In total, Gran Canaria gets two days or rain per month, although it only rains on an average of six days between March and October. A rainy day is classed as any day where you get a shower (more than 1mm of rain) somewhere on the island.
If it's raining in Gran Canaria don't panic or sulk in your room. There's normally sunshine between the showers and most rainy patches only last a couple of days. Even if you are unlucky enough to get a cloudy, wet week there's plenty to keep you occupied.
One good thing about rain and clouds in Gran Canaria is that it gets people off the beaches and into the rest of the island. There is plenty to do in Gran Canaria even when it is raining. Most of the time the rain comes and goes and you can get away from it by swapping sides of the island.
If you are in Gran Canaria and the weather isn't behaving, here are a couple of things to do:
Visit Las Palmas By Public Bus
The Capital is an excellent shopping and sightseeing destination with plenty of indoor attractions. See below for bus lines between the resorts and Las Palmas. For the beach and Las Arenas get a bus to the Santa Catalina bus station, for Vegueta and Triana, go to San Telmo. A taxi between the two bus stations costs five euros.
The Las Arenas shopping centre or mall at the south end of Canteras Beach is enormous and has all your decent clothes shops (Zara, Mango, H&M, C&A, etc). Prices are lower than in the UK and the rest of Europe and the whole shopping centre is indoors. If the sun comes out you are yards from the beachfront and all its cafes and restaurants.
Head to the historical quarter of Vegueta for culture and museums. The Casa de Colón is all about Columbus and his journeys of discovery It is free and kids love the replica boats, cannon and parrots. The Museo Canario is dedicated to the island's stone age inhabitants. It is small and full of great stuff for the kids like mummies and a room full of skulls. The Museo Canario costs a few euros per person.
Next to Vegueta is the old shopping district of Triana. It's full of boutiques and branded clothes shops, as well as tons of cafes and restaurants.
Taxis inside Las Palmas are cheap and a ride across the city never costs more than six or seven euros. You can easily visit Vegueta and Triana in the morning and the beach and Las Arenas in the afternoon. Don't forget that most shops close in Las Palmas on Sundays (although this is set to change soon).
The blue buses go from the resorts up to Las Palmas: Click on the links for a complete timetable and stop list.
- Line 1 runs from Mogan but stops in most resorts on the way.
- Line 5 runs from Maspalomas to Las Palmas, stopping in several places in Playa del Inglés.
- Line 50 runs almost direct from the Faro de Maspalomas bus station to Las Palmas
- Line 91 runs from Patalavaca to Las Palmas via Puerto Rico, Taura and Mogán.
- Line 18 runs from Faro de Maspalomas up to Tejeda and on to San Mateo (and back).
Rent A Car And Drive To The Mountains
When it is cloudy in Maspalomas, Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico it is often sunny in the mountains. Gran Canaria is almost 2000 metres high so the top sticks out above the clouds. Renting a car in Gran Canaria is cheap and easy so it is worth getting out there and exploring. Drive up to the Cumbres via the Mogan, Fataga or Arguineguín barrancos and you stand a good chance of finding the sun. The mountains are gorgeous in the cloud especially as it often lifts to reveal the pine forests and iconic Roque Nublo (Cloud Rock).
Even if it is raining in the mountains the restaurants are open and a good hearty potaje (vegetable soup) and some delicious fried pork or rabbit stew does wonders for morale.
If the island is on alert for heavy rain (which happens a couple of times every year) it is best to ask your receptionist if it is safe to head up to the hills. Sometimes rockfalls block the roads and make getting about difficult. If you are nervous about driving, then book a coach trip up to the Cumbres.
Another thing you might want to try when it is or has been raining is waterfall hunting.
Go shopping in Gran Canaria
If you're looking for the best places to shop for clothes in Gran Canaria, see our Ultimate Guide to Gran Canaria Clothes Shopping.