A week in Gran Canaria
I'm just back from Gran Canaria and in todays post I'll share with you all the places I've visited there.
First of all, to answer some of your questions on instagram about the current covid measures; yes you need to wear a mask outside in the entire territory of Spain but nope, no one actually did that there...
There aren't much restrictions there for people with the covid safe app. On all the places we've visited, only 2 restaurants asked to check our QR code.
In following blog, I'll link all the places and info if you want to explore the places out yourself.
January first: arriving at Playa del Ingles. We arrived pretty late so we didn't do much after our arrival there. We just walked next to the beach to find food... Our appartment was at this town actually. We booked only one appartment for the entire time. In the South of the island, the weather is the best so that's why we went for it.
January second: exploring the area; we went to the Degollada de la Yegua, a gorgeous massive canyon, right behind our appartment at Playa del Ingles. It's a 15 min drive and by going here first, we instantly got an idea of what the island looks like. We also went there at night again, to look at the stars! It was quite magical to look at the stars in just my shorts with a vest on, at the beginning of january!
In the afternoon we went to the famous dunes of Gran Canaria.
They're just next to our beach so it was onlya 15 min walk to get there. The dunes are called "Dunas de Maspalomas". The sand is actually sand from the Sahara desert, which is pretty cool! It's a lovely place to visit, once you walk in the middle of the dunes, you can pretend to be in an actual desert.
January third: exploring the beautiful nature around Roque Nublo. After that we went to the cute little village next to the mountains, called Tejeda.
You can park the car at the parking spot near the short hike to get to the viewpoint. There's not much space so you need to be there early. We were there around 10:30 in the morning and we still had enough space. When we came back around 12:30, there were people everywhere, it was crazy!
The hike is about 350m of height difference and isn't that long. You can do the hike in just sporty shoes like sneakers but don't come there in your flipflops lol. The view at the end of the hike is pretty spectacular. With good weather, you can see the entire island of Tenerife with the Teide volcano.
When you follow the same road as from the Roque, you can drive to Tejeda. It's a cosy little white village in the mountains with the most lovely views. There are so many beautiful flowers and plants.
January fourth: exploring the canyon called "Barranco de las Vacas", which reminded me of the Antelope canyon in the USA. Okay, I admit it, the place is super small and after 30 mins, you've seen it all, but it was a cute pitstop.
You can just google this and find the exact spot where it is. You park your car at the bridge and walk for a couple of hundred meters. Just follow the tourists through the gorge and after 10 minutes, you'll see that the gorge gets more narrow and with the right amount of sunlight, more orange.
After that, we took the road to the volcano crater called: pico de Bandame. You can do two hikes there. You can hike on top of the hill, all around the crater.. or you can go inside the crater. We choose this option. It wasn't a long hike but a pretty steep one. I think it took us about 30 minutes to go down and 45 to get up again. It was pretty hot inside so make sure to take enough drinks with you. It was lovely to explore the green oasis inside the crater. There were a couple of wild palmtrees and many many birds.
January fifth: exploring the chique town of Puerto de Mogan. Puerto de Mogan is the harbor town of Mogan. Mogan is a small non touristic mountain village, right inside the Mogan canyon. The area is stunning but since Mogan itself isn't interesting, we only visited Puerto de Mogan.
It's a small town with some shops, bars and restaurans and cute, colorful houses. The streets are all very instaworthy. I've never seen a village with so many beautiful tropical flowers. The streets are also very clean and that's important to me. It kind of reminded me of Saint Tropez, but in the Canaries!
From the quay, you can also spot some beautiful fish inside the water. We even saw a trumpet fish and a completely firy red fish.
There's a beautiful viewpoint that we climbed up to. It's right behind the town and there are some signs to find the right location. There you have a beautiful view over the town and the entire bay.
You can also go swimming there on the beach, which we did, or go snorkeling or diving. There are also some pedal boats that you can rent. I saw some families with kids, enjoying these boats and the slides that the boats have. For me, the water was swimmable but I wouldn't really swim next to the boat, that would be to cold. The sea water in the winter is about 20 degrees celcius...
January sixth: A roadtrip around the entire island. We started by going to a rainbow mountain called Los Azuleyos. This was on our way to the cactus garden called Cactualdea park. The rainbow mountain is pretty cool in real life. It's a mountain with colored lava on it. The lava came from a volcano erruption million years ago and with the gas coming with it, the lava got different colors.
After exploring this area for about half an hour, we drove further, to the Cactualdea park. This is the biggest cactus park of Europe and it was quite fun to go visit it. It's very well maintained and it costs only about 6 euros. There's also a small cafe in the park, where you can drink cactus juice. The juice hasn't much taste but it's fun to try it out. Our entire visit took us about 3 hours there.
After that we went to the beach nearby, to check out the massive rocks that go straight into the sea. We went to playa de la Aldea for this.
After that we took the coastal road to Galdar, to explore this city as well. It's a big city and there wasn't much to see there. We drove through this city to find a parking place, didn't find it and actually but driving thorugh the city, we found out that we didn't like it at all. So we went to the old city of Las Palmas called La Vegueta to explore Columbus' house. This city wasn't also our thing so we only explored this side of the town and then went home again.
January seventh: La Sorrueda. This is another stunning viewpoint at GC. It's near a lake with palmtrees. We walked around through the trees and took a lot of paradise-looking shots there. Afterwards, we discovered that the Aboriginal museum there was open, so we visited it afterwards. When you come to GC, make sure to visit at least one Aboriginal museum and learn about their culture, before the Europeans came there.
We drove through the canyons again, to go to Mogan again since we loved it so much. Mogan actually has the best weather of the entire island and that day it was cloudy on the entire island in the afternoon, except for Mogan! Going there, we crossed some beautiful lakes, mountains and other canyons. GC is literally one big mountain, that goes to the sea with a billion of canyons.
January eight, our last day: The internet said that the weather was best at Las Palmas so we decided to go to that region. We explored the botanical garden called "Jardin Botanico Viera y Clavijo".This is apparently the biggest botanical garden of Spain. It's pretty big indeed, since it's and entire mountainhill large, but since it's free entrance, it's not well maintained at all. When you want to explore that area, just check the "inferior entrance" out, park the car there and walk uphills. Above this garden, you can find the crater of the volcano that I told you before about and it's way more interesting. So to me it would be a great trip for a day to combine both of these places.
After that, we said goodbye to the sea at Las Palmas, at the beach where all the surfers are. The beach is called: Playa Los Muellitos. The waves were about 3m high so it was super cool to watch this. Whe had a very late lunch and then went to the airport to get home again. Back to the cold, rainy days!
A small sidenote: because of time and weather issues, there were two towns that we didn't visit, that were on my planning because everyone told me that these towns are beautiful as well. The're called: Teror and Firgas. Another time, when I'll go back to GC, I'll visiting these places as well!
I've enjoyed this island very much. It has so much to offer. It's great for a sporty vibe, to go surfing. It's great for adventurous types, to go hiking. It's great for city trip kind of people, since there are a lot of cute cities and towns to discover. It's great for people who like to relax at the beach and party at night and it's even great to enjoy the island with kids as well!