Coming to the island on a cruise? If you are one many arriving in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on a cruise, we will quickly trust you with the keys to the city’s treasure, as soon as you set foot on the island. Why should we hide our treasure? You would end up finding it sooner or later anyway. With this, we save you time.
The jewel in the crown is Playa de Las Canteras, the pearl the city doesn’t keep hidden away. It is a long strip of sand that stretches for miles along the bay, a place of special charm you will find only 3 or 4 blocks along from the cruise terminal.
Locals keep saying Las Canteras is one of the nation’s best urban beaches. And they have every reason to believe it. This is a beach blessed with fine weather practically all year round. A getaway within the capital city, a place where the hands of time seem to have stopped. A type of beach-style Central Park, where sports can be played any day of the week. Don’t forget your swimming clothes and your surf board!
Furthermore, the island is a large marine life reserve. Its sea bed is home to a thousand fish species. On dry land, it shelters tourists, fishermen, and surfers. And it has a peculiar feature, which locals know as “La Barra”, a long rock formation spreading not far from the sand. A singular strip of volcanic rock that protects a large chunk of the beach from the tides, and which turns our bay into the best place this side of the globe to swim and practically “walk on the water” on days of low tide.
When a stroll is your undisputed choice, we recommend the long walk along the sand, past coffee shops and ice-cream parlours. The first thing you will come across are the Puntilla sidewalk cafés and the fresh-fish restaurants. At the other end of the beach is the surfing environment around the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, with yet more sidewalk cafés and bars by the sea.
But we must warn you: if your intention is to stay for several days, on Wednesday forget about finding the beach you saw on Monday, it just cannot be done.
Las Canteras is known by all as the Changing Beach. It will never be the place you saw on previous days. This is one of its special traits: it’s always the same place, but appears different all the time.
There you have it. The treasure of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria lies hidden only 5 minutes off the cruise pier. Do not expect further clues. Should you wish to admire the jewel in the city’s crown, just walk four blocks. Follow anyone whistling as they walk with a towel, parasol, or surf board on their shoulders.