Planning to go to Gran Canaria off-season and not sure what to expect? Read this post about the best things to do in 4 days in Gran Canaria during low season (November to March). This itinerary is suitable for 2 – 5 days in Gran Canaria.
This post's overview:
- 1 High and low seasons in Gran Canaria: weather in Gran Canaria in November & off-season
- 2 How expensive is Gran Canaria? Is it a luxury destination?
- 3 How expensive are flights to Gran Canaria?
- 4 Budget-friendly accommodation in Gran Canaria during low-season
- 5 The adventure starts: 4 days in Gran Canaria
- 6 Best activities in Gran Canaria in November (during low season)
High and low seasons in Gran Canaria: weather in Gran Canaria in November & off-season
Even though Gran Canaria is usually considered as an all-year-round destination, there is a low season in Gran Canaria. Off-season in Gran Canaria usually starts in November and finishes in March. We visited Gran Canaria in November and it was a bit too cold to swim in the ocean and some evenings were chilly as well. However, the weather was perfect for my liking and it was way warmer than London or Edinburgh (where we used to live at that time).
In November, we were able to wear T-shirts and shorts, however, in the evenings we needed a hoodie or a jumper and long trousers, as the temperatures would drop to 17-18 degrees. During the day, the temperatures would reach 23-25 degrees.
However, Gran Canaria in winter is usually much colder – the average daily temperature is around 16-17 degrees and at night, it’s around 11-14 degrees, so you need to bring some warm clothes. If you’re planning to swim, make sure to look for a hotel with a heated swimming pool like Gloria Palace Amadores and Cordial Mogan Playa.
How expensive is Gran Canaria? Is it a luxury destination?
When I was an undergraduate student and haven’t started travelling around the world, I always imagined Gran Canaria as an ultra-luxury destination with sandy beaches and VERY expensive resorts. A place where you would go when you’ll close the series A funding of your very successful startup.
Well, having visited Gran Canaria now, I can say that it’s a very diverse island, where you can find both expensive resorts and very affordable accommodation. When we were looking for hotels, there were plenty of options for over £1000 for 4 night as well as apartments for as low as £100. To answer that question, yes, Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands, in general, can be considered a luxury destination, however, you can also explore (and enjoy) them on a budget as we did!
How expensive are flights to Gran Canaria?
Depending on the airline, the flights to Gran Canaria can be either cheap ot quite expensive. We were lucky to find the flights for £46 return from Edinburgh, Scotland. We had to fly on Saturday and we were returning on Tuesday. The flight duration from Scotland is circa 5 hours (around 4 hours and 40 minutes), so it was an insanely low price for such a long flight. Check the prices for the flights to Gran Canaria here, as you can get a crazy good deal like this one too!
But when I actually started checking some hotels, Booking.com has indicated, that 95% of the hotels were fully booked for these days. Oops, a big surprise from Gran Canaria in November!
Budget-friendly accommodation in Gran Canaria during low-season
As we bought our flights last minute (literally 3 days before the trip), most of the affordable hotels in Gran Canaria were already sold out. Well, the only remaining hotels were around 500 euros for 3 nights and didn’t even have a good review rating.
We started looking on Airbnb and found a lovely room in a shared accommodation just 1 block away from Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas. The best thing was the price though – just 130 EUR.
The adventure starts: 4 days in Gran Canaria
Day 1: Las Palmas in November
On the day of departure, we woke up super early because our flight was at 6:45 am. The flight was around 5 hours long and as I already mentioned it was very affordable – that helped us to stay in Gran Canaria on a budget.
Once we arrived at Gran Canaria airport, we followed the signs and went to the public bus stop. All the directions were written on the buses and the signs on the bus stop, so finding our bus wasn’t complicated at all. However, I must warn you that there are many buses and plenty of bus stops and if you’re unsure, where a particular bus is heading, just ask the driver.
The tickets weren’t expensive, just around 5 euros for both to Santa Catalina bus stop in the north of Las Palmas. From there we just walked to the beautiful embankment of Las Canteras beach and walked to our accommodation for about 20 minutes.
Is Las Palmas walkable?
The weather in Las Palmas in November was wonderful – around 23 degrees, sunny and a little bit windy. Gran Canaria surprised us a lot!
Las Palmas is actually quite a big city. You cannot walk from Santa Catalina to the historical city
There aren’t that many tourists in Las Palmas in November and most of them are concentrated in the city
Las Canteras promenade walk
Las Palmas is very walkable once you actually get there – the streets are very pretty! However, on our first day in Gran Canaria, we decided to focus on the area, where we were staying – we walked the entire promenade of the Las Canteras beach. The sunset was magical – and there were still so many surfers!
The sand of Las Canteras beach was black and very magnetic, which made this beach even more unique.
Along the promenade, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, shops and convenience stores, so it’s not a boring walk!
Day 2 of our long weekend in Gran Canaria off-season: Maspalomas
Many people decide to hire a car in Gran Canaria, however, we decided to use public transport instead.
We started our second day in Gran Canaria quite early and we wanted to go to Maspalomas Dunes. There’s a bus from Las Palmas to Maspalomas, it takes a lot of time, around 1.5 hours, even though the distance isn’t that big. The explanation: it stops at every single bus stop and while there aren’t so many of them in Las Palmas, there are bus stops every 200 meters in the South of Gran Canaria. If you want to get there faster, I recommend hiring a car.
Maspalomas is great – it’s actually 1 or 2 degrees warmer than Las Palmas and that’s where the the famous sand dunes of Gran Canaria are situated. It was very fun to walk there and take a lot photos.
Most of the resorts in Gran Canaria are situated around Maspalomas / Playa Ingles, so it’s a place to go if you want a proper resort weekend break.
The Canary Islands are an all-year-round destination and if you find a hotel with a heated pool, you will be able to swim even in winter. There aren’t that many hotels with heated pools, however, last time I checked, these two hotels had heated pools in Gran Canaria: Gloria Palace Amadores and Cordial Mogan Playa.
There’s not that much to do in Maspalomas besides checking out the dunes, so we decided to visit the second biggest town in Gran Canaria – Telde. However, we didn’t realise that it was already a Sunday afternoon and everything was closed in Telde. Moreover, compared to Las Palmas, Telde was tiny! In case you decide to visit it as well, make sure to pick another day and not Sunday afternoon. We managed to catch a bus back to Las Palmas, where we headed for late lunch.
Instead of Telde, I recommend you to go for a walk or hike somewhere nearby. You can check this article by Lonely Planet about the best hikes to take in Gran Canaria.
Days 3- 4: Relaxing in Las Palmas
On the day 3 in Gran Canaria, we actually had to work in the morning, but you can totally spend this morning on the beach or hiking in the mountains.
There are also plenty of tours to take in Gran Canaria, make sure to check these ones out:
After a couple of hours of working in the morning, we spend the rest of the morning on the Las Canteras beach and after lunch, went to explore Las Palmas.
The heart of Las Palmas is beautiful, colourful and busy. There are so many great shops and restaurants and some really beautiful churches, so you can spend the entire afternoon and evening walking around and exploring places.
We had a dinner in a very well-rated restaurant called Allende. Everything was great, so I can definitely recommend it to you!
On the last day in Gran Canaria, we managed to spend some time on the beach and watch people surfing (we didn’t try surfing, but you can totally try) and then went for a walk to the opposite part of the promenade. Our flight was in the afternoon, so we had to be at the airport around 2 pm. We packed, checked out and grabbed a bus to the airport. Overall, we were very happy with our weekend in Gran Canaria during the low season. Even though we didn’t swim, it was great to have some sunny days and amazing Spanish food!
Best activities in Gran Canaria in November (during low season)
1. Las Canteras Beach
Las Canteras is an absolute must if you’re going to Gran Canaria. The beach promenade is really long – it would take you around an hour to walk the whole promenade, but it’s definitely worth it. There are so many lovely cafes and shops, that you won’t be disappointed.
2. Hiking in Gran Canaria
Another popular activity in Gran Canaria is hiking. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hire a car and there were absolutely no available day tours during our time in Gran Canaria. However, I’ve heard many positive reviews about these tours and hiking (trekking) itself, so I would recommend you going to the mountains of Gran Canaria. This tour to the Red Canyon is a great option if you don’t have a car!
3. Maspalomas Dunes
It’s really fun to walk in this tiny desert. Besides, it’s warmer in this part of Gran Canaria, so you will have a good chance to swim in front of the dunes.
4. The city centre of Las Palmas
The city centre of Las Palmas is really lovely: colourful houses, narrow streets, huge cathedrals. There are plenty of landmarks nearby and in case you’re interested – it’s also the major shopping zone.
5. Tapas Bars
Going to Spain and not having tapas there really is a sin There are plenty of wonderful tapas bars and restaurants where you could enjoy finest jamon and soft Spanish wine. Try La Jamoneria, Tasca de Los Vinos, and Restaurante Allende.
6. (Bonus) Surfing
Sometimes the waves are so huge in Las Palmas, that the whole city goes surfing. And you can either surf yourself or observe it from the embankment.
Summary of our long weekend in Gran Canaria
To summarise, I must say that a weekend in Gran Canaria is not enough to see and experience everything. It’s better to come for 5-7 days to enjoy the nice weather, delicious food, and fresh fruits. Gran Canaria could be really expensive if you go to one of the resorts in Playa Ingles, but it’s also perfectly possible to do Canary islands on a budget. Ryanair, Airbnb, and public buses will save you a lot of money. Also, Gran Canaria in November has really nice weather – on average, it was around 22-24 degrees during the day and out of 4 days, only 1 was a bit rainy.
Need inspiration for more weekend trips? Check this post about our weekend road trip around Ireland!
Check my post about 3-day road trip around Germany and Alsace, France
Drive from Santander to San Sebastian in Spain (the Northern Coast)
Head to French Riviera for 4 days (on a road trip)
This post is part of a paid campaign to promote the Balearic and Canary Islands, as part of their #SpanishIslands Campaign. Although all views are my own and I have not been instructed what to include.