We all need to disconnect from the routine and stress of everyday life, and what better way to do it than breathing fresh air and being in contact with nature? Gran Canaria's recreational areas are the perfect option for spending a day surrounded by greenery and feeling at one with nature.
Breathe the pure air of Gran Canaria, have a picnic under the most typical trees and palm trees of the Canary Islands, have a walk and let yourself be enchanted by the magical sunsets of the island with spectacular panoramic views.
Recommendations for enjoying the recreational areas
It’s important to bear in mind that all the recreational areas are located in the interior of the island, and most of them are above 500 metres above sea level. This means that to get to them, you’ll have to travel along winding roads, so be sure to take something to help with motion sickness if it affects you.
It can also get quite chilly, so dress warmly to avoid getting cold, as it can be below 5 degrees in winter.
Best places for a picnic in Gran Canaria
The island has several recreational areas perfect for a picnic, barbecue or outdoor party, perfect for birthdays, communions, family reunions or any group get-together. These public spaces usually have all the basic services to use the facilities comfortably, such as barbecues, toilets, benches, tables, water points and, for extra peace of mind, security. Let's discover the main recreational areas in Gran Canaria!
1. Llanos de La Pez, Tejeda
Llanos de La Pez is probably the most popular and emblematic recreational and camping area in Gran Canaria. In winter, it’s also one of the coolest areas, as it can drop below 5 degrees Celsius. It’s also one of the largest recreational areas on the island, being able to accommodate more than a thousand people in its pine forest.
It’s located only 5-10 minutes drive from Roque Nublo, so we recommend combining the plan with a hike to Roque Nublo and take spectacular pictures from the highest point of the island. When the weather is good, you can even see Tenerife's Pico del Teide. If you like the cold, you can go in winter, although the ideal time for a picnic or camping is spring or summer.
It has free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches, a kiosk-bar, barbecue area and a children's playground.
2. Finca de Osorio, Teror
The Finca de Osorio, in Teror, is located in the Rural Park of Doramas. It’s one of the most beautiful natural spaces in Gran Canaria and is a perfect recreational area to learn about the flora and fauna, as well as to have fun with your family. To use the facilities, you need a permit (online) from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria. We recommend the circular route around the Pico de Osorio.
3. La Laguna de Valleseco, Valleseco
La Laguna de Valleseco is located in one of the greenest places on the island: the rural park of Doramas. This recreational area stands out for its unique variety of trees, its spectacular native vegetation and its lagoon with ducks in the middle of the park. Bordering the lagoon, there’s an almost 1 km long racecourse, where horse races sometimes take place. Here you can walk, jog, stroll or cycle. Laguna de Valleseco is easily accessible through several trails of little difficulty, also suitable for small children. It’s also attractive for playing football. It’s ideal for families.
There’s free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables and benches, a kiosk and a small children's playground. To use the picnic and barbecue area it’s compulsory to ask for permission from the town hall of Valleseco (928 61 80 22 extension 102) and pay €1.50 per person which, on weekends, can be paid directly to the security who is doing rounds. No permit or fee is required for walks.
4. Presa de Las Niñas, Tejeda
The Las Niñas dam is a real jewel of nature. It’s located on the southern slopes of Gran Canaria, in the municipality of Tejeda. As it’s located within the network of Biosphere Reserve Areas, it’s not only the ideal place to enjoy nature, but also perfect for birdwatching, such as the beautiful Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major thanerii), which likes to circle around the area around the dam.
In addition, Las Niñas Dam is a popular place for camping (with permission). It’s also an option for rafting or water sports such as paddle surfing (SUP). We recommend visiting Las Niñas Dam after the winter or autumn rains, as it tends to be drier in summer.
It has free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches and a barbecue area.
5. Tamadaba Natural Park, Artenara
The heart of the Tamadaba Natural Park in Artenara is an incomparable green area. It’s one of the most important natural areas of the archipelago and is a perfect escape from stress and routine. Disconnect from the world and the noise of everyday life and breathe the clean air of this impressive green area.
There’s free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches and barbecue area, as well as a camping area.
As well as being the perfect plan to spend the day with a picnic in its picnic areas and enjoy nature, we suggest combining it with the hiking route in Tamadaba to enjoy the spectacular panoramic views to the west of the island from the Llanos de la Mimbre viewpoint.
6. Monte Pavón recreational area, Santa María de Guía
Monte Pavón is one of the greenest areas in Gran Canaria. It’s located in Santa María de Guía, in an area dedicated to the production of DOP de Guía flower cheese, at an altitude of 1200 metres.
It’s also a good plan to combine a barbecue or picnic with a hike, such as the Entre Cortijos hiking route. Monte Pavón has free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches and a barbecue area.
7. San José del Álamo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
San José del Álamo is another popular recreational area. As it’s located in the capital of Gran Canaria, it’s quite central and easily accessible. You’ll have everything you need for your barbecue. San José del Álamo is large and offers capacity for more than 1000 people.
It has free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches, barbecue area and a children's playground. It’s the perfect option to enjoy nature without having to travel far, what's more, it can also be easily reached by public transport from the capital.
8. Llanos de Ana Lopez, San Mateo
The Llanos de Ana Lopez are located in a pine forest on the peaks of the municipality of San Mateo, on the heights of Cueva Grande and Las Camaretas. This recreational area is a wonderful place to spend the day with the family. Being close to Roque Nublo, you can take the opportunity to lose yourself in the lush greenery and enjoy the peace and quiet among the plants and trees.
If you like the cold, this recreational area is perfect for you! Have a picnic in the picnic areas and enjoy the relaxing time with free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables and benches, a kiosk and barbecue area.
9. El Troncón, Valsequillo
El Troncón is located in Valsequillo, near Telde. It’s a nice change of scenery. It’s a smaller recreational area than the others mentioned above, so we recommend going early to secure a place and parking.
In March 2022 the Valsequillo Town Hall opened a zip line and a children's playground for the little ones to enjoy the recreational area. It also has free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches, kiosk and barbecue area.
10. El Brezal de Santa Cristina, Santa Maria de Guía
El Brezal de Santa Cristina is another perfect recreational area for picnics in Gran Canaria. It is located in the north of the island. It’s ideal for family or group gatherings. It’s a popular area for school trips.
However, to use the picnic areas and barbecues, you need prior permission from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria. We recommend combining the visit with a hike, such as the circular hiking route of the Tilos de Moya, which passes through the Santa Cristina Heath.
There’s free parking, toilets, water, picnic tables, benches, a cafeteria and barbecue area.
The best picnic areas and recreational areas in Gran Canaria
This has been our list of the best picnic areas and recreational areas in Gran Canaria. Which one do you choose? Be careful with the fire and take care of the environment by taking all rubbish and cigarette butts with you after your visit.
If you’re looking for accommodation in Gran Canaria, we have several options for you. Do you want to be in the middle of nature or with your friends or family in a villa with private pool? At VillaGranCanaria we have a wide catalogue for you. Discover it!