Sunshine and sand dunes
Gran Canaria's diverse landscapes have bagged it the nickname 'a miniature continent'. The north is lush, green and leafy, the south has a desert feel, and the middle is all jagged mountains and dramatic rocks.
Skirting the island you've got almost 60 kilometres' worth of beaches. They cover off all bases, from rocky coves where you'll just have the crabs for company, to huge swathes of caramel-coloured sand.
Most of the beach resorts cluster around the island's southern edges. Puerto Rico is a great family-friendly option, and lines up a horseshoe-shaped bay and a prom that's bordered by restaurants. Head a little further up the coast and you'll hit the pretty fishing village of Puerto Mogan, dubbed Little Venice thanks to its network of palm-fringed canals. Then there's lively Playa del Ingles, which is next-door neighbours with the Arabian-style sand dunes of Maspalomas.
Flight time from the UK to Gran Canaria is approximately 4 hours 15 minutes.
Summers are long, hot and dry in Gran Canaria, keeping at a steady mid-20s and climbing beyond 30°C in July and August. The Canaries are a good destination for winter sun, too – even winter and the shoulder seasons stay warm and sunny, with averages hovering around 18°C.
Currently visas are not required for UK citizens travelling to Spain.
Restaurant bills include a service charge by law in Spain, so whether you choose to tip further is up to you. If you enjoyed the meal and service, it is customary to leave 5-10%. Hotel porters and maids will appreciate a small tip, and while taxi drivers don’t require a tip, it’s common to round up the fare.
The official language of Spain is Spanish. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.