Gran Canaria is the most-visited of the Canary Islands, and it offers a wide range of things to do and see, including golfing, yachting, shopping, casinos and great beaches.
Las Palmas, the principal city and the capital of the island, extends along an isthmus with a volcanic headland at the far end and the sea on the other side. It's the largest city in the archipelago, with a population of 400,000; though the outskirts of the city are modern, its traditional heart is La Vegueta, the charming old quarter which contains many historic houses and museums.
Gran Canaria's mountainous interior rises to volcanic heights of over 6,000 feet/1,828 meters, topped by the Cruz de Tejeda crater and Roque Nublo peak, and the landscape ranges from lush green banana plantations in the north to the semi-desert region around southerly Maspalomas, whose coastal sand dunes merge with the large neighboring purpose-built resort of Playa del Ingles, where most of the island's sun- and beach-seeking holidaymakers stay.
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