Combine sunbathing, hiking and golfing with a great spa, an amazing view and lots of sunshine! Gran Canaria has a little bit of everything, including the Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria, where every room has a view of the sea.

In recent years Gran Canaria has grown into a sophisticated paradise where lounge bars are right next door to gorgeous designer hotels such as the Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria. Scandinavians have been making pilgrimages to Gran Canaria for more than 50 years.   Although the island has been out of fashion for a while, at least among trendsetters, it has seen a major comeback in recent years. These days, you’ll find edgy hotels, sophisticated lounge bars, designer boutiques and exquisite spas.

Those who want to combine sunshine and style with a short flight – less than six hours from the Nordics – during the winter months will find a great Vitamin D injection in Gran Canaria. However, it’s not just the sun, but also the mild climate that’s made Gran Canaria so popular among sun craving Scandinavians. The temperature is usually around 30 degrees Celsius, all years round. This is a place where you change your suit for a pair of shorts, even during the winter. The island’s incredible microclimate with four different climate zones holds everything from fine-grained beaches, or even deserts, to pine forests, valleys and tall mountains. Thanks to the varied landscape, Gran Canaria also offers a buffet of activities, of which the grandiose nature is probably the island’s highlight. Spend your time mountain hiking or cycling up the steep hills, or, if you prefer more laid back activities, you can spend your days on the golf course. Those who seek a place for contemplation will love the Maspalomas desert and its billowing sand dunes. This place also has one of the world’s finest beaches. Finish your day with a refreshing dip, after which you can enjoy the view of the sea from one of the many great restaurants.

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Gran Canaria can satisfy all tastes. The majority of the tourist resorts are located on the south side of the island, including the trendy Meloneras, the romantic Puerto de Mogán and the popular Arguineguin. It’s also easy to take a rental car to the northern part of the island where the cosmopolitan city of Las Palmas is located. There are only a few places in the world where you’ll find such an impressive beach as Las Canteras. It gives the visitor an insight into what lies on the other side of the Atlantic, namely Rio de Janeiro.

If you’re looking for music, then you should definitely attend a concert at the Auditorio Alfredo Kraus concert hall. In addition, if you’re into architecture, then you’ll love to walk among the old, charming houses in the historical quarters of Vegueta.

Here, you’ll also find the CAAM arts centre and Casa de Colón, “the House of Columbus”, where Christopher Columbus stopped by on his journey to America in 1492.

In fact, Gran Canaria has been a rest stop for many ships, and the connection to Latin America has influenced the island’s cuisine and even the way they talk. People here don’t speak with the characteristic Spanish lisp like they do on the mainland. The island has been a bridge between Latin America and Europe through centuries, and it could almost be considered a miniature continent.

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Culinary delicacies

Gran Canaria is a place where you can catch some sun, have a luxury meal and enjoy cool cocktails, without moving an inch. Amadores Beach Club is located right by the sea and has an excellent menu. If you’re lucky you might spot local celebrity and Manchester City star David Silva; he goes there whenever he’s back from England. The atmosphere is sophisticated and the ambience is cool. They serve classic Canarian dishes such as papas arrugadas, which are potatoes boiled in salt water until they get wrinkly. They are traditionally served in red mojo sauce, which is truly a match made in heaven.

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Chillout

Aqua Ocean Club, located by the beach is not just the island’s best chillout spot; it’s also the island’s best nightclub. Hang out on the large terrace with the beautiful view of the sea, drink champagne and listen to the sound of the waves mixed with the beats of house music. The drinks are large, the mood is great and the crowd is a friendly mix of people. The locals come here too, and in true Spanish spirit things don’t kick off until past midnight.

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Carnival

The Carnival of Las Palmas can only be matched by the Rio Carnival, and it is the world’s second largest of its kind. The Carnival is a huge happening and attracts around half a million cheerful visitors who are swept in by Latin rhythms on 1-17 February.  It’s a show and a party all at the same time, and it’s also a great source of inspiration, not least when it comes to the costume design. The theme of the Carnival changes every year, and the theme of the 2014 Carnival is ‘fantasy’. The festivities go on for a couple of weeks, and among the highlight are the crowning of the Carnival queen, the crowning of the Carnival drag queen and the large parade – at the end of the Carnival there’s even a day of mourning.

Cool shopping

There are large shopping malls everywhere on Gran Canaria, where you can buy electronics, alcohol, perfume and cosmetics at a lower price than on the Spanish mainland. The coolest of the shopping spots is the area around Calle Mayor de Triana, which is Las Palmas’ best shopping street, with shops such as Zara, Guess and Mango. On the parallel streets Cano and Pérez Galdós you’ll find the more exclusive brands, some of which can be difficult to find in the Nordics.

Golfing by the sea

Gran Canaria is a great golfing destination all year round. The island has eight golf courses, of which Lopesan Meloners Golf is the best and most popular. The course is only a couple of years old, and offers an extraordinary nature experience; it has the mountains as its backdrop, and is surrounded by palm trees and lakes, right by the sea. The 520,000 square metre golf course was founded by American golf architect Ron Kirby, and is suitable for both international competitions and average golfers.

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Embraced by the sea

A room with a view means something special at the Radisson Blu Resort on Gran Canaria. Here, all rooms and terraces have a magnificent view of the sea. It is a perfect oasis for relaxation, and a great base for exploring the island.

By Charlotta Rönn