As part of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off Africa’s northwest coast, Gran Canaria is a relaxing place with idyllic beaches. In Maspalomas, on the southern coast, are endless stretches of sandy beaches bordering tranquil turquoise and azure waters. When wandering the famous Maspalomas dunes, it’s easy to feel like you’re trekking through the Sahara Desert. Back on the beach, you can try a variety of water-based activities like jet skiing or surfing. Travel west to Puerto Mogan, where you can explore one of Gran Canaria’s most attractive towns. Here, narrow streets wind past traditional whitewashed houses and bridges criss-cross a romantic canal earning the village the nickname of Little Venice. Kick back on its broad crescent beach or dine at one of the local restaurants near the harbour. In the north, you'll find the city of Las Palmas, the capital of Gran Canaria and one of the Canary Islands’ two capitals. It's a large city well worth visiting at least for the day. Las Palmas’ Old Town of Vegueta dates back to the 15th century and is where you'll find many of its museums and cathedrals including the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Ana. In this neighbourhood, you’ll also discover plenty of quaint cafes, sunlit squares, and historical buildings.