This week, The Octopus travels to the Canary Islands, and more precisely to Gran Canaria, the central island of the Spanish archipelago. Its many exceptional anchorages in wild and unique settings, are a dream come through for sailors cruising the Canary Islands.
Famous for the incredible diversity of its landscapes, the island is home to many natural and historical wonders. Recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the island is composed of multiple coves, bays and beaches plundged in a wild, almost timeless, atmosphere.
Without further ado, let’s go for a tour of the best anchorages in Gran Canaria based on hundreds of boaters’ reviews shared on Navily.
3 Good reasons to visit Gran Canaria
1- Hiking and ascending in unique volcanic landscapes
You can’t go to Gran Canaria without exploring its beautiful volcanic landscapes. Sit at the top of El Pico de Las Nieves, Bandama or La Caldereta for a panoramic view of the island, while enjoying regional wines and local gastronomic delights. Continue your adventure by traveling inland through multiple ravines, volcanic calderas and gigantic rock formations to discover the island’s natural wonders.
Canyoning is a unique and perfect way to enjoy Gran Canaria thoroughly. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, add a dose of adventure to your cruise. Away from the crowded beaches, jump, abseil down, dive and swim through rivers, waterfalls, and natural pools for a fun experience of the island’s natural playgrounds.
Dolphin and Whale Safari
Who has not dreamed of going on a dolphin and whale safari ? In Gran Canaria, you will have the opportunity to see from your boat the island’s marine fauna in its natural environment, the sea. If you are lucky enough, you will spot dolphins and blue whales, as well as turtles and flying fishes that abound off the island’s coast.
The best anchorages in Gran Canaria
Our first stopover is the beautiful bay of Sardina. Located in the North of Gran Canaria, it offers one of the most beautiful anchorage experiences on the island. Its location provides fair protection from Northen to South-Eastern winds by the East.
Moreover, The bay’s shallow waters and sandy bottom offer a perfect ground for anchoring securely and enjoying your stay peacefully. However, be careful not to get too close to the locals’ buoys, as there are many deadweights scattered on the bottom of this area.
On land, the beaches of Sardina del Norte, Leona and La Nona, offer a perfect place to swim and relax for a cozy afternoon. You will also find many restaurants on the beachfront, proposing a local gastronomy much appreciated by the Navily community!
From the anchorage, you can enjoy an exceptional panorama of the island’s coast. The village of Sardina and the large steep rock formations it finds itself nestled between combine to form the most picturesque of landscapes. A breathtaking setting for a memorable stopover.
Alike many Navily users, Vennec was able to enjoy this splendid place to the fullest:
“Alone at anchor, on a stopover before reaching Tenerife. Very nice place.”
Our next stopover is Las Palmas, located in the North-East of the island. It is a very popular anchorage (it’s not free but very good value for money), offering good holding in shallow sandbanks, 8 meters deep. However, be careful that your anchor does not get caught on one of the wrecks lying on the anchorage bottom.
Once well anchored and fairly protected from North-Eastern to Southern winds, you can start enjoying your stay! Be aware, a constant swell can be observed on the anchorage due to its proximity to the commercial port of La Luz. It is quite busy during the day, with many boats waiting to enter the marina. It is advisable to anchor near the beach of Alcaravaneras, to enjoy your stopover peacefully.
The urban setting of the island is not the most spectacular, but offers good accessibility to many amenities (restaurants, activities, shops) for a pleasant and strategic stopover. It is the ideal starting point to leave your boat and rent a car or a bike for a tour of Gran Canaria.
In the evening, the sun sets on the anchorage, painting a surprisingly beautiful panorama of this “industrial” coastal area.
Las Marañuelas is a destination not to be missed in the south of Gran Canaria. Its seabed is mostly made up of sand and rocks offering fair holding for your anchor.
The anchorage is well protected from Northern to Southern winds by the East, but can be a bit rolly. This is due to the lack of protection from the swell coming from the North-West.
Moreover, the anchorage may seem narrow, but remains a pleasant spot for a night’s stopover. Sit comfortably on your boat and contemplate the long black sand beach of Las Marañuelas, typical from the Canary Islands. A beautiful scene, that’s even more enjoyable at sundown.
Finally, it’s recommended to visit the small town of Agruineguin. It features, few nice restaurants and landmarks to visit. A perfect way to end your stopover in this unique place!
As several Navily users shared, you will experience breathtaking sunsets and unique landscapes that will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip.
Punta De la Vega
To continue our itinerary of the best anchorages in Gran Canaria, we now sail to the southwest of the island, at Punta de la Vega. its sandy bottom resting at about 10 meters deep will allow you to anchor easily.
However, be careful of old deadweights, located at about 9 meters in front of the beach. They can trap your anchor and chains. Finally, the anchorage is very well protected from the wind and swell coming from the North-West to the North-East by the North.
It is a spacious and comfortable spot that can be crowded and lively during the day, but quiet and calm in the evening. It is therefore recommended to visit, during the week, early in the morning and late at night, to fully enjoy your stay.
Located next to the Narval Marina, the anchorage faces a developed urbanized coastline. It’s not the most picturesque of landscapes, but has the advantage of offering an exclusive access to many activities and amenities. Enjoy a swim at La Vega Beach, visit the famous Palmitos Botanical Garden and Zoological Park and wander in the nature reserves and dunes of Las Palomas. In conclusion, definitely one of the best anchorages in Gran Canaria, approved by the Navily community.
Our last stop on this tour of the best anchorages in Gran Canaria, is located on the West coast of the island. At Lomo Quiebre, you can easily drop your anchor in sandbanks about 10 meters deep. Moreover, it is well protected from North-West to the North-East winds, by the North. Perfect conditions to enjoy the beauty of this place peacefully.
The anchorage is surrounded by steep cliffs, true natural treasures, wonderful to the eye particularly at sunset. Admire from your boat the traditional Canarian architecture of the lined up houses of the small fishing port of Puerto Mogán. One of the island’s most beautiful scenery, you won’t get tired of contemplating.
Finally, on land, enjoy the local restaurants, stroll through the streets of the old town of Mogán and admire the sacred beauty of the San Antonio de Padua church.
We reach the end of our tour of the best anchorages in Gran Canaria
We hope that this selection will inspire sailors planning to cruise in the Canary Islands! If you want to know more about the Spanish archipelago, don’t hesitate to read our article on the best anchorages in the Canary Islands.
Fair Winds Captains,