Gran Canaria is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, and it’s also been the most chilled out holiday I’ve ever been on. I first visited Gran Canaria in 2012 and will be making a return visit later this month to enjoy a little ‘babymoon’. Both Phill and I wanted a relaxing sunshine break and for me there was no other choice…it had to be Gran Canaria. I’ve longed to go back and now I get to enjoy all that Gran Canaria has to offer once again.
So to put us all in the holiday mood, I’ve listed the top nine reasons why everyone should contemplate a holiday to Gran Canaria. I hope you enjoy!
1. All Year Round Sunshine
I first visited Gran Canaria in September 2012 and the weather was gloriously hot, but not too humid. The evenings were that bit cooler which was pleasant. This time I’m visiting in late April and temperatures will still be high. If you’re looking to go somewhere off season then I’d highly recommend Gran Canaria. The climate is fantastic all year round.
The island is the third largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, often called ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’ due to their enviable climate. The Canaries sit far south of mainland Spain, close to the west coast of Northern Africa. The islands’ southerly location, on the same latitude as the Sahara, means they are much hotter than mainland Spain in the winter.
2. Historical City of Las Palmas
I love making the most of my new holiday surroundings and when you visit Gran Canaria you must make the effort to visit the capital city Las Palmas. We took an hour long walking tour around the old town which I’d highly recommend as you learn so much from the tourist guide. It was all very casual and thankfully didn’t go on too long (I can find organised tours a bit dull). Did you know that in 1492 Christopher Columbus anchored in the Port of Las Palmas, and spent some time on the island on his first trip to the Americas?
Also, if you’re from the UK don’t miss out on the chance to stock up on clothes from Zara and Mango, because buying them in they’re Euro price works out cheaper than buying them in Sterling.
3. Fresh Healthy Food
Photo from traveling-kids.blogspot.co.uk
Unsurprisingly one of my strongest holiday memories was the food and I’d highly recommend going down the self-catering route when in Gran Canaria. One of the best meals I had was at Zona Verde in Puerto Mogan (read the Trip Advisor reviews!), where meat (from succulent steaks to juicy chicken kebabs) was cooked in an outdoor wood-burning stove and served with simple sides of canarian potatoes and chickpea and cucumber salad. Your meal was served to you at a table outside surrounded by trees and twinkly lights. Romantic and delicious!
And if you love fish, you’ll love canarian food. There were so many fantastic restaurants cooking fish to perfection – from whole fish fillets to paella to fried shrimp. Most of the time, your meal was accompanied by canarian potatoes, which are baked baby potatoes covered in a spicy ‘mojo’ sauce (made up of garlic, peppers, paprika, cumin, vinegar and olive oil). I had a go at making them myself but they definitely weren’t up to the local standard!
4. Amazing Photo Opportunities
If you’re a keen photographer, be sure to bring your camera when out and about exploring. Gran Canaria is full of beautiful flowers, picturesque marinas and long and winding cliffs. Depending on where you visit, the landscape and scenery can vary so much, but you’ll always find something inspiring to take a photo of.
5. Rugged Landscape
For all it’s prettiness, Gran Canaria does boast a rugged landscape, which I find breathtaking. To really get a feel for the mountainous surroundings, take a 4×4 safari. It’s a thrill ride where you will discover tiny villages, stunning volcanic landscapes and be covered head to toe in dust (not to mention a sore bum from the bumpy ride)! Or if hiking is more your thing, you’ll no doubt love all that Gran Canaria has to offer!
6. The Tranquility of Puerto Mogan
If you do one thing whilst in Gran Canaria, visit picturesque Puerto Mogan on the south-west coast. Or better still, stay in this area! It’s known as ‘Little Venice’, and rightly so. It’s an incredibly pretty small fishing village, perfect for a relaxing getaway. The marina is beautiful and one of the nicest thing you can do is enjoy a late meal at one of the restaurants, overlooking the boats with the sun setting. Perfection.
And the best bit is Puerto Mogan is not overly ‘touristy’. There are not many places to stay in this part of Gran Canaria so it’s not over-crowded. I’d highly recommend staying in the Cordial Resorts (the apartments or the hotel) if you’re looking for accommodation here. It’s worth noting that many visitors flock to Puerto Mogan for the popular outdoor Friday market, where you’ll find everything from silver jewellery to handmade pottery and leather handbags.
7. Adventures on the Sea
If you love being by the sea and indulging in watersports, then you’ll be pleased to know Gran Canaria is perfect for this. We enjoyed jet skiing and a luxury sailing boat excursion around the island. We also took a water taxi from Puerto Mogan to Puerto Rico which was way more fun that taking the bus! We were also tempted to go on a submarine tour!
8. Saharan Sand Dunes
Photo from grancanariaholidayguide.com
The sand dunes of Maspalomas are a sight to behold…and not just because of the dunes themselves. The sand dunes of Maspalomas are a favourite zone for nudists, so do bear this in mind when strolling along! The dunes are backed by the Maspalomas Golf Course, the largest golf course on Gran Canaria.
8. The Honey Rum!
Photo taken from gran-canaria-info.com
After dinner, most restaurants we dined at served us a little honey rum as a ‘nightcap’. Some of the waiters even left us the rum bottle! Ron miel (honey rum) is a traditional Canarian liqueur invented in the Canary Islands. It’s now the most popular after dinner drink on the island and is exported all over Europe. I’d highly recommend indulging in a rum tipple after dinner…the perfect way to end a delicious canarian meal.