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Alternative Tourism

Every day hundreds of people arrive in Gran Canaria and do the unthinkable: They don't bomb down the motorway to the resorts.

Instead they head for the 99% of the island that isn't touristy. Some stay in cave houses up in the highlands, others in golf villas, seaside homes or beachfront apartments. 

There's a huge range of alternative holidays on offer in Gran Canaria that you don't find in the travel agencies and touroperator brochures. Here's our guide to the other side of Gran Canaria.

Gardeners say that almost anything grows in Gran Canaria as long as you keep it watered. Here are five of the beautiful flowers you'll see as you walk around in the Gran Canaria sunshine.
You see and hear Canarian ravens all over the Gran Canaria highlands, but the population has crashed and the species is in serious danger of disappearing completely.
Gran Canaria's biggest butterfly, the Monarch, is from the USA but colonised the Canary Islands by flying across the Atlantic Ocean and is now a resident.
The beautiful Canarian bellflower survives in Gran Canaria despite the disappearance of it's original laurel forest habitat.
Camping in the Gran Canaria highlands is a great way of immersing yourself in nature but you do have to fill in a few forms before you pitch your tent. Legal camping by the sea is virtually impossible.
Giant Gran Canaria lizards (Gallotia simonyi stehlini) only live in Gran Canaria but are common all over the island. However, you really should leave them in peace.
As if Agaete doesn't have enough fun at the La Rama fiesta, it also puts on Gran Canaria's coolest music eco-festival.
Tourist rental law changed in Gran Canaria (and all of the Canary Islands) in May 2015. It is now legal to rent residential property to tourists on a short-term basis.
The Canary pine (pinus canariensis) is a miracle tree. Its needles¬†make rain from the clouds and protect the tree from intense forest fires. When the Trade Winds blow clouds and mist through the Gran Canaria pine forests the mist condenses on the long, droopy needles and falls as rain.…
Only 70 of the Europe's rarest tree, the Gran Canaria dragon tree (Dracaena tamaranae), survive on the cliffs of the Arguineguin Valley just minutes drive from the island's main resorts. 
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