Photography in Gran Canaria
If you like landscapes, beautiful architecture, sports or people, Gran Canaria is a great place to come with your camera, if you don't believe us check out our photo gallery or have a look at these beautiful photos.
However just arriving with your camera isn't enough, you need to know where to go and when to come. Our photography guide should help you get some really great holiday snaps.
Where to go
The big rock in the centre of the island! At sunrise and sunset you get beautiful red lighting on the rock and ground. Head up there well before dusk to avoid a treachorous walk back.
Go to the Faro, walk along the beach and head inland and look for the most unspoilt part. The best time to photograph the dunes are early in the morning when the long shadows excentuate the ripples in the sand. If you choose a morning after a windy night you won't have any unsightly footprints in the sand either.
Pico de Las Nieves
From here you get views over Roque Nublo to Mt Teide in Tenerife. If you go in the evening the sun will set behind Mt Teide and you'll get the most amazing red skies.
The most picturesque lake on the island surrounded by palm trees. At the time of writing there wasn't much water in it, but 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.
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. Take your tripod and set a slow shutter speed and photograph the waves smashing up against the rocks.
Dramatic coastline, with huge cliffs and big waves. Anywhere from Agaete onwards will give some plenty of opportunites for rugged coastline photos.
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 earlyish though as many Canarians will go up to the mountians too.
Most famous for the cathedral, Vegueta also has many windy, cobbled streets with beautiful old houses with picturesque facades and intricate wooden balconies. There is no street that is more photogenic than the rest 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 autditorium 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 rockpools 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.
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.
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.
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.
Head over to Pozo Izquierdo just south of the airport on a windy day and you are more than likely to see one of the world's top windsurfers. Go in late June or early July before the PWA event and the bay will be 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. For examples of the photos you could see have a look at the gallery on cutre.com
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. Otherwise just drive along the north coast until you see some surfers in the water. Another great location is Arguineguin in the south. Look at our surf guide to see how to get there. The world tour stops off in Gran Canaria in November in El Confital, have a look at our whatson guide to see the exact dates.
If you are in GC in February / March make sure you go to Carnaval. 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. Best time is to go late at night after 10pm when everyone is on the street.
Similar to the Las Palmas Carnival the Gay Carnaval in Maspalomas is a huge street party with a fantastic procession to start it off. So don your campest costume and dress your camera in a pink fluffy dress and get some fantastic photos.
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. Go early and you'll catch the procession and all the people before they fall over. Check out our whatson guide to see which Romerias are on while you are here.
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 Spain celebrates Christmas eve. Head up to Las Palmas and watch the Kings procession. It usually starts in the port after lunch (near Mesa y Lopez) and finishes in Vegueta at about 7pm. After which is a talcum powder party where everyone throws talcum powder over each other!!
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.
We have tried to think of all the best places to photograph on the island, but we admit there are some places we may not have found yet. If you find any great photographic locations please let us know using the form below and we'll be sure to add them to the site.