• Sweden edition
 

Gran Canaria: island of activity

Published: 23 Dec 2011 20:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Dec 2011 20:07 GMT+01:00

And that puts the spotlight on Gran Canaria. While its beaches compete with the best of them, it’s the incredibly varied landscape – above and below the waterline – that is proving to be an increasing draw for active travellers.

“Yes, it’s true that people are looking for a more active holiday these days,” says Sofia Rauneo at Tennis Center Maspalomas.

“Normally people come here to surf or cycle in the winter time, especially in September to May. And many people come here to play tennis in groups all year round.”

According to Sofia, the type of visitor depends on the time of year. In October and November the tennis centre, with its six clay courts, is a magnet for sporty Scandinavians escaping the descending gloom at home.

“A lot of people who come here to play tennis are from academies and clubs. Of course, they come to play tennis here because of the nice weather.”

Indeed, the island’s dramatic landscape and fine weather all year round makes it the perfect winter retreat destination for hundreds of sports teams from all over Europe. But you don’t have to be a pro to experience the thrilling combination of action, beauty and Atlantic air.

If land activities are your thing, then you’ll find numerous ways of getting about the island under your own steam.

Bart Bonne at Happy Biking, located in Playa del Inglés, points out that Gran Canaria offers a unique opportunity for cyclists.

“We take people out in nature and up to the mountains. The highest spot we go is 2,000 metres above sea level,” he says.

“It can be zero degrees there and well over 20 down below. The views are great. On the bike hikes you will see the biggest lake area, and views of every kind.”

Next year will be particularly exciting for Bart, as the cycling world gathers on Gran Canaria for one of the stages of the Vuelta a España – the first time the international cycle race has visited the island since 1988.

“We’ll offer something very special. Maybe trips around parts we haven’t taken people to before,” he says.

But if you’re happier on foot than on wheels, two feet or four will get you about just as well, with hiking and horse riding tours organised all over the island.

Gran Canaria’s coastline is awash with water sports outlets. Surfing and windsurfing in the Atlantic swell are a must for adrenaline junkies but for a truly memorable ocean experience, seek out one of the many dive centres on the island.

The Canary Islands’ volcanic geology has formed an underwater wonderland for divers, with lava caves, wrecks, and reefs on the north, east and south coasts and some of the most varied marine life in the world.

There’s so much to see and Stefan Mahl at Divecenter Nautico says that he tries to take visitors to as many dive spots as possible around the island.

“In the water you can see barracuda and octopuses. You can also see manta ray in autumn, which is a rare thing to witness,” he says.

And having made the effort to learn to dive, if do you get to see some rare marine wildlife won’t you want to prove it to the folks back home? Don’t worry – the dive school has thought of that.

“We take pictures while we’re underwater,” says Stefan. “People like to buy them as a memory.”

SAS and Norwegian fly direct from Stockholm to Las Palmas. Charter Airlines including TUIfly Nordic and Primera Air fly from Stockholm, Gothenburg and regional airports. Other options include Spanair, Iberia and Air Berlin, changing in Barcelona, Madrid or Berlin.

Article sponsored by Visit Spain

Related links:

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

NEWS_NOT_YET_IMPORTED
Today's headlines
Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Railway fatalaties on the rise in Sweden

Even though Sweden's Traffic Agency has drastic plans to reduce the number of people killed by trains in Sweden, a new report shows that figures are on the rise. READ  

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

Woman finds Ikea bags stuffed with 80 skeletons

UPDATED: A woman in southern Sweden is furious after stumbling upon scores of skulls and human bones inside Ikea bags in a church. The man who dug up the bones, however, says it's not as bad as it looks. READ  

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

Swedish Wikipedia jumps to second biggest

There are now more Swedish Wikipedia entries than any other language in the world, besides English. And there's one Swede who's largely responsible. READ  

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police
The aftermath of the attack in Seved, Malmö on July 6th 2014. Drago Prvulovic / TT

Assault with iron pipe 'no hate crime': police

Police in southern Sweden have concluded that a man who was beaten with an iron pipe for hanging an Israeli flag in his window was not a victim of a hate crime. READ  

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

AstraZeneca hikes earnings outlook

After fighting off a fierce takeover bid from Pfizer, Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca raised its 2014 earnings outlook and posted rising second quarter sales on Thursday. READ  

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag meets children in Husby, Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Race to be scrapped from Swedish legislation

The Swedish government announced that it plans to remove all mentions of race from Swedish legislation, saying that race is a social construct which should not be encouraged in law. READ  

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

US aircraft 'violates' Swedish airspace

A mystery airplane that passed over Swedish airspace recently has been revealed as an American aircraft, sources revealed on Thursday. READ  

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Elite schools stripped of 'special' privileges

Sweden's three elite boarding schools can no longer charge tuition fees, the government announced on Thursday, in a string of changes following a two-year review. READ  

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace
Photos: TT

Bildt lays out four steps to Gaza peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated that there are four steps to achieving peace in Gaza, and that it begins with removing the blockade - which has "played into Hamas' hands". READ  

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Malmström snags EU commissioner post again

Cecilia Malmström has been nominated to be the European Commissioner for another five years, Sweden's prime minister announced on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Stockholm demonstration against Israel
National
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
National
Gender neutral pronoun 'hen' enters dictionary
Society
Top ten cafes in Stockholm
People-watching
Gallery
People-watching - Stockholm Pride
Blog updates

31 July

Calling a speedo a speedo (Blogweiser) »

"There are a lot of speedos on Europe’s beaches. Some European males are evidently more comfortable sporting small, stretchy suits on public beaches than I would be. I accept it may be nice to have swimwear that’s not long and cumbersome. A speedo is maybe also good for tanning. But strolling around town in a..." READ »

 

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden
Society
Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Lifestyle
Stockholm Pride kicks off
Analysis
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
National
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
National
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
National
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Gallery
Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

743
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se