Gran Canaria

Where to stay and play on the water in Gran Canaria 2024

Last updated 27th December 2023

Making all sorts of water activities part of Gran Canaria holidays is now a lot easier for families thanks to Gran Canaria Blue. So if 2024 is the year for your kids to have a new adventure, learn a skill or just have lots more safe and easy fun, you need to know more.

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Sailing, Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria’s coastline stretches for an incredible 236km, and 60 of those are beaches, running from soft and golden to the dark drama of volcanic sands. Its share of the Atlantic makes it a wonderful playground for water lovers. And you’ll find perfect conditions for almost any type of activity here. So you can windsurf as easily as you can kayak, fish or try something wild, like Flyboarding.

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Snorkelling, Gran Canaria

But where do you begin? Gran Canaria Blue brings together the best beachfront hotels and most trusted water sport operators on Gran Canaria, so choosing the right place to stay or people to play with leaves nothing to chance. You can let your kids try activities with complete confidence knowing they’re in safe hands, and you can also do a lot more because Gran Canaria Blue focus on value for money too.

Plus, with average temperatures of 22° in winter and some of the longest hours of sunshine in Europe during spring, summer and even autumn, Gran Canaria is open year round for holidays. Here’s where you should start making plans for 2024.

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Beachfront Servatur Green Beach Hotel, Gran Canaria

Servatur Green Beach, Patalavaca Beach, Arguineguín

Less than an hour’s drive south of Las Palmas airport, Servatur Green Beach sits on Patalavaca Beach, so close to the waterfront you’re practically surrounded by ocean.

Children love the fact that a day on the beach is just a short walk away rather than a major expedition. Although the hotel also features a large swimming pool of its own, along with a separate kids’ pool. And if you want some of the south coast’s most spectacular sea views, simply head up to the hotel’s large roof terrace and gaze away.

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Infinity pool, Marina Suites, Gran Canaria

Marina Suites Hotel, Puerto Rico Marina, Gran Canaria

As the name suggests, this charming hotel is about as close as it gets to Puerto Rico Marina on the south coast. But not content with waking you up to the blue Atlantic and clear skies every morning, Marina Suites brings the seaside inside too. Fresh, clean, contemporary and hint of nautical is the strong design theme, right down to a very cute ‘seagull in a lifebelt’ logo, which kids will appreciate no end.

An infinity pool surrounded by inviting sun beds – including Balinese ones – as well as children’s pool and kids’ club with activity programme, really underline how important families are here. However, if you can drag yourself away, beaches are within easy walking distance and Spirit of the Sea dolphin cruises is another Puerto Rico Marina resident.

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Spirit of the Sea dolphin cruises

Spirit of the Sea adds dolphins to Gran Canaria holidays

Gran Canaria is home to 29 species of dolphins and whales, from the charismatic, smiley bottlenose to rare beaked whales, and giants coming in at more than 30m long. But perhaps the most astonishing thing is how easy it is to get close to all this remarkable marine life – even flying fish and sea turtles.

Spirit of the Sea, based at Puerto Rico Marina, offer superb dolphin and whale watching cruises year round. Not only are they suitable for all ages – under threes cruise free – they range from two to three hours, and the skippers are some of the most experienced in the Canaries; so they know all the best dolphin and whale hang outs. And in more good news, prices are a lot lower than elsewhere in Europe, you pay the same for both cruise lengths, and a three hour voyage includes a swim stop, fun for older kids.

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Four-star Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa, Gran Canaria

Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa, Puerto de Mogán

Get ready to be completely enchanted by delightful four star Hotel Cordial Mogán Playa on Gran Canaria’s sunny southwest coast. Designed like a traditional Canarian village, this lovely hotel is also woven through with fantasy elements that TikTok loving teens will appreciate: just point them in the direction of the fabulous reception.

Architecture aside, lush and tropical landscaping is another theme here: both hotel pools are surrounded by magnificent gardens growing over 450 different plant species. Plus, the captivating fishing village of Mogán is only a short walk away, trimming along Mogán Beach, and sparkling white thanks to basking in more hours of sun each year than anywhere else in Europe.

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Family friendly Apartments Cordial Mogán Valle, Gran Canaria

Apartments Cordial Mogán Valle, the independent alternative

Apartments Cordial Mogán Valle gives you the choice of well designed one and two bedroom family apartments close to Mogán beach and Puerto de Mogán. Ideal for families with younger children, the apartments are set around grounds with three swimming pools, as well as tennis courts, jacuzzi, a splash park, and even a kids’ club for 4 to 12 year olds.

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Marina Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria

Puerto de Mogán Marina: the door to the Atlantic on Gran Canaria holidays

Puerto de Mogán Marina sticks with the local tradition of being both impossibly pretty and exceptionally entertaining. It describes itself as ‘more than a marina’ and that’s fair, considering it’s at the heart of island and international festivals year round, offers great places to shop and eat, and berths 246 vessels at capacity. So even if you don’t sail, wandering round in the sunshine looking at the beautiful boats is always fun.

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Submarine Adventure, Puerto de Mogán

Submarine Adventure: adventure underwater easily at Puerto de Mogán

Adventure 15m below the ocean off the coast of Puerto de Mogán and you come to Gran Canaria’s spectacular manmade reef. And the way to do this is on board the Submarine Adventure.

Every child’s dream is right here from the excitement of being underwater – without any of the fears – to seeing shoals of colourful fish gliding past your personal portholes, then gazing out over 300 ‘ancient’ artefacts strewn around the reef, earning it the name ‘Atlantis’.

Apart from being thrilling, this is also an eco-project and the excellent multi-lingual audio guide will tell you all about that, and much, much more during your 40 minute voyage under the sea.

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Jet Boat, Canary WaterSports, Puerto Rico

The best people for water sports come recommended by Gran Canaria Blue

Between non-stop sun, lovely beaches and the big, beautiful Atlantic, water sports are a natural fit for Gran Canaria holidays. But where do beginners begin, and more to the point, where’s safe and easy for children to join in the fun. Happily Gran Canaria Blue has already done the research. So now all you have to do is pick which sport, where, and with which recommended local company.

  • You’ll find Canary WaterSports in Puerto Rico. One of the longest established companies in Gran Canaria, the experienced team here can introduce you to anything from jet skiing and jet boating to parasailing hundreds of metres above the sea. Alternatively, for some really silly good fun, a whole family can fit on their Crazy Sofa.
  • If a gentler pace of ocean life is more your family’s thing, make for WaterSports Luis Molina on Playa Anfi del Mar in Mogán and hire kayaks or paddleboards. Although, it’s not all leisurely paddling here, as they also offer hi-octane thrills like Flyboarding, banana boating and wakeboarding.
  • There isn’t an experienced surfer anywhere who doesn’t love the Atlantic. So for first timers, kids who’re keen to give it a go or families who already know their stuff, Gran Canaria is surf heaven. BD Surf School on enormous Playa del Inglés comes highly recommended for children – local kids learn here at the weekend.
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Marina Puerto Deportivo Pasito Blanco , Gran Canaria

Puerto Deportivo Pasito Blanco: come to fish, stay for the day

Another welcoming south coast marina, Puerto Deportivo Pasito Blanco sits in a sheltered and sunny spot close to lovely beaches. Although you don’t have to simply laze the day away here, you can catch a boat instead and go sport fishing – at the right time of year – or family-friendly bottom fishing, any time.

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Learning to fish aboard Fish On, Gran Canaria

Fish On: family friendly fishing charters any time of year from Pasito Blanco

Fishing often gets overlooked on family holidays, but it can be an incredible experience to share with kids, if you fish with the right people. Fish On charters are based at Puerto Deportivo in Pasito Blanco and specialise in high-intensity sport fishing for Blue Marlin and Tuna. However, their experienced skippers are also experts at bottom fishing, which is great fun and perfect for a family day out.

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Gloria Palace San Agustín Thalasso & Hotel

How to add extra wellness to the natural feel good of Gran Canaria holidays

There’s no doubt that Gran Canaria holidays give you a natural sense of well being, but it’s also possible to take that a little further and add wellness to your stay at three of the island’s outstanding spa hotels. And if you don’t think spa hotels are for families, wait until you see all the non-spa activities kids can enjoy.

  • Gloria Palace Royal Hotel & Spa overlooks the Bay of Amadores in Puerto Rico, so the views from its rooms and suites are spectacular. But this extraordinary beach hotel boosts the benefits of its beautiful setting by giving guests free access to its spa circuit, which includes hydro-massage stations, bubble massages, micro-bubble beds and water jets, all in a balmy 35° pool. This family hotel also features two children’s pools outdoors, as well as a kids’ club for 4 to 12 year olds and a fun mini-disco every evening.
  • The Gloria Palace Royal’s sister hotel in Puerto Rico, Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel, is set on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Views everywhere are stunning, and that includes the spa circuit which has been designed with a glass wall staring out to sea, so you have sensational hydrotherapy and natural therapy at the same time.
  • Close to Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés, Gloria Palace San Agustín Thalasso & Hotel is pool paradise for children. The entire pool complex here includes waterslides and chutes, walkways between waterways, chill out areas, terraces and even pretty gardens. Plus, there’s the signature spa here too, of course.
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Lineas Blue Bird ferry, Gran Canaria

Sit back, go with the sea breeze and discover Gran Canaria by boat

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that sailing is the best way to see the south of Gran Canaria with kids. It’s ideal for discovering hidden places, getting a sense of coast’s sheer grandeur and spotting pretty towns and villages to explore later, on land.

  • Hop-on-hop-off Lineas Blue Bird is good for giving kids a taste of the ocean for the first time. Services run from various ports including Puerto Rico and Mogán, so you can set your own pace, make a day of it, or just take a quick and easy cruise from A to B.
  • To see the rich underwater world as you sail, hop on board a Lineas Salmon glass bottom boat. Kids love this type of adventure, particularly as dolphins often make an appearance above water too.

Now visit Gran Canaria Blue to book family hotels and activities for Gran Canaria holidays