Gran Canaria is a little bit like one of those supermodels whose face at first you think is nothing special, and who might not be the most traditionally beautiful, but, when you look closely, there are truly stunning features if you just know where to look. Good news is I’ve done the hard work for you and, with the exception of Las Palmas which we didn’t have time to visit, I think I got most of it covered in 48 hours. Game on.
If you’re thinking about Gran Canaria as a holiday destination it might be the cheap flights that seal the deal. We paid £60 each return and let’s not forget that this is just shy of a five hour flight from Glasgow. Use Skyscanner to find the best dates and deals – if you’re flying in winter you need to go the distance to get the sun and Gran Canaria gets a healthy tick in that box.
We stayed in the Sheraton Salobre which was an absolute dream, nestled up in the rocky hills but not too far from some of my top places to visit whilst on the island. If I was coming back I’d stay here again in a heartbeat and consider tagging on an extra couple of days in the north to explore the old town. There are some beautiful fincas high up in the mountains too but the higher you go, the less predictable the weather becomes… and let’s not forget what we’re here for. Sunshine.
With only two nights you don’t want any dinner fails so I did my research… The first night we found ourselves in Puerto de Mogán, sharing a giant paella by sunset overlooking the marina in Patio Canario, it was simple and fresh and the view was perfection. The second evening we booked (you need to book) Las Rias in Meloneras, a seafood restaurant with top ratings. Make sure you leave time for a pre or post drink in the bar on the promenade too which is so pretty and atmospheric (although big). The food was honestly divine and the price was reasonable.
For a tiny island there’s actually a heck of a lot to do and see but you’re gonna need a car. I booked from Argus and managed to snag a VW convertible for less than £100 which was well worth it as we spent hours driving up, down and round. Headscarf essential.
The first morning we wound our way up into the mountains on the most beautiful and dramatic snakey road, through the pretty village of Tejeda, up and up to Artenara. It had been our plan to eat at La Cilla overlooking the valley, the views are insane, but sadly our timing was off and the entire village was fogged in an eight degree cloud. So, my advice, ask a local or look up the mountain – if you see clouds it’s not a good day to make the trip!
Another must see are the dunes at Maspalomas. Go at sunrise or sunset for the best light and walk through the Riu Hotel to be greeted with the most stunning vista of rolling sand banks bordered by the ocean. We took some photos before perching ourselves on an empty dune to bathe in the pink light as the sun disappeared.
Last but not least is Puerto de Mogán, a village literally filled with flowers. Like a tiny Venice with it’s winding canals and tiny whitewashed homes, this place is super pretty. Wander through the streets, stop for icecream, pick a bougainvillea bloom for your hair. Soak up island life…
Have you ever been to Gran Canaria? I would love to know what you thought and if I missed any great tips please leave a comment to share.x