10 things to see and do in Gran Canaria
I think that place could be perfect for that moment when I am going to decide that I had enough work. 🙂 A few hours flight from Bucharest (with stopover in Madrid). And the temperature of the eternal spring all year round. Plus: sea breeze and mountain views within a few hours drive. Gran Canaria sounds perfect for a holiday at any time in a year. Here’s why…
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1. Spectacular mountain landscapes. At one hour and a short drive from the airport, you can stay in a hotel on the top of the mountain where you have the most amazing view. The most important tourist spot here – Roque Nublo, an ancient volcanic rock of 4.5 million years old, 80 meters high (UNESCO monument), in Tejeda; you can get to it pretty quickly on a hiking trail, provided you are well-equipped with comfortable shoes, a sun hat and plenty of water. To stay: Parador Cruz de Tejeda (https://www.parador.es/en/paradores/parador-de-cruz-de-tejeda).
2. The drive – there is nothing more refreshing than some curving roads through the mountains in the morning. The best arial view – that one over the valley in Caldera de Los Marteles.
3. The miradors. Prepare your camera when you see the signs – that is the meaning of “beautiful view”. And there are some on the road. Put El Balcón on the list, with Pinar de Tamadaba, the place where the view of the sea and the cliffs looking like a dinosaur tail attracts tourists in search of the perfect photograph.
4. The little traditional towns in the valleys. Agaete is on the list – with many bakeries where you can eat the most delicious “bienmesabe, a local dessert.
Do not miss a visit to El Maipés Necropolis – a super-interesting archaeological site (although slightly morbid, if you think about the hundreds of tombs dug in volcanic lava). Below Agaete, Puerto de Las Nieves is perfect for a lunch with fish specialties.
5. Also on the list is Vegueta, a town with an old history dating back to the 15th century, where those who are passionate about history and old cathedrals can check the list of the Santa Ana Cathedral, the Museum of Sacred Arts and the Casa de Colón, dedicated to the life of Christopher Columbus. But also Teror, the small town with a unique colonial architecture.
6. The things called Piscinas Naturales. Ones at Del Agujero, the place where the water forms peaceful pools, right on the seafront (a little helped by the pylons placed by the human hand), and where you can spend a whole day in the sun and salt water, nothing but the birds and waves around you. Try also Charcos Del Puertillo (Piscinas Naturales De Arucas), Agaete Natural Pool.
7. The towns by the sea (I already put my eyes on one house there, in the port, for when I’ll be old :)). Puerto Mogán is the favorite destination of thousands of tourists – it’s like a Venice in miniature, with canals, boats, white houses and lots of flowers!
8. Maspalomas – an enormous land of sand dunes that make you believe, for a second, that you are somewhere in the Sahara. The beaches are wide here, the waves perfect for surfers, and the bars are have natural fruit smoothie. Attention, there are areas where nudism is allowed. (http://www.grancanaria.com/turismo/en/beaches/maspalomas/)
9. The beaches. In Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria are the most beautiful and widest beaches, and the sunset over the pier near the beach is perfect for posting on Instagram. To stay: Bayview Marina – https://en.marinagrancanaria.com.
Other options – Güigüí Beach, on the west side of the island. Prepare yourself for two hours in the sun, walking, but the view over the Tejede volcano and the clear water like a crystal will be worth the effort.
10. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and its Playa de las Alcaravaneras is the most convenient – the cliff is a few kilometres long, the sea view is spectacular and the restaurants with seafood, shells, papas arrugadas (small potatoes, boiled in salted water and then baked, served with pepper sauce and olive oil), jamón iberico and pimientos de padrón (those small green peppers baked and sprinkled with plenty of sea salt).
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a typical Spanish city – with many small streets where you can find a lot of tapas shops and restaurants, but also crowded and traffic-jam like in Bucharest at peak hours. Put on the list: Cristofor Columb house and CAAM (Centro Átlantico de Artes Modernas – www.caam.net). But also the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium (https://www.auditorioteatrolaspalmasgc.es/).