Weather forecast Gran Canaria
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Gran Canaria (including rainfall and temperature averages)
Named after the Canarii or Guancho people who lived here originally, Gran Canaria
has always been the focus of speculation. In one ancient legend, this was supposed
to be the lost city of Atlantis while to others the Canaries were known as the “Fortunate
Islands”, clinging to the edge of the world where people had no sorrows. The Guanchos
arrived around 500 BC and other than a brief encounter with the Romans, lived unbothered
by European adventurers until the 14th century, when the Italians, Portuguese and
Catalans sent their ships to the islands to bring back slaves. Towards the end of
the 15th century, the Spanish decided to colonise the island; although the Guanches
resisted the invaders fiercely, in 1483, after five years of war, they surrendered
to Pedro de Vera. Slavery and disease decimated the indigenous population. Las Palmas
grew in importance until in the mid-nineteenth century it was declared as a free
port. The sudden influx of shipping also brought tourists, who have continued to
come ever since. Gran Canaria’s most important moment politically was in 1936, when
General Franco used the island as a base from which to launch his coup.
Of volcanic origin, Gran Canaria has a warm climate: daytime highs average 15º in
winter and 27º in summer, although they have been known to soar to 38º. It is by
no means uniform: the diversity of landscapes and climates it is called a “Miniature
Continent” and a third of it is a UNESCO protected Biosphere Reserve. In the south,
where most tourists like to stay, the Dunes of Maspalomas look as if they belong
in Namibia; nearby Palmitos Park is a sub-tropical bird sanctuary. The most famous
resident is Crazy Dolores, an insane parrot. Further inland, Roque Nublo is an 80m
high monolith in the middle of a lava plain. On the northern slopes of the island,
Cenobio de Valeron is an incredible cave system, hollowed out by the Guanches over
the centuries as a grain store and living quarters.
The architectural jewel of the island is Las Palmas, which combines modernist and
medieval streets to make a perfect place to wander before collapsing on any of the
five perfect beaches. The enormous Catedral de Santa Ana broods over the city, with
a spectacular view across the island from its tower. Castillo de Luz was built in
the 16th century to ward off pirate attacks but now hosts art exhibitions. Sumptuous
Gabinete Literario was the first theatre on Gran Canario; it’s now a private club
but the façade is worth a visit. And for anthropology nuts, the Museo Canario boasts
the world’s biggest collection of Cro-Magnon skulls.
The food here combines Spanish and North African recipes, using the seafood, tomatoes,
game and almonds that grow in abundance. Papas Arrugadas – boiled potatoes left
to go wrinkly – with green or red spicy mojo sauces are found everywhere, as are
watercress soup and sancocho de pescado, saltfish and sweet potato stew. A wide
array of tropical fruits, fried bananas or marzipan pralines are the favoured desserts.
Monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Gran Canaria
Average minimum temperature
Average maximum temperature
Absolute minimum temperature
Absolute maximum temperature
Average daily rain
Avg monthly rain
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