Puerto-Mogan-Gran-Canaria

Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria

In these five notable locales, the jewel of Spain’s Canary Islands comes alive.

1. Explore Puerto de Mogán
This picturesque marina, dotted with local shops and restaurants, is the perfect place to explore on a long, lazy afternoon. If you don’t plan on renting a car, there are buses from the city, so check with your hotel concierge for the nearest stops.

2. Visit Yumbo
The vast Yumbo complex, on the island’s southern end, is a multi-level, open-air strip mall with clubs, shops, restaurants and bars of every conceivable stripe. Yumbo is as unique to Gran Canaria as Las Vegas is to America. Have a doner kebab, saunter past a German-owned café (filled with Germans), nip into a gay strip club, pop by a drag show, hit up a leather bar, then meet friends for a glass of champers.yumbocentrum.com

3. Dine at Déjate Llevar
In the tiny town of Tejeda, high above Gran Canaria, the last thing you’d expect is a menu of delicious Thai soups prepared by—wait for it—a Greek chef, but that’s what you’ll find at “Let Me Take You.” In addition to traditional Spanish favorites at this out-of-the-way surprise, Greek, French and Asian influences will delight your palate. That the restaurant is helmed by the most adorable couple, Fernando Henriquez Muñoz and Nikolaos Petas, who take great pride in their restaurant and the art of hospitality, is only more reason to visit. letmetakeu.com

Old-Town-Vegueta

Old Town Vegueta

4. Experience Old Town Vegueta
From the oldest house on the island, which dates back to the 15th century, to the Plaza Santa Ana, which is bordered by the cathedral and surrounded by an array of museums, Old Town Vegueta is steeped in the roots of Gran Canaria. When evening descends, head to Vegueta to sample tapas and experience the community of Las Palmas as the city comes out and comes alive over food and drink as it has done for centuries.

5. See Pico de las Nieves
The highest peak in all of Gran Canaria has views that are staggering from every angle. Die-hard cyclists find making the uphill trek by bike a welcome challenge, but it requires endurance. For mere looky-loos, though, a quick drive to the top is sufficiently satisfying.