Puerto de Mogán
Many visitors don't realise that the beautiful marina part of Puerto de Mogán was only built in the early 1980s. It's become an icon of Gran Canaria and is almost certainly the most popular place on the island amongst the three and a half million tourists that visit south Gran Canaria every year.
Visit Puerto de Mogán on a Monday or Friday for the markets or any other day for seafood by the yachts, a day on the beach, or even a visit to a prehistoric Canarii archaeological site.
There are several reasons to visit the Maspalomas dunes. The main one is that they are spectacular and as close to the Sahara Desert as most people want to get these days. The central section with the pure sand dunes is perfect for selfies and souvenir photos while the western dunes, with more vegetation, are great for walking and, ahem, adult activities. There are even plants and animals that only live in the Maspalomas dunes.
Stick the sandy bits and you won't have to worry about funny business in the bushes.
The newest and poshest seafront promenade in Gran Canaria, running west from the Faro lighthouse at Maspalomas to Meloneras beach. Palm fringed, pretty and with great bar and terraces, Boulevard Faro, often just called Meloneras by visitors, is the perfect spot for a sunset stroll.
Vast, sprawling and slightly long in the tooth, the Yumbo Centre is Playa del Inglés busiest and most popular shopping centre. It's got everything from family restaurants to gay nightclubs and manages to appeal to everyone. During the day, the Yumbo is full of tourists eating, drinking and shopping. In the evening families ome out to eat and for early entertainment. Once the kids and their knackered parents are tucked up in bed, the LGBT crowd comes out to play and doesn't go to bed until late.
Gran Canaria's original and biggest theme park with huge numbers of tropical birds and fascinating animals living in a palm-filled paradise valley.
Palmitos Park has been Gran Canaria' number one attractions for decades and keeps adding new things to entice you back. Highlights include the birds shows (especially the tropical bird show), the butterfly house and the aquarium, as well s the dozens of free-living birds that surround you as soon you walk in.
Lots of Canarians regard Amadores beach as an artificial travesty that should never have been created. Gran Canaria's sun-starved visitors disagree. With white sand, calm water, lots of places to eat right by the sand and permanent sunshine, this half-moon beach is packed with families and happy tourists every day.
If you'd rather spend your time on a natural beach, then visit our beaches guide and take your pick. There are several pristine spots just a few minutes drive from Amadores beach.
Ramshackle Tauro is right next door to Amadores but couldn't be more different. Instead of white sand, dozens of restaurants and lots of parking spaces in neat lines it has a dirt track, a couple of local bars and restaurants, and a pebble beach that's hard to swim at. But lots of people love Tauro just as it is. They come for the chilled out atmosphere, the live weekend music at the weekend and the lack of crowds.
Unfortunately for Tauro fans, the area is about to change. Plans include a new sandy beach, marina, palm garden and lots of parking in rows for the people staying at the new bungalows, apartments and hotels.
Playa del Inglés
You either love the resorty-ness of Playa del Inglés or not. It's a place where you can lose yourself completely in the sunny holiday atmosphere and that's what a lot of people come to Gran Canaria for. Travel snobbery aside, Playa del Inglés does exactly what it its millions of fans want.
The resort is also is putting a lot of effort into modernising with new cycle lanes, viewpoints and wider pavements popping up all over the place. There are even plans to demolish the Kasbah Centre and replace it with a posh shopping area. Imagine how good Avenida Tirajana would be if they pedestrianised it and filled it with outdoor cafes.
The quaintest and most accessible hill village in south Gran Canaria, Fataga is cluster of whitewashed houses with tiled roofs, all surrounded by palm trees. The main street is lined with restaurants, souvenir shops and art galleries: Fataga styles itself as the island's arty village.
A great stop on the road up the valley towards the cumbres, or lunch stop on the way back down.
During the winter, Puerto Rico is full of Scandinavians soaking up the winter sunshine and eating steak at the Grill restaurants in the colossal shopping centre. In the summer, the Scandies go home to sit in their own sunshine and the British arrive in Puerto Rico. They carry on eating steak.
Some people look down on Puerto Rico for being too resorty but with lots of parks, two marinas, and two beaches within easy walking distance, it's a great destination for a relaxing week in the sunshine.