Gran Canaria is the most Southerly of the four main holiday destinations in the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuertaventura), and so it has the warmest waters, and some of the most varied dive sites.
Even in winter, the day-time temperatures rarely fall below 17ºC, especially in the South, and in winter we still get 90% sunshine and longer days, especially in the tourist resorts around Maspalomas, Meloneras and San Agustín. If you are looking for a week of sun to complement your diving training in winter then the Canaries are the go-to destination.
So while you complete your PADI qualification, your partner and family can soak up some warming rays and warm temperatures. Gran Canaria also has plenty of other attractions including 'Palmitos Park' where you can watch the wild bird shows or the dolphin or parrot spectaculars, plenty of night-life, and old towns such as Terror, Aguimes, Arucas and Las Palmas to explore.
If one activity is not enough, the amazing volcanic mountains in the centre of the island provide plenty of opportunities for walking, cycling, climbing or hang-gliding; while around the coast you can also swim, surf, sail or wind-surf all year round.
The waters are clear and warm, there is plenty of colourful marine life to see, and the best diving in Gran Canaria is close to the main tourist resorts. This makes Gran Canaria the perfect destination to take your PADI Referral. As it is a little to the South of the other main Canary Islands, the waters around Gran Canaria are one to two degrees warmer in winter and water temperatures rarely drop below 18ºC in winter. Not quite tropical, but with a good wetsuit supplied by the dive centre you can dive for up to 40 minutes in comfort.
The bio-diversity of the Canaries is also very wide, with everything from angel sharks and rays in the sands, down to tiny colourful nudibranch and seahorse. You are likely to see damselfish, parrotfish, lizardfish, bream and striped mullet on most dives, and before you leave you will probably see trumpet-fish, octopus, cuttlefish and much more.
Find out more about the colours and variety of marine life in the Canary Islands.