Escape To The Sun – Gran Canaria In December

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.

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Flower Power // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria
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Remote paradise // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria

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.

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Maspalomas Dunes, Gran Canaria

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.

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Casa Pérez Galdós // Vegueta, Las Palmas
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Notes of Christopher Columbus in Casa de Colón // Vegueta, Las Palmas

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.

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Paella, por favor // El Tipico Español, Las Palmas

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,

Satu

About expectations

Why wouldn’t you choose your next trip to a place that you have never even heard of? The reason not to do this is usually this; when you get those few days off of work, you want to be sure that you will enjoy and relax every second of the holiday.

But when you choose a destination that you know beforehand, you build also certain expectations. If you expect something, there’s less space for positive surprises. There’s a risk that you behave in a mechanic way to reach the level for the holiday you had planned, and you might miss many opportunities when focusing on your plan.

This weekend, I chose to leave for the unknown. I got an invitation to a village that I had never heard of, and I decided to head to the countryside, an hour away from Frankfurt am Main where I’m currently based at.

With my newly fresh German friends, we spent the day at a ‘schwimmbad‘ (as they call it in Germany), in an outside swimming pool area, in Bad Kreuznach.

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On the way to Schwimmbad
Bad Kreuznach, Germany

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Schwimmbad in a valley
Bad Kreuznach, Germany

For the evening’s barbecue, we drove to Wonsheim, to another small village close by.

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Endless wine yards
Wonsheim, Germany

The tops of this little trip were definitely the home made prosecco, surprisingly interesting venues and all the lovely new people with their smiles.

When you jump to an unexpected, you let yourself enjoy all the details and experience more than you were expecting.