Gran Canaria is an island of the Canary Islands, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean 210 km from the northwest coast of Africa. It is located southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin, mostly made of fissure vents. The island was populated by the Canarios, who may have arrived as early as 500 BC. The Canarios called the island TamarÃ¡n. It was claimed by Spain in the 15th century.
Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north. However, just below the airport in the town of Vecindario there is a large shopping center 'Commercial Atlantico' that includes a Carrefour and shopping mall. Vecindario is the town where the 'locals' live and there is a significant price decrease from the south. Only a short walk from the shopping mall is an open air shopping mall on Wednesdays in the am hours. In the south there is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, in the south of the island as well as many beach resort communities. Other famous rock formations are El Cura (also known as El Fraile), The Frog (La Rana), Bentayga, the Roque de Gando, and the Penon Bermejo.