With year round sunshine, The Canary Islands are only about a 4 hour flight from the UK, which makes them one of the most affordable holiday destinations for us. So, a few weeks ago we headed to Gran Canaria and had a good mix of lazy pool days, nights out, and adventures throughout the island.
Here are top 5 things to do in Gran Canaria – all tried and tested by Blix!
DISCOVER DRAMATIC LANDSCAPES
The islands of the canaries were formed by the eruption of several volcanoes millions of years ago. Venture away from the beaches to discover dramatic volcanic landscapes and you will understand why almost all of Gran Canaria has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCCO.
We were kindly invited by Tours in Gran Canaria to join one of their tours to Fataga, Teror, Roque Nublo and Bandama. The tour lasted a whole day and was a great way to discover Gran Canaria’s spectacular mountains, impressive valleys, nature and history. We’ve stopped in a few places including the Grand Canyon of Gran Canaria, a lovely historic town of Teror and an aloe vera plant.
A DAY OUT ON THE BOAT
Surrounded by gorgeous ocean, you without a doubt need to spend at least a day in the sea. We sailed from Puerto Mogan with Gran Canaria Boat Trips and it couldn’t have been more of a relaxing day.
From picking you up at the hotel, we then jumped on the boat and lounged out on long sofas on the back of the boat. The rest of the day included lots of gorgeous scenery, crisp blue seas, warm sunshine, a Canarian lunch and a parasailing experience – what more can you want?!
VISIT PUERTO DE MOGAN
Our catamaran tour departed from Puerto de Mogan, so we had some time to explore this pretty little fishing village. Its narrow, cobbled streets are lined with traditional whitewashed houses, lined with stunning Bougainvillea crawling over the buildings and making canopies of flowers, in lots of different vibrant colours. There’s also a fancy harbour, perfect for yacht-watching. And in the traffic-free centre, Italian-style footbridges criss-cross a romantic canal. No wonder the place is nicknamed Little Venice.
Puerto Mogan’s showpiece is its wide, sandy bay, which is nicely sheltered by the surrounding cliffs. It lays on plenty of loungers and umbrellas for hire, and you’ll find a great spread of waterfront bars and restaurants along the prom. You’ve also got 2 other beaches within 7 kilometres, including Playa de Amadores, or Lovers’ Beach, a Blue-Flag beauty.
RELAX ON THE BEACH
Gran Canaria has 230 kilometres of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe; from the Saharan splendour of Maspalomas to the tiny patch of sand at Sardina del Norte.
The longest beach is Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas – over 6 kilometres long with calm water and huge golden dunes stretching back for kilometres. The famous nudist section is in the middle of the beach next to the biggest dunes. Few other exciting beaches are the romantically named Playa de Amadores (Lovers’ Beach), the peace and quiet of Playa Taurito or San Agustín. Whatever your taste, the island has the perfect beach for you.
TASTE THE LOCAL DELICACIES
We are in Spain right?! Some of the best bits of the island is most definitely the local food. You can get good Sangria just about everywhere, and the tapas is the real delight.
If you head to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital city, you will find the old quarter that dates back to the 15th century. Here you can also taste the local tapas as well as the local signature Honey Rum. If you happen to be visiting on the first Sunday of a month, then museums are free to enter. Just head to the old town and Vegueta – as it’s the nicest part, we loved the quiet strolls wandering the colourful and historical streets, it manages to retain much of its original colonial character, the Santa Ana Cathedral is also worth a look.