Beach holiday in the south, culture in the north. This is a rough generalization that I made during my visit to Gran Canaria on the Canary Islands this week. It it now the darkest week of the year up north in Finland, so I decided it is my turn to check what the Canary Islands have to offer.
To be honest, I didn’t expect much other than touristic beach holiday but I was pleasantly surprised by the life on the island. Part of it was staying in an apartment of local Canarians and getting to know them, partly I discovered new favourites on my own.
PUERTO DE MOGÁN
In the south side of Gran Canaria, you can find long beaches such as Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, which are always sunny though windy this time of the year. Warmer options in December and winter times are definitely Puerto Rico and few beaches around, such as Playa de Amadores and Anfi del Mar.
I passed by all these packed beaches but my own cute finding this side of the island was Puerto de Mogán. Also there, the international tourists are inevitable, but the small size and the remote location give a little more peace in the paradise.
DUNES OF MASPALOMAS
As I mentioned before, the area of Maspalomas is quite windy in the winter. The dunes are still an experience you shouldn’t miss. As it is a small area, you can make a little hike barefoot and enjoy the calmness of the raw nature. Definitely a must for sunset. PS. A pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the flying sand.
VEGUETA AND LAS PALMAS
The Spanish culture and the history of the island live strong in the north side of the island. While the weather is not the best during the winter, there is plenty to do inside as well. Gran Canaria was a home for Spanish realist novelist Benito Pérez Galdós and a temporary home to the explorer Christopher Columbus on his travels. These homes offer a good option for a cloudy day in the old town of Vegueta.
What comes to the traditional Canarian and Spanish restaurants, it is good to follow the local’s updated suggestions. Few words of Spanish can also help you that extra notch in Las Palmas in the north.
This trip taught me that in every place, you can find the world you personally love and enjoy. I found an authentic and cultural experience on a promised island of touristic beach life.
Creating New Mindset,