The mild, as opposed to wild, weather conditions all year round make Gran Canaria the perfect destination for those looking for plenty of fun in the sea. Sea temperatures rarely drop below 18ºC in winter, the average temperature for the rest of the year being around 23°C.
Gran Canaria is a sailor’s dream, especially from April to October. The sailing centres can be found in Las Palmas, where the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) departs from, and on the south coast, specifically Puerto Rico, Pasito Blanco, Arguineguín and Puerto Mogán. In these ports, a number of schools offer equipment hire and tuition. Gran Canaria boasts some of the best practicing conditions worldwide with local sailing clubs producing several Olympic champions. Head to any resort by the sea and you will easily find a school or company providing you with what you need to start sailing.
Gran Canaria is considered one of the best places in the world for windsurfing. You can windsurf all along the coast from the east to the south, but there’re also very good conditions at Playa de las Canteras in Las Palmas and at Gáldar in the north west.
If you want to see the top windsurfers in action, though, head to Pozo Izquierdo, where winds can reach speeds of up to 60 kmph, and to Playa de Vargas, one of the venues of the PWA Wave Classic Grand Prix.
Bodyboarding and Surfing
You can best enjoy these water sports on the north coast, between Las Palmas and Gáldar. Constant on-shore winds provide surfers with ideal conditions and waves that can be up to 5 metres high. Little wonder then that Gran Canaria has been dubbed the European Hawaii.
If you don’t want to bring your own board, there are several places in Gran Canaria where you can hire the necessary equipment.
The underwater world truly fascinates in Gran Canaria, with subtropical fishes, shipwrecks and caves representing some of the beauties you’ll see on your trip down under.
Finding a fully certified diving school in one of the major seaside resorts will not be a problem. Most of them offer beginner and advanced courses for more experienced divers, and also rent out diving equipment. Beginners should always start in sheltered harbours first before trying the open sea.
When diving in Gran Canaria, you shouldn’t miss visiting the marine reserve of El Cabrón off the east coast at Playa del Cabrón (wow factor 30), Pasito Blanco with its ideal conditions for underwater photography and two wrecks to explore for experienced divers. There’s also the fascinating diving sites of La Isleta in the north east and Sardina de Norte in the north west of the island.
If you are into big-game fishing, this is the place to come – especially during the main season from May to September. But Gran Canaria also provides ample opportunities to bottom-fish.
The major resorts in Gran Canaria house several companies offering deep-sea fishing, but the best harbours to set out from for this sport are Puerto de Mogán, Pasito Blanco and Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico’s 50+ deep-sea fishing world records speak for themselves. The main species to be found off the coast in these regions include several varieties of tuna and marlin, swordfish and, occasionally, sharks.
Cruises along the coasts, enjoy underwater excursions in a glass-bottom boat, dolphin and whale watching, on half-day or full-day tours… there’s a wide range of offers available at most of the major tourist resorts. You’ll find the biggest choice in places like Puerto Rico or Puerto de Mogán, where several companies specialise in off-shore leisure trips. Don’t rush into a decision, keep looking and compare prices and services. You’ll see that some offer more for a lower price, but the majority will provide you with a good quality service.
Parascending, Jet & Water Skiing
The major resorts in the south offer parascending, jet-skiing, water-skiing, speedboat trips and other adrenalin-pumping activities. You can also hire the ever-popular banana boats, pedal boats and sea kayaks –the perfect excuse for getting out on the water with your children.