365 days of spring and 14 climate zones make Gran Canaria to a perfect travel destination for everyone. Sun guarantee and subtropical temperatures in the south and an abundant vegetation in the middle of the island attract hikers, sun worshippers and surfers. We spent one week in Gran Canaria and stayed in Las Palmas, the capital city in the north of the Canarian island. Most of the tourists stay in the south, in Playa del Inglés or Maspalomas, but Las Palmas was in my opinion the best choice to stay, because it was more authentic and less crowded with german-speaking pensioners. We were lucky that the weather was even in the north sunny and warm all the time. Because of the good infrastructure and bus connections you can get to nearly every corner of the island in less than one hour from Las Palmas. We discovered different parts of Gran Canaria and I was amazed by the diversity that offers the so-called minicontinent.
Our hotel was in Santa Catalina, less than 5 minutes away from the golden beach called Playa Las Canteras. The wide sand beach with its palm trees is perfect for sun bathing and at the long beach promenade are many restaurants located. I was surprised that you could swim in the sea although it was quite cold. But what makes Las Palmas to a must seen city is definitely the old town in barrio Vegueta and Triana. We took a walk through the old town, starting at Parque San Telmo, passing the pedestrian area Calle Triana and discovered the quarter afoot. At the Mercado de Vegueta you’ll find everything from fruits and veggies to fish and meat. Every Thursday evening the local people are coming to Calle Mendizábal, the pedestrian area in front of the Mercado de Vegueta and all restaurants and bars are selling tapas, beer and wine at a bargain price from 1 to 3 euros.
We took a walk at the Avenida Marítima, a broad coast promenade, where joggers, cyclists and inline-skaters are passing. The beach Playa de las Alcaravaneras is also located on this side of the coast and popular among volleyball players, canoeist and kite surfers. Next to the beach are the royal yacht club Real Club Nautico and the sailing club Vadadero.
It took us a good hour from the bus station from Santa Catalina in Las Palmas to Faro Maspalomas. On that day the weather was very windy, but sunny. We took a walk on the beach to get to the famous golden sand dunes. That little piece of desert reminded me of the dunes in Huacachina in Peru. After that we met a good friend of mine and we drove to a viewpoint in the mountains near the village Fataga. In Playa del Inglés we had a very good steak for dinner in the restaurant Gambrino’s. Maspalomas is populated with german pensioners and in my opinion a way too turistic and artifical.
We did a little roadtrip driving along the coast to a little bay between the mountains called Puerto Mogán, also known as Little Venice because of the canals and bridges. Mogán is a picturesque village with an yacht harbour and a little sand beach where we took a swim and enjoyed the sun. It had also a little Côte d’Azur-flair and thanks to the mountains the place is wind-protected.
The little village Teror is located in the northern up-country of the island. In contrast to the dry and barren landscape in the south, Teror is surrounded by lush and green trees. The village offers great colonial architecture, a little old town with its holy basilica Nuestra Señora del Pino. Famous are the artful carved wooden balconies and the splendid the balcony the wealthy the family. Every sunday morning there is a local market where chorizos and other spanish delicacies are selled. I was really impressed by that little village and loved the native and colonial character without the tourist hustle and bustle.
The city Gáldar is beside Teror one of the old capital cities of the island before the Spanish conquest. The old town around the church Iglesia Matriz de Santiago de Caballeros is under monumental protection. In the museum Museo y Parque Arqueológico Cueva Pintada are cave paintings and huts of the native inhabitants of the city.
Gran Canaria is a great destination for catching some sun, when the weather in Germany is still grey and cold. The food is inexpensive and tasty and you should definitely try the canarian potatoes with mojo sauce, a paella at the beach and of course tapas. We used to eat very late like the native people and I enjoyed sitting and eating outside until late night while drinking red wine. It was definitely not my last time that I visited the Canary Islands.
From Gran Canaria with love,