Sightseeing and Photography around the island of Gran Canaria
Photography was a bit of a conundrum, as where to place it on the website. Because of the differing subject matters, and the travelling needed, to access them, Sightseeing, seemed to be the best place. Speaking of places, what better location than Gran Canaria to take photos, no matter what your preferred subject matter. Gran Canaria has it all, and below are some suggestions as where you could place yourself for some amazing pictures.
The big rock in the centre of the island! At sunrise and sunset you get beautiful red lighting on the rock and ground. Be careful not to be at the rock too late because the walk down again can be a bit treacherous.
The best time to photograph the dunes are early in the morning when the long shadows accentuate the ripples in the sand. Look closer and a little longer and you can see them move. If you choose a morning after a windy night you won't have any unsightly footprints in the sand either unless of course you want the footprints.
Pico de Las Nieves
From here you get views over Roque Nublo to Mt Teide in Tenerife. In the evening the sun sets behind Mt Teide and you will have the opportunity to take some amazing sunsets.
The most picturesque lake on the island of Gran Canaria, surrounded by palm trees. The water level depends on the time of year and you can find it very low, however after heavy rainfall it fills up and can give some wonderful photos.
Beautiful Lord of the Rings-esque valley that is sunny most of the year. Don't go too early or late though as it will be deep in shadow. This Valley will give you some wonderful pictures.
Right at the end of Las Canteras beach, the Atlantic swell smashes up against the rocks and can give some really dramatic photos especially when the sun is low in the sky. We recommend using a tripod and set a slow shutter speed and photograph the waves smashing up against the rocks. This is one of those occasions when it pays to take a little time over the picture.
Dramatic coastline, with huge cliffs and big waves. Anywhere from Agaete onwards along the coastline gives plenty of opportunity for rugged coastline shots.
Anywhere after really heavy rain
When it rains heavily in Gran Canaria (once a year usually in November - March) waterfalls spring up everywhere. Just drive up into the mountains towards the centre and you'll see waterfalls all over the place. Leave early though as many Canarians will go up to the mountains as well. Around town in the south as well of course the dry river beds fill up.
Architecture and Places
Most famous for the cathedral, Vegueta also has many winding, cobbled streets with beautiful old houses that have picturesque facades and intricate carved wooden balconies. All the streets in this district of Las Palmas are photogenic, so just head towards the church take a few photos and then go for a wander. If you don't want people in your photos be sure to avoid the major religious holidays.
During the day the beach is filled with sunbathers and surfers, at night it is empty and the beach and auditorium are beautifully lit by the tall street lights, so take your tripod and walk down the beach, make sure you stop by the auditorium and by the rock pools halfway up the beach. At sunset you can also get some great silhouette shots of surfers leaving the water and kids messing around in the surf. For a serious photographer this could easily be combined as a day out taking in El Confital and Las Canteras on the same day.
A pretty little fishing village that is well worth a visit just for a nice lunch on the front. It is in pristine condition and first thing in the morning is devoid of tourists. You also have the boats in the harbour and if you are are there at the right time may catch some fisherman going about their work.
Ingenio / Aguimes
If you're travelling from North to South take a short detour into Ingenio and Aguimes. The towns themselves are not amazing but the churches and plaza are very pretty. The same can be said for most of the small towns but there are some very good off the wall pictures to be had if you are patient and go looking for them. Perhaps a matriarch sitting in her front door preparing the dinner for her family.
Teror is situated in the north of the island in the mountains. The houses in the village are of an interesting, almost Germanic architecture and can make great photos with the mountainous backdrop.
Worth a visit just to see the huge Gothic church with it's delicate and interesting facia. Not to mention the rum factory, because if you are in Arucas you just should.
Pozo Izquierdo just south of the airport: on a windy day you are more than likely to see one or more of the world's top windsurfers. Late June or early July before the PWA event the bay is filled with the best windsurfers in the world and you will be spoilt for choice with almost everyone on the water looping every other minute. Take at least a 300mm lens to catch the action and use a fast shutter speed.
When the surf is good in Gran Canaria it is comparable to some of the best spots in the world. The most photogenic location is in El Confital where, from the beach, you can take photos right down the barrel of the wave. Otherwise just drive along the north coast until you see some surfers in the water. Another great location is Arguineguin in the south. The world tour stops off in Gran Canaria in November in El Confital.
If you are in Gran Canaria in February / March make sure you go to Carnival. It is one of the biggest Carnivals in the world and the streets will be full of thousands of people in fancy dress. If you can get tickets try to go to the Drag Queen show where you'll get some great, albeit strange, photos of really extravagant drag costumes. The best time is to go late at night after 10pm when everyone is on the street and celebrating.
Similar to the Las Palmas Carnival the Gay Carnival in Maspalomas is a huge street party with a fantastic procession to start it off. So don your most extravagant and outlandish costume, grab your camera and get set to take some really amazing photographs. You will find most people only too willing to pose so you can take their picture.
Throughout the year, all the villages and towns have their own street parties where everyone dresses in traditional Canarian outfits and drinks rum from the bottle (although you don't necessarily have to go to Romeria to see this). Go early and you'll catch the procession and all the people before they fall over.
World Windsurfing Competition
Usually held at the beginning of July, it is a great opportunity to see and photograph many of the best windsurfers in the world doing their stuff.
Surfing in El Confital
The World tour stops off in Las Palmas in November and even if you don't know anything about surfing you can get some great shots from the beach, take your long lens and a polarising filter.
The King's procession
On the 5th January head for Las Palmas to watch the Kings procession. It usually starts in the port after lunch (near Mesa y Lopez) and finishes in Vegueta atabout 7pm. After which is a talcum powder party where everyone throws talcum powder over each other!! You should get some great action shots here.
The Gran Canaria WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) festival is the biggest in the world. During the day you can see flame throwers, jugglers and various street performers and at night you can see exotic bands from around the world all in their traditional clothing, not forgetting the onlookers.
Of course these are only suggestions and we are sure there are many more we could have added for example some of the tourist attractions like “Palmitos Park” or Sioux City” or perhaps some of the museums like Casa Colon in Las Palmas or some of the interesting modern architecture. The subject matter for photography on Gran Canaria is limited only by your own imagination.