If you have never been to Gran Canaria in January or February you really are missing out. This beautiful island has a lot to offer holidaymakers and it goes beyond the chance to enjoy some winter sun and un-crowded beaches.
A chance to experience the real Spain
In the winter, the island has a very different feel in comparison to the summer months. In some ways, it is far quieter than it is in the high season, but in other ways, it is far livelier.
This is because the winter is when the islanders relax and let their hair down. The winter months are when many of the island’s most popular and important fiestas and events take place. The majority of these are very traditional and very popular, so if you want to experience the true Gran Canaria timing your visit to coincide with one of these winter fiestas is a great way to do it.
New Year’s Eve and El Dia de los Reyes Magos
The main fiestas in January are New Years Eve and the Dia de los Reyes Magos, which translates as the Day of The Three Wise Men, take place on the 6th. In many town squares, people gather to see in the New Year together, and most hotels put on a great evening of entertainment. If you are in Gran Canaria on New Year’s Eve, don’t forget to buy a dozen grapes so that at midnight you can eat one each time the clock strikes and make your wishes like the Spanish do.
The Three Wise Men (or Kings) fiesta is very popular with the children. In Spain Christmas is not that big because the majority of the presents are given on the 6th January. For the Spanish it is not only a big day for the family it is also an important day for the community. In virtually every town, there is a parade that includes the three wise men (or kings) and other characters. The kids love it because they are handed sweets and presents. It really is great fun and provides some unique photo opportunities. I once got a great snap of the three wise men climbing ladders to give kids on the first floors of the flats a gift with a camel in the background, a fantastic photo and great memories.
February and March is carnival season. The dates change each year because the majority of the carnival celebrations traditionally end before Ash Wednesday, So, if you want to experience these crazy street parties check the date of the local carnival before you book.
These carnivals have everything. In most large towns and cities there is some sort o event going on every night. There are processions, live music, street food, fairs and great markets. It really is a fantastic time to visit the island.
Other reasons to experience Gran Canaria in the winter
Holidays to Gran Canaria in January and the other winter months offer great value for money. Some hotels close during the winter, but the majority stay open and offer rooms at a reduced rate. Apart from during the school holidays, the cost of flights is low as well.
The fact that there are no crowds means no queuing and the chance to get around easier. Most of the attractions still open during the winter, but the opening times are often shorter than they are in the summer, so you just need to check the opening times before planning your days out.