Gran Canaria is part of Canary Islands and it is third biggest. No matter what kind of vacation you have in mind, this island will fulfil your each and every wish. Do you want to lay on the beach and stroll around the city? – The island offers Maspalomas, Las Palmas de Gran Ganaria and Telde. Do you want an adventure? – Tight roads with blind turns, on which you have to honk, so the approachable car can hear you coming, lead to lovely little villages like Terror and Agaete with gorgeous views of volcanic island. Do you want an athletic/sporty vacation? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are many hiking trails with hidden beaches, natural landmarks and paths among beautiful nature.
We decided for athletic-adventures vacation with a touch of relaxation. But first, before we continue, you need to know how to choose the right accommodation. The island doesn’t have unified temperature. On the beach the temperature can be 26 degrees, but the higher and more in the centre of the island you go the lower is the temperature. Of course we totally forgot about it and I have to admit that a breakfast in bathing suit in 14 degrees was a bad idea.
Gran Canaria greeted us with an unpleasant landing, but it didn’t stop us from getting our car and driving to our lovely cottage. We literally threw our bags in the house and were on our way to a small village Terror, where we filled our stomachs with squids, octopus and their specialty “Papas con Mojo”, which is young potato with famous “mojo” sauce. Our tummies were getting bigger and the evening wind was getting colder.
Interesting thing about Canary island is that you can spot many elderly people. Due to warm climate it is a perfect place to live. They sold everything they had, moved here and are now enjoying the sunny days. The first stop was Maspalomas where we pick up our Spanish friends Estrella and San Miguel, with whom we hang out our entire trip. I’m usually not a big fan of beer, but these two taste really good and are similar to wheat beer. Maspalomas is filled with palm trees, turns with colorful flowers and little white houses. We only drove through the city because our plan for today was the centre of the island.
Attention: the road has many turns and if you usually get sick, I highly recommend a pill – but believe me, the views are totally worth it! My phone is filled with pictures of them because every next one is more stunning than the previous one. In the middle of nowhere you can find a stand, where an elderly man will make you a smoothie and sell you some of his products. In the next half an hour drive you will see a little tavern where you can try some tapas and then again a big restaurant, where you might just eat the best steak ever. Or maybe you are going to find yourself in front of a cactus museum (Cactualdea Park), like we did, and see thousands and thousands of cactuses. Well…yours at home, which you have on a window shelf will look really pathetic to these ones here.
Third day was reserved for hiking. Our goal was famous Roque Nublo and to get there we drove through Parque Natural Tamadaba surrounded by view of mountains. Tight roads that are built in the mountains have many blind turns and just a thought that two cars might meet here is insane – and yeah you are right, it’s impossible for them to meet. That’s why you honk before every turn to warn an approachable vehicle to wait, so you can go first. In the park you can find many small villages which only have 20 houses, a viewpoint and a bell. If you ring it, I guarantee, you will definitely be the main attraction for locals.
To “Rock in the Clouds”, where the gods shared their gifts, is 2 hours hike and later we realized that a shorter and a lot easier path exists. However, there is never enough of hiking through nature and viewpoints. We ended our day with a mountain of pastry in Tejeda in famous sweet shop Dulceria Nublo, where everything was insanely good and only 1 euro a piece.
Hiking to Roque Nublo was just a preparation for todays adventure. Todays goal was beach Gui Gui, which was only reached on foot. The hike is not difficult and it takes approximately 2 hours to get there, but you have to keep an eye on marks. We missed them (I have no idea how) and ended up almost climbing. I recommend that you take enough food and water with you because it would be a shame to just see the beach and leave. We enjoyed there quite a while and got back late in the afternoon.
On the way up you are going to see a lot of Euphorbia Canariensis (Cardon) which is a natural symbol. You will recognize it if I describe it as a big tuft of cacti. Don’t get scared of sand lizards, they don’t look so cute and little, but are very shy and scared. The higher you go, the bigger they are. A day like this in Gran Canaria is definitely a MUST.
After two days of hiking one surely deserves a day off, which meant swimming and strolling around the city. We saw Maspalomas lighthouse, which is 56 meters high, then the Dunas de Maspalomas and ended up on a famous beach Playa del Ingles. This is the most popular nude beach and if you are not a shy person, you easily can sunbathe your behind – just don’t forget to put on sun cream.
When we were again full of energy, we drove to a place called Agaete, the only European cocoa tree plantation and see how that inevitable morning decilitre comes to life. You will find the plantation under the name Finca Los Castanosand a lovely gentleman will give you a tour around it, where you can try products of cocoa tree and other fruits that grow there. In the end he will make you his amazing coffee and serve you home biscuits.
The last day has arrived and we decided to check crater Bandama Caldera. On the bottom of it you can notice remains of dark dust and a view from here absolutely amazing. You can see the entire Palma. The city is patiently waiting with Christopfer Columbus’s house (Casa de Colon), which tells you a story of all his achievements and discoveries; a majestic Cathedral (Palma Cathedral) and little and colourful streets of Veguete. We said goodbye to Gran Canaria in our own special way. We sat on the bitch with snacks and watched the sunset and surfers trying to catch the last wave of the day.