With the summer a distant memory and the Irish winter upon us, Patrick McCrossan escapes to Gran Canaria for an exciting few days packed with all the breathtaking Canarian island has to offer. Check out his itinerary for the best places to go and see when visiting this warm, wild and wonderful island.
There are few places that offer such a variety of activities as Gran Canaria. Long beaches hug the coast and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines frame the picturesque villages. After a good nights rest at Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa in Mogán, our home for the next few days. We ventured off to Mogán harbour for a trip on the Golden Shark Submarine. An exciting journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, marvelling at underwater marine life and shipwrecks. Following lunch, it was time to unwind and relax at the hotel spa with its indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and an exercise room.
The day began with a trip to the Meloneras area and the Maspalomas sand dunes. Everything about this place has an air of luxury about it, attractive, trendy, affluent and above all stylish, without being over the top. The beach itself is sandy and ideal for a spot of sunbathing and taking a dip in the clear waters of the Atlantic. We stop for lunch in the Seaside Palm Beach Hotel surrounded by a fabulous palm tree oasis on the edge of a nature reserve. Next we headed for the Tejeda area located in the interior of the island. Here, we enjoyed a short hike with our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. Afterward, for an outdoor activity with a difference, we engaged in some stargazing, from which we observed many different constellations.
We headed north to explore the Las Palmas area, including Vergueta’s old town, Columbus House which was visited by Christopher Columbus during his voyages and the Vegueta Market. The massive Poema del Mar Aquarium in Las Palmas port is a must-see. It contains all manner of sea life from hammerhead sharks to manta rays. For a traditional tapas lunch, a visit to Piscos & Buches-Fran is a little gem followed by a stroll on the Canteras promenade.
We visited La Palma via Teneriffe, like the rest of the Canary Islands, La Palma is of volcanic origin, and it is divided neatly north-to- south by the Cumbre Vieja and the extraordinary Caldera de Taburiente. The lush beauty of the north is in stark contrast with the south. The Cumbre Vieja, reaching the southern tip of La Palma, is home to more than 100 volcanic cones and vents. We hiked across the Cubo de La Galga, this route that enables you to admire one of the best examples of laurel forest in the Canary Islands. The walk was gentle, uphill and with sheer cliffs on the left and the riverbed on the right. Trail complete it was onto a well-earned lunch at a typical local fish restaurant in San Andrés and afterward, with towels and swimwear in hand, we wandered down to the natural swimming pools nearby.
A trip to the Volcanoes in the southern part of the island and the salt mines in Fuencalientewas was a great way to spend our final day in La Palma in particular going underground in the Volcanic tunnels! We lazed away the rest of the day with lunch at the fabulous Jardin de la sal.
If you are looking for sun, sea and blue skies, this could be the ideal winter break destination for you.
Hiking Guide: email@example.com
Stargazing: astroeduca.com, facebook.com/stargazingingrancanaria
Piscos & Buches-Fran: firstname.lastname@example.org