Top 10 water features on Gran Canaria

One way of beating the heat on Gran Canaria's to take advantage of the island's water features. Here are my top 10 fave places on the island to chill. From the near to the far.

1.) The Atlantic

The Atlantic

Gran Canaria's famously an island, surrounded by the big and beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Its coastline extends to 236km (137 miles). And the cooling-down properties of the Atlantic are accessible from 80+ Canarian beaches dotted around the island.

2.) La Laguna de Valleseco

La Laguna de Valleseco

Northern Europe comes to Gran Canaria in the shape of La Laguna de Valleseco. The Dry Valley's wetlands are a great place to see some floating birds. There's even an hide, so you can watch our feathered friends unobserved. Don't forget your binoculars.

3.) Presa de la Sorrueda

Presa de la Sorrueda

Gran Canaria doesn't have a lake district; for the island doesn't have any lakes. It is, however, home to some stunningly-set dams. Not least Santa Lucía de Tirajana's totally tropical Presa de la Sorrueda, overlooked by a forest of palm trees.

4.) Charco de San Lorenzo

Charco de San Lorenzo

It's fair to say Moya doesn't have much of a coastline. Other than the Caleta de Moya, its only other Atlantic reserve's the Charco de San Lorenzo. This saltwater pond can get quite lively, depending on how high the tide rises. If too unruly for swimming, watch the ocean waves shake their thang from the comfort of one of the nearby chiringuitos.

5.) Presa de Chira

Presa de Chira

Another of the 60+ dams on Gran Canaria, the Presa de Chira's one of the island's finest 20th-century creations. Whilst swimming's prohibited, fishing's allowed. The fish which populate Chira are mainly carp, introduced so as to curb the growth of aquatic weeds.

6.) Los Charcones

Los Charcones

Gran Canaria's rugged north coast houses more piscinas naturales, natural swimming pools, than anywhere else on the island. And Arucas' main coastal resort, El Puertillo, has three to choose from. Watch the fish swim around your feet in Los Charcones before enjoying the freshest of fish dishes in one of the area's celebrated restaurants.

7.) Presa de Ayaguares

Presa de Ayaguares

This dam's located in one of the oldest parts of the island. It ends a testing 16-km trek for the more experienced hiker. Start in Tunte, the municipal talent of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, following the Camino del Pinar and then passing through land where once stood the hamlet of Las Tederas.

8.) Charco Azul

Charco Azul

By way of contrast, the hike to the north-west's Charco Azul's more akin to a walk in the park. Frustratingly, this pond dries up in summer when you're more in need of a refreshing dip. However, winter is best if you want a little more privacy as this charco's not so visited then, plus there's more of it to wallow around in.

9.) Bufadero de la Garita

Bufadero de la Garita

Hit the underrated east coast and Telde's La Garita to discover one of the island's most eyecatching features. Although do as the locals do and don't get too close. Whilst it might look like a natural jacuzzi, you can't know what's below the swirl.

10.) Charco de la Aldea

Charco de la Aldea

Given its village-pond size, the Charco de la Aldea's an unlikely setting for one of the island's most popular fiestas. Nonetheless, it's the pride of La Aldea de San Nicolás. And well worth checking out on a visit to this out-of-the-way municipality.