Las Palmas (Photo:gumbao/Shutterstock)
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Maria Harding
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Las Palmas

Gran Canaria is a prime choice for the sun worshippers and water babies who flock to its abundant soft-sand beaches. Its port, Las Palmas, is the biggest city in the Canary Islands chain, and it's often visited by cruise ships. The island enjoys a spring-like climate year-round. Expect sunny days, warm water and an average annual temperature of a mild 69 degrees. Gran Canaria gets just about 10 days of rain each year.

Like most Canarian cities, Las Palmas owns a distinctly Spanish feel and a rich history (the Canary Islands are an autonomous region of Spain). Conquistadors -- attracted by palm groves and a broad bay -- founded the city in 1478, and Christopher Columbus called there during his famous voyage of 1492.

The port's palm tree-lined streets are clean, well laid out and richly endowed with fabulous floral displays -- the city's gardeners make the most of the balmy climate. And you don't have to travel far to find a pleasant beach; the honey-sanded Playa de las Canteras lies just northwest of the downtown area and has the distinction of being one of the longest city beaches in the world.

The port also lies close to the internationally famous sea resort Playa del Ingles and the spectacular desert scenery of Maspalomas. Both are popular resorts year-round, so you will find plenty of dining and lazy beach options. Farther afield, visitors can discover quaint old towns like Arucas and Teror or explore Gran Canaria's volcanic interior -- a surreal moonscape of craggy gorges and gaping craters.

About Las Palmas


Pro

Las Palmas has a cosmopolitan feel, brimming with shops, bars, restaurants and nightlife

Con

The port has become more commercialized and pickpocketing has been known

Bottom Line

Palm-tree lined boulevards and impressive Spanish architecture feature in this picturesque and busy port


Find a Cruise to Canary Islands

Where You're Docked

Ships dock at the Santa Catalina terminal, a major hub both for inter island ferry services and cruise ships.

Good to Know

Pickpockets roam the tourist areas. Be particularly vigilant during the high season and at crowded events, such as Carnival festivities.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The currency is the euro, and you'll find plenty of banks, Bureaux de Change (exchange bureaus) and ATMs, both in the terminal and in the main shopping districts. For updated currency conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com.

Language

Spanish is spoken there, and though many locals speak at least a smattering of English, you may want to carry a phrase book if you're heading off on your own.

Shopping

This is a good place to pick up a bottle or two of delicious Canarian wine; try Muscatel if you've got a sweet tooth or Vino del Monte if a rich claret is more to your taste.


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