore the island’s captivating beauty and have diverse experiences on one trip.
With the luxury of a full 14 days, you’re in for a chance to uncover everything – traverse landscapes, charming villages, have time to walk around the capital, stay in a resort at least a few days, and even attend one of the festivals (which happen almost weekly in different parts of the island).
2 weeks in Gran Canaria is the perfect timeframe to see almost everything and venture beyond the typical tourist spots.
So… How Many Days in Gran Canaria is Enough for a Holiday?
Now when I can sum it up, I’ll say that the duration that’s considered “enough” for your Gran Canaria holiday depends on how deeply you wish to connect with this island, no matter if you visited other islands of the archipelago before or not.
The ideal length of a trip would be between 7 to 10 days (depending on when exactly you arrive and leave) as it provides a good balance between exploration and relaxation. With less time you will need to be ready to skip many places.
However, 2 weeks in Gran Canaria will be highly rewarding as it’ll allow you to explore beyond the well-known spots, engage with the local way of life, take leisurely day trips, and create meaningful memories.
More Posts on the Canary Islands
- Introduction to Northern Tenerife – what to expect
- Tenerife North or South – how to decide which one is better for you
- Renting a Car in Tenerife – tips & insight for a good road trip
- Beautiful Tenerife Views – from restaurants, vista points, and scenic drives